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If I buy a ticket at Thailand's airline counter, do I need to show my passport to the clerk? Or just provide the required information? Can I use cash to buy plane tickets for others?

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If I buy a ticket at an Thailand's airline counter, do I need to show my passport to the clerk?

In general ID's are only checked and validated at check in, not at the time of purchase of a ticket. When ordering online or via a travel agent for example, they can't check your actual passport either and need to rely on the information you provide as well.

I'm not personally familiar with the procedures at the counter and (current) reality might be different , but it appears that the only written requirement for a passport at the counter is when you buy tickets for infants or children:

Thai reservation Ticketing Terms and conditions

10. Payment and Ticketing at a THAI City Office

 ...  

• When purchasing tickets for infants or children (2-11 years old), a birth certificate or passport, must be presented.

Can I use cash to buy plane tickets for others?

A cash purchase for others might ring some alarm bells and could well be refused on the grounds of :

2.3) Right to Refuse Carriage

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• Suspicious booking ; such as, high risk of fraudulent information, THAI may cancel or suspend your use of Thai Airways booking facility at any time without notice;

The online reservation system (see the FAQ question "Can I purchase tickets for family members or other persons") allows you to book and pay for others and doesn't require the person making the booking and payment to be traveling with that group either, so there should be no reason why that would be different at the counter, but no guarantees.

Call the ticketing office and ask.

The Ticketing Terms and conditions suggest that cash is only accepted in Thai ticketing offices in Thailand and the amount accepted is limited:

Over The Counter(Thailand only)

  • Counter Service :The maximum payment is allowed at 60,000 Baht (THB)
  • TESCO Lotus, Big C, Pay at Post, Just Pay (TOT), Family Mart, True Money Express and M Pay and CenPay: The maximum payment is allowed at 30,000 Baht (THB.) ...
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    The OP is asking about Thai airlines in general, not Thai Airways specifically. FWIW, Thailand is still a cash-heavy country and I doubt they doubt refuse cash payment at the counter. Oct 13, 2023 at 11:07
  • If you buy for another person, some airlines require that person to present the purchase credit card at check in. That would obviously preclude any cash purchase.
    – Hilmar
    Oct 13, 2023 at 11:22
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    @Hilmar That's a means of preventing credit card fraud (and in some cases preventing resales). With a cash purchase obviously there's no need to verify the credit card. I don't know of any airlines which do that for literally all tickets.
    – Sneftel
    Oct 13, 2023 at 11:32
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I've bought tickets from Nok Air in the past. Paid in cash - for some reason my credit card wasn't working, not their fault. I didn't have to show ID, but had to write down the names: foreign names are too confusing for them.

We did have to show ID at check-in.

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