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AS Cancels EK Award Tickets for My Friend [Possible Merge]

AS Cancels EK Award Tickets for My Friend [Possible Merge]

Old Feb 9, 19, 2:42 pm
  #31  
 
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Thanks for the additional information that you provide. Was the award ticket booked long before departure or only days before? Your account was locked? I imagine you used your credit card to book the tickets?

There are a lot of fraud with air plane tickets and for example, credit card verification are needed to check in for many airlines.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 2:51 am
  #32  
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Join Date: Feb 2019
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I AM often using an app called express VPN while we’ve been traveling (mostly so my YouTube premium account will work here... and so I can watch certain TV shows at night). And so I can totally understand WHY the booking was originally flagged... it was last minute, coming in from South Africa via a VPN, etc... BUT my passport came directly from my California office, I’ve had my Alaska Airlines account for easily over 10 years. I have 2 Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit cards... and I used to be a Virgin America Gold member & they merged my accounts of course when they did everyone’s. I’ll try to answer other questions too. Thank you for your patience with me.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 3:53 am
  #33  
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I'm sorry for what you and your friend experienced.

Based on what you posted, it seems that VPN + South Africa + last minute one-way ticket triggered off fraud on Alaska's anti-fraud detection.

You definitely got a bad agent or something got lost in communication re: not being allowed to book for friends and family.

I am not sure why mentioning the passport is relevant, since no passport information is required for booking tickets for others using your own account.

Also, after re-reading your first post, I'm not sure what specific advice do you want from people on FT.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 11:20 am
  #34  
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(1) Good to know points on what might trigger the fraud detector to start buzzing.
(2) Good to know that if my account were to be hacked from a far away source, the AS fraud detector would start buzzing.
(3) Good to know that if I ever make an "unconventional" award reservation (i.e., not me on the reservation, non-US point of departure, made from an IP address that AS might not recognize, etc.), I should call to speak with someone promptly.

One can only surmise that both fraud in violation of MP T&C department and Hacking department have occurred more than once with the OP's reported fact scenario.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 11:30 am
  #35  
 
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But wouldnt that one-sided cancellation warrant a DOT complaint?
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Old Feb 10, 19, 12:13 pm
  #36  
 
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Brokers and people who sell miles will typically provide their Alaska login info, so when Alaska starts seeing CA/WA/AS based accounts logging in from foreign points is where the flag starts.

Many companies are now starting to block some VPNs- for instance Im up in the Yukon right now and I use a VPN with 2 selections of locales in California to use Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. Well, Hulu now recognizes the VPN & blocked it. So no more Hulu for me

Ill bet ya Alaska is now monitoring that traffic as well...
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Old Feb 10, 19, 4:49 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
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Originally Posted by UAPremierExec View Post
Brokers and people who sell miles will typically provide their Alaska login info, so when Alaska starts seeing CA/WA/AS based accounts logging in from foreign points is where the flag starts.

Many companies are now starting to block some VPNs- for instance Im up in the Yukon right now and I use a VPN with 2 selections of locales in California to use Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. Well, Hulu now recognizes the VPN & blocked it. So no more Hulu for me

Ill bet ya Alaska is now monitoring that traffic as well...

I typically do not use miles for travel unless needing last minute travel or for friends/family (as I travel today out of Seattle a day earlier due to potential snow delays for my planned flight to tomorrow). This is useful to know if I am traveling abroad and will consider directly calling the MVP75K line to have them book my ticket for me or for a friend/family.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 6:24 pm
  #38  
 
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I don't think ONE time is going to ding you, but seeing travelers NOT in your profile using high-value point spends, or multiple spends, will raise a red flag and cause someone to look at your bookings. Thankfully, they also track when you login to as.com and can probably also see you did other searches. So I think a one-off isn't going to cause your booking to get flagged. There's a lot more algorithms in place for flagging possible-fraudulent bookings. So in the OP's case, it was more than likely their use of a VPN, a high-value ticket, to points that aren't anywhere near the VPN/IP #s location. (make sense? example: buying a first class QF ticket from Australia to DEN, when your last login was in Los Angeles a day before, you don't have any QF redemptions/earnings, haven't been to DEN, and using a traveler that's not the same name/age/in your profile).
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Old Feb 11, 19, 11:13 am
  #39  
 
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AS should attempt to contact you before cancelling anything. Even banks will contact you for approval regarding a potential fraudulent charge, and in this way you can clear things up prior to having to go through something like this MP member has been forced to go through. Seriously, Alaska? I too use a VPN whilst traveling - a large enough one that I'm sure "ticket brokers" use it as well (and probably a million other people). It should never be incumbent upon the customer to have to worry - or even know about - "calling the MVP75G number" when a ticket was booked legitimately under the rules of the program. The vast majority of their customers are NOT FT-savvy and would reasonably expected to have no clue that anything other than booking the ticket normally would ever be required, particularly once it was confirmed. If it's legitimate through the terms of the program to book a mileage seat from SA to the US, then if Alaska has a problem with something they should reach out to the customer long before the flight - and certainly before cancelling it without notice hours before departure. That is unconscionable. The onus is on them in this case - particularly as their customer is clearly a long-term MP member.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 12:25 pm
  #40  
 
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No so savvy people buy round trip ticket to Africa...
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Old Feb 11, 19, 2:03 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by UAPremierExec View Post
Brokers and people who sell miles will typically provide their Alaska login info, so when Alaska starts seeing CA/WA/AS based accounts logging in from foreign points is where the flag starts.

Many companies are now starting to block some VPNs- for instance Im up in the Yukon right now and I use a VPN with 2 selections of locales in California to use Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. Well, Hulu now recognizes the VPN & blocked it. So no more Hulu for me

Ill bet ya Alaska is now monitoring that traffic as well...
You could get another VPN that may work awhile.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 2:25 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by flatdawgs View Post
AS should attempt to contact you before cancelling anything.
Makes you wonder if the sheer quantity of suspected fraudulent tickets may be something that they're not set up to handle 24 hours a day. Even if that was the case, surely there must be one person in the organization that could at least make those calls during business hours Monday-Friday and alert the account holder.

Tom using his VPN at the Newark Airport (always do when on wi-fi)
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Old Feb 11, 19, 10:13 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by flatdawgs View Post
AS should attempt to contact you before cancelling anything. Even banks will contact you for approval regarding a potential fraudulent charge, and in this way you can clear things up prior to having to go through something like this MP member has been forced to go through. Seriously, Alaska? I too use a VPN whilst traveling - a large enough one that I'm sure "ticket brokers" use it as well (and probably a million other people). It should never be incumbent upon the customer to have to worry - or even know about - "calling the MVP75G number" when a ticket was booked legitimately under the rules of the program. The vast majority of their customers are NOT FT-savvy and would reasonably expected to have no clue that anything other than booking the ticket normally would ever be required, particularly once it was confirmed. If it's legitimate through the terms of the program to book a mileage seat from SA to the US, then if Alaska has a problem with something they should reach out to the customer long before the flight - and certainly before cancelling it without notice hours before departure. That is unconscionable. The onus is on them in this case - particularly as their customer is clearly a long-term MP member.
Agreed. I would be FUMING if something like this happened to me. Onus absolutely needs to be on AS to suspect fraud and try to contact the account owner - booking a different route close-in on a VPN should not be enough to cancel a ticket.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 10:52 pm
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by icelandman2 View Post
Agreed. I would be FUMING if something like this happened to me. Onus absolutely needs to be on AS to suspect fraud and try to contact the account owner - booking a different route close-in on a VPN should not be enough to cancel a ticket.
ABSOLUTELY - cancelling a ticket with no notice to booker (not to mention a 10 year member - maybe to alert them if their info was stolen) is just plain WRONG

Details aside - cancel with no notification is just not right. And - the ticket was a 47.6k ticket ?economy class NOT high value bus or first - not the highest chance of broker/sale scenario.
In addition if the rules are as agent said (which I can't find) why can I put any name I want in when booking an award ticket on line?
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Old Feb 12, 19, 12:22 am
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by estnet View Post
ABSOLUTELY - cancelling a ticket with no notice to booker (not to mention a 10 year member - maybe to alert them if their info was stolen) is just plain WRONG

Details aside - cancel with no notification is just not right. And - the ticket was a 47.6k ticket ?economy class NOT high value bus or first - not the highest chance of broker/sale scenario.
In addition if the rules are as agent said (which I can't find) why can I put any name I want in when booking an award ticket on line?
Agreed. At the very least, if there's suspected fraud/stealing miles, AS should definitely send a notification email to the account holder.

It sounds to me like the agent who said that policy prohibits Mileage Plan members from booking flights for others was just wrong, perhaps simply misspeaking or perhaps making up an explanation for something they didn't understand (something that is fairly common in the airline industry but not something I often encounter with AS). But I'm glad that it now seems pretty clear that this was an overzealous fraud alert, not a new policy.

Any chance @missydarlin could shed light here, particularly on why there was no notification to the account holder of the suspected fraud?
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