A Jetstar customer has discovered the cost of oversharing after posting a picture of his boarding pass on social media.
Someone who saw the post then used the details on his ticket to cancel his flight.
Michael Provis took “full responsibility” for the mistake which cost him the $200 fare, but was shocked to learn how compromising a single detail on his ticket could be.
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“I see a lot of people doing what I (did),” he said in a video posted on Wednesday.
After the Newcastle father-of-two and influencer booked a return flight to the Gold Coast, he decided to share the journey with his 300,000 followers on TikTok.
“Because I make videos and I enjoy vlogging and things like that, I made a video of me travelling from Newcastle to the Gold Coast,” he said.
“Part of that video was me showing the camera my boarding pass — now, this is where I stuffed up.
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“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.”
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.
He said he was told: “You do not have a return flight. You cancelled it on January 31.”
“I told the operator that I hadn’t cancelled my flight because I actually needed it to get home, funnily enough. 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’.”
When he denied this was true, the operator said, “he must have,” because he was the only one with access to his booking reference number.
Provis hadn’t realised at the time that, other than his full name, the booking reference number was the only detail someone would need to compromise his flights.
Michael Provis warned his followers about unintentionally revealing their booking reference numbers online. Credit: TikTok/Jetstar
Jetstar isn’t the only airline to require just one authenticating detail, other than a surname, to manage a booking online.
Qantas, Virgin, Air New Zealand, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and British Airways, among others, require no more details to access and change a flight.
Provis believes the flight booking management systems don’t seem to align with public awareness about how sensitive these booking reference numbers are, and said that airlines could improve security when it comes to verifying passengers online.
He also said he was treated rudely by staff while trying to resolve the issue. 7NEWS.com.au has contacted Jetstar for comment.
Internet users, similarly unaware of just how easy it can be to compromise a flight, expressed their surprise in the comments section of Provis’s post.
“I’m sorry, what?” one person wrote. “That’s actually so scary!”
“Thanks for the heads-up,” another wrote.
While Provis was likely to lose the $200 fare while rescheduling his flight on the low-cost airline anyway, he hopes his warning will help others to avoid compromising their details online.
“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.