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Pending Credit Card Transaction Disappeared - Airline Has Been Paid

Pending Credit Card Transaction Disappeared - Airline Has Been Paid

Old Mar 2, 20, 9:05 am
  #1  
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Pending Credit Card Transaction Disappeared - Airline Has Been Paid

I bought some airline tickets directly on 18th Feb at a cost of 2000 Euros (flight originates in Eurozone). This was paid on my UK credit card (Halifax Clarity - no currency fees) at the spot exchange rate of 1GBP = 1.2 Euro. So, I immediately saw a pending transaction of GBP1667 on my credit card on the 18th Feb.

This disappeared from my credit card a few days later, so assume (having read some experiences on here) that it will be posted to my credit card at a later date.

But, in the 2 weeks since the transaction the exchange rate has gone from 1.20 to 1.14 Euros per GBP. Therefore, if it now posted at todayís currency exchange rate I would be billed for £1754, or an increase of £87.

Therefore, I rang the bank to find out what was going on. They had no information and they said contact the airline. I did this and they said the money was authorised on the 18th Feb and collected from Mastercard on the 20th Feb. Based on what the agent told me, we have received the payment and you have your ticket numbers and are good to fly.

So, something is messed up here and I donít for one second think Iím going to get free airline tickets. But, Iíll be unhappy if it posts at a later date at a much worse exchange rate.

Anyone else experienced something similar or knows how this will play out.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 9:10 am
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It will eventually appear. The pending transaction automatically disappears after 7 days. I had the same recently with a fairly big purchase from John Lewis.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
It will eventually appear. The pending transaction automatically disappears after 7 days. I had the same recently with a fairly big purchase from John Lewis.
The pending transaction has disappeared, but two weeks later the charge has not posted.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by Oil-man View Post
The pending transaction has disappeared, but two weeks later the charge has not posted.
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I had the same thing happen but with Santander Zero credit card, I was charged the poorer rate about 10 or so days later.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 9:46 am
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I suspect the credit card processes some these charges in batches, and will hit your card in the coming days. I agree, it is a bit odd.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 10:07 am
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I am not normally one for conspiracy theories but...

Each month I make a fairly large purchase on my Us Chase Visa for goods billed in £. The transaction posts after a variable number of days and almost always at the worst possible exchange rate. It canít be coincidence but Visa says it is!!
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Old Mar 2, 20, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
I suspect the credit card processes some these charges in batches, and will hit your card in the coming days. I agree, it is a bit odd.
This is not the case, a debit is applied to the card account when the merchant in this case BA presents the electronic voucher to the card issuer via their merchant acquirer. BA normally do this within 24 hours sometimes quicker depending on cut off times.

if the authorisation has dropped off, BA can submit the electronic voucher to get the funds but they are no longer guaranteed and only avAilable if there are funds on the card.

I suspect what happened here is BAs systems timed out before the authorisation could be matched up so no debit request was debited and in the event of no debit being requested the authorisation drops off.

Regrettably I suspect BA will have to reprocess the transaction, The FX is applied by Visa/MasterCard/Amex at the time the electronic voucher is processed and passed to the card so I suspect it will be at the unfavourable rate. I would suggest that proving who is at fault here would be difficult and a buyer beware when doing a large transaction in a foreign currency.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 7:07 pm
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I'm with golfmad on this, I think they are saving the transactions while the rate is going against you, when it starts moving the other way it appears on your account at the worst rate. Hopefully it will turn out like PPI and they will refund us all the money they have 'stolen'. This happened a few years ago when I was buying property abroad and it was found that the banks (a few of them) were manipulating the exchange rates, they had to pay it back with interest at a high rate.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Andy49 View Post
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I'm with golfmad on this, I think they are saving the transactions while the rate is going against you, when it starts moving the other way it appears on your account at the worst rate. Hopefully it will turn out like PPI and they will refund us all the money they have 'stolen'. This happened a few years ago when I was buying property abroad and it was found that the banks (a few of them) were manipulating the exchange rates, they had to pay it back with interest at a high rate.
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I put together a spreadsheet with transactions over a 12 month period and the evidence is reasonably clear. If any aspiring lawyer wants to take a look with a view to putting a class action together against VISA then let me know

I contacted VISA a few times myself to better understand their processes and explain this phenomenal luck they have at timing in the currency markets but got nowhere and gave up.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 12:27 am
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It does look like a trend, but do excuse me a simpletons question - how does BA know which way the exchange rate is going ​​​​​​

They are after all an airline rather than a currency trader, and they get it consistent wrong. BA hedges oil, but not always correctly. Isn't the more likely reason simple incompetence!?
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Old Mar 3, 20, 12:45 am
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Originally Posted by Sam Bee View Post
It does look like a trend, but do excuse me a simpletons question - how does BA know which way the exchange rate is going ​​​​​​

They are after all an airline rather than a currency trader, and they get it consistent wrong. BA hedges oil, but not always correctly. Isn't the more likely reason simple incompetence!?
In my case itís nothing to do with BA or even the credit card company (Chase). Itís Visa that do the backend processing who ďchooseĒ the rate and process date.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 12:45 am
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Originally Posted by Andy49 View Post
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I'm with golfmad on this, I think they are saving the transactions while the rate is going against you, when it starts moving the other way it appears on your account at the worst rate.
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But why would BA have any interest in doing this? When you pay in euros, *BA receives the money in euros*. What you are charged in GBP makes no difference to them.

Now you could argue that BA might want to receive euros on a date when itís cheap to convert them back to GBP, but if they wanted to convert back to GBP (which I donít think they do anyway - they probably keep euros in euros) then they could do that a later date regardless of when they received the funds.

[Edit: just seen golfmadís note about it being Visa rather than BA. Would be helpful to understand what the gain would be to Visa here.].
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Old Mar 3, 20, 12:51 am
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The OP hasn't even said that the airline involved is BA; his repeated use of the term "the airline" suggests that it is not.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 1:23 am
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Same has / happening to me on an AMEX card ..... on a hotel booking
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Old Mar 3, 20, 1:25 am
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
But why would BA have any interest in doing this? When you pay in euros, *BA receives the money in euros*. What you are charged in GBP makes no difference to them.

Now you could argue that BA might want to receive euros on a date when itís cheap to convert them back to GBP, but if they wanted to convert back to GBP (which I donít think they do anyway - they probably keep euros in euros) then they could do that a later date regardless of when they received the funds.

[Edit: just seen golfmadís note about it being Visa rather than BA. Would be helpful to understand what the gain would be to Visa here.].
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I don't think its anything to do with BA, in my last case it was Lufthansa. The OP says that BA got their money and I am sure LH did too as they issued the ticket.
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