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Warning Over Posting Airline Boarding Passes Online

Instagram posts for ‘boarding pass’ returns 91,000 images, as criminals use these to hack into accounts, or even commit identity fraud

Instagram posts for ‘boarding pass’ returns 91,000 images, as criminals use these to hack into accounts, or even commit identity fraud

Security experts have regularly warned that an airline boarding pass can provide would-be-attackers access with a host of sensitive passenger information.

A recent report has shown one person posting a photo of their boarding pass on Facebook. Online software can be used to scan their bar code, even when altered.  The passenger name and booking reference will generally provide enough information to gain access to the booking on most airline websites. With this access, a criminal could obtain additional data, including future travel plans, and alter or cancel upcoming flights.

Many people post pictures of their boarding pass on social networking sites often before or during their trip. A search on Instagram for ‘boarding pass’ returned 91,000 images.

Posting pictures of boarding passes, luggage revealing airline bar code stickers or even concert tickets will provide attackers with a host of personally identifiable information that could result in the user having no return flight, missing a concert or even identity theft. There are currently 42,000 search results on Instagram for posts with the phrase 'concert tickets' attached to them.


  • Don't post boarding passes, luggage tags or tickets of any kind on social media before, or during an event or holiday. 
  • Don't 'check in' on social media when checking in for your holiday. You may be letting criminals know your house is empty while you are away.
  • Leave any posting of holiday photos, boarding passes, or concert or event tickets until after the holiday or event is over. 
  • If you fall victim to any scam, report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or