My girlfriend from Chile will be coming to USA in end of this year, and I want to take care of the ticket myself, by buying from Delta, for example (with or without using frequent flier points).

What do I need to purchase her ticket here from Santiago to Atlanta (round trip)? Do I simply specify all her information (name, passport number... etc) on traveler information section during the purchase? Or do I need to do something more specific?

Once she prints the boarding passes, would she have any problem using them because I bought it and not she?

I bought tickets for my family members that live in USA before, but I am not sure how would it work on international level.

  • Would it be that much higher? I guess I have to check LAN prices again, but most tickets cost like $2k or so. Air fair in Chile doesn't seem cheap. Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 21:22
  • 1
    With at least some airlines, when booking they ask "Is the person making the booking one of the travellers". Make sure you answer no for this! Otherwise you can have issues at checkin where they may ask for the booking credit card or something like that
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 11:21
  • Keep an eye, LAN doesn't shows the same prices depending which website version you choose.E.g.: In the U.S. version a flight one way from Santiago to Atlanta for the next 1st August is 1,847 USD i.imgur.com/WQOHM2V.png , the same category in the chilean version is 2,392 USD i.imgur.com/qeF4Z67.png Sometimes is the opposite, or there are special offers for Chile Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 16:43
  • I would be inclined not to do this--because she is a girlfriend. Immigration might suspect you're planning to marry. Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


I was on the receiving end of such a ticket once, when I was invited to a conference in the US. In my case it was a European carrier (Lufthansa), but paid to their US office. In general it was not different from other bookings, where I made the booking myself. I got the same booking confirmations. However, when I tried to check in, it didn't go through. The booking system couldn't deal with a ticket paid in the US for a flight originating abroad. Luckily I tried to check in ahead of time. There was ample time to set the record strait, meaning calling the person ordering the ticket, who in turn called the US-based booking office. I was able to board the flight in the end.

This could have been a glitch of the system where I was just unlucky. However, would I have tried to check in at the airport, I am not sure whether or not I was able to make that flight. In the end getting the record strait took quite some hours.

Given that for the rest it was a normal boarding process, I would advise to try to check in online as soon as possible. At least try to have at least 24 hours before departure to get your boarding passes printed, giving you ample time to fix similar glitches.

  • 5
    I think you just got unlucky. I've done that several times and never faced any issues. I've also had multiple friends to it several times from different countries without any problems. :/ Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 1:12
  • I always have issues flying on a Lufthansa plane but another airline issued the ticket. Always. I have handed my laptop across the check in desk more than once because they needed some number or code. I suspect this is what happened to you. Way more tickets have been bought for me than I have bought myself, and without incident other than Lufthansa, where I have had the same issue even when I bought the ticket. Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 11:37
  • I agree with @KateGregory I have also had issues when there was a codeshared flight, but that's a different story altogether. Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 14:10
  • Thanks. Its good to know there shouldn't be much issues. Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 17:20

Me and my friends have done that several times. One of my friends regularly uses a ticket which her father buys from Oman to the US to travel to and fro from the US i.e for a flight originating in the US but the ticket is bought in Oman by a different person (a family member in this case).

I have done the opposite several times as well, wherein I have bought a ticket from a US based website using a US credit card and then boarded flights from a foreign country to the US or even to some third country.

I also know of people who regularly but tickets for their parents in the US to come visit from India, I have never seen a problem in either of the cases.

As long as the information on the ticket matches with the passenger, you should have no problems whatsoever. But, it's always nice to make sure, so I'd suggest that you tell your girlfriend to check in online on the flight and even if it doesn't allow her to check in (which has arguably happened sometimes with code shared flights), ask her to verify her information. It shouldn't be a problem at all.

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