Several media outlets reported the plight of a person who took an Indigo flight 6E-185 from Patna to Bengaluru and how he ‘hacked’ the Indigo website to track his misplaced bag. The Indigo passenger took to Twitter to vent out his frustration after his “bag got exchanged with another passenger.” He also mentions that it was an “honest mistake on both ends as the bags looked exactly the same.”
Like any good customer, he tried reaching out to the Indigo customer care helpline to get his bag back. He claimed that the Indigo’s customer care was of little help and it is then he decided to ‘hack’ Indigo’s website to reach out to the other passenger and get his bag back.
“I started digging into the indigo website trying the co passenger’s PNR which was written on the bag tag in hope to get the address or number by trying different methods like check-in, edit booking, update contact, But no luck whatsoever,” he narrated on Twitter.
“So now, after all the failed attempts, my dev instinct kicked in and I pressed the F12 button on my computer keyboard and opened the developer console on the IndiGo 6E website and started the whole checkin flow with network log record on,” he added.
Now, let’s take a pause here.
ALL YOU NEED IS THE PNR AND LAST NAME TO FETCH PASSENGER DETAILS
The angry passenger confirmed that he spotted the PNR and last name of the other passenger with whom his bag got exchanged, thanks to the baggage tag. Now, when you already have the PNR and Last name, all you need to do is simply retrieve the itinerary by visiting the official website of that airline and in this case, it’s Indigo.
You don’t need to hack anything when the information is out there in public and that too on an official website. This is the same standard followed by all airlines globally, so Indigo is not doing anything different.
There’s no denying that Indigo’s customer care should have done better. But to make it clear, you don’t have to hack the website of any airline in the world if you know the PNR and last name of any passenger. Both the information– PNR and last name– is printed in bold on the baggage sticker (or luggage tag).
The question that we should really be asking is whether or not it should be made so easy to find personal data of fellow passengers.
THIS SHOULD SERVE AS A PRIVACY LESSON
With the correct PNR and last name, you can find the entire ‘Itinerary’ of any passenger. This means you can find the ticket price, flight timings, house address, mobile number, company name, email address, names of family/ friends flying together and more. In fact, you can even check whether the passenger is having chicken curry or rajma chawal for lunch on flight.
This entire chunk of private information is publicly available to anyone who knows your PNR and last name. So, this is why you should never share your PNR number on social media or share photos of airline tickets publicly. It’s a treasure trove of personal data which you should protect if you don’t want to invite a stalker to your house.