Social Media Outlets Warn, “Don’t Print Out Your Boarding Pass.” Here’s What They Really Mean

by SharonKurheg

Every once in a while, online entities will post warnings about printing out your boarding pass, as opposed to using electronic methods. I read the articles because although Joe prefers to have his boarding pass on his phone, I am still very much on team Print It Out And Have A Hard Copy With You.

Anyway, in reading the posts, I discovered the issue isn’t really whether or not you print out your boarding pass. It’s what you do with your boarding pass after you’re done with it.

Forbes wrote that if you leave your boarding pass on the plane, or throw it out in the garbage can of your hotel room later on, you’re at risk of someone taking it. If whoever takes it has the right know-how, they could easily hack into your account. After all, it really doesn’t take a whole lot of knowledge to learn what all those letters and numbers on your boarding pass mean. That’s why we warned people quite a while ago why they should hold onto their boarding passes until they can dispose of them properly.

While discussing boarding pass safety, remember that  you should never take a photo of your boarding pass and post it online. Whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, a blog or whatever, you don’t want to put it out there where the whole world can potentially see it (here’s some more information about that).

Another thing recommended in the Forbes article that I 100% agree with is having two-factor authentication (2FA) set up on your frequent flyer account(s). That way even if a hacker has your name and figured out your password (or how to bypass it), you’ll still have to be contacted, oftentimes by typing a code that’s sent to your cell phone, before anything can be done to/with your account.

So yeah – print your boarding pass if you want. I know I still will (probably much to Joe’s chagrin). It’s just what you do with the hard copy when you’re done with it that you have to be concerned about. That’s what those social media outlets really mean.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Christian November 22, 2019 - 6:42 pm

Any idea if there’s a danger in disposing of your checked luggage stickers with the bar code on them in any random trash?

SharonKurheg November 22, 2019 - 8:02 pm

I don’t know; I wasn’t looking for that during my research. Hypothetically, if it has your name on it, I’d dispose of it properly. I don’t know about when it’s just that small sticker with just a bar code.

Lack November 23, 2019 - 6:02 am

I’d say that anyone interested in the tag could just wait by the baggage belt to scan it vs going through random trash..

SO_CAL_RETAIL_SLUT November 22, 2019 - 8:13 pm

Like you, I prefer to print my Boarding Pass prior to arrival at the airport. More often than not, the airline employee still prints out a boarding card. I hold on to any document given to me by the airline, including the checked baggage tags, place them in one of my bags in a Ziploc, and upon return, shred at my office. Too easy for hackers and identity theft thieves to glob on to your personal information and use it for who knows what. Stay safe!


Leslie J. March 5, 2023 - 3:12 pm

I completely agree with you. Often my husband tosses flight items in a hotel garbage bin; I swiftly grab it and put it in my wallet and shred at home.

BTW–Love your nom de plume. I sometimes refer to myself as a “Mileage whore” as I will do anything to earn miles!!


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