When Sharon and I traveled to Austria, we flew from London and had a connection in Berlin before heading to Salzburg. I’ve been on international connecting flights before so I was expecting to “transit” in Germany, meaning I wouldn’t go through immigration control until we arrived in Austria. I was a bit surprised that the immigration booth was at the end of the jetway, before we could even enter the terminal. There was one line for EU and Schengen passengers and another line for everyone else. I had no idea what Schengen is but I knew it wasn’t me. I later found out that this is why we didn’t have to go through passport control when arriving in Austria, which was a bummer as we really wanted that passport stamp.
By now, I’m sure you have a credit card with a chip, or EMV chip to be specific, in your possession. It’s that thing on your card that makes the person at the checkout tell you, “You need to use your chip in the bottom thingie,” or makes them say when you try to insert your chip card, “We don’t use that chip thing yet, so you need to swipe your card.”
In the U.S.A., we like the think we lead the world in just about everything, but when it comes to credit card security we are decades behind the curve. EMV ( Europay, Mastercard and Visa) chip technology was introduced back in the 1990s and rolled out throughout Europe in the 2000s. The chip in the card is used to confirm the information instead of reading the information off the magnetic strip on the back. This technology is harder to counterfeit and, supposedly, cuts down on fraud. The banks in Europe rolled out this technology first because credit card fraud was, at the time, much more common there. When the chip cards were introduced and helped prevent fraud, the criminals went to the least protected market, the USA, so they could continue with the scamming. Lucky us.
Get your SkyMiles gathered because Delta announced a flash sale yesterday, with select roundtrip routes within the United states starting at 11,000 Skymiles, Europe starting at 33,000 miles, Asia starting at 50,000 miles, and the Caribbean and Latin America starting at 11,000 miles (all with taxes and fees, of course). It’s a fash sale, so you better hurry with making those reservations – the offer ends tomorrow, June 13th.
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Imagine booking a flight (granted, a discounted flight) and you don’t know what your final destination will be until you’ve paid for the flight. Does the spontaneity make you feel excited? Or does it make you cower at the loss of control? Either way, it’s exactly what German airline Lufthansa is doing, and despite the preferences of control freaks like me where everything has to be planned ahead of time, it seems to be doing quite well! Continue reading “Book Your Flight To Europe & Learn Where You’re Going Afterwards?!?!?!”