Fun with a boarding pass: what information can you discover?

What data does that barcode contain? And what can you do with it? Everything, it turns out…

What this data means

M is the standard format code for this barcode, and 1means this is the first leg on this journey (I could be changing in Melbourne, except I wasn’t).


So, why did I block the PNR number (and the ticket number)? Well, because they give the enterprising hacker something to play with.


Photographing your boarding pass in the airport lounge as an Instagram moment is a bit of a dim thing to do. If someone’s feeling particularly mean, they could make that journey one to remember for all the wrong reasons.

Editor of, the daily podcast newsletter. Radio futurologist: a writer, speaker and consultant.

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