Triangle Trip

Tag: security

How Virgin America is weak on credit card security

by on Mar.14, 2009, under Airlines

I recently got a new business credit card and started using it to purchase flights.  I swiftly bought a Virgin America ticket with the new credit card, no problems.  Next, I had to fill up gas, and like always I use a credit card to pay and in the more sketchy neighborhoods they always ask for zip code, so I prepared by getting the zip code, and actually the entire billing address.

Later that week, I purchased a United flight, and it asked me to input the billing address, so I entered my mailing address to see it if worked (since I had the card sent there), but no, it didn’t, I had to use the business mailing address and it worked.

I realized, Virgin America didn’t check the address at all.  I’ve recently purchased another VX ticket, and I don’t have the business address stored anywhere. For the extra security, I would be gladly take the burden of entering the correct address to the credit card.

For you readers out there, what about the other airlines?

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How to quickly check in at United at SFO’s Terminal 3

by on Jan.31, 2009, under Airlines, Business Travel, Vacation

As a frequent flyer of United in and out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Terminal 3, here are some hot tips for you:

1.  When flying on a domestic flight out of Terminal 3, you should always go through TSA security checkpoint near Gate 74 and 75. Gate 74 and 75 is located between the domestic and international terminals. It is called out “Boarding Areas” (the bottom red dot) if you refer to the map below.

The Gate 74 and 75 checkpoint is to the left of the Ticketing area, opposite side of the regular boarding area. No one is aware of this security checkpoint as it is geared towards travelers coming from the international terminal or BART. Lines here are always shorter than the Premier lines.


2.  When you are in transit through SFO from domestic to international terminal, the best approach is via the bus interlink. The bus is located near the Yankee Pier restaurant or Gate 72. Referring to the map above, it is the 2nd red dot from the top. You will need to go through a door near the information booth, then down the stairs to the waiting area. The bus comes every 15 minutes or so. Going by bus means you will be able to avoid going out of Terminal 3, taking the Airtrain, and go through security screening at the International terminal.

Try these two tips and let us know your thoughts.

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(Fly) Clear Experience

by on Jan.26, 2009, under Business Travel, Travel Partners

I experienced Clear for the first time last night and thought it was quite valuable if the airport is packed. I was at JFK last night (Sunday night) and it was a zoo. As a Clear member, you actually get to skip the line – even bypassing people with status.

The Clear process is as follows:

  1. Show your Clear membership card at the Clear station. A Clear representative will look at your card and make you identify yourself via your finger print (thumb, index finger, etc.) or retina scan.
  2. Once you have been verified by the Clear representative, he/she will assist you with the removal of your shoes, belt, laptop, liquid items, etc.
  3. The Clear representative then takes you from the Clear station directly to the front of the line of a security scanning machine.

My experience was extremely pleasant and efficient as I was a seasoned traveler. I can see how the $199 per year fee can help some of the novices/rookies running late to airports. The jury is still out if Clear is actually worth me giving up my personal data + $199 per year. The limited airports with Clear machines still baffles me. You can find more insight on the registration process from my December post.

Finally I would like to let everyone who considers joining to know that they actually will only get 11 months of service vs. 12 months if they decide to sign up. It took Clear a four weeks to get me my card. Here was the entire process:

  1. Registered online:  around December 15
  2. Registered at Clear kiosk:  December 30
  3. Received Clear card:  January 21

Hope this article helps… Happy Lunar New Year!!  May the year of the Ox bring prosperity to all my fans.

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