PREVENTING FRAUD AT 30,000 FEET. ARE THEY PILOTS, OR ARE THEY CASHIERS?

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Texting and driving is a bad combination. Typing up passengers’ payment card information while flying a plane doesn’t sound like a great idea, either.

But, according to a report by the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), that’s exactly what Korean Air Lines Co. ordered its pilots to do, in order to prevent fraudulent in-flight purchases.

According to the report, Korean Air was requiring its pilots to validate payment card information for all inflight purchases over $500. The process required pilots to start up the validation program and enter the payment card information, often while preparing to land the aircraft. 

Considering that South Korea recently went through its largest payment card data theft in history, it makes sense that the nation’s largest airline was taking measures to prevent fraudulent charges. Last year, a massive breach of records maintained by the Korea Credit Bureau compromised more than 105.8 million accounts containing personal information, including names, credit card and bank information, passport numbers, addresses and phone numbers. 

Korean Air went through a public relations fiasco last year, caused by the company chairman’s daughter’s “nut rage incident.” Soon after the SBS report went public, Korean Air quickly went into PR-disaster-mitigation-mode and said that it would change its policies.  

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