The One Thing You Absolutely Should Not Do With Your Boarding Pass

By Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
May 17, 2016 Updated: May 18, 2016

You’re at the gate or just seated on the plane and you want to announce to friends and family that you’re on your way somewhere amazing.

So you snap a picture of your boarding pass and post it to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

No big deal, right?


The information printed on your boarding pass—such as the barcode—actually contains a gateway that hackers can exploit.

The security blog KrebsonSecurity recently noted that there are websites that can read the barcodes on the boarding pass and provide someone else access to your travel information—including your phone number and frequent flyer number.

With the access, a stranger could change seats on your flight, cancel any future flights, or reset your account PIN number.

“The next time you’re thinking of throwing away a used boarding pass with a barcode on it, consider tossing the boarding pass into a document shredder instead,” wrote the security expert.

“Two-dimensional barcodes and QR codes can hold a great deal can hold a great deal of information, and the codes printed on airline boarding passes may allow someone to discover more about you, your future travel plans, and your frequent flyer account.”