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Help Please. SAA claims they cannot accept USA Credit Cards

Help Please. SAA claims they cannot accept USA Credit Cards

Old May 10, 22, 11:21 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 6
Help Please. SAA claims they cannot accept USA Credit Cards

Hi All....My wife and I are booking an Africa trip in October. I've been trying to book SAA rountrip from JNB to Mauritus and am at a loss. Keep getting credit card transaction errors. Have spent hours on the phone with SAA, Citibank, and PayU (the online payment processor. My bank made sure the 3D security was removed, but none of the transactions are even getting to them (so no fraud alerts). Multiple SAA reps are telling me now that they are unable to accept American (USA, not airline) credit cards. One went so far as to suggest I have someone in Africa (because I know so many people there) pay for me and reimburse them.

Anyway, this is happening with AirLink as well as I cannot book flight to Krueger. Keep getting credit card error. Tried multiple cards, name conventions, clearing cache, incognito....NOTHING is working. I have no other airline options.

My main card is a World Mastercard AA Advantage card which says I should have no limitations on their end.

Any thoughts? Thanks!
jab23 is offline  
Old May 10, 22, 1:54 pm
  #2  
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Join Date: Mar 2022
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Some progress with Airlink as they sent me a paper CC authorization form that I need to fill out and send back. They want copies of my CC and ID. Don't love the idea of sending those in the mail.
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Old May 10, 22, 1:56 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London, United Kingdom
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Use an OTA
ajeleonard is offline  
Old May 12, 22, 10:15 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I wouldn't be surprised if SAA and Airlink aren't accepting US cards b/c when SAA or Airlink go bankrupt or shut down again, the US card companies will have no compunction about reversing charges back to the carrier.

It was (maybe 6+ years ago) fairly common with smaller travel operators (B&Bs, small hotels, some tour companies/reserves) to ask you to fill out and send back (via FAX!) a copy of your actual card and a photo ID. Nice to see that the new improved out-of-bankruptcy airline has reverted to old ways so quickly.

And, FWIW, I'd say about one out of seven transactions I run from the USA using a US based card via an SA-based merchant (travel, retail, etc.) ends up with your described shenanigans. It just will not work despite everyone here and there saying it "should" - sometimes I just try again the next day, or use a different card, or a different browser or use a computer based browser v. a phone/tablet. Or sit a little differently in my chair. TIA. It's a good thing your not going to SA back during the old "gas card" days.
jsnydcsa is offline  
Old May 12, 22, 10:37 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: DXB and JNB
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Originally Posted by jsnydcsa View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if SAA and Airlink aren't accepting US cards b/c when SAA or Airlink go bankrupt or shut down again, the US card companies will have no compunction about reversing charges back to the carrier
Is this specific to US cards, or all foreign cards? I wont go near SAA, but Ive been buying Airlink tickets using a variety of foreign cards (Mauritius, UK, US, UAE, Singapore) and have never had a problem booking, or been asked to provide more information. I bought a ticket with them using a UAE card two weeks ago.

Ill be buying another soon, and will try a US card to see.
IntrepidAfrican2 is offline  
Old May 13, 22, 6:23 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 963
Originally Posted by IntrepidAfrican2 View Post
Is this specific to US cards, or all foreign cards? I won’t go near SAA, but I’ve been buying Airlink tickets using a variety of foreign cards (Mauritius, UK, US, UAE, Singapore) and have never had a problem booking, or been asked to provide more information. I bought a ticket with them using a UAE card two weeks ago.

I’ll be buying another soon, and will try a US card to see.
Originally Posted by jsnydcsa View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if SAA and Airlink aren't accepting US cards b/c when SAA or Airlink go bankrupt or shut down again, the US card companies will have no compunction about reversing charges back to the carrier.
It was total speculation on my part. I've long ago learnt that trying to figure out SA logic (and I say that as the happily-married spouse of a wonderful SAFA) much-less SAA logic, reasoning, etc. is impossible.

Originally Posted by jsnydcsa View Post
And, FWIW, I'd say about one out of seven transactions I run from the USA using a US based card via an SA-based merchant (travel, retail, etc.) ends up with your described shenanigans. It just will not work despite everyone here and there saying it "should" - sometimes I just try again the next day, or use a different card, or a different browser or use a computer based browser v. a phone/tablet. Or sit a little differently in my chair. TIA. It's a good thing your not going to SA back during the old "gas card" days.
Its more likely this and OP is, unfortunately, now heading down an SAA created rabbit hole by thinking too much.
jsnydcsa is offline  
Old May 13, 22, 6:40 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: DXB and JNB
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Agree that there is little rhyme of reason to many things in SA, both government and private sector. But the popular narrative seems to be the private sector is world class (it mostly isnt) and the government sector is trash (it is, but a blinding glimpse of the obvious).

Anywho, rant over lol. Cheers.
IntrepidAfrican2 is offline  
Old May 13, 22, 8:18 am
  #8  
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Join Date: Mar 2022
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Thanks for the responses. I actually feel better knowing that it can be challenging in general dealing with SAA. Unfortunately, it seems to be the only option to get to Mauritius. I was able to book the roundtrip from JNB to MRU via a company called Go To Gate that was offered on Google flights. I read some pretty bad reviews on them, but I was feeling a bit stuck. So far, everything looks good. Have confrimation, have seats and everything shows up on SAA website. Sounds like a lot of the issues with this company are if you have to change flights or something gets cancelled. We will go with the tried and true method of crossing our fingers to prevent any of that happening.

I'm still working with Airlink for the Krueger flights. It's been trying, but I'm working with an incredibly helpful CSA. We are supposed to reconnect Monday morning to finalize everything.

This has been a learning experience for sure!
jab23 is offline  

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