What You Didn't Know Your Boarding Pass Reveals About You

Publish Date
Thursday, 15 September 2016, 1:37PM

Next time you choose to share your boarding pass on social media, think again!

Your boarding pass contains far, far more information than you might think.

It doesn't just display your name and where you're flying, but gives people access to highly confidential information, as well as providing the ability to modify or cancel your booking.

So how easy is it to grab the information?

Steve Hui, CEO of iflyflat.com.au, which specialises in optimising frequent flyer points set out to find out.

Hui decided to investigate how much information could be accessed using an image posted by an Australian Virgin Australia passenger, who was flying co-share on Delta Airlines.

Delta publishes an astonishing amount of information, including the E-Ticket number, booking reference, frequent flyer number and even how many bags you have checked in.

Hui decided to test just how vulnerable the system was, and headed to the Delta website.

Under "Manage My Booking" all he needed was a passenger name and an E-Ticket number or booking reference.

As all that was on the boarding card, so he was quickly able to log into the booking and see all the passenger's details.

Even scarier is what can come up on a barcode.

In another social media photo, the passenger has tried to cover up the important information, hiding her full name but leaving the barcode in full view.

The barcode contains basically all the information on the boarding pass, stored in a specially readable format.

"You may think that airport computers are the only devices that can read this, but the truth is, anyone can read a barcode," says Hui. "There are dozens of online barcode readers that provide information based on a photo you upload."

Hui was able to retrieve all the passenger's details without seeing the rest of the boarding card.

The text provided full name, flight number, route, booking reference, ticket number, frequent flyer number and more.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't post images of boarding passes at all — if you want to show off that hard-earned business or first class ticket to the world, just be sure to cover up or blur out any vital information.

Read the full article at nzherald.co.nz