Don't Be Suprised If You Get Hacked After Instagramming Your Boarding Pass

Yeah, we get it: You're going on holiday. Great.

You don't need to shove it in my face with a smug Instagram photo of your boarding pass and a cringe-worthy caption that probably includes "#YOLO" in there somewhere. You people know who you are, and YOU MAKE ME SICK.

But I'll have the last laugh. Because while you're sipping your Bloody Mary at 32,000 feet in the air, someone's probably hacking you.

That's right: There's a surprisingly large amount of personal data hiding in that boarding pass barcode.

What's frightening is you don't even need to be a seasoned hacker to figure it out.

Anyone can take a screenshot of your photo and upload it to a barcode decoding program.

From there, this person can grab personal details about you, including your cell phone number. The barcode even displays how much the person has paid for the ticket.

The hacker can then gather enough info to break into your airline account.

Exactly what these hackers can do once inside your account depends on the airline you're flying with.


If their aim is to merely freak you out, then they have the power to change your seat. But if they really want to mess with your shit, they might even have the power to cancel your flight.

On top of all that, you have to remember that there's enough personal data on your boarding pass for someone to commit identity fraud.

In short, those little black lines hold a lot of important stuff. So important, in fact, that experts have actually advised flyers to shred their boarding passes after use.

So, save the douchey holiday pic for a handstand on the beach or something, OK?