My girlfriend from Mexico is coming to study her Master's in the UK for a year. She's in the process of applying for a visa and looking at flights to the UK.

For some reason, when she searches for flights in Mexico (Mexico City to London) the price for a one-way direct flight is the equivalent of £2200. When I search for the same flight in the UK, I get a price of £530.

Because of the huge price difference, I've offered to pay for the flight and she can transfer the money. Is there likely to be any problems from this regarding her visa and checking in and getting the flight or anything else I've not thought about?

  • Sometimes a traveler is required, at check in, to show the bank card that was used to pay for the ticket. If you pay with your bank card, you may need to go to the airline's office in the UK and show them the card before they allow your girlfriend to board.
    – phoog
    Jul 22, 2016 at 19:02
  • I do not think this is a real duplicate but it is a near one: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/51090/… certainly worth reading.
    – Willeke
    Jul 22, 2016 at 19:46
  • How about she just gives you her credit card info and you type that in to the ticket booking site? Jul 25, 2016 at 0:35

1 Answer 1


Offered flight prices are often dependent on your location, for the same flight with the same airline. Typically, if you are in a poorer country, flights are cheaper, and if you are in a richer country, they are more expensive. Check for example Google's flight search (http://matrix.itasoftware.com/), which allows you to pick the 'location' you are booking from.

In addition, the conversion to different currencies is done only once, with a margin, and then used for months, so by the time you book, it could be off a lot. For example, if the airline wants 1000 US$, the booking sites all over the world convert that with a fixed rate - they will have to pay 100 US$, but because you are in country X, they ask N of X's currency, which needs to be enough when they have to pay.

  1. If there is enough trust, you can type in all the data and pay with her credit card, as if she would be in the location you are in.
  2. She can use anonymity websites that make her appear to be in a different place (i.e., having another IP)
  3. You can book for her, with the slight risk that someone wants to see the credit card at check-in. I have never ever seen that (and I fly 50 times a year for decades), but people keep claiming it happens. You can send her a photo of the credit card, that might work, but if that is real, it could be an issue. You might be able to avoid that by checking in online - then she already has a boarding pass when she comes to the airport.
  • Regarding #3 - I have experienced it myself twice. However in both cases the flights were booked the same day and over the phone.
    – George Y.
    Aug 23, 2016 at 2:39

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