In the image above you’ll see the perfect social media post. The boarding pass to show all my followers I’m on another adventure, the $12 beer to show I am making the most of traveling, and the snickers, well, because everyone love snickers. The issue with the above post is the boarding pass (which proves I’m in a shitty middle seat traveling to a not that exciting destination) is the personal information that anyone could attain from the boarding pass (blacked out). At the time, I had not signed up for Delta’s frequent flyer account so luckily my frequent flyer number is not on the boarding pass, but my full name and record locator are. My issuing ticket number is on the boarding pass as well (you may recognize that I was ticketed on a United flight).
In general, this is a harmless mistake, but occasionally this could cause MAJOR headaches. A well trained hacker could easily grab your frequent flyer number and last name to attempt to hack your account. Once the account is compromised, they may be able to steal all of your frequent flyer miles or cancel/change/book trips on your account. I’ll admit that is a pretty hardcore example, but there is an even easier way to ruin someone’s trip. If you are a mean person, please stop reading now!
On the boarding pass above is the record locator for my trip. The record locator is usually 6 characters long and is comprised of letters and numbers. Interestingly enough, all you need to access someone’s itinerary is a record locator and name! That’s absolutely right, if you know someone’s confirmation number and their name you can access their itinerary, no password needed. Once you have access to the itinerary you have full access to change their seats, request an upgrade, or cancel their trip.
There have been reports of people’s flights being canceled while waiting at the airport, mid-flight, or the return flight being canceled while on the vacation. In most instances, the airlines work with customers to re-issue the tickets, but it could end up costing a lot of money to repurchase a ticket. Just make sure not to post the new boarding pass to your social media accounts.
All in all, posting pictures of boarding passes to social media accounts is a terrible idea. In fact, even after completing the trip, travelers should be careful about where they discard a used boarding pass. There is a lot of personal information on each boarding pass and you do not want it falling into the wrong hands.