Paper boarding passes have been largely phased out except in certain cases, including for customers flying to the United States.
Thanks to a new initiative that took effect on Monday, Emirates now requires most passengers departing Dubai to use a mobile boarding pass instead of a printed paper version. Travelers checking in at Terminal 3 will receive their boarding pass via email or SMS; those who check in online can load their boarding pass into their Apple Wallet or Google Wallet, or retrieve them on the Emirates App. The checked-in baggage receipt is also emailed directly to passengers and accessible via the app.
Emirates says the move “significantly reduces” paper waste and the risk of lost or misplaced boarding passes, while offering a speedy check-in experience for passengers departing Dubai. The mobile boarding pass can be used in Dubai Duty Free and at security; Emirates agents will simply scan the QR code on the mobile boarding pass as passengers move through the airport and onto the aircraft.
That said, some cases may still require a physical boarding pass to be printed — examples range from customers traveling with infants, unaccompanied minors, and those needing special assistance, to travelers with connecting flights on other airlines and all passengers bound for the United States.
The option to print a boarding pass is also available by request at check-in if flyers do not have a mobile device, or if they are unable to access the information for certain reasons. These include running out of battery power, a system breakdown or glitch, message delivery delay, or inability to access Wi-Fi or a data package.
Users of the Emirates app can also view in-flight menus in advance, and curate a playlist of their favorite movies, TV shows, and music playlists available on ice, which they can synchronize from their app the moment they board to save time.