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Purchasing a flight with someone else's frequent flyer points

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Has anyone ever heard of companies that do this as part of their regular thing. A member of my family is planning to purchase such a ticket, and was told it is common in the States. It certainly is not common in my neck of the woods and sounds very strange and even fishy to me. He has been given a very good price for a ticket - and apparently some of the legs are bonus tickets purchased somehow. The airlines involved have confirmed the existence of the reservations and the ticket numbers, and we can see the details on the airline websites. But I am still worried. This was all done online and I don't know what is preventing the agent from cancelling the bookings after he is paid, although he did come recommended. I have googled his name and found no negative references, but also have not found a lot of details at all.
I am posting this on the US forum as well to get a wider audience.

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