On Saturday, I wrote a travel tip offering up 3 reasons to always get two hotel room keys. I received several emails from readers saying that they thought you should never throw hotel room key cards in the trash can in the hotel room when leaving because it contains your contact information and credit card information. One reader said perhaps it’s better to take the hotel key cards with you and shred them later yourself. I did some digging and yesterday, wrote a tip about the truth about hotel room key cards.

Now, there’s a domino effect because I then received multiple emails asking about boarding passes. Here’s one from reader Irene: “What about airplane boarding passes? I’ve been told they have your personal information and need to be shredded at home.”

That’s a great question! It boggles my mind when I see fellow passengers leave their boarding pass in the seatback pocket of an airplane, throw it on the ground or toss it in the bag when a flight attendant comes around to collect the garbage.

I always keep my boarding passes for two main reasons:

1. Since I used to be afraid to fly, I like to keep all of my boarding passes because they bring back warm and fuzzy feeling of past trips. I’ve always thought I would do something with them like make wallpaper but seeing as I haven’t done it after a year at home thanks to COVID-19, I’m not sure it will ever happen.

2. Even if I wasn’t a sentimental packrat, I would keep my boarding pass because it’s a record of my trip. And just in case the airline doesn’t credit me my miles, I can always get the ticket number off of the boarding pass.

For those who aren’t packrats, wait until your miles post and then shred your boarding pass. The reason why you want to shred it is because boarding passes have your name and mileage number on them so a hacker just needs to find your password, which isn’t very difficult for some.

If I were a real minimalist, then I would take a photo of my boarding pass and then shred it. That way, I’d have the record. But of course, never post that photo on social media unless you blur out the information you need to keep private.

Do you have more reasons why you keep your boarding pass? One reader, Marcia, commented that she “keep[s] boarding passes for at least 2 weeks post travel. Should you need proof that you were indeed aboard that plane, as I did to receive reimbursement from my health insurer for an out of country claim.”


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2 Comments On "Why You Should Keep Your Airline Boarding Passes and What You Should Do With Them"
  1. TDHill|

    Great post! I definitely keep a digital copy and in fact, just cleaned out my phone’s wallet by taking screenshots of them all before deleting. Then I made a “Travel Passes” Google Photo album just for me- I’ll keep all my flight and hotel passes there as memorabilia and easy to find if ever needed for refunds, reimbursement, or proof of travel.

  2. TDHill|

    Also, note that the iPhone Wallet boarding passes have more info at the 3 dots: Ticket number, booking reference, FF info, etc, so may want to screenshot that as well.

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