I have met someone on the internet and have decided to invite her as my guest in America for a visit. I am not very up to speed on purchasing tickets since it has been quite a while since I have done any flying. I want her to just go to the ticket counter and receive her ticket.

What is the process of purchasing the round trip air-fare?

  • 2
    Be aware she needs a visa before she can come visit – blackbird Jun 30 '15 at 13:56
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    It's none of my business, and hopefully I'm totally off base, but there are people out there who try to use 'romantic involvement' with Americans as a means to get entry to the country. Have you considered going to visit her in Ghana? – DJClayworth Jun 30 '15 at 14:15
  • @DJClayworth and if the visa application involves you vouching for someone who later doesn't follow their visa terms, I imagine that reflects poorly on you. – CMaster Jun 30 '15 at 14:20
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    Be careful! This is usually the beginning of a scam. Hopefully this person doesn't ask for you "exit money" or anything like that; which is a clear sign of a non-genuine relationship. Also, the US doesn't require a ticket for a visa application; in fact it is advised not to purchase a ticket unless the visa is issued. – Burhan Khalid Oct 1 '17 at 1:48

As you've met them on the Internet, it should be fine to just give them the booking/ticket through the net. It's not normally necessary to have a paper ticket to fly these days (I can't think of when I last did). You just either check in online and print/have a phone bording pass, or show up to the check in desk and give them your identity documents (and sometimes a booking reference) and they take your bags, print your boarding pass and send you on your way.

So book the flight from [Ghanaian airport] to [US airport] using the airline (or online agent) of your choice, and forward them the booking/confirmation details.

However, it will not be trival for a citizen of Ghana to receive permission to visit the US. They will need to be granted a visa, which will involve completing a variety of checks. Keep in mind in this process that the main concerns of the officals deciding to award a visa or not are: will this person leave when they say they will and will they attempt to work illegally while present. It's probably not a great idea to book flights until this permission to enter has been obtained.

Edit: Be aware that some airlines apparently also require the card used for purchasing to be presented at check in (see this question). I've not personally experienced this, and one imagines that the problem is circumvented if payment is made via a travel agent.

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    The US also advises to not buy tickets until the visa is issued. – Michael Hampton Jun 30 '15 at 14:15

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