Boarding Pass: What are those codes and numbers in your ticket?

Boarding Pass: What are those codes and numbers in your ticket?

Congratulations! You have bought your first-ever plane ticket, but. is this the information you need to board your flight? Not really; you need a boarding pass! In this article, you will learn the difference between them and how to read your boarding pass like a pro, so you feel extra confident traveling.


Ticket vs. Boarding Pass. Sisters not twins


So you’ve chosen your destination, searched, and found the best deal. After you make your purchase, you will receive an e-ticket to your email containing different pages with information.

Pro tip: You don’t need to print this but keep this email on your favorites or tag for easy access.

The most relevant information on your confirmation email is the following:

A flight confirmation number or booking code; is used to identify your reservation and then printed in your boarding pass (when doing the check-in)

How much you have paid for your flight ticket.

Fare conditions or Fare rules, in this section, you’ll find very important information about the airline’s refundable policies, delays/ cancelations policies, additional charges, etc.

Pro tip: Did you see on social media how chaotic traveling was during the summer of 2022? That’s why it’s crucial you know your rights when traveling.

How do you get your Boarding Pass?

No Boarding Pass.

It’s important to know that you don’t secure a seat on the plane till you get your boarding pass, meaning that if you don’t arrive on time for your check-in, you will miss the flight and lose your money. You cannot go through a security checkpoint either.

You have to check-in to receive a boarding pass and be able to board the plane. You can check-in online or at the airport check-in counter.

Pro tip: Check in as soon as possible to be able to choose the best seats.

Don’t know which ones? Check this page (Seatguru). You type the airline name and see a complete map of the plane’s seats with people’s reviews about them.

Check-in online

Available usually 24 hours before the flight, although not for every flight. Sometimes you don’t have any other option but to check in at the airport.

To see this, keep refreshing the airline check-in web page or app.

You will need your flight reservation number to check in online. After you check-in, you will receive via email a boarding pass for you to print, or you can also receive a mobile boarding pass.

Keep in mind although you did the check-in online, you might still need to go to the check-in desk at the airport.

Check-in at the airport.

You probably have heard that you need to arrive at the airport a few hours before your flight. Well. this is the reason why. You never know how long it will take to go through the check-in counter; it may or may not be a long queue, but it’s better to play it safe.
Remember, the sooner you check-in, the better seats you will get. You still have to pick a seat if online check-in was unavailable. If you need to check a bag, this is the time.

For check-in you will need your passport. Usually, the agent will check the seat availability and ask you which type of seat you prefer (window or aisle).

If you have any dietary restrictions, this is also the time to ensure the airline is aware.

You did the check-in and finally, have your boarding pass in your hands. Yes!! You are even closer to arriving at your dream destination.

But, what are those letters and numbers that do not make any sense in your boarding pass?

FREE travel planner

How To Read A Plane Ticket?

how to read a boarding pass

1.Your Name: It is important the name on your boarding pass matches your passport.

2.Bar code: This is scanned at the boarding gate; it has useful information for the airline, such as how many passengers have boarded the plane.

3.PNR: Passenger Name Reference. Remember the flight confirmation number or booking code we talked about before? It can also be printed on your boarding pass.

Pro tip: The bar code and PNR number contain important information about you and your flight information. Never take a picture of your boarding pass showing these two and posit it on social media! Some hackers can access your personal and credit card information and mess up your flight details. Don’t throw your boarding pass and luggage claim tags in some random trash, either. Be careful.

4. Flight Number: those numbers and letters correspond to the airline code. You should know how to quickly identify this flight number because if you have any type of problem or concern, the desk agent will probably ask you for this number.

5. Ticket Class: This code indicates what class you are flying. The letters “A” and “F are used for first/business class seats. Letters “Y” and “Q” for economy seats. And some say the letter “B” is the lucky one as you might qualify for a seat upgrade, so keep this in mind!

6. Others: These are some other letters that might appear on your boarding pass.

-S/O: you have a stopover or layover.

-SPTC: If you have a long stopover, the airline can even provide you with some accommodation for those hours.

-SSSS: “Secondary Security Screening Selection” if this code comes up in your boarding pass, be prepared; things might get uncomfortable for you. This code means you have been flagged for an additional security check-up.

7. Seat number and row: If you check in online, you already know where your seat is on the plane.

Suppose you check-in at the airport, and the agent chooses the seat for you. In that case, you probably don’t know where the seat is on the plane, especially if you are traveling for the first time by plane.

After you get your boarding pass, check your seat with Seatguru, so you know exactly what to expect when boarding the plane, you might be stuck in a middle seat, and you have no idea!

8. Boarding Grup: This is how the airline organizes the passengers at the boarding gate. The code uses letters or numbers. The first boarding groups are usually assigned for first/ business passengers, passengers with disabilities, or families and passengers with airline status.

If you don’t fit in any of the above, the trick for not being literally the last person to board the plane is to be close to the boarding gate so you can be the first in line. This is especially useful for fully booked flights. Also, the sooner you board the plane, the easier it will be to accommodate your carry-on bag in the overhead bin.

9. Gate number: This is the gate you will board the plane. If you are not in the first boarding group. Try not to sit far away from the boarding gate and always look at the screens for any changes.

Boarding the plane

This is it; you made it! Have your boarding pass at hand; the flight attendant will scan it, and if everything is okay, you will be on your way to the plane. After you board the plane, another flight attendant will ask you for your boarding pass to indicate how to get to your seat.

Now all you have left is to enjoy your travel!!

P.D If you are planning on keeping the boarding pass as a souvenir, I got bad news for you the boarding pass is printed with light-sensitive ink, so it will fade. So you will end up with a white piece of paper. I know, so annoying!