I have checked in online, I have my boarding pass and preselected seat. And I have no checked-in luggage so do I go straight to security check in. Do I need to bring my ticket along with the boarding pass printed at home?

  • 14
    Why is this being downvoted? It's a perfectly reasonable question.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 20:54
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    Maybe a silly question - what do you mean by ticket vs boarding pass?
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 6:19
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    Uhm, what do you mean by a "ticket"? Do you mean the traditional kind of paper ticket (whose existence some people might not even know about anymore)? Or do you mean a paper print-out of your e-ticket or your itinerary or your receipt?
    – user541686
    Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 6:30
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    It might be good to be a little more specific here. What country/airline are you asking about?
    – reirab
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 0:19
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    My favorite is when my ticket or pass is on my phone, plain as day in the app. But the app is too stupid to cache the things. When you present it, the app has timed out and needs a login... which needs Internet... in the bowels of a terminal with no cellular service, and if WiFi exists, not free. Lookin' at you, Amtrak. I have learned to screencap the pass, flip to Photos app, show screencap, welcome aboard. Sadly, this misleads agents into thinking the app works there, hardening their hearts for others in the same piccadillo. Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 17:23

6 Answers 6


You shouldn't need it, and you might not even be able to:

Last time (that was with BA, and I believe it's been like that the last several times I flown with BA, and I've had similar experiences with other companies) I was flying, I got an e-mail called "Your e-ticket receipt ...", which contained the sentence

Your ticket is held in our systems, you will not receive a paper ticket for your booking.

So it would have been quite hard to actually bring the ticket.

Of course you could bring that receipt, if you want something extra to document that you have booked a seat on that trip.

  • 1
    It's not clear to me "paper ticket" here means the same thing as "ticket" in the question. It's not even clear to me if either of you are aware a paper ticket is not the same thing as a paper print-out of an e-ticket :-) if you think you can clarify any of these please do.
    – user541686
    Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 6:31

Need it - not usually

Want it (in case there is a question/query/whatever) - yes

I'd suggest at the very least print it as a PDF and put it on your phone - I once had luggage drop at Dulles get very stroppy with me when I couldn't show a ticket (having checked in online and printed by own boarding pass)

  • 10
    That's not a "ticket" in the formal sense of the word, but rather a print out of a receipt
    – Calchas
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 21:59
  • Bag drop wanted an actual print-out of your e-ticket receipt at Dulles rather than just your boarding pass? That seems very surprising. What airline? I haven't had any U.S. airline ask to see such a thing in decades. I do, however, usually carry print-outs of the e-ticket receipts with itineraries when traveling internationally, but I do that mostly to show that I have an onward ticket to leave whatever country I'm about to enter and don't plan to overstay.
    – reirab
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 0:18

No, you don't need a ticket. Your boarding pass and ID are all you need. And, yes, you go straight to security. You do not need to go to a ticket counter. One less line to stand in :)

(I'm a former travel agent and frequent flyer.)


No, boarding pass is enough to pass security gates and board the plane.


It has been a long time since one needed a ticket to get on the plane. However, I would bring either a printout or a copy on your phone (not merely accessible from your phone) in case of trouble, and if it's an international flight it's possible an official will want to see evidence of a flight out of their country.


Paper tickets are no longer issued by any airline or travel agency. Everyone has migrated to e-ticketing.

This means, you simply get a copy of your travel reservation along with a reference number; based on which the agents look up your reservation in the computer systems.

Once you have been issued a boarding pass - for that leg of the journey you do not need to show a reservation copy. However, you must at all times keep a copy of the reservation (what you get from the airline website in your email) with you at all times.

This is because:

  • on the return leg of your journey, you will need this information either to print your boarding passes online, or at the counter when you are checking in. At some airports, due to security restrictions, you may need to show this before you are even let inside the terminal.

  • it serves as proof that you have a return flight booked (for immigration)

  • in case your boarding pass gets lost or misplaced, you can use this copy to obtain a duplicate pass.

In addition to keeping a copy on your mobile device, I always carry a paper version; for those occasions when the mobile is not practical (ran out of battery) or a copy needs to be made of the booking details; or in some cases, where it has to be stamped separately (strangely only happened once to me in Asia).

So - to conclude:

  1. There are no more paper tickets.
  2. Always carry a copy of your reservation with you throughout the journey.
  • 2
    While true in some countries and for some international travels, it is certainly not a blanket requirement around to world to hold a paper or even electronic copy of your e-ticket.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 16:08

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