Designing the ideal boarding pass

Underwhelmed by your boarding pass? You’re not the only one. That clustermess of bar codes, letters and numbers has enough discombobulating components to make your head spin, usually in the critical four seconds when you’re putting your belt back on after security and NEED to know where your gate is.

Tyler Thompson over at Squarespace realized this, and in a brief bout of creative design genius proffered a few alternatives to the everyday, sad boarding pass of today’s airlines.

You can check them all out at, where commenters have taken on the initiative to post a wide spectrum of redesigned passes on their own.

How hard would this be to implement in real life? As Virgin America has shown it’s not too difficult to inject a little bit of punch into your card stock, but Thompson’s designs may be a reach. Color isn’t easy or cost effective to print (for the negative details) and legacy airlines have a hard time making “drastic decisions” like changing their boarding passes.

Still, it’s an effective way to pointing out the lazy, boring design in the current state-of-the-art and the designs are magnificent. Perhaps when Gadling Air takes off we’ll borrow a few.