Don’t Pay For Boarding Passes

It has become a pernicious habit of Las Vegas hotels to charge guests to print boarding passes for their return flights, but there’s no need to pay for that.

Sure, it’s a good idea to check in online well in advance of your flight, as a means to protect your seat. If you’re flying on a standard fare on Southwest, it’s critical to check in early if you want to get a good seat. The good news is that if you don’t have access to a printer, you can check in without printing the pass.

Use your laptop or smart phone — or call a friend back home to check in for you. It may not be necessary to print the boarding passes at that time, but if it is, your friend can just throw them away. When you arrive at the airport, you can print boarding passes from your airline’s kiosks, whether passes have already been printed by your friend or not.

In Las Vegas, you don’t even have wait in line for the airline kiosk. There are machines scattered throughout the terminals where you can print free boarding passes for any airline.

Yes, those are the same machines you find in many hotel lobbies, at least outside Las Vegas. But the standard practice of providing a means to print boarding passes at no charge, as a courtesy to customers, has no place in revenue-starved Las Vegas hotels, which have carried nickel-and-diming fees to the extreme.

Actually, it’s not nickels and dimes we’re talking about here. The MGM Grand wanted $6.50 to print my boarding passes, an outrageous fee for two pieces of paper and a little ink. The Orleans wanted $2.50 — still a good ten times a reasonable price. Sure, I can afford it. I just don’t enjoy feeling like a chump.

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