Safety Alert: What To NEVER Do With Your Boarding Pass

When you’re traveling by plane, you can sometimes be a little more disorganized than usual. You’re holding a carry-on, personal item, suitcase and maybe a coat and a bag of lunch, too. So when you’ve finally checked in, your boarding pass may be the least important things in your physical and mental list of “stuff.” That notwithstanding, here are some things you should NEVER do with your boarding pass:

  • Leave it behind, on the plane
  • Throw it out at the airport
  • Throw it out at your hotel

Here’s why: you know that code at the bottom of your boarding pass? It has a whole lot if information about you…your name, your frequent flyer info, etc. And if your discarded pass is found in an easy, obvious place where everyone tends to discard their boarding passes (like that seat pocket or airport/hotel trash can) it’s simple for would-be crooks to grab it and use a free online reader to find out way more about you than you’d ever want a stranger to know.

Don’t believe me? Check out this video from USA Today:

And if you want to get an idea of the kind of things someone can do with the information gleaned from a simple boarding pass, read this article from Krebs On Security.

Photo: Krebs on Security

A boarding pass seems like such a small, simple thing, but it can cause a whole lot of headaches for you if it’s discarded and winds up in the wrong hands. So instead of just tossing it, it’s probably better to rip it up into a few pieces before throwing it out (make sure the code is ripped in a few places!), or even better, take it home and shred it.

Joe wrote an article about one other thing you should NOT do with your boarding pass – something that, unfortunately, a lot of people do. Click here to see what it is so you can be smarter than them ;-).

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