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The App to Hack Your Way Into Airport Lounges

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FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 12: Lufthansa Business Class Lounge entrance in Terminal 1 at Frankfurt / Main International Airport on September 12, 2013 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Lufthansa Business Class Lounge entrance in Terminal 1 at Frankfurt / Main International Airport on September 12, 2013, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Your flight’s just been held up again: You want to take a nap, but there are deafening announcements in the terminal every 30 seconds, and it’s too crowded to stretch out anyway. This is the moment it would be great to have access to an airport lounge and be able to relax some place quiet until your journey can resume. Of course, the best airport lounges offer far more than quiet: They include spas, champagne bars, private cabanas, and many, many other perks.

Przemek Jaroszewski, the head of Poland’s Computer Emergency Response Team, decided he wanted to take advantage of said lounges during his frequent travels around Europe. So he created an “Android app that generates fake QR codes to spoof a boarding pass on his phone’s screen for any name, flight number, destination, and class.” He found that virtually no lounges checked against airline ticketing databases, with the result he had easy access to all the goodies available at lounges wherever his travels took him. (He has cited as a favorite Istanbul’s Turkish Airlines lounge “complete with cinema, putting green, Turkish bakery and free massages.”)

It should be noted this kind of hacking does not pose a particular security risk to travelers: Anyone using it would still need to go through airport security, meaning metal detectors and ID checkpoints; so eventually the airlines would look at their ticketing database and notice. However, in terms of airport lounges, it can often be a surprisingly easy way to make your delayed flight an enjoyable experience. To read more about hacking airport lounges, click here.

A bedroom sits prepared for passengers using the First Class passenger lounge at Munich Airport's Terminal 2 during the official opening ceremony in Munich, Germany, on Friday, April 22, 2016. "The expansion of Terminal 2 with the new satellite building will make the Lufthansa Group airlines operating in Munich a better and more attractive option for passengers from all over the world," Carsten Spohr, chief executive officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG said. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A bedroom sits prepared for passengers using the First Class passenger lounge at Munich Airport’s Terminal 2 during the official opening ceremony in Munich, Germany, on April 22, 2016. (Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Interior view of modern seating furniture in first class lounge of Virgin Airlines at Heathrow Airport in London, England, United Kingdom (Photo by Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)
Interior view of modern seating furniture in first class lounge of Virgin Airlines at Heathrow Airport in London, England, United Kingdom (Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)