Here's the situation: I have just had my ticket scanned at the gate and happily walk through the long gateway toward the plane, giddy to get on board, because I even after all these years I love flying. I happen onto the queue of passengers waiting to enter the plane, so to keep myself busy, I put away my precious ticket stub (I'll need that for the expense report) into one of my pockets.

Finally, it's my turn to enter the plane, and the flight attendant asks me where I sit, and I reply it's 41k, which is over there (I've taken this exact flight many times this year already).

Then he asks me to see my ticket stub, so I have to go through all of my pockets because I already forgot where I put that stupid thing, which makes me that guy who prevents everybody from getting on board. Awkward.

Why do they want to see my ticket stub? I just showed it at the gate, together with my passport, so I'm totally on this flight. And while I may be bad at remembering pockets, I'm good at remembering my seat number correctly.

  • 1
    I think this question assumes all airlines or crew/agents actually check the boarding pass stubs. I've never seen this happen much actually. Depends a lot on the destinations, and security of the airline/country. I still keep my stubs where I keep my other docs JIC I need to show them, or there's someone sitting on my assigned seat or something like that. I've noticed this more only on airports that use buses after the gate to get people to the plane on the tarmac. Aug 12, 2014 at 5:56

1 Answer 1


A few reasons:

  • a final sanity check that you didn't walk down the wrong corridor. Some gates have two 'legs'. Or you could have snuck on or something.
  • On larger planes, to see what aisle you should walk down. Otherwise people will randomly choose one and spend time climbing over seats and getting in the way. They're on a time schedule, and want you boarded as fast as possible.
  • To greet you - if you're a club member or similar.
  • Some may have extra 'cues' on that they need to be aware of - you might require assistance.
  • In addition to which aisle, which direction - sometimes you board behind 1st class, so they need to direct you that way.

But yeah, it's annoying ;)

  • 1
    Also, some may try to sneak into business/first class, and they'd spot that then. I have a similar question about that.
    – DarkLightA
    Apr 18, 2013 at 14:03
  • That #1 point about the sanity check, happened to a passenger on board a flight I was on. You can only imagine the embarrassment. Also, the same reason they announce something similar to "this plane is bound for ____" before closing the doors. Oct 14, 2014 at 6:19
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    @BurhanKhalid I wrote it because it happened to me in Fiji, two flights boarding at once, and I accidentally tried to enter the wrong one, they got me at the gate thankfully, before boarding the flight :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Oct 15, 2014 at 6:58
  • But he had already told them which seat. So apparently they didn't believe him. I fly a lot and it has never happened to me.
    – WGroleau
    Nov 27, 2017 at 5:54

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