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Bengaluru Software Engineer hacks Indigo Airline’s website to find his lost luggage after not getting enough customer support from Indigo

Bengaluru Software Engineer hacks Indigo Airline’s website to find his lost luggage after not getting enough customer support from Indigo

By Puja Ghosh Friday April 1, 2022

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If we lost or misplace our luggage during traveling to an airline and to get our luggage back, we may try many steps. Firstly, we can try the easiest way, that is informing to the airline authority. And even we can raise a complain to the nearest police station. But the end result is, it remains unsolved most of the time and we never get our luggage back.

Recently the same thing happens to Nandan Kumar from Bengaluru who is a software engineer by profession. He was travelling from Patna to Bangalore on an IndiGo flight “6E-185” on 27th March 2022. And then his luggage was mistakenly exchanged with a co-passenger. He admits that it was a mistake from both sides as the bags were looking same from the external view.

Nandan wrote in his tweet “So, I travelled from PAT – BLR from indigo(sic) 6E-185 yesterday. And my bag got exchanged with another passenger. Honest mistake from both our ends. As the bags were exactly the same with some minor differences.

So, Nandan Kumar also tried very hard to get back his luggage by contacting customer care of the IndiGo airline and followed all necessary protocols to locate his lost luggage but Nandan couldn’t get enough help to find his luggage. 

Then he wrote on Tweeter that, “Long story short I couldn’t get any resolution on the issue. And neither your customer care team was ready to provide me with the contact details of the person, citing privacy and data protection.” 

He also said that he did not receive any call from the customer service agent even on the next day. After waiting for a day Nandan tried on his own way to get his luggage back. He started his investigation from the IndiGo’s official website with the PNR number which is attached on his co-passenger’s luggage. He tried different ways like check-in, edit booking, update contact to get the contact details of his co-passenger from the website.

But he found that it was not a very helpful process. Now his developer instinct started the original work. He digs in to the Browser’s Developer console and check all the data flow from the Network log record and interestingly he finds his co-passenger details from that panel without any restriction.

 “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 @IndiGo6E website and started the whole check-in flow with network log record on,” he wrote.

For all the non-techie readers, when you press F12, it opens a set of developer tools. It helps engineers look at requests and responses sent and received to and from a website server. Nandan successfully located the co-passenger and exchanged his bag. He also shared a list of security flaws and ask IndiGo to improve their customer services and most importantly data privacy on their website.

Then he calls the co-passenger and meet with him to exchange their luggage as the distance was not so long, it was only 5-6 km from Nandan’s house.

Nandan asked him if he got any call from indigo airline or not? The co-passenger replies “No” to this question. Although the Airline’s customer care said that they tried to contact the person several times but he didn’t receive the call. Now it’s clear to Nandan that the customer care clearly claims a false connection to his co-passenger.

After all these mess the IndiGo has responded to Nandan’s tweets, saying that data privacy policy prevented them from sharing a passenger’s personal details, but at “no point was the IndiGo website compromised.”

We’d also like to state that our IT processes are completely robust and, at no point was the IndiGo website compromised. Any passenger can retrieve their booking details using PNR, last name, contact number or email address from the website. This is the norm practiced across all airlines globally,” IndiGo said in its statement, adding: “However, your feedback is duly noted and will definitely by reviewed.” 

– Team IndiGo

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