How to Make a Pretend Airplane Boarding Pass as a Gift

by Rupert Winston

Add excitement to your gift with a make-believe boarding pass.

yellow jet airliner image by Stephen Kirkby from

Items you will need

  • Color printer
  • Internet access
  • Windows Paint
  • Microsoft Office clip art
  • Tracing wheel
  • Glossy card stock

Buying a friend or a loved one an airplane ticket for their birthday or during the holidays can serve as a particularly thoughtful gift for someone special. Yet it's difficult to make an airplane ticket look as exciting as a big box wrapped up in shiny paper under the tree and handing over a black-and-white paper itinerary is decidedly unfestive. An easy and creative solution is to give your friend or loved one a homemade, pretend airplane boarding pass and hand this over as a gift, before adding the actual itinerary. You will be sure to pique everyone's interest in the room.

Making Pretend Airplane Boarding Passes at Home

Step 1

Open your computer's Paint program, if you use Windows, or Paintbrush in the case of Mac users. Using the rectangular drawing tool, create a rectangle with a thin black border.

Step 2

Divide the rectangle vertically into two sections by using a tracing wheel to create a perforated line, with the area on the right covering only one third of the total space. The smaller section represents the portion of the boarding pass that airline officials usually detach at the departure gates.

Step 3

Type the passenger's name in both the large and small sections of the boarding pass, using exactly the same font and format in both. If you are using Paint, choose the "Courier New" font and type in all capital letters. Always type the passenger's family name first, followed by a forward slash and then her given name. Type the name in the center of the larger section and repeat near the bottom of the smaller portion of the boarding pass.

Step 4

Add your make-believe airline's code and flight number, as well as the date and time of departure to both sections of the boarding pass, underneath the passenger's name. The airline code should be comprised of two letters and the flight number includes three digits.

Step 5

Create a logo for your airline and a make-believe airline name to add to the upper left had corner of both sections of your boarding pass. Try to choose two colors for your airline logo, or consider searching for clip art images in Microsoft Word. You can paste these into a Paint document.

Step 6

Print your boarding pass on glossy card stock using a color printer.


  • Make your boarding pass look more authentic by placing it inside an envelope with a pretend airport logo on it that you create. Airport envelopes protect boarding passes and often include vital information on facilities, terminal maps and security information.

    If you are throwing a birthday party for an airline pilot, flight attendant or airport worker, use the ticket as an invitation and replace standard flight information with details about the party instead. Attendees can RSVP by ripping the ticket and sending back the "airline's portion."

    If you work in the airline industry yourself, pretend tickets can make clever greeting cards during the holiday season. For Christmas, make the ticket red and green and give the airline a festive name.


  • Do not use an existing airline's official logo on your pretend boarding pass. Not only is it illegal to use a registered trademark, but using a counterfeit boarding pass to gain entry to an airport's secure departure area is a criminal offense. If your friend's pretend boarding pass gets lost and falls into the wrong hands, make sure that everybody realizes that your arts-and-crafts creation was just for fun.

Photo Credits

  • yellow jet airliner image by Stephen Kirkby from

About the Author

Rupert Winston has worked as a freelance writer for over five years and has published both online and in print, including in "The Jewish Tribune," "The National Post" and Transitions Online. Winston has a B.A. degree in English literature, as well as an M.A. in history. He is a professor of history and is preparing to defend his Ph.D. dissertation.