I’ve flown a few hundred flight segments at this point, and I don’t get as excited about a paper boarding pass as I used to. For a while, I had a small collection. Sure, it’s cool to keep the one when it’s a new carrier or plane, but at most I keep the stub. I do print a pass when I’m traveling without a smart phone, but I toss these. If I have my iPhone, I use an app, if possible.

But one turned up that I’m glad I stowed away.

A Surprise Amid the Schoolwork

I pulled out an old binder while going through a box of stuff this week. Inside I recognized some homework and tests from my very last semester at Humboldt State University. After thumbing through the pages to see if there was anything I wanted to keep, I pulled a stack of papers out of the front inside pocket.

One item caught my eye. There is no mistaking the end of a boarding pass slip. Turning it over, I saw that it is indeed 7 years old and was from that final semester.

old boarding pass

The pass tells me a couple things: I was flying the old Embraer 120 Brasilia aircraft. I don’t think anything else has Row 6 as an exit row. I appears I also had a United card already, based on my boarding group.

What Trip Was This?

I figured the boarding pass was for the first segment of a work trip to Phoenix. During my last year of school, I was hired by an environmental consulting company. They are still my employer after eight and a half years. It has been an excellent job. During that spring semester I took my first work trip to the company headquarters in Mesa, Arizona. March sounded right.

However,  checking the ticket against my OpenFlights stats, it didn’t jive. The ticket was for a trip ~2 weeks prior to the Mesa visit. Odd.

Searching the confirmation number in my email left me perplexed: the ticket was for a single one-way flight from ACV to SFO. This was a completely different trip! It also makes it the very first time I flew out of ACV. That’s crazy. I’ve been confused all this time, thinking it was the Phoenix trip.

The Old Boarding Pass Will Remain a Mystery

I have no idea why I visited San Francisco. Maybe this was for a major contract kickoff meeting that year? I know I attended it. It would have been bizarre if I’d flown, considering the cost of the flight and my lowly position on the project. But that’s about the only thing that makes any sense. I recall other visits to the Bay Area, but nothing that corresponds with March 2014.

Do you keep your boarding passes? Have you ever randomly found an old boarding pass and been reminded of a previous trip?