Does the card holder have to be flying on Turkish Airlines?

Discussion in 'Other Airlines | Europe' started by LarryInNYC, Feb 13, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Hard as it will be for anyone who's read my novice questions here at Milepoint, I actually got a call from a friend last night seeking advice on an airline booking question — as if I were an expert or something. Nothwithstanding the fact that that alone probably means my friend in doomed, I thought I'd find out if anyone here knows the answer.

    My friend is booking flights on Turkish Airlines for this summer. His family is flying out together, but back at different times. He was able to book the single person who's flying back earlier but hit a roadblock trying to buy the other three tickets. That's because the Turkish Airlines system would not accept his credit card because the expiration date on the card is during the period he'll be travelling. (Seems odd to me since the purchase of the ticket will long since have cleared six months from now, but hey, when in Istanbul. . .).

    The other card he wanted to use to purchase the remaining three tickets is in his wife's name and she's the person travelling home earlier.

    The question is, will he and his kids be able to board their returning flights on tickets purchased with his wife's credit card without being able to present the card (and the wife) while checking in? I know this is an issue on some airlines.

    To further complicate matters, of course, he and his wife don't use the same last name.

    Any advice gratefully received (and will certainly boost my undeserved reputation as a travel guru).
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    One workaround might be to get an additional card fast on the wife's credit card account. It should be possible to process this quickly.
     
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  3. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    Yes but the tickets may disappear by then.
     
  4. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    There isn't a big problem with buying the tickets later in the week (my friend is waiting for a payment to post on yet another credit card which, at the moment, doesn't have sufficient credit available to complete the purchase). The problem is not wanting to risk losing the fare or, even worse, the availability.

    And Turkish (according to my friend) doesn't issue holds.
     
  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I think that this will be an issue only if they try to use a kiosk to retrieve the BPs. The situation is completely analogous to purchasing a ticket for someone else and having them pick it up at the airport. The credit card of the person purchasing the ticket is not required. However, with some airlines, the person who is traveling may not be able to use a kiosk to get the BP; s/he must go to a check in counter with a valid ID...

    With UA, in order to retrieve my BP at a kiosk, I do not need to use the credit card that I booked the ticket with. I can use another card, but then again, the name is the same on all my cards. So, it is correct that if the name on the card is different, the automated system will balk. The check in counter with a live agent is the answer
     
  6. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I'm pretty sure that for some airlines you do need to present the credit card used to purchase the tickets (as an anti-fraud measure). It's never happened to me, but I'm pretty sure I read about it recently here on milepoint.
     
  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    That may well be the case, but I would like to know of a concrete example because it makes little business sense. A reason for having credit cards is convenience for international commerce and trade. If I would like to purchase a ticket urgently for someone with no money in China, I can do it online with my credit card today and they can travel tomorrow on Air China or any other airline. To require that the credit card used be presented to check in would require that I fly to China, after purchasing a ticket to get someone from there to here -- makes no sense, even as an anti-fraud measure (credit card companies already do that! e.g., Verified by Visa(tm))...
     
  8. dc1956

    dc1956 Silver Member

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    having recently purchased tickets for others on THY I had the same issue arise. They were able to make a notation that would erase any issue with that. I would suggest calling one of the US based sales offices to explain the situation and they can handle it for you. At least they were able to do so for me.
     
  9. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    perhaps it makes no sense to you, but this has been the policy of some Asian carriers in particular. People have reported being denied check in and boarding when they could not produce the credit card, even if the credit card was in their own name but they no longer had it or did not carry it with them.
     
  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I have traveled regularly to and in Asia for the past 8 years and have flown with every *A carrier in the region (SQ, OZ, CA, NH,....even FM when they were still *A), and not a single time have I been asked to show a credit card to check in; a valid passport is all that they have requested...

    So, a concrete case (e.g., a link pointing to an airline's stated policy) would be helpful so that we may know to avoid such stupid airlines because it simply makes no sense to require credit card evidence when most corporate travelers do not even handle their own travel arrangements. I have been invited to speak overseas and the inviting institutions have handled all the travel arrangements. To expect me to have those institutions' credit cards to check in makes no sense, does it?
     
  11. Menashe

    Menashe Silver Member

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    I trave frequently on business and have no access to whatever credit card our travel department uses to purchase the tickets. I would think that this would present an pretty huge obstacle to business travelers, college kids flying home on their parents' dime, family vacations where the breadwinner arrives later or leaves earlier than the others or even if you simply had to replace a card that was compromised. I've purchased tickets for friends to earn the miles and for my family to go on vacation without me. When I was a lot younger than I am now and in college, my dad purchased tickets for me.

    I guess it's possible that they make it harder for you, but there must be some way to board the plane without the credit card in hand, no?
     
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  12. Menashe

    Menashe Silver Member

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    For the record, he should probably have a note indicating that he is allowing his wife to travel alone with the kids. I have never had a problem when flying domestically, nor has my wife when traveling home to the US from abroad without me, but we have been asked for a letter at US airports when one of us is leaving the country with the kids without the other.

    I've been told that it's better to get it notarized. I've never done so and never had an issue, but I've seen it suggested.
     
  13. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Denied boarding Delta

    Denied boarding Thai

    Denied boarding South African

    Singapore Airlines requirement for pre-registration or denial of boarding

    Sri Lankan policy requiring card holder to be member of traveling party

    SilkAir policy requiring card holder to travel or pre-clear in person at airline office

    That's the first page of Google's results for "denied boarding credit card". I'm also sure I've read at least two stories here at milepoint of this happening (Pakistan Airlines and American) but can't find them using the search tool.
     
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  14. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    This is a requirement when one parent flies to Mexico with children.
     
  15. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    It seems reasonable, but can't anyone fake such a letter?
     
  16. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Thank you. I was dreading the idea of trying to do a search on TOBB and I wasn't sure that any of these stories made it into MP yet.
     
  17. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    It is required to be notarized. That, too, can be faked (or even probably finessed) but considering the degree to which we depend on notarization I'm not sure what else they could reasonably require.
     
  18. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    In this case, it's the dad travelling with the kids on a ticket booked on his wife's credit card. And they're actually doing the outbound trip as a family. Considering that they're only separated on the return trip I'm not sure they'll be subject to this anti-kidnapping requirement -- but it never hurts to be prepared.
     
  19. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Heard back from my friend that he wound up calling Turkish Airlines and making the reservation on the phone (and getting a better rate than the already low website fare). Hopefully, having made the booking in (semi-) person will avoid any problems.
     
  20. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    They could be subject to a lot of questions if they make any changes to the return portion of the ticket. It could look like they went on a trip together but something happened and he suddenly decided to leave with the kids. If it stays as purchased and he can document that they traveled outbound with the wife and mother according to the family's plan, that could alleviate concerns.
     
  21. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Factual evidence wins the day. I only read the piece on Singapore Airlines and the reporter was just as incredulous as I was. It seems that something triggers the request to show a credit card, and that seems to be use of discount coupons. Apparently, SQ, which has this as a blanket policy, would issue a warning. Other airlines, including UA, do it on a case-by-case basis. It is possibly why I have never been asked for a credit card on SQ, which I took from PVG to SIN, SIN to KUL and back and then SIN to HKG recently.

    It is definitely still a misguided policy. What if during the trip, I lose the card or it is compromised as suggested here:

    That point is right on the money. Just this past winter, I was in PVG in a bar where I had a great time and paid with my American express card, tipping in cash and signing the charge slip a couple of times without paying much attention. When I returned to my hotel, I found a couple of emails from AMEX saying that they had declined those two charges because they had suspected that they were fraudulent. For Shanghai where entertainment is fairly cheap, the establishment had tried to overcharge me for both charges, I mean, big time! So, I called AMEX back to tell them that they were right that I had not spent anywhere close to the amount of money that the establishment had tried to collect. I went back and confronted the manager, who admitted to "an error"...yeah, right. I called AMEX again to let them know that and they said that I was not liable for the charges; however, they could not let me keep the card because it was compromised. So they canceled it and asked me where they could send me a replacement. I told them to just send it to my home and not try to reach me while I was on the road. I had not used that AMEX card to purchase the ticket that I was traveling on, but could have, as I had done before. But if I had, would an airline that requests a credit card evidence have given me a hard time because I no longer had the card that I had used to purchase the ticket?

    There is, however, no doubt that it happens. The question is how often? I would guess not too often, otherwise the law of averages says that it would already have happened to me, considering how extensively I travel every year...
     
  22. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    My original concern (and his) was being denied boarding for reasons of fraud protection. I hadn't considered the one-parent issue and will remind him to make sure he has a notarized letter, just in case.
     
  23. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I find it hard to believe the airlines decided to implement this policy out of the blue. Since it seems to be highly targeted (at least in some cases - in others it's broad airline policy) it's pretty clear to me that they have a genuine problem with fraud.

    There are two different kinds of incidents in the list of links I provided.

    The first is third-party purchases in which the policy seems to be more frequently stated in the airlines terms. There's a very clear and direct case to be made for fraud prevention here. This is the situation that confronted my friend.

    The second is where the traveler was the credit card holder and did not have the credit card used for the booking. These cases seem to me to be rarer and the case is less clear — if you can prove you're the same person, at least in name, as the one who booked the ticket it seems like the chance of fraud is much lower.

    In any event, airlines obviously have a substantial interest in preventing this kind of fraud since I doubt they'd be able to prevail when the real cardholder disputed the charge with the credit card company, and each incident would probably expose them to hundreds of dollars of loss.
     
  24. Menashe

    Menashe Silver Member

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    I also always carry copies of the kids' birth certificates which name me and my wife as parents. As several others have mentioned, the requirement for a letter is when one parent tries to leave the US with the kids (and I assume is only an issue for US passport or green card holders) and not when one is trying to return, but it seems prudent to have a letter just in case. I've found that if I am present at my wife and kids' check-in with my own ID and the letter, I haven't needed notarization, but in retrospect, I probably should have gotten that done too (and will in the future).
     
  25. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It may well be a genuine problem but over-reaction, which this appears to be, can often be the first and improper reaction (witness the draconian regulations after 9/11). I think that what might be happening (because I do not think that they would give frequent business traveler-types who do not do their own bookings a hard time) is that they are stereotyping. The problem is not widespread or there would have been an outcry over the requirement to show a credit card...
     

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