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Shred your boarding pass
Old 10-07-2015, 09:03 AM   #1
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Shred your boarding pass

Apprently, we must now shred our airline boarding pass when we are done using them (Unless you keep them as proof of travel for some reason). It seems that the bar code on the pass opens up a world of information to the criminals including your name, flight booking code, flights you took and flights you will take and in some cases your frequent flyer number.

was able to get access to his entire account. Not only could I see this one flight, but I could see ANY future flights that were booked to his frequent flyer number from the Star Alliance.”
Since I have no left over boarding passes I haven't done this yet:

Interested in learning what’s in your boarding pass barcode? Take a picture of the barcode with your phone, and upload it to this site. This blog on the same topic from several years back includes some helpful hints on how to decode the various information fields that get dumped by the barcode reader.

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Old 10-07-2015, 09:13 AM   #2
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Yet another reason to use smartphone for boarding passes.

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Old 10-07-2015, 09:17 AM   #3
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I've been reluctant to use my smartphone - paper never has a battery that dies at the critical moment or locks up. :-)

But I've always shredded everything with my name, once I no longer need it, as a matter of course.
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:20 AM   #4
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I already shred anything with any identifying information on it.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TallTim View Post
Yet another reason to use smartphone for boarding passes.
+1. No reason to expect a dead battery or lockup IME.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:49 AM   #6
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Good thing I put my boarding passes in my shred pile. I certainly don't leave them lying around discarded in public. We treat them like a credit card receipt.

I think our frequent flier numbers are printed on the boarding pass anyway. Don't need to decode a barcode.

I tested the QR-code on my European train tickets using a bar code reader on my iPhone to make sure the printing was OK. There was a lot of info in that code - but no more than was printed on the ticket as far as I remember.

Looks like the real issue is airlines making it too easy to access someone's account.

DON'T upload an image of your ticket to a web site for goodness sake! If you have. Bar code reader app you trust, use that and keep the data local.
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:52 AM   #7
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Hmmm, I never thought to shred boarding passes and have been careless about where/how I discarded them. I guess that needs to change.

When I worked we had to turn in our boarding passes to get reimbursement for travel expenses.

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Old 10-08-2015, 03:10 PM   #8
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Another thought--the airlines stick one or more tags on your luggage (often the obvious big one on the handle, plus a smaller one directly on the luggage) that contains a bar code and your name in plain text. I take them off my bag as soon as I get out of the airport. I wonder if that bar code also has FF number, etc?
In addition to privacy concerns, removing the tags helps assure they don't inadvertently remain your luggage for a future flight, possibly causing your bag to get misrouted.

Note: The "sticky" on the big tag is handy for getting lint off clothing.
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Note: The "sticky" on the big tag is handy for getting lint off clothing.
Never thought about this. Brilliant!

Back to the subject at hand... For me, using the iPhone passport app has eliminated worries about service issues right when I need to bring up the pass. I've ended my use of paper. I guess this is one more good reason to do it.
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:46 PM   #10
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Some airlines, Southwest for example, take your entire boarding pass. Hopefully they dispose of it effectively. As for using a smartphone, I was behind someone who went that route but for some reason, his display was too dim for the scanner to catch it. He made an adjustment to get it to work. Still, the line was held up briefly. I've also been concerned about those luggage stickers. They have a lot of info on them so I make sure to hang on to them until I get home then dispose of them properly.

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