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Beware of United Airlines outrageous requirement regarding on-line credit card purchase

Beware of United Airlines outrageous requirement regarding on-line credit card purchase

Old May 27th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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rjw is right that any cc with the passengers name on it can be used at the Easy Chicken kiosk. Also, if you have Premier or higher status then your Mileage Plus card can be used.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 11:10 AM
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Like ms_go, I just called the Premier Executive Customer Service number to ask about this and I got the same response: no, the cc is not required. Just the photo ID is required.

She said that the "bring the cc" message was intended as just a (lame) deterrent to people who would fraudulently use a cc.

Think about it. It is a routine thing for corp travel agents to purchase tickets for employees, for parents to buy tickets for their children. It would be bad business for United if they actually refused to board a person because they didn't have the cc used for purchase.

gail, were the third party purchased tickets for your DS and DH on United? Did they have any trouble with not showing the cc used for purchase?

caribtraveler, you post was correct up until the "I believe". Here is an instruction from united.com for use of the kiosk
"Swipe any major credit card with your name on it as it appears on your E-ticket. Mileage Plus Premier, Premier Executive or 1K cards may also be used."

Last Sunday, I tried to use my Red Carpet Club card at a kiosk but got a message that was virtually identical to the one above. When I put in a cc (of mine) it worked.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 11:37 AM
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Maureen - online check-in begins 24 hours before scheduled departure.

And yes, the traveler can swipe any credit card with his/her name on it to get a boarding pass from Mr. Chicken. I've watched my mother swipe her own credit card to get boarding passes from United, America West and Continental kiosks in the past year, although none of the tickets were purchased with her card (don't ask....).
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Old May 27th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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Check in online, check you bags with a porter, and proceed to security where they just look at your i.d.

If you were using someone else's credit card, you could also use it at a check-in kiosk...so there is no i.d. check there. The whole thing doesn't make sense, I don't think there will be a problem.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 11:47 AM
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it actually is an id check for issuing the bps
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Old May 27th, 2006, 12:31 PM
  #26  
MaureenB
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I know you are all giving very reasonable answers and suggestions. That's what I expected when I called United, too. I totally expected them to be able to solve the problem on their own computers. After all, I'm a long-standing Mileage Plus member, so is the passenger. I've used the same Mileage Plus Visa to purchase on-line United airfare for years, with no problem.
But I called again this morning, spoke with a rep who asked her supervisor, and they both said this particular e-ticket REQUIRES the credit card, no getting around it. They indicated that maybe I made a mistake when entering the security code on the back of my card, so that raised a red flag. They said it's not common for this to be a requirement, but it is in this case. I told them it seems if there was a concern about the security number, the sale shouldn't have gone through in the first place. Why wouldn't the system just prompt for the number to be input again??? That would be too simple, I guess.
I am hoping United Customer Service will actually provide true service when I call on Tueday morning. It's not the end of the world if I have to drive to the airport, but it's certainly not convenient, and not good service from United.com.
Maybe she'd get on the plane without the credit card, but I don't want to risk it.
Once, when she was flying home on Frontier, they denied her boarding, saying her ticket wasn't paid for! She even had a print-out of the receipt and itinerary e-mailed from Frontier, but they insisted it wasn't paid. The agent was totally unreasonable about it. How could she have a receipt showing payment and amount, when the agent said it wasn't. It happened at that time when Frontier's computers went down for a day while they switched to a new system. Apparently my Visa payment got lost in the shuffle. It was a nightmare. We had to purchase an astronomical fare on-the-spot, to get her on the plane, then resolved it many, many phone calls later. I digress...
Flying used to be fun, didn't it?
 
Old May 27th, 2006, 12:39 PM
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Response to mrwunrfl - third party tickets for husband (through a corporate card from another company if that matters) were on United - several flights Boston-Chicago, and at least once was even on a one-way ticket. For son, on AA, CO, USAirways, Delta - do not remember any on UA.

Husband and son have different last name than I.

To add even another wrinkle to this, in February dtr and I flew Boston-Mia on husband's UA ff miles, using his credit card (again, different last name) to pay $10 fee and again to pay to upgrade to Economy Plus. Checked in at kiosk once and with live person once - no one questioned credit card or anything else.

Now I am wondering, has anyone ever been denied boarding because of this stated credit card requirement - so I have just started a thread to address that question under airline section.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 12:40 PM
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Maureen- I had this exact same thing happen. Onoly difference was that I was changing the return portion of my daughter's trip, so she had already shown ID and flown! (and I'd been with her on the outbound trip!)

I went thru all the steps as you are doing, but in the end got so tired of the UAL 'line' that i just lied.

Told them I was one hour from the Honolulu Airport, was handicapped and had no car. I told them reasonable accomodation would be for them to send an agent to my house, or send a prepaid taxi.

They immediately put a note in the computer that the daughter could come home without the card......

I also love United's policy of not accepting "Customer relations $travel discount certificates on-line. You must call in to use the discount as there is no box to enter it on the web site, but then the charge $15 to purchase tickets over the phone!
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Old May 27th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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To check in at a Delta kiosk, you don't have to swipe a credit card. If you have a Skymiles number, you can enter that. Or, an easier way, is simply to scan the barcode on you e-ticket receipt.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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We have bought airline tickets for employees and family members on a number of airlines (don't recall if United was one of them, but know Northwest, American, Southwest and Continental were) and we have never had to have them present our credit card. When they check in at the airport they just put the confirmation number in and if they need to put in a credit card they put theirs in but they are not charged again for the ticket we paid for. We do get a confirmation mailed to us when we get buy tickets for others but they are not the actual e-ticket, that is the one we get off the computer. Think the thing they mail us is just so we know our visa has been charged. It in no way is a ticket or can be used as a ticket.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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lcuy! you lied? Heavens! ha ha.

Actually, Maureen, at this point, you have some reasonable solutions and I think it will work out for you....however, the issue of customer NON-service is a big concern. I went through a couple of crazy situations with Delta and ATA, and forwarded my complaint to their corporate office to get answers. I had to hunt around on their website (look for media relations and/or investor relations) and go from there. For example, for United, go to http://ir.united.com/phoenix.zhtml?c...p=irol-contact

Sounds like a lot of trouble, which is sad, but that's the only way to get any response or action sometimes. Good luck.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 02:02 PM
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gail, you asked a good question. Here is another: do you know anyone who was denied boarding because of no cc. Have you ever been standing in a checkin line and heard anything like that happening, or a UA person calling a cc company or something to verify? We've seen posts on this subject from people who are concerned about that "policy", but why aren't there posts from people who actually had a problem at the airport?

MaureenB, make a copy of both sides of your cc and fax it. The united.com website is not a very good one. The FFers at flyertalk call it united.bomb so when you ask "how hard it would be for the website" to forgive errors or whatever, the answer must be: pretty hard. I've used it and I think that I forgot to use the security code and it flagged it. So, I do believe that your memory is correct that you entered the code.

Am not sure why you would need to wait until Tuesday. I did call customer service today.

I think that several years ago that various airlines wanted to see the cc at checkin. My guess is they did it back then because online purchase was a new thing. More guessing: they found that it caused too much trouble for whatever level of fraud it might prevent.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 02:05 PM
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By "flagged it" I mean it didn't let me continue until I corrected it.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 02:28 PM
  #34  
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The reservations reps told me Customer Service is closed for the holiday, till Tuesday, so I didn't even try to call. Jeez, maybe that was wrong information. Reservations rep I just called, who was in the Philippines and whose accent was slightly easier to understand, said that Reservations can only take orders and use the computer system as United has designed it. He said they cannot manipulate the system to solve problems, but he thought Customer Relations could take care of it for me if I called them.
P.S. I should have posted this on the airlines section. Didn't even know there is one! Thanks for all your input, everyone.
 
Old May 27th, 2006, 02:34 PM
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mrwunrfl: Apparently I believe wrongly! Thanks for the clarification.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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MaureenB - I haven't flown UA for years, but assuming they are correct that THIS particular itinerary requires your credit card, then I guess you just have to tell them to cancel the ticket and refund you. Then, try booking UA again and see if that notice popped up again. If it does, then you need to take your business elsewhere in this case.

If they wouldn't refund you, put a stop payment with your credit card. UA is forcing you to do an unreasonable and often impossible thing. How can the traveler obtain your credit card? The whole thing is so absurd.

Also, ask around on the UA board on flyertalk.com. Maybe someone can help you there.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 03:36 PM
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Maureen

Follow my advice

The OFFICIAL information you require is listed below.

Send your complaint NOW addressed to Glen Tilton (Below) make sure you copy in the other 2 (Below).

As I say, SEND IT NOW VIA EMAIL, they will have it immediately after the holiday.

I know you will have a satisfactory response.

DO NOT AT THIS STAGE CONTACT ANY UA OFFICIAL BY TELEPHONE,AS YOU WILL NOT MAKE CONTACT WITH ANYONE IN A POSITION OF AUTHORITY.

Be sure to include your contact # within your email.

Keep us informed.

Primary contact

Pamela A. Coslet
General manager, customer relations
(877) 228-1327

[email protected]

Secondary contact (*)

John P. Tague
Executive vice president, marketing sales and revenue

(877) 228-1327
[email protected]

Chief executive (*)
Glenn F. Tilton
Chairman, president and chief executive officer

(877) 228-1327
[email protected]

Paul
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Old May 27th, 2006, 03:36 PM
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Is it a major holiday today in India? That could be why customer service is closed.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 03:41 PM
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Paul, you rock! Where did you find that? I was combing their site for that information but gave up.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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The more genuine complaints the 3 executives above receive, the better the service from UA. (Hopefully)

These executives and their close colleagues are so far removed from their customers; they have no idea what is happening in the real world.

The airline industry is such a cutthroat business nowadays; it’s in each airline’s interests to start listening to their customers.

Paul
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