More Pass Than Fail: Reimagining the Boarding Ticket


No matter how smoothly Ryan Bingham can hop from curbside to gate in Up in the Air, the efficacy of air travel is hindered by a little something called a boarding pass — flimsy, sateen pieces of paper with shoddy perforations and a confusing mishmash of numbered information. You know the drill: where did that thing go? Do I need my driver’s license yet? Nope, that’s a receipt. Crap! The flap tore off. I swear, this airport is more crowded than ever. Design, on the other hand, is meant to solve problems. Asking and answering his own brief to create a better boarding pass, Squarespace creative director Tyler Thompson has innovated some damned good ideas.

Thompson’s take on the existing boarding pass layout for Delta Airlines:

It was like someone put on a blindfold, drank a fifth of whiskey, spun around 100 times, got kicked in the face by a mule, and then just started puking numbers and letters onto the boarding pass at random (yes, I realize that a human didn’t lay this out, if a human had, judging by the train-wreck of design, they would have surely used Papyrus). There was nothing given size or color importance over anything else, it was a mess.

Exhibit A:

Thompson then laid out the need-to-know information when embarking on a trip through the airport: first, which flight, then which gate, then the seat, next the boarding zone, as well as a separate demarcation for the time (since it’s the most singular obsession when boarding a flight). He came up with two iterations of a newly-designed pass:

The second of which can be easily branded to a particular airline by adding color and logos:

What do you think, dear readers? Pipe dream or feasible vision for a new age in design?

In the meantime, peep loads more of Thompson’s design work on his blog, New to York.