Why You Should Stop Printing Out Your Boarding Passes

November 20, 2019

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For millions of travelers, printing out a boarding pass is just part of the pre-flying routine, falling somewhere between checking in to a flight and heading to the airport. That boarding pass is your ticket through airport security and the departure gate so, naturally, you keep it safe until you’re on the plane. But what do you do with that slip of paper after takeoff?

Do you use it to bookmark the airline’s in-flight magazine? Tuck it into the seatback pocket? Hold on to it and chuck it in the waste basket in your hotel room? Or, worse, do you take a photo of your boarding pass and share it on social media?

Any of those moves could be a gift to hackers, say cybersecurity experts. In an era where concerns over digital privacy loom large, travelers may think that good old paper is a safe bet. But paper boarding passes that aren’t safeguarded make it easier for hackers to target the stockpile of frequent flyer miles you’ve spent years building.

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