Southwest Says So Long to Ticket Jackets, Ending Era Among US Airlines

May 31, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Another once-iconic part of the air travel experience is set to fade into the history books.

That will come Saturday, when Southwest Airlines does away with its ticket jackets. The story was first reported by USA Today.

Ticket jackets were once a staple of air travel. The paper document holders harken back to an earlier age of flying, one that came before electronic tickets and flimsy boarding passes printed out from self-service kiosks.

Introduced decades ago, ticket jackets helped travelers protect their airline tickets at a time when they were issued on paper and not easily replaced if lost.

Today, travelers have little need for the jackets. Many now use digital boarding passes stored on their smartphones. And those paper boarding passes used to board at the gate are now are easily replaceable, with customers’ actual ticket information typically stored electronically in airline reservation systems. 

Southwest confirmed its plan to The Points Guy, saying ticket jackets will be eliminated June 1. The company had been issuing about 22 million ticket jackets a year.

“We are constantly studying ways to reduce waste, use less paper, and ultimately become a greener company,” Southwest spokesman Dan Landson says in a statement to TPG.

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 23: Kyle Henderson of Alexandria, Virginia checks his boarding pass at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter Wednesday, November 23, 2005, at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Baltimore, Maryland. Kyle arrived several hours early to the airport to beat the rush of people before he flies to visit his family for the holidays. (Photo by Chris Greenberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
A Southwest passenger holds a ticket jacket at Baltimore/Washington International Airport on Nov. 23, 2005. (Photo by Chris Greenberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


He acknowledged changing technology and customer preferences also played a role.

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of customers using mobile boarding passes and thus not using ticket jackets as much as in years past,” Landson said. “Through this change in behavior, we feel like we’ve reached a good point to transition away from paper ticket jackets.”

Southwest had been the last major US carrier to offer ticket jackets, according to USA Today’s Dawn Gilbertson.

She says United eliminated its ticket jackets in the early 2000s while others – including American and Spirit – offered them as recently as five years ago.

Now, with the retirement of ticket jackets at Southwest, the aviation industry will have another relic from a bygone era to appreciate.

Featured image: Tim Boyle/Getty Images.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.