You probably must have read some articles that were viral on social media advising not to share your boarding passes on the Internet, because it might hurt you. I never planned to write this article, but a couple of hours ago I was on Facebook, checking out photos tagged by travelers at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport and honestly, it was shocking.
It’s that time of the year when the entire world is going through a busy travel movement, thousands of passengers get away for Christmas and the New Year to different parts of the globe, and even though we’re already a few days into 2016, there are still many travelers yet to complete their vacation and travel back home. Chances are, you have traveled somewhere and actually overshared your excitement on social media before your plane took off, Did you?
Here is the most common scenario: You get to the airport, complete the check-in process and collect your boarding pass at the check-in counter, and now you’re all excited about flying on vacation, probably to some place new. You want to brag about it, so you take a photo of your passport, boarding pass along with the flight details and destination to share it with everyone on your Facebook. If you are posting it online, you should think one more time, because the data on the boarding pass could be used for many nefarious purposes. Here is how and why:
A lot of travel websites and blogs write about the bar code or QR code printed on boarding passes, I will not cover the same in my post. But, when you share your boarding pass that includes your full name, booking reference and ticket number on social media, someone can potentially alter your travel itinerary since almost all airline websites have a “Manage booking” option that allows altering or retrieving more information.
I can’t tell you who that jealous friend you have on your Facebook or Instagram. But, sure that person can call up the local airline passenger sales or ticketing office and verify all validation requirements to ask for an alteration to the itinerary, the airline reservations or telesales staff will ask for the contact number on the original reservation, name of passenger(s), passport number and booking reference before he or she proceeds with the alteration. Lets say your jealous Facebook friend is smart and intelligent, he or she cancels your original return date and flight while you’re still on vacation and re-booked a seat for a later date, he or she might be required to pay a small change fee, maybe $30.00 or $50.00 USD. I have read about people paying much more to harm and hurt people.
The availability of such data could potentially lead to much serious problems, such as identity theft. Don’t blame the airline, they are protecting your information. What’s happening is you are instagraming or posting your boarding pass on social media.
Your boarding pass can actually get you in a lot of trouble, even after you complete your trip, should it land in the hands of the wrong person. Lets say you’re on vacation and just arrived your hotel room at the new destination, you drop your boarding pass stub under your bed, couple of days later you move to a different hotel in the same city or destination. Room service fails cleaning and removing you boarding pass stub, a serious crime takes place in the hotel room you stayed earlier, police investigation finds your boarding pass, and you become the prime suspect of a serious crime abroad while on vacation. How bad can it get, right?
Go check the number of boarding passes travelers have posted at different airport check-ins on Facebook. You can find yours and delete it, and share this article with your friends and tell them to Stop Posting Boarding Passes on Social Media.
Disclaimer: All the contents in this article are only for informational purposes. I will not be liable for any misuse by readers from the information provided in this article. The contents of this article, except for comments, are my opinions and not intended to malign, harm, hurt or encourage harming anybody or individual. As a reader, you are free to disagree with anything written on this article, and you can voice your opinion by leaving a comment in the below comment box.