Why You Should Not Take A Photo Of Your Boarding Pass

Steve Hui decided to run an experiment to see how much information he could glean from the boarding pass photo, which has the traveler’s name & booking reference number from Delta after he noticed his Facebook friend posted a photo of their boarding pass before a trip.

Turns out just a few visible digits can ruin a trip.

He went to Delta’s website and plugged his friend’s booking number, Hui found that he was able to see information for all four flights on their reservation:

  • Frequent flyer details
  • Seat number.
  • Fare paid
  • Last four digits of her credit card number

All these information were there. Steve Hui wrote on news.com.au, he could’ve cancelled legs of their trip, changed the seats, swapped meals, or cancelled the trip altogether.

Hui admits his discoveries were just the beginning of what a hacker could find with a flyer’s boarding pass info.

“Technically, from there you could easily… hack into someone’s frequent flyer account,” Hui told HuffPost. And “from there, there is full trip history, number of points, and perhaps you can redeem things like flights and gift vouchers.”


boarding pass bar-codes aren’t safe.

Surprising? if you post a photo of your boarding pass but cover up some details like booking number & your name. This is just as dangerous: Your bar-code is just your ticket in smaller form, according to Bob Davidson, the head of aviation facilitation at the International Air Transport Association.

“Information encoded into the… bar code on each boarding pass includes largely the same information that is clearly printed on the document: name, flight numbers, boarding and destination cities, times, airport, gate, seat, frequent traveler account number,” Davidson told HuffPost.

Bar-code-reading websites can quickly glean this information from a simple image on your Facebook page.

At the end ,the best photo is no photo at all.

Even if you’re following safe practices by covering up the booking numbers on your boarding pass and your name, that means you telling the entire world you’re out of town and off your guard.

“The greatest risk in posting a boarding pass on social media is that it is a clear indication that the person will not be home at a specific time,” Davidson said. “That… is like leaving the front door not only unlocked, but thrown wide open.”

You can cover all the data on your boarding pass after you’re back, instead.

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