This is a Great Account Security Question, But It May Make You Furious

It’s a good idea to have passwords that are unique to each website, so that when your data is compromised on one site it doesn’t give a hacker access to everything else. What’s great about password managers (that store everything with strong encryption) is that you can have a unique complex password and not need to write it down which entails its own set of vulnerabilities.

But what about password recovery? Your mother’s maiden name has probably been compromised. And two factor authentication requiring a text message is a pain for people inflight or traveling internationally – a real problem for an airline account profile.

Having a variety of unique questions with free form answers is one solution. In fact, I applaud JetBlue for taking this approach. One of the questions, though, is stirring controversy on social media: “what is the name of your favorite child”

Naturally social media had a field day.

JetBlue even chimes in on the hub bub.

I’m not convinced though that this is what they’re actually asking. This is a customer’s add-in question. It’s not a JetBlue question.

  • Notice the ‘question’ above doesn’t end with a question mark.
  • My JetBlue account doesn’t have this question as an option.
  • It does, however, have a question that uses these words and continues so if it were JetBlue’s question it seems as though it was being taken out of context?

Regardless customers have a choice of questions, what’s wrong with this being a choice?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Plus you should use said password manager (I love stand-alone 1Password with iCloud syncing) to put down answers to these questions in the note section.

    I never put the actual answers to any of these security questions.

    So – what is the name of your child would just be a random answer anyway

  2. This is much better than United’s security questions with a set of static answers. United’s fallen into the trap of creating a system that’s so unfriendly that users will necessarily manage it in an insecure way.

  3. I just love it when they ask what was your grandfather’s name. I tell them, I know both of mine, you bastards!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.