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BCBP (DC30 Badge Challenge)

Congratulations on decoding the 2D barcode on DC30 Aerospace Village badge!

37 individuals correctly identified the 2D code on the badge (Aztec), and decoded the 2D code for a gold star SAO + custom boarding pass!

You can find design files for this year’s SAOs and more at

Bar Coded Boarding Pass (BCBP)

Bar Coded Boarding Pass (BCBP) is a technical standard set by IATA (International Air Transport Association) for the airline industry (a copy is available here 2021_03_02-bcbp-implementation-guide-version-7)

"BCBP standard defines PDF417, Aztec, Datamatrix and QR code as the symbologies to be used to encode the data on paper boarding passes....[it] also defines that a mobile phone can be used as a boarding pass (mobile BCBP) provided that it can display one of three selected 2D matrix codes (Aztec, Datamatrix and QR code)" 

-IATA BCBP Implementation Guide ver. 7

**BE CAREFUL NOT TO VISIT any fake IATA websites that frequently appears on various search results.


Available only on paper boarding passes, but widely adopted by airlines. PDF417 is also frequently utilized on ID cards (i.e. driver’s license).




It’s most commonly used on mobile apps and electronic boarding passes.

Often confused with QR code, but note the centered square finder patterns.


Data Matrix codes are not as commonly implemented as Aztec/QR codes, but DM codes are used by postal services around the world, and even shows up on AMD chips. A number of aircraft components also contain DM codes for inventory management.



The popular QR code is also implemented by airlines on boarding passes, often on mobile apps/electronic boarding passes.

It was invented by a Japanese automotive components manufacturer, hence one of the character encoding modes contain “kanji” mode (other 3 modes are numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary)



All aforementioned barcodes are decodable through tools readily available online.

A common mistake on social media posts is when an individual only blurs out plain text PII, without realizing the 2D codes often contains the same (and in some cases more) information.

Keep your boarding passes private, don’t post them online!

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