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Denied Boarding - Did not have exact card used for taxes

Denied Boarding - Did not have exact card used for taxes

Old Jul 1, 19, 9:00 pm
  #1  
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Denied Boarding - Did not have exact card used for taxes

Family of 5 headed to Madrid then Barcelona from MIA. Wife and I in first using Avios, 3 kids in economy on AA saver awards. Booked 330 days out. Gate agent at MIA denies us boarding because I didn't have the exact credit card I used to pay the taxes with. I had 3 other forms of ID + 6 other credit cards, and chase app where I could show them the credit card and related statements showing where taxes were paid on account that I had digital access to. Gate agent and his supervisor still refused to allow us to board.

We then had to rent a car, drive 250 miles roundtrip to get the exact credit card, and fly the next day. Then it got even worse. Iberia refused to honor the kids (19, 17, 15) tickets so I had to cough up another 240k miles to get them on AA metal direct to Barcelona where wife and I would meet them.

Total cost to me. 240k AA miles, $130 for rental car and gas and tolls, lost day of family vacation time in Barcelona, 2 nights hotel room charges in Barcelona that were no-refundable at last minute, tickets for entrance to Sagrada Famila that were booked for our first day there

Iberia gate agent in Madrid where wife and I connected to get to Barcelona and meet kids told us that they should have allowed us to pay taxes with different card at a worst case condition

Iberia customer service (lol) response from a no reply email address
First of all, I would like to reiterate my most sincere apologies for the inconveniences caused.As we stated when you made the purchase, the card holder will have to show proof of their identity at the check-in desk on the day of departure. The card will only be required at the first starting point of the journey (not on the return or connecting flights). If this rule is not observed, you can not be admitted on the flight and may only board it if you buy a new ticket there and then. We thank you for your understanding and reiterate our apologies for not having fulfilled your expectations.We hope your next flights are satisfactory. Thank you for continuing trust in Iberia.Kind regards,
Iberia Customer Services


@iberia Total fail on your part. The plane was oversold and your gate agent looked for any reason to deny us boarding. Ruined the start of our first family trip to Europe. Your customer service then doubled down with no offer for compensation. Rest assured that this story will be told again and again for years to come over every social media platform I have access to.

Question for board, what happens if you close that credit card you used to pay the taxes or if it is lost and a new card issued with a different account number? Would you expect Iberia to deny you boarding and force you to buy a new ticket?

Does this happen with any regularity or just on flights that are overbooked?

@iberia are you listening or do you care?

Last edited by g8trgr8t; Jul 1, 19 at 9:05 pm
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Old Jul 2, 19, 12:20 am
  #2  
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A messy situation
As you paid AA, and not IB, what does AAdvantage say about this?

Did you contact AAdvantage at the time this happened?
Was the kids AAsaver flights changed at the time? Or they just no-showed and hence the need to get new awards?
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Old Jul 2, 19, 12:58 am
  #3  
 
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Normally these threads on Flyertalk involve the OP having done something wrong but still blaming the airline.

But in this case I have to agree that the agents in MIA were out of line and clearly looking for excuses to deny somebody boarding. The mere fact that they put the OP on the next day's flight for no additional cost makes this obvious.

Also, I have NEVER in my recollection been required to show the payment card when using Avios. Moreover I would completely expect to be able that demonstrating knowledge of the credit card number / access to the account, etc. would be fine.

FWIW you can pay the taxes with Paypal, which does avoid this issue. It's also never a bad idea to book 1 parent with 1 or more kids on one PNR and the other parent with the remaining children on the other PNR. That way at least half of the family could fly as planned if something weird happens.

I would definitely get in touch with AAdvantage because they may be sympathetic and refund the unused awards on Iberia. Although a stressful moment on day 1, you really should have called AA before leaving MIA instead of just abandoning those tickets...
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Old Jul 2, 19, 1:14 am
  #4  
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OP paid for the two FC tickets with Avios (BA or IB????) and only the three teens in coach with AA miles. It's not clear that anyone contacted AA. It's also not clear to me why the three teens could not have flown to Spain and gone to the hotel on their own with parents to follow the next day, or did IB deny them boarding too? Otherwise, a kid of 19 should be able to manage this while the others age 17 and 15 are too old for UM services to be required or even permitted. Were the three kids also denied boarding or was it the parents decision that they would not fly alone, on a separate PNR? Were the PNRs linked?

It sounds like both the USA DOT and EC 261 IDB regulations would apply, although I wonder whether the flight was oversold in FC or just in coach.

At any point in the booking process or on the receipt/itinerary, was the need for the credit card indicated? What about in the IB (and possibly BA if the ticket was booked with BA Avios) CoC and FF program rules?

Did OP do OLCI for parents and/or kids? If so, was a need for the credit card indicated at that time? Was anything said at the counter when the family checked in or checked bags or did the problem truly arise only at the GATE?
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Old Jul 2, 19, 10:46 am
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Sometimes happened to me to receive an alert about showing the credit card in the IB site; mainly when getting avios tickets for other people (what is a total pain if you are not traveling with them). After calling customer service a couple of times, the only option is to go to an Iberia counter at any time before the flight. As I travel almost every week, I usually go to the counter and show the credit card as soon as possible (mainly to avoid any credit card looses or cancellations). However, they have never asked my for the credit card if that alert at the time of booking didnít appear.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 10:50 am
  #6  
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OP and wife were flying on the Avios tickets, so it's not like OP had given tickets to other people.

I'm starting to wonder whether this is a case of the OP having only recently opened a BA/IB FF account and never having any flight activity, only credit care promo miles for recently acquired cards. Some airlines are starting to be suspicious about such circumstances. In fact, OP says "using Avios" but isn't exactly clear whether they were from his own account.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 12:33 pm
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Iberia account over a year old. Avios were from my account. Used Iberia avios from my account for wife and I in first. We werent sending kids ahead without us. Contacted AA and it was their opinion that kids were not denied boarding passes so it was our choice to delay their flights. AA did refund the 90k AA miles against the 330k it took to get kids there on AA metal since IB flight was sold out next day.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 12:34 pm
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BA account 8 years old. Same name. Accounts linked.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by ggomtel View Post
Sometimes happened to me to receive an alert about showing the credit card in the IB site; mainly when getting avios tickets for other people (what is a total pain if you are not traveling with them). After calling customer service a couple of times, the only option is to go to an Iberia counter at any time before the flight. As I travel almost every week, I usually go to the counter and show the credit card as soon as possible (mainly to avoid any credit card looses or cancellations). However, they have never asked my for the credit card if that alert at the time of booking didnít appear.
Alert may have appeared but it isnt in any of the emails or ticket data sent by Iberia. I wont say that it did or didnt, just that I have no tecollection of it. Booked at 330 days +/- to get seats date we wanted. MIA is 130 miles from our house so a quick trip isnt practical. 300 + days after booking some pop up alert from nearly a year ago wasnt really on my mind as we prepped for 3 week trip.

Last edited by g8trgr8t; Jul 2, 19 at 1:49 pm
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Old Jul 2, 19, 2:44 pm
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Did you try to check-in online? If credit card verification is required, you won't be able to do so (and you will/should get a message saying that).
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Old Jul 2, 19, 4:26 pm
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Clarification. This occurred at check in. No I did not try online check in.This happened first week of June
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Old Jul 2, 19, 7:39 pm
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Thanks for the alert. Was digging through an upcoming ticket to see what credit card I used.

Do they do this at every station? What happens if your credit card number has been changed which seems to happen once a year or so with all the data breaches.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 5:24 am
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Thanks for the alert. Was digging through an upcoming ticket to see what credit card I used.

Do they do this at every station? What happens if your credit card number has been changed which seems to happen once a year or so with all the data breaches.
this was our first trip on Iberia so not sure. When I asked check in about what if I difnt have that card anymore they seemed stupified and had no response
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Old Jul 3, 19, 5:45 am
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Thanks for the alert. Was digging through an upcoming ticket to see what credit card I used.

Do they do this at every station? What happens if your credit card number has been changed which seems to happen once a year or so with all the data breaches.
this was our first trip on Iberia so not sure. When I asked check in about what if I difnt have that card anymore they seemed stupified and had no response
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Old Jul 3, 19, 6:05 am
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There are reports on flyertalk of others being asked for the credit card as an anti fraud measure:

Need to show credit card used to book award at check in?

Iberia: need to show credit card at check in?


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