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After your next flight, don’t be so quick to toss out your boarding pass. Besides the fact that you should always keep it to make sure your frequent flyer miles post (some airlines still require you to send in details from or proof of the boarding pass if miles are missing), there are some creative perks and partnerships that airlines and airports have curated with brands that could be very valuable.
Smartly, these partnerships can spur incremental business while also opening travelers’ eyes to new experiences they may not have considered before.
There are some freebies and cash discounts on the horizon when you flash that airline boarding pass; you just have to know where to look. These are some of our favorite boarding pass perks from around the world.
Top hidden boarding pass perks
Alaska’s partnership with various wineries along the west coast offers some great benefits to its passengers. For one, the airline offers a “wine flies free” perk for travelers to check a case of wine from participating vineyards for free without paying a baggage fee on their flight home.
Alaska has long championed West Coast wines on its flights by serving them on board, but now you are incentivized to take some home with you, too.
You can also enjoy free or discounted ski passes at various partner resorts by showing your Alaska boarding pass. Each partner resort has slightly different terms, so be sure to choose your resort from the Alaska website to read the fine print. For example, Alyeska Resort near Anchorage offers free skiing on the same day as your arriving flight, whereas Montana’s Whitefish Mountain Resort offers free skiing on the same day as your departing flight.
Reno/Tahoe International Airport
Did you know your boarding pass can score major savings if you fly into Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) and love to ski? Make a beeline to a nearby resort once you land, and you’ll get free or discounted lift tickets — plus discounted equipment rentals — simply by showing a same-day boarding pass for any flight landing at RNO.
» Learn more: How to book a ski trip and save cash
With a British Airways boarding pass, you can slash some of the cost of jewelry and fashion apparel at certain London-based retail and boutique locations. At others, you’re eligible for free gifts when spending a certain amount. How about a free glass of Champagne during afternoon tea? There’s an offer for that, too.
The perks are not just related to boarding passes; some of the benefits are offered to members of its Executive Club loyalty program. Before British readers get too excited, however, know that these offers are only valid for non-U.K. residents.
The TourIstanbul program provides Turkish Airlines passengers that meet certain requirements with a free city tour. This perk is only available to passengers that:
Are traveling between two countries (departing or arriving passengers in Turkey don’t qualify).
Have a connection between six and 24 hours.
Travelers can visit the hotel desk in the international arrivals area of the airport to organize the experience, which typically departs at set times. Since this means that passengers are entering Turkey (rather than staying inside the airport), many will need a visa to do so. Eligible passengers can organize an e-visa before they arrive at the airport.
The My Emirates Pass program lets travelers flash an Emirates boarding pass from any flight between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2021, and take advantage of discounts and free offers within the UAE. There is no limit to the number of discounts you can take advantage of with this program.
The offers include discounts of 20%-30% on dining and 20%-50% on spa spending, as well as discounts on golf and free golf club rentals. Other lower-priced deals include visits to theme parks, hot air balloon rides, desert safaris, dinner cruises and sightseeing tours. These hidden boarding pass perks can be beneficial to those who live in or plan to spend time in the region.
Sometimes, the benefits extend beyond just a few days after your flight. For instance, a few of Asiana’s Magic Boarding Pass program perks are good for up to one month post-flight. You can enjoy savings on desserts in Rome, tours and home stays in Vietnam, car rentals in the U.S. and museum and gallery tickets in South Korea.
You can even test out a capsule hotel stay in South Korea, too.
Indonesia’s flag carrier and SkyTeam member Garuda Indonesia offers a Boarding Pass True Value program that delivers discounts and benefits at various retailers and hotels across Indonesia. Your boarding pass could double as your ticket to hidden perks at familiar brands like Marriott and Best Western. Travelers can take advantage of the perks as many as seven days post-flight.
» Learn more: Your guide to SkyTeam
The Excellent Boarding Pass program offers passengers a handful of discounts around the world. In Korea, the perks are available up to seven days after an eligible flight whereas in other locations, the benefit window can stretch up to a month post-flight. These include restaurant and shopping discounts, airport train and car rental savings and tourist attraction benefits in Korea. Elsewhere, like Europe and Hawaii, there are shopping and attraction discounts.
While on hold due to the pandemic, it’s worth noting that airline Alitalia normally offers an exciting variety of special discounts and perks for their flyers. Check their website to see if any promotional offers are now available.
Print a paper copy of your boarding pass to simplify accessing these offers. If that's not possible, take a screenshot photo of your mobile boarding pass on your smartphone and keep it handy.
The bottom line
Hold on to that airline boarding pass in case there are savings and benefits worth enjoying after your flight. While these are some of the best boarding pass perks from different airlines we’ve found, it is always worth doing some extra sleuthing.
How to maximize your rewards
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