Apple watch boarding pass experiences...

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by arbitrage, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. arbitrage macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2009
    Just got an Apple watch last week as I had a 5hr layover at YVR (Vancouver BC) and took the train to downtown Apple store to try and buy. I already had my AirCanada boarding pass in Passbook on iPhone and it then showed on Apple watch.

    Problem is I only had one experience where they accepted the watch barcode and that was the pre scan of the boarding pass just entering the security line for Gate C in YVR. At the actual security they asked for the iPhone. Going onto the plane they wanted the iPhone. Also flying out of YKA a week later they said no to the watch and again at YVR when I left security for a while they said no going back through and boarding the planes.

    Has anyone had better success with airports scanning the barcode and not needing to see the phone? I thought it would be great but I'd rather just pull out a paper one than my iPhone most of the time anyways. I thought the watch would be the solution to go away from paper but I guess not yet in Canada at least.
  2. bmore29 macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2015

    I flew Delta: BWI to ATL and back and just used my watch. No one cared to look at my phone. I don't know why they would care. At least in the US they don't look at the boarding pass / phone anyway. For boarding passes they just grab them from you and scan them. For the phone, you hold it up to the reader yourself, and the agent never sees the screen.
  3. savagewatts macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2014
    Vancouver, BC
    I just came back from PEI flying to Vancouver. I have flown often with it. I find it comes down to the rep asking. Westjet's scanners don't have room to put your watch under the scanner without taking it off but that was the only time I couldn't use it. Air Canada seems to vary depending on airport/reps.
  4. flur macrumors 68020


    Nov 12, 2012
    I've done it with my watch, but after the first two flights, and having to twist my arm around for one scanner, having my wrist not fit under another scanner, and having a third scanner placed in a corner that would not accommodate a hand, I gave up. Now I just use the watch for gate, seat, and flight delay info but keep my phone handy for actual boarding pass scanning.
  5. twisted-pixel macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    I tried it a few times, but it's just too awkward to try and twist my wrist into such a position to get the watch under the scanner.
  6. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I was able to clear security and board an international flight from Detroit metro airport using only my Apple watch and passport so I know it could work. Lately I let them print a paper one for me when I check my bags because I tire of digging for my phone or darn near breaking my wrist to fit their scanners. For that international flight they had a scanner that faced down so all I had to do was hold my watch under it, but on domestic flights I've taken since then the scanners seem to vary quite a bit with some mounted to heavy furniture facing up and some on long curly cords like the scanner they use on big sheets of plywood at a big box store like home depot. The airline was Delta.
  7. dwfaust macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    This was my experience, as well. My last flight was PHX > IND > PHX on USAirways/AA. The only comments were positive - things like "oooh, cool" and "I want one of those". No muss, no fuss and no drama from the airlines or security whatsoever.
  8. orev macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2015
    I don't have issues going through security since they just scan the bar code and compare your name to your ID. However, most of the other areas rely on humans being able to read the other information on the boarding pass, like your status (so you can go through the preferred lanes), and to verify things like the terminal, gate number, etc... Trying to do that on a watch is too hard to read for other people. On a phone they know where to look, but for a watch you'd need to squint and scroll around before the screen turns off to save battery. I can understand why they don't want to do that. And most scanners at the gate aren't setup for a wrist to fit under them anyway.

    Also, in general, I find using the watch more difficult since it takes 2 hands to present it. It's obviously on one wrist where you can't touch the watch, so you need to activate the screen and apps with the other hand. This means you need to stop because you can't also drag your luggage at the same time. On the phone, you can do it all with 1 hand while you drag your luggage with the other.
  9. dwfaust macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    What hassle presenting it? Simply have the airline app opened on your Watch. As you approach the station, tap your watch to wake it up. Grab your bag and drag it behind you. Slide your now active watch screen under the scanner LED and board the plane. Easy peasy, hassle free.
  10. orev macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2015
    As I said you have to stop let go of your luggage to be able to tap the watch to wake it up. For anyone who travels frequently, you learn to keep moving so anything that makes you have to come to a full stop, stand up your luggage and let go, do something, grab your luggage again, then tilt it and start moving, it's a bit of a hassle and slows both you and everyone else down. Even if you're standing at the gate, you can wake it up but by the time you get there it might be asleep again.

    Maybe I should just activate it by tapping to my nose instead.
  11. dwfaust macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    Yeah, you have to let go of your bags. But you're not moving... you're standing in the cattle call line with 200 other people... again, for me, not an issue. Clearly, YMMV.
  12. orev macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2015
    You didn't say "for me" in your post (so there's no "again" since it was not said the first time), you just implied that it shouldn't be a hassle (implied: for anyone). Even when standing in line, I've had it go back to sleep when I start walking, and again, most scanners at the gate aren't setup for a wrist to fit under them anyway.

    Yes, if it works for you or anyone, that's fine, but I have outlined some pretty concrete facts about why it's a hassle in many situations in the airport. Unless you have 3 hands, they still generally apply.
  13. dwfaust macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    So you just want to argue? No thanks. I'm out.
  14. TheGreenBastard macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2012
    Please tell me you took a day trip to Halifax while you were in PEI...haha
  15. JSB1540 macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2015
    Only tried once with American, Could not fit my wrist under the scanner, she said sorry use your phone. Agreed that I mostly just put phone over scanner face down, I guess they don't want to invest in capable scanners. Saw the article today on "Delta economy minus"! The airlines won't spend any money until needed.
  16. Easttime macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2015
    Very convenient on one flight so far. The gate attendants were very interested in seeing the watch and scrolled the screen themselves to bring up the barcode. I can see that getting old for attendants in high volume airports. But it felt more convenient on the wrist than fumbling for the iPhone, and nice to have the preflight gate number and boarding time countdown handy on the watch.
  17. Joe Rossignol Editor

    Joe Rossignol

    Staff Member

    May 12, 2012
    I've used my Apple Watch for some Delta flights at JFK, LGA and BUF airports.

    I've had no issue scanning my boarding pass from the Watch at the TSA security checkpoint or right before boarding.

    One of the Delta employees at BUF a few weeks ago said he had never seen anyone use an Apple Watch before.

    TSA employee at JFK once told me that he would prefer to see my boarding pass on my iPhone, but still let me through.

    I hope once the Apple Watch becomes more common, that some employees won't be inconvenient like that about it.
  18. ivandr macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2010
    Travelled on 5 total flights on one round trip (3 segments out and 2 segments back).
    For all of these flights except for one boarding process I used my watch, and that includes going through security (and getting into TSA PreCheck line by visually showing the boarding pass on my watch with the PreCheck logo next to the barcode to the person guarding access to that lane). The one instance I didn't use it, was because I couldn't (the scanner at the gate was affixed and the space underneath wasn't big enough to fit a wrist under it).

    For the other 4 flights it worked well but I found the recognition and scanning of the barcode a bit finnicky. I found that I would get my wrist under the scanner (was the handheld scanner type connected to a spiral cable sitting in a plastic holder pointing it down at the check in counter) and then would have to shift up and down closer and farther from the scanner until hitting the right distance for the code to scan. After the first two I figured out about where to hold my wrist and the final two legs went by much smoother. Definitely generated some attention/interest when people saw me moving through security and boarding without anything but an ID in hand and my watch.
  19. Speedman100 macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2013
    I flew United from Detroit to Washington and I used my watch for the boarding pass with no problems.
  20. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    Used mine on 10 flights so far... 8 with Delta 2 on American. Never had an issue (either getting through security or at the gate). Everything has worked perfectly so far.

    Two more flights tomorrow...
  21. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    If you use Passbook you don't have to tap your Watch at all. The screen stays active for a ridiculously long time (minutes) as long as you have it on a barcode.

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