Congrats! So you’ve already gone through the stress of packing, repacking, weighing your bags, re-evaluating your life, repacking…and then you waited through long lines, dutifully whipped your laptop out and kicked your shoes off for security, and found your way to your gate…
…now what? You still have an hour till boarding, because you planned ahead to not miss your flight. You’re on your own. Gate D26 is your oyster. If you’re at the PDX airport, the obvious choice is the ubiquitous airport carpet selfie – which has now turned more into complaining about how the new carpet isn’t nearly as iconic as the old one. But if you’re not at an airport with famous carpets (peasants!), chances are you’re going to default to the Boarding Pass Selfie to keep your Insta game strong. (If you’re in an airport and don’t plaster your traveling adventures all over social media, did it really happen?)
But HOLD THE PHONE. Put the boarding pass down! Slowly.
Turns out, much like you wouldn’t post pics of your credit card info online (or I’d hope not), so is posting boarding pass pics a big no-no. A lot of info is stored on them, and people can use that data to view your flight info and potentially even tamper with your itinerary. Besides obviously displaying your full name, the main culprits are your frequent flyer number and barcode, which anyone with access to a free online barcode reader can use to get even more info to use against you. Brian Krebs of the security blog Krebs On Security explains more in-depth details in his post on the subject.
(Tsk tsk, Suji.)
Now, is it likely that someone will actually try to use the info to sabotage your future flights? Doubtful. But better safe than sorry. Still, if you must, try the whole boarding-pass-peeking-out-of-passport shot so at least you’re covering up critical info.