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If someone else is booking international ticket for me using his credit or debit card, does he need to be present physically at the time of check-in?

Suppose I am coming back from Singapore to my home country and my ticket is booked by my friend for me, who lives in my home country. Do airlines in Singapore ask for the person to be present physically to check in?

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To clarify, as there was some debate below, are you actually flying from Singapore and wanting to know about that, or are you asking about all airlines anywhere? –  Mark Mayo Jun 12 '13 at 7:09
    
..and if it's meant to me Singapore sprecific, with whom are you/others flying with? This is airline-specific. –  Geeo Jun 12 '13 at 7:14
    
as people start moving my answers and comments around, I'm going to stop answering and commenting here, and delete my contributions. –  jwenting Jun 13 '13 at 5:18
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@jwenting mods moved your answer to a comment because it wasn't an answer in the first place, it didn't attempt to answer the given question in any way. It's best fit was a comment –  Geeo Jun 13 '13 at 7:14
    
To avoid this problem you can use a travel agent to pay for the tickets. I've only heard of this problem happening when buying directly from the airline. –  user27478 Sep 9 '13 at 9:56

7 Answers 7

up vote 29 down vote accepted
+500

First of all, it doesn't matter where you're flying from. What really matter is what airline you are flying with, so the short answer is: it depends.

Some airlines, in an attempt to fight frauds, may ask you to show the card and if you fail to do so they CAN refuse to embark you.

I once flew Royal Jordanian from Milano Malpensa to Amman and I was asked to show the credit card. Since I paid that flight with my father credit card, I didn't have it with me. They refused to embark me and I had to call home and make my father fax a self-certfication signed by him along with a copy of the credit card used to book the flight.

Another time I was leaving from Amsterdam to Atlanta flying Delta and I was asked the same. That time I had my credit card with me and I pass the control flawlessly.

Always read the conditions very carefully. It's always stated somewhere if they may ask you to show the card or not. If unsure, write an email or call them.

Here some examples:

Singapore airlines [click on "What happens if I don't comply with the credit card verification requirements?"]

If the booker does not bring his or her card used for the booking at check-in for verification, then passengers on the booking will not be allowed to check in and will be asked to purchase a new ticket using a new credit/debit card. However, the ticket price will remain the same. A refund will then be manually processed for the earlier purchased ticket.

Emirates

On the Enter billing information page where the credit card details are entered, if the "Cardholder name" can be typed in, you would be able to pay for the booking even if you are not travelling. If the "Cardholder name" appears in a drop-down menu and cannot be changed, you would unfortunately not be able to pay for the booking unless you are travelling.

In some countries, for security reasons, the holder of the credit card used to book a ticket or group of tickets must be one of the travellers on that itinerary, and will be required to show the actual credit card at the airport check-in counter prior to receiving boarding passes.

Skywards members may make a redemption booking for friends and family, and pay for the applicable taxes online with their own credit cards, if the country of departure offers credit card payment.

Business Rewards administrators may also pay for their organizations members bookings by credit card, if the country of departure offers credit card payment.

Delta [click on the credit card link]

To safeguard against credit/debit card fraud, the purchaser may have to show us the credit/debit card along with a valid photo ID. The time varies based on the billing address of the credit/debit card or the country of travel. If the purchaser is not traveling, they can show us their credit/debit card and ID at an airport ticket counter or another ticket office location, whichever is most convenient.

Air France

Due to increased credit card fraud problems, Air France does not accept third party payments (the credit card holder not being the passenger or part of the group traveling together). Exception: We allow payments for family members with the same surname. Please make sure the family member you book for brings the personal identifier you specified during booking to check in at the airport or to Customs and Immigration if required (this applies to e-tickets only).

British Airways

If you have booked directly with British Airways, either through ba.com or a British Airways Telephone Sales office, and you paid with your debit/ credit card you must present that debit/ credit card at check-in. This is to assist the check-in process and to provide debit/ credit card verification.

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maybe you look like con so they keep asking you... I have never seen or heard of this :D –  MeNoTalk Jun 12 '13 at 15:31
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It really is airline-dependent, I can confirm that Singapore Airlines also does this -- although I can't find anything on the website saying that they do! boggle –  jpatokal Jun 13 '13 at 1:34
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@jpatokal I managed to find it and added to the answer, thanks for your suggestion –  Geeo Jun 13 '13 at 10:22
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Just to improve this answer, from personal experience: Turkish Airlines also requests the credit card holder to be present when flying out of Turkey, but not when flying into - odd indeed. And as @Geeo points out, unless the person who asked the question clarifies the airline he's flying in, there's no way to know if the credit card holder will be needed or not. –  Osvaldo M. Jul 4 '13 at 23:58
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It is to avoid troubles like these that my company requires us to pay our flights via our personal credit card, following which we're reimbursed. –  Jonas Sep 9 '13 at 12:24

Some airlines do some silly restrictions, Check this FAQ: Can someone else purchase and pay for my ticket on line?. They do this to fight unauthorized usage of credit cards.

It is silly because you can buy the same airline ticket from other airline tickets website without this credit-card restriction.

Attached screen shoot

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link's not working for me? –  Mark Mayo Jun 11 '13 at 12:40
    
@MarkMayo May be they are doing IP filtering of something. Attached a screen shot. –  Yousf Jun 11 '13 at 14:55
    
this is the right answer –  Geeo Jun 11 '13 at 16:53
    
That also means: It's not possible to use a virtual credit card for booking, as that is online-only and there is no plastic piece to present. –  feklee Jun 12 '13 at 8:35
    
the link should be fixed now –  Geeo Jun 13 '13 at 14:39

I have had this issue a number of times, especially with BA. I send my children to their grandparents in the UK and booking online with a credit-card. On the website it says that the card must be shown when checking-in. This would be ok outbound when I bring them to the airport but problematic on the way back. I rang and asked if the card must be shown which they confirmed. So a number of times I gave the kids the card to take with them.

However, I have NEVER had to show the card when I have traveled and the kids never had to show it either.

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I was stopped at Turkish airlines because my ticket was paid for by another person. I could not fly for the first time in my life. And yes, they have this rule on their website. And they send this information with the ticket. But moreover, they have the right to stop you before check-in even if you paid with your card but did not bring it with you.

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I wonder what is different for me and for you? I flew Turkish in Sept and Oct of this year on a ticket bought by someone else and there was no issue. –  Kate Gregory Nov 11 '13 at 18:15
    
@KateGregory the difference is that they can annoy you at their discretion. –  Geeo Nov 12 '13 at 8:01

Since the best answer didn't have EVA airline and I have experienced with that before so I just want to contribute in case someone might have this problem with EVA.

The answer is it does matter which credit card you used to book your tickets with EVA. It's clearly stated on the website that the credit card has to be presented at the counter if purchased by your own credit card and not travel agent. If you have to book a flight for someone else there's an option on the website that you have to choose and credit card verification procedure. http://www.evaair.com/en-global/public/credit-card-non-card-holder.html

So, my experienced was I failed to present the credit card and I had to purchase a new ticket at the counter with the same price and I got refunded again later on. The process was quick and not too painful. I understand why they do this so no mourning.

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Turkish Airline has also the policy not to accept third party credit card. The passenger and the card holder should be the same, or at least the card holder should be joining the group of passengers.

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however, I have to add that, despite their rules, I have never been checked for the card travelling by Turkish!! –  ala Oct 11 '13 at 13:46
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I just finished a trip on Turkish. My customer paid for the trip. There was never any question about seeing the credit card or the like. I don't know why you think they have this policy - is it on their web site perhaps? They certainly don't enforce it –  Kate Gregory Oct 11 '13 at 13:54
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yup, if you can provide some reference for your answer, it would probably be better –  Vince Oct 11 '13 at 14:05

In most cases, the one who pays is not necessarily the one who travels, whatever the country of departure is. There may be some exceptions.

For instance, an important part of the airlines revenue comes from business travelers. The typical scenario in such cases is that the ticket is paid by the company, using the company credit card. The payment can also come through a travel agency.

The only required ID check is for the traveller, as far as I experienced in Europe and USA. Airlines and governments want to make sure that you are not a security threat such as using the no-fly list for US-bound flights for example, in addition to the usual immigration and customs controls.

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"It is obvious that the one who pays is not necessarily the one who travels" -- South African airline Kulula seems not to get this: they have twice asked me to show the credit card used to book, the first time triggering some frantic faxing. –  Max Jun 11 '13 at 14:01
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This is plain wrong, downvoted. –  Geeo Jun 12 '13 at 15:26
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Why "plain wrong"? Could you expand the reasons? –  DavLink Jun 18 '13 at 8:55
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At my company, we pay with our personal credit cards for the flight (and get reimbursed, of course). –  Jonas Sep 9 '13 at 12:27
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@jwenting Where did you read anything about that in Geeo's answer? Since he did not mention any of these things one way or the other, his answer can't possibly be wrong about them. What remains wrong is the contention that “the only required ID check is for the traveller”, which was originally stated without any qualification. –  Relaxed Nov 11 '13 at 21:02

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