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What’s in a Boarding Pass Barcode? A Lot...

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. Two-dimensional barcodes and QR codes 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. ( More...

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mariofer 7
Folks, the information on that barcode is nothing more than same the plain text information found elsewhere on the boarding pass. The only reason for the barcode is that scanners are much faster reading barcodes than reading plain text using Optical character recognition (OCR)
That information on these documents will not lead anyone to your private information anywhere. There are still other factors you need in order to steal someone's identity or hijack your frequent flyer account, unless you are careless enough to have a simple password for your account; in which case, the barcode info is the least of your problems. It is a good idea to destroy the boarding pass but not only because of the barcode.
If the bar code reflects the data printed on the boarding pass, what is all the hoopla about? This story is only intended to create hysteria about nothing.
randomguy 1
It really only affects people who post their boarding pass with what they think is sensitive plain text redacted. Not realizing it's encoded in the barcodes.
Matt West 1
You beat me to the punch. I don't see anything that is 'encoded' that is not otherwise printed on the boarding pass.
Fox River 6
Saw a picture of a naked lady in mine once.
cparks 3
Should I shred my iPhone then?
sparkie624 1
If I had a I-Phone I would! LOL...
randomguy 3
Pretty sure something like this has been squawked before... Pretty much anything interesting encoded in the barcode is also printed in plain text
Doug Zalud 1
I think it was. But the other article didn't include the websites to go to and decode this stuff.

This has gotten my curiosity up. I think I will photograph some ID's and other things to see what info I can find. (Wink.)
babyracer 3
I wave mine over a cigarette lighter, since they are thermal printed they go utterly black.
sparkie624 2
That is a great idea.... LOL
On my last trip, I printed out my own boarding passes, which were done on a laser printer. Better than waiting in line.
sparkie624 1
Yes, I used to do that all the time... Saved a lot of time vs hitting the stupid kiosk machines that I always hated.
sparkie624 2
Definitely shred them.. .They have lots of data on them...
edsternj 2
This is why I always take all my boarding passes (including duplicates) home and shred them.
Dee Lowry 2
Just shred your boarding pass. End of story!
Robert Black 2
I travel on the Government dime, so I keep the boarding passes for submission to the Travel office. Fail to do so (or destroy them) & you won't get reimbursed.
Matt Lacey 2
Which Agency? Mine doesn't do that. I haven't had a paper boarding pass in months and only 2-3 times in the last few years. Apps!
J Smith 1
Speaking as an IT security professional, Brian Krebs is a well-respected journalist who specializes in IT security. If you think the information encoded in a boarding pass bar code is public and harmless, it's because you don't know how to think like a bad guy. Most white hat types don't, so don't feel too bad. OTOH, you should read the article.
Wow, never thought about that. That makes a lot of sense though.
Wow thanks never thought of that
des quinn 1
What a great thing I read today , thank the fact I always keep my boarding pass till my points arrive in my account and always burn my used personal flight papers within one year .
But I do thank you for the above info
Always do that
des quinn 1
Even if you print the boarding pass on your own PC at home the code is still the same with the info , be very cool and trash your B/pass for you own safety .
gc bhadari 1
Thanks a lot for the information and by now will act accordingly.
chalet 1
Good ole BS from a "journalist" that has too much idlr time on his hands.
CliffTamplin 1
As an IT security guy too, always shred any document that has your name or any other personal information on it, not just boarding passes. on a trip and no shredder handy? Tear it into small pieces and flush it.
Margeaux K 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Security Expert: Boarding Passes Reveal Way Too Much

Airline boarding passes display a lot more information than just your flight and seat number, according to a security researcher who recommends shredding old ones—and he says posting photos of boarding passes online is a bad idea.


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