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Question about buying airline tickets for someone else

Question about buying airline tickets for someone else

Old Sep 29, 19, 1:01 pm
  #1  
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Question about buying airline tickets for someone else

Hello-

My wife (she's American) wants to buy a ticket (as a gift) for a friend of hers who is a British citizen. Her friend lives in the UK and she wants to purchase a ticket for him from the UK to the US (connecting through Lisbon) on TAP Air Portugal as they have good rates. One-way tickets would be purchased to/from Heathrow as that is where her friend lives, and on Air Canada for the return trip to Heathrow from a different city in the USA. She has her friend's personal details (name, passport #, etc.) for the ticket purchase. Is there any problem with doing this kind of purchase? The particular airlines aren't important, just wondering if there is something we should be thinking about before we buy this ticket- some obscure airline rule concerning international travel perhaps that I am missing.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 29, 19, 1:11 pm
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In my experience, no. I had just completed such transaction for someone recently.

Airlines sometime do matter. Certain carriers require verification of payment in-person before departure (at airport) or another means of communication (postal mail). That said, these types of verification do not apply to most carriers; unlikely those your wife would be using.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 1:12 pm
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As this isn't UA related and may be of general interest, will move this to the TravelBuzz forum.

WineCountryUA
UA coModerator
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Old Sep 29, 19, 3:37 pm
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If your wife trusts the friend and the friend is competent to handle this, it is far easier for an individual to handle their own arrangements than to deal with multiple third parties, including what appears to be at least two if not more carriers on separate tickets.

If this can all be priced out and makes sense, then simply wire or otherwise transfer the funds to the friend and have the friend make the purchase.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
If your wife trusts the friend and the friend is competent to handle this, it is far easier for an individual to handle their own arrangements than to deal with multiple third parties, including what appears to be at least two if not more carriers on separate tickets.

If this can all be priced out and makes sense, then simply wire or otherwise transfer the funds to the friend and have the friend make the purchase.
True, but then it's not a surprise gift : )
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Old Sep 29, 19, 4:24 pm
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People have reported being required to produce the payment card when checking in.
A big hint is when you cannot do OLCI.
Some of the stories, and btw AC has been the airline involved in some of the cases, basically state that the policy upheld was no card/ no fly. And this has happened in the return leg with passengers forced to purchase day-of super expensive ticket to get home.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 4:26 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
People have reported being required to produce the payment card when checking in.
A big hint is when you cannot do OLCI.
Some of the stories, and btw AC has been the airline involved in some of the cases, basically state that the policy upheld was no card/ no fly. And this has happened in the return leg with passengers forced to purchase day-of super expensive ticket to get home.
Thanks for this information Rick. Sounds like I need to call the airlines directly before buying the ticket just to make sure.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 4:59 pm
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Alternatively, book through a TA. A real TA, not one of the online outfits.

The reason for the credit card requirement when it does occur is anti-fraud. When you pay through a TA, the TA handles payment administratively and there is no fraud risk to the carrier.

Calling in advance will not help you as nobody at a carrier can tell you what may trip some anti-fraud algorithm at a later date. There are other ways to circumvent this, but none as easy as the TA approach.

While some suggest that this might be a surprise, don't make it too much of a surprise. Unless you know that the friend has a valid ESTA, the last thing anyone wants is for a nice trip to be gummed up by something which one hopes is easy.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 7:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Alternatively, book through a TA. A real TA, not one of the online outfits.

The reason for the credit card requirement when it does occur is anti-fraud. When you pay through a TA, the TA handles payment ......(snip)
+100.
Best advice for your situation.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 7:16 pm
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OP - I know your wife wants this to be a surprise.

But your wife should make sure that her friend has a valid visa or ESTA approval.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 7:51 pm
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The credit card thing happens mostly on short notice flights because that's generally where the fraud occurs.
On a flight 3 months from now, the card owner can notice and dispute. I've not heard of the card being needed for this type of flight. I bought my parents tickets to Japan 3-4mo n my amex prior to departure and had no issues.
If you buy a few days or weeks ahead, that is bad news.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 10:19 pm
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All through nmpls.........Thanks for your advice!
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Old Sep 30, 19, 1:29 am
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
OP - I know your wife wants this to be a surprise.

But your wife should make sure that her friend has a valid visa or ESTA approval.
+1

And an eTA it looks like too
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