NWA Boarding Pass Generator

UPDATE: Actually using this at an airport could get you arrested, so don’t.

Chris made a NWA boarding pass generator. All it does it automate the process of changing a few simple lines of HTML provided when NWA gives you a boarding pass online. Chris says it can be used to:

1. Meet your elderly grandparents at the gate
2. ‘Upgrade’ yourself once on the airplane – by printing another boarding pass for a ticket you’re already purchased, only this time, in Business Class.
3. Demonstrate that the TSA Boarding Pass/ID check is useless.

Of course, it’s kinda silly if it can be used only on NWA. Their only major hub is Compton.

(Thanks to Something_amazing!!)

Related: HOWTO: Board Southwest Airlines Faster


Edit Your Comment

  1. MrFalcon says:

    Hello, Homeland Security!

  2. Hawkins says:

    I dunno about this, man. There’s probably secret laws about this, that’d get you carted off to a secret prison as an unlawful combatant.

  3. homerjay says:

    Hooray for lawbreaking!

  4. Smashville says:

    Once again, The Consumerist supports committing crimes to get around laws they don’t like.

  5. You’ll enjoy GITMO. I hear Cuba’s lovely this time of year. How do you like your waterboarding, saltwater or freshwater?

  6. you can use this to buy the overpriced gum at the gift shop!

    This is about the stupidest thing I’ve seen posted here. I agree with Smashville…

  7. acambras says:

    I’ve said it before — NEVER fuck with airport security. They may be idiotic, inconsistent, or downright rude, but if you give them a reason, they can really screw up your day (or your week, or your life).

  8. Magister says:

    I would recommend NEVER attempting something like this. This would be considered a forged instrument. I am no lawyer, but I am betting this would be enough to get you a Homeland security escort to PMITA prison.

  9. Ben Popken says:

    You’re missing the point. See item number 3.

  10. Pelagius says:

    Ha! Brilliant! A year’s subscription to “Playboy” to the first reader who pulls this off, addressed to your cell at Supermax.

  11. acambras says:

    Ben, I think the TSA is pretty useless. That said, I probably wouldn’t point it out at the airport with a phony boarding pass. Like I said, they can really screw up your life, and I would imagine that many of them have nothing better to do in a given day.

  12. econobiker says:

    Might as well do it since there are only airport(?) sub-contractors checking ID’s and boarding passes -prior- to entering real TSA security screening.

  13. wikkit says:


    We all get the point, but being smart-ass and stickin’ it to The Man isn’t that funny when you’re lounging in jail.

    Banning liquids on planes was stupid as well. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to spit on TSA inspectors to prove a point.

    Post currency counterfeiting instructions, and then we’re in business….

  14. Ben Popken says:

    We don’t advise anyone actually doing this.

  15. Nancy Sin says:

    Oh, I get it… it’s social commentary. Well, in that case.

    (But I did enjoy the NWA/Compton joke.)

  16. conformco says:

    Here’s a thought… if you’ve ever tried to rent a car at a local airport to save money (I’m thinking Newark specifically), sometimes they prohibit you from renting if you didn’t fly in (Budget. Fuckers). So maybe you use this thing to get you a rental car at the fly-in rate… TSA isn’t involved, just some jerk-off at the rental counter. Whaddya think?

  17. Triteon says:

    Anyone have a link to an NWA Backstage Pass Generator?

  18. Anonymously says:

    Btw, Pittsburgh international has a nice airmall that guarantees real-world prices. It’s a shame you can’t get into it without a boarding pass.

    Also “Ben’s gonna get anally raped by Homeland Security”++

  19. Drinker Nisti says:

    I’ll wait for the Pan Am boarding pass generator…

  20. Xkeeper says:

    Once again, The Consumerist supports committing crimes to get around laws they don’t like.

    They’re not supporting it, they’re simply showing you that it can be done (and be done extremely easily).

    That’s like saying that by giving you an example to demonstrate finding a SMB1 ROM is illegal — IANAL but I’d assume that it only starts breaking laws when you, yourself, downloads it.

    tl;dr: Nowhere reading this does Consumerist say “Go! Use it, my friends! Screw that TSA!”

  21. Magister says:

    Ben, while it is cute to point out the fallacy of security via half-wits with silly shoulder boards. It can get you in trouble. Take the case of the guy that just wrote something funny on his carry on plastic bag. He was saying the boss of TSA was an idiot. Yet he was held for a long time.

    Now,that would just be annoying and I disagree with hassling a guy for just being a smart ass. But actually forgeing a ‘secure’ document is a good way to meet Mr. Glove.

    You might end up in the papers as a champion of the little guy fighting for better TSA security, but you just might have to relate your time spent a Gitmo as well.

  22. Nancy Sin says:

    If this were ten years ago we’d probably be chuckling in unison. But under an administration where being an “enemy combatant” has a very broad definition, and in an age where someone can be barred from boarding a plane because of the language they are speaking or the t-shirt they are wearing , our paranoia is just a symptom of a bigger paranoia… and laws with substantial gray areas.

    And the fact that the pass was labeled with Bin Laden’s name on it immediately puts the idea in our heads that somebody just might use it for something aside from trying to get into that nifty bookstore in Terminal C. There are tremendous holes in airport security policies, some that defy all logic, but ready-to-forge internet templates are anything but a logical way to challenge the system.

    Really, you’re not missing much in the terminal. If Granny is adept enough to fly by herself then she can meet you at the baggage claim.

  23. Heh :P Ben left my credit on there, when really it’s Mark Frauenfelder from Boing Boing who gets the credit on this one. I think Ben just wanted an excuse for the compton joke ;)

    In seriousness though, I think the person is trying to point out a valid flaw in the security of airlines: ie, the TSA has no way of verifying whether those things are real. By using a pass like this you don’t need an ID (check website for details) or even a real name to move right past the security gate and no matter which portion of the political spectrum you sit is *wrong* five years after 9/11.

    So now everyone is aware of it, and awareness brings attention. If the flaw were fixed as a result of publication of the issue then I think everyone would agree that is a good thing.

  24. GenXCub says:

    Here’s what I don’t get, why do so many people commenting on this post not understand the point being made?

    The point is, NWA (straight outta compton, yo) doesn’t know the difference between an authentic boarding pass and an altered boarding pass. This is no different than if consumerist posted a story about a manufacturer not noticing the difference between Aspirin and Aspirin© brand Arsenic. One relieves headaches, one kills you, and not knowing the difference on 2 things that are potentially visually identical are dangerous.

    Perhaps the next story of this type can just be a one-sentence article saying “Airport Security Sucks” but then where’s the entertainment in that?

  25. holocron says:

    Would it really work?

    Is the barcode regenerated every time you make a fake one? Granted, TSA doesn’t scan that, but when you get to the gate, if you try Option #2, it isn’t ganna work, haina…

    Same goes for the FF number.

  26. Large says:

    Oh I’ve heard about this…it comes with

  27. Large says:

    Oh I’ve heard about this…it also comes with the instant extra security screening generator

  28. Magister says:

    GenXCub, I don’t think you get the point. This isnt’ about NWA not knowing the difference. This is about trying to trick the TSA goons. NWA won’t scan a boarding pass until you attempt to board the plan. At that time it will probably beep as fake. But before that time, the posted link referred to using this method for just getting past the TSA checkpoint into the sterile area of the airport. There are generally two people that check your boarding pass when going thru the checkpoint. First is the lowest level dirtbag rent-a-cop that compares your boarding pass to a photo ID. Second, after passing thru the metal detector, an actual TSA goon will check your boarding pass.

    That is where all the up roar in this thread is about. Now, if some idiot then tries to take this fake pass onto a plane, they will get caught, and they will be charged. Maybe you can get past the TSA goofs, but NWA will be comparing passenger counts to the manifest. Good luck…

  29. legotech says:

    boing boing reports that the gentleman who made up the boarding pass generator is no longer responding to messages after reporting on IM that the FBI was at his door.


  30. SpamFighterLoy says:

    “If this were ten years ago we’d probably be chuckling in unison. But under an administration where being an “enemy combatant” has a very broad definition”

    We live in a police state if we can’t have a laugh over this. As to anyone who would actually use it, well, that’s Darwin in action.

  31. kegsofduff says:

    Before 911 when I was early in college I used to go out to O’Hare and take photos of the airport terminal, planes, and people there. I was a photography student. I used to be able to have my camera bag scanned by the security and pass in to any terminal I wanted. I have lots of great shots taken in the winter months where the planes were being de-iced. They are great shots.

    I wasn’t doing anything more than simply taking some photos of the airport. Now if I even stand outside the airport at a loading zone for more than a few minutes taking photos I get questioned by security.

    I’m not saying using forged tickets to get in to a terminal is right, the whole situation is just annoying.

  32. acambras says:

    Alas, Kegs, air travel ain’t what it used to be. Not only do most of the airlines provide craptacular service (for more money), but the security measures become increasingly onerous (and yet we wonder how effective they really are).

  33. Frank Grimes says:

    Funny…a while back I was truing to use a coupon at the grocery store that I downloded on line and printed at home. At the time Kroger decided to stop accepting them becuse of forgery issues. I sent an email to Kroger asking why the airlines thought it was OK for a baording pass (this was post 9/11) but a $1.00 coupon was contraband!? They actually responded that they have higher standards than the ailrines.

  34. spamtasticus says:


    first of all, he commited no crime. Second of all the TSA id check is a complete waste of time. It is nothing but security theater (look look we are doing something… really we are). hmm let’s see. there is a do not fly list filled with nasty nasty terrorists. They see if you are a nasty terrorist by asking you for your id and then letting you hand them the comparison document? How does this make us safer. They are not checking any database at the security point. They are merely holding up your ID to the paper you handed them also. If the names match then bingo you are in. oh… and I forgot.. The constitution/bill of rights does not allow them to deny you travel within the US without ID. So if you tell them NO I will not show you ID. guess what. They have to still let you ON. Oh my god (big butts version). All they will do is tell you they will have to check you more thourogly. I tried this on a flight from Miami to Houston. All they do is wand the hell out of you. and check your carryon very very very well. that is it. So if you are #1 on the Do Not Fly List. Just Say No! Dont mistake these comments with me being anti gov or anti security. On the contrary. I’m a security nut that hates seeing resources an time wasted on security theater.