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I live in Israel, and I want to fly to Amsterdam. Do you guys know, if it's possible to buy a flight ticket from Israel to Europe, but from a different country, for example Holland?

I'm asking this, because there is a huge price difference in buying a ticket in Israel to buying a ticket out side of Israel.

  • The simple answer is, yes, it's possible, but your payment method billing address would need to be in the country, in which you're buying the ticket. – Aleks G Jul 13 '15 at 20:21
  • Do you mean "can I ring up a Dutch travel agent, give them my Israeli credit card and billing details, and have them ticket it from Dutch fare availability"? Or do you mean "can I ring up / use an Israeli website / travel agent, and have them sell me from Dutch availability?" – Gagravarr Jul 13 '15 at 21:17
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    @AleksG That's certainly not true. I often buy tickets from travel agents in other countries with a UK-issued card. – Calchas Jul 13 '15 at 21:35
  • @Calchas when you buy the ticket outside of your country, what papers are you showing at the airport, to "prove" you got a ticket? – samy Jul 14 '15 at 17:21
  • @samy Almost every airline uses electronic ticketing these days. I am paper free on my travel. If necessary I will show the email confirmation from my phone or my passport. Basically the same as I would if I bought the ticket in my own country. – Calchas Jul 14 '15 at 18:16
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Yes it is possible.

A few websites will insist that the "point of sale" to be in the country where the first flight originates. So if you are searching for flights from Dubai from the .co.uk website, suddenly everything is priced in AED. Iberia.com certainly used to insist on this, but they seem to changed practise recently. British Airways does do it on their website, but you can just call them instead.

Other carriers' websites (such as LAN Chile) will simply accept your choice of website to use and sell from their office in that country. [Often with big (>50%) savings if you visit their Chilean website.]

expedia.com.hk sells flights from Hong Kong availability wherever the ticket begins [and there was recently an industry-wide fuel surcharge miscomputation in Hong Kong which was of some benefit to those who knew it], in which case I would imagine it applies for the majority of the Expedia franchises.

With British Airways you can create a reservation at any BA ticketing desk (sold out of local availability at local pricing) and then pay in your local currency later by phoning your local office, although there is a phone fee it can be waived if you ask nicely. The help desk will also honour requests to look from other points of sale, at least within Europe.

Distinguishing on point of sale is now illegal within the European Community although a few major airlines (AF, BA) continue to do it. (See EC 1008/2008 Article 23(2).)

For a while it was possible to avoid credit card fees on Air France by buying from the Irish version of their website.

There are some disadvantages to this practise:

  • The contract is considered formed in the point-of-sale country, so the laws of that country will apply to the transaction. That's probably only going to be important if you need to do a charge back or rely on some local consumer protection later.

  • If your credit card applies any forex fees or spread in the transaction, remember the transaction is by default denoted in the selling office's currency.

  • Some cheap domestic-only fares (especially in South America) actually have residency requirements. Check carefully if this applies. I've only ever seen this in South America though.

  • A small number of providers will not honour payments from a foreign credit card. You can sometimes bypass this by "accidentally" choosing the wrong country when you enter your billing address (American Express for example doesn't actually verify the billing country is correct). Alternatively your bank may decline the transaction as a counter-fraud measure if the transaction is out-of-character for you.

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I have done it a few times on united's website, by changing the country on top of the page, and when I put in my CC info, by the billing address I put in a any address I found on google maps in that country, and it worked fine.

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Calchas gives a good factual answer, but for myself, I would say, probably a dozen times a year I buy a ticket between two countries from a seller in a third country (sometimes while sitting in a fourth country and residing in a fifth). Never, ever had a problem.

  • How do you use the ticket you buy? I mean, when im going to the air port, what do I show? – samy Jul 14 '15 at 17:16
  • @samy What do you show when you buy a ticket from inside your country? Show the airport the same thing. – Calchas Jul 14 '15 at 18:20
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    @samy -- what, are you thinking you should have a paper ticket? I don't think I have flown with non-virtual ticket in 15 years. Show your passport. – Malvolio Jul 14 '15 at 21:49
  • @Malvolio there are still countries/airports/airlines requiring paper tickets, Morocco for example for departing flights, at least in Marrakesh. – JakeDot Jul 17 at 8:56

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