I’m taking an EasyJet flight next month and my booking confirmation says I can download an e-boarding pass. What is that and how do I use it? James, Bradford

Most airlines offer online check in for your flight. That used to involve printing off your boarding pass at home, or picking it up from a desk or a machine at the airport.

But many are now encouraging you to use an e-boarding pass. This is downloaded to your phone or tablet and it lets you go through security and board your plane without a paper version of your boarding card. They normally contain details of your seat, the time of your flight and a bar code.

Some e-boarding passes are sent via an email but more commonly you’ll need to download the airline’s app to your phone. These can be useful anyway, because they’ll often inform you of delays or changes to the gate number.

If you have an e-boarding pass and you’re travelling with cabin baggage only, you’ll normally be able to go straight through security without queuing up at a check in desk, but it’s always worth checking beforehand on the airline’s website.

The important thing to remember is that your phone or tablet must be charged up! If you arrive at security or the gate and your phone can’t be switched on, you could be delayed or denied boarding. You could also be asked to queue up and get a paper boarding pass – often at very high additional cost on some budget airlines.

Another advantage of an e-boarding pass is that you don’t need access to a printer. That’s useful if you need to check in online while you’re away from home. Checking in ahead of your flight often means you can select a good seat before arriving at the airport.

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