Show your boarding pass, a bad idea - The360 Travel

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  • Thursday, December 19, 2019

    Show your boarding pass, a bad idea

    Show your boarding pass, a bad idea

    It's a classic. To highlight his departure on vacation in the South, the user posts on Facebook or Instagram a photo of his passport and boarding pass.

    It's not a good idea. Because the photo gives all it takes to an ill-intentioned person to modify the reservation...

    "Can anyone have any private information, such as passport number, date of birth or social insurance number? The answer is no, "says Sylvain Campeau, Head of Passenger Experience at the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

    The boarding card itself contains relatively little information: the name of the passenger, the code of the airline, the airport of departure and arrival, the departure time.

    The barcode or the QR code (the square in black and white) have substantially the same information. They are essentially aimed at speeding up procedures at the airport. It may include additional information, but it is encrypted.

    Air carriers collect some personal data about their passengers in their files, but to access them, you need access codes or passwords. Which is reassuring for the traveler.

    However, we must be careful about the overlap that a malicious person could do, warns Céline Canu, Assistant Director of the AITA Passenger Experience. On many Facebook pages, just search a bit to find someone's date of birth.

    In addition, some boarding passes may display the reservation number or the frequent traveler number. This is where things get tough.

    In its privacy policy, Air Canada is clear: someone with the full name and booking number of a passenger can obtain information about the reservation in question and change it.

    "Unless otherwise indicated, we consider this third party to have your consent and authorization [...] to make reservations [and make changes] on your behalf," the Canadian carrier said.

    "If you do not want a third party to be able to get information about you or make changes to your reservation, you should avoid giving your reservation number," says Air Canada.

    Sylvain Campeau however notes that, generally, the boarding pass can be issued 24 hours before the flight at the earliest. This minimizes the time when someone could play a wrong ride to the passenger.

    AITA still recommends not to display their boarding pass.

    "It's never a good idea to say we're gone, for how long, etc.," says Céline Canu. Malicious people could use this information to make sure that the person is gone and that the house is unattended for home theft."

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