By Mark Orwoll
April 30, 2014

That’s a picture of my boarding pass for a recent flight from Fort Lauderdale to New York. I printed it out in the lobby of my beachfront hotel just before racing to the airport. I felt great that I was cleared for expedited screening in the TSA PreCheck lane, but not so great when the TSA agent frowned and said, “This boarding pass is no good.”

She pointed to the date in the upper left corner and said it was partially cut off due to a faulty print job. “You can’t use a boarding pass that’s not completely legible,” she said. In the end she relented because you actually CAN read the date, if you try. But I’ll remember next time—and so should you—to look carefully at a boarding pass to insure that everything is readable. I’d hate to be late for a flight because of an unnecessary delay by the TSA—and a second-rate printer.

Mark Orwoll is the International Editor of Travel + Leisure. Like him on Facebook and follow @orwoll on Twitter.