Travel Tips

Can Your Identity Be Stolen From Your Boarding Pass?

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How much information is contained in those bar codes and do you risk having your identity stolen from your boarding pass? There’s not enough to steal your identity but definitely enough to ruin your trip if you leave your boarding pass where others can find it.

Last week I dropped several boarding pass stubs while searching carelessly for something in my coat pocket. Someone was nice enough to help me retrieve them but I suddenly wondered just what someone could find out about me from my boarding pass.

The dangers of barcodes have made the news the last couple of years, but what could someone access with just your name and confirmation number? I checked my in-progress trip. Turns out on, they can access quite a lot.

Without logging in and using just my name and confirmation number…


This screen came up


This screen comes up

Yep, someone could cancel the remaining portion of my trip.


They could change my seat assignment on my connecting flight (if other seats were available).


They could even change my passenger information including name on the ticket and trusted traveler number. They could also see (and change) the email address and phone number on record.


After the trip is completed there are less opportunities to mess with your itinerary, but there’s still a scary amount of information contained on the trip receipt that comes up. Travel dates, ticket numbers, even the last 4 digits of your credit card. Someone truly motivated can probably find a way to parlay that into accessing your account and your miles.

So be mindful about what you do with those paper boarding passes once you’re on the plane. If you don’t have access to a shredder, at least be careful where you throw them away and definitely don’t leave them in the seatback pocket!

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