Traveller shares warning after costly boarding pass blunder

In the age of social media, where sharing every moment of our lives has become second nature, a Jetstar customer has learned that oversharing can come with a hefty price tag.

Michael Provis, a father-of-two from Newcastle and a popular influencer, discovered that posting a picture of his boarding pass on social media could cost him his $200 fare.

The incident unfolded when Provis, excited about his journey from Newcastle to the Gold Coast, decided to share his travel experience with his followers on social media.

As part of his travel vlog, he showed his boarding pass to the camera, unknowingly revealing his booking reference number.

Screenshot 2024-02-06 112206.png
Provis hopes to warn others to be careful as they might unintentionally share some of their travel details online. Image: TikTok/Jetstar

'I see so many people, when they're travelling, taking photos and videos of their boarding pass, with their passport because they're excited about their holiday, and they want to share their experience with everyone,' Provis said.

However, this seemingly innocent act of sharing became a costly blunder when someone used the details on his ticket to cancel his flight.

Three days after posting his boarding pass video on January 31, Provis decided to extend his holiday by a day and called Jetstar to reschedule his flight.

To his surprise, he was informed that his return flight had been cancelled on the same day he posted his video.

'I told the operator that I hadn't cancelled my flight because I actually needed it to get home, funnily enough,’ Provis recounted.

‘She then responded with, “Mr Provis, you have been online, you have spoken to someone in the chat section of our website, and you informed them you wanted to cancel your flight.”'

He then denied this was true, but the operator said, ‘he must have,’ because he was the only one with access to his booking reference number.

At the time, Provis hadn’t realised that other than his full name, the booking reference number was the only detail others would need to compromise his flights.

The incident highlights the potential dangers of oversharing on social media and the importance of safeguarding personal information.

'This is a reminder not to share personal information on social media such as your booking reference number,' a Jetstar spokesperson told a news source.

Interestingly, Jetstar isn't the only airline to require just one authenticating detail, other than a surname, to manage a booking online.

Other major airlines, including Qantas, Virgin, Air New Zealand, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and British Airways, reportedly have similar policies.

Provis believes that the flight booking management systems don't align with public awareness about how sensitive these booking reference numbers are.

He suggested that airlines could improve security regarding verifying passengers online.

He also expressed his disappointment with the way he was treated by staff while trying to resolve the issue.

The incident has sparked a wave of surprise and concern among internet users, many of whom were unaware of how easy it can be to compromise a flight.

'I'm sorry, what?' one person wrote.

'That's actually so scary!'

'Thanks for the heads-up,' another wrote.

While Provis is more likely to lose the $200 fare while rescheduling his flight, he hopes his warning will help others to avoid compromising their details online like he did.

'Make sure, if you're travelling, you cover your booking reference number if it's on your boarding pass because this could happen to you,' he said.

So, next time you're about to post that airport photo, think twice.

It's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your personal information.

You can watch Provis’ full video below:

Source: TikTok/@michaelprovis​

Key Takeaways
  • A Jetstar customer inadvertently cancelled his own flight by sharing his boarding pass details on social media.
  • Michael Provis learned the hard way about the dangers of oversharing personal details after someone used his booking reference to cancel his flight.
  • Posting sensitive information such as booking reference numbers can lead to flights being compromised, as only minimal details are required to access and alter bookings with many airlines.
  • Provis emphasised the importance of keeping booking reference numbers private and hopes his experience serves as a warning to others.

What are your thoughts on this incident, members? Have you ever known someone share their boarding pass or other travel details online? Let us know in the comments below.
While I feel a little sorry for this travellor, my main response is 'How naive can an adult be in this day and age?' We are constantly reminded NOT to share personal details and photos with clear and/or hidden data, online.
He should be thankful his valuable lesson didn't cost him more.
Stupid thing to do! Why share that on social media to start with?? Pretty sure he'd share his bank account details and password too on social media?? I don't think so..that's how he should have treated his boarding pass
Just what, in the name of the Good God is a "popular influencer" ???
This Dick Head couldn't influence a chicken to cross a road !
He certainly wouldn't influence me , except to wipe all trace of him.
Get a REAL JOB mate, NOT a made-up one !
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I know that I am getting old but, why do all these idiots have to post online every little thing that they do. This is what can happen. Personally, I am sick of seeing photos of people's dinners. Who the hell cares what someone else is eating?

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