Sears Holding, Delta Air hit by data breach that may impact hundreds of thousands of customers

April 4 (Reuters) - Department store chain Sears Holding Corp and Delta Air Lines Inc said on Wednesday some of their customer payment information may have been exposed in a cyber security breach at software service provider [ 24]7.ai.

Sears said it was notified of the incident in mid-March and the incident led to unauthorized access to the credit card information of under 100,000 of its customers.

Technology firm [ 24]7.ai, which provides online support services for Delta, Sears and Kmart among other companies, found that a cyber security incident affected online customer payment information of its clients, it said.

The incident happened on or after Sept. 26, 2017 last year and was found and resolved on Oct. 12, the company said.

RELATED: 9 best airlines in America

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9 best airlines in America

9. Hawaiian Airlines

Previous rank: 8

Why it's here: Hawaiian finished last on the TPG list. The Honolulu-based airline's premium ticket prices and Hawaii-centric route network fell victim to TPG new metrics which increased focus on airfare and network size.

8. JetBlue

Previous rank: 4

Why it's here: JetBlue suffered the most significant drop in this year's rankings. The New York-based airline struggled with on-time arrivals, baggage and change fees as well as customer satisfaction. JetBlue's position as a boutique carrier hurts it rankings with respect to the size of its route network as well as the lavishness of its frequent flyer program.

7. Spirit Airlines

Previous rank: 10

Why it's here: Spirit jumped three spots in the rankings due to its improvement in areas such as the number of lost baggage while also benefiting from the missteps of its rivals and the merger of Alaska and Virgin America.

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6. American

Previous rank: 5

Why it's here: American Airlines didn't make many moves apart from a one spot from after the Virgin/Alaska merger. The airline struggled with on-time arrivals, fees, lost baggage, and customer satisfaction.

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5. Frontier Airlines

Previous rank: 9

Why it's here: Frontier Airlines made a surprising jump up the rankings. The ultra-low-cost carrier benefitted from its route expansion and its improvement in baggage handling.

4. United Airlines

Previous rank: 2

Why it's here: United Airlines rocky 2017 caused it to fall two spots, but not for the reasons you'd expect. United saw marked improvement in operational effectiveness with the number customer complaints down 17% while also decreasing the number of people involuntarily bumped from flights. However, the airline couldn't keep up with its rivals in areas such as airfare and the quality of its airport lounges.

3. Delta Air Lines

Previous rank: 7

Why it's here: Delta made big strides in airfare, the involuntary bumps, and its frequent flyer program while maintaining its high rankings in on-time performance, lost baggage, and the size of its route network.

2. Southwest Airlines

Previous rank: 6

Why it's here: Southwest improved four spots over the past year thanks to lower airfare and the expansion of its sizable route network. The airline's stellar customer satisfaction score and its free checked baggage policy also helped.

1. Alaska Airlines

Previous rank: 1

Why it's here: Alaska Airlines maintained its top spot by scoring in the top three in several key criteria including airfare, on-time arrivals, customer satisfaction, baggage handling, and its frequent flyer program.

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Personal details related to passport, government identification, security and SkyMiles information were not impacted, Delta said.

The No.2 U.S. carrier said while a small subset of its customers would have had their information exposed, it cannot be said with certainty if their information was accessed and compromised.

Sears said its stores were not compromised and their internal systems were not accessed in the breach. There was no impact on the information of customers using a Sears-branded credit card, the retailer said.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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