Life is a mystery and sometimes things just happen randomly. The discovery of penicillin. Winning the lottery. These two guys, who were total strangers, meeting on a Ryanair flight.
PNR codes are generated by computer so they’re also random, which leaves them open for some very unusual and unexpected configurations. Like these…
What are PNRs?
I knew you were going to ask that ;-).
A Passenger Name Record (PNR), which is printed on your airline ticket, is an alphanumeric record in the database of a computer reservation system that contains the itinerary for a passenger, or a group of passengers traveling together. Sometimes referred to as a confirmation code, or a booking reference, a PNR will specifically include:
- The name of the passenger
- Contact details for the travel agent or airline office
- Ticketing details
- Itinerary of at least one segment
- Name of the person providing the information or making the booking
(all that info is linked back to just 6 letters and/or numbers. When we warn you to not take a picture of your boarding pass and post it anywhere, or to throw out your boarding pass in a public place, this is why).
But back to PNRs. The letters/numbers of a passenger’s PNR are randomly assigned and each computer reservation system has its own proprietary uses and standards. However, to avoid anything improper, certain groupings of letters are generally not allowed to be used. That way, certain 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-letter words that would be considered inappropriate shouldn’t ever come up as a PNR.
Well, in theory, anyway.
And then you scour the internet and discover that people have gotten PNR codes like these:
(HEADS UP: None of these are adult language per se, but some are almost/misspelled. If you have to worry about stuff that’s NSFW or kids, consider this your warning):
- BLOWUS (Iberia)
- H8GAYS (this was posted on Rene’s Points in 2013. It was a PNR for Delta, which is a VERY fair and equal opportunity employer. Fingers crossed that once management found out, something like that was added to the “forbidden” list)
- Part of someone’s code was FU2
- RNIGGR (which apparently was on a reservation made in 2003 with a Delta representative with a strong Jamaican accent. Awkward!)
- There is also the one that some lady on Southwest got. I won’t repeat it here, but imagine one of the mothers of 4-letter dirty words – the one that doesn’t start with an F or an S. Use the first 2 letters, CU, and have the last 4 letters be NNTT. Just happened randomly. Click here to see a picture of it.
- And finally, this one, which my friend got a couple of weeks ago: HYJAKR. I guess it goes with the person who replied to Rene’s Points’ above, who got a PNR that was HIYJKN. Because those sure gives you warm fuzzies, right?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary