Recently a situation came up where someone who didn't have any bank cards needed to buy an airline ticket on short notice (same day or next day). While fortunately the problem got resolved in the end, I wonder what solutions they could have used.
I thought of the following:
Someone else could buy the ticket for them with a bank card. But many airlines require the card holder to travel, so this seems too risky. Is there a way around it? For example,
a. If the card holder is present at check-in but doesn't travel, would they let the traveler board?
b. Some airlines sometimes might just refund the first purchase and ask to pay the same price with a different card that the traveler has available. Would they accept cash instead of a second card?
Is it possible to just buy the ticket at the airport with cash? Would this cost more than buying online if the ticket is for a flight departing the same day anyway?
What would you do if you faced this situation and you absolutely had to travel on short notice (preferably same day), thus only having a few hours to find a solution? The situation is complicated because different airlines have different policies and I'd expect that things are handled differently at different airports too. I was planning to call the airline and ask, but finally didn't get that far.