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Boarding passes: an air-travel irritant

Posted by Christopher Shea  August 11, 2010 10:39 AM

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They might not be makes-you-want-to-trigger-the-exit-chute annoying, but confusing boarding passes are a persistent irritant during air travel, observes Tyler Thompson--the raison d'etre of his new site, Boarding Pass/FAIL. Here's how Thompson describes the message delivered by a boarding pass that a Delta agent recently handed him:

I am sure you are no doubt trying to figure out what ... to do with the piece of paper you have in your hand right now. You're confused, lost, and just want to get on your flight, it's cool, we don't really care, and we sure as hell don't want to make this process easy and enjoyable for you. Instead, we hired a small, blind, parakeet to layout your boarding pass ...

He concocted some clear, energetic replacements; other design bloggers soon chimed in. Thompson's suggestions involved printing techniques not feasible using airlines' current machines. But other design bloggers, notably Timoni Grone--"Improving the air travel experience is something of a passion of mine"--remedied that oversight, making boarding passes that airlines could adopt at relatively little expense.

boardingpass.jpgpass-blue-1.png

The humble boarding pass, before and after a makeover to increase its clarity
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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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