A better boarding pass? One frustrated flier’s idea

Peter Smart's boarding pass could fold inside a passport. (Photo: courtesy of Peter Smart)

After spending way too much time in airports, frequently frustrated flier Peter Smart thought up a way to make one part of the trip less painful: A boarding pass redesign.

Plenty of people use mobile phones as boarding passes, but the UK designer contends that paper passes are still very much in use and deserve another look. Smart's redo, which he posted to his website, has gotten rave reviews on the Web.

Smart was inspired to try his hand at a better boarding document after he had racked up 14 flights in two months and became fed up trying to decode the passes.

"After a while I realized that the boarding passes I was being given were pretty awful," Smart told Yahoo Travel in an email. "Knowing where you need to be at the right time is really important. The problem is, the layout of information on a boarding pass doesn't make this easy."

On his last nine-hour flight home, Smart sketched out his ideal boarding pass: He flipped the document from a horizontal layout to a vertical one, added a perforation so it folds neatly inside a passport, and then placed crucial gate and flight information at the top.

Bonus: His design got rid of airport jargon and put in plain English the seat assignment (and aisle designation) and the airport cities in a nice, large font (such as Stockholm to Sydney) and even added the local weather.

By using the same dimensions as a current boarding pass, Smart claims his design wouldn't require new printers. The net result would be "just a better layout," he said. The design is shown on his website, and the feedback was enthusiastic.

Loving the new airline boarding pass design concept by @petewsmart http://t.co/WUdaXOOy4y

— Nick Selby (@nselby) January 22, 2014

Someone has redesigned the boarding pass and it makes total sense… http://t.co/KXhmXF7wdV — Brett King (@brettking) January 20, 2014

Rethinking the boarding pass great—simple—design thinking. http://t.co/GF6NVFHCfc

— Alistair Croll (@acroll) January 19, 2014

Smart told Yahoo Travel that he is in early private talks with some interested airlines — but don't hold your breath on seeing changes anytime soon. Still, he said, "Seeing things from a customer's perspective and asking 'What if…?' is a really powerful thing to do."

Perhaps Smart could convince the airlines to redesign their restrooms next. Pretty please?

Follow Claudine Zap on Twitter: @zapkidd

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