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Paying Cash For Airline Tickets  
User currently offlineStartvalve From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10921 times:

OK I understand this is the new millenium and security is tighter and dumber than ever. But I was wondering.. Is it still even possible to buy a ticket with cash? I know this will probably get you red flagged for every imaginable form of security screening even though the 9/11 guys used credit cards but with ticket offices dissapearing and even the counter agents becoming a thing of the past how would someone go about doing this if it is still possible?

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10894 times:

Yes, you can still purchase with cash. You can do this at the airport, or through some travel agents. In addition, Continental has just started a program with Western Union where you can buy your tickets with cash through a Western Union office. The fees are pretty steep, but it's not that bad of a deal.


"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently onlinePA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2010 posts, RR: 23
Reply 2, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10874 times:
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Not even an industry as insane as the airline business is going to turn away cash. Granted, some airlines along with the TSA are making it more difficult, but virtually all airlines still staff check-in counters to one degree or another and they all take cash. And, there is always the option of purchasing through a travel agent.



It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10810 times:

security is tighter and dumber than ever

LOL!  Big grin I'm glad it's much tighter, though the dumber is bad side-effect. Still, better safe than sorry.

I would use cash if you wanted to, saves potential interest on your credit card, though you wouldn't benefit from any mileage incentives by using it. One other thing, is that certain cards offer traveler's insurance, and if there's a problem, you have your c.c. company to potentially back you up.

If you walk up to the counter and buy a ticket for a short trip, say a SEA-SFO one-way or round trip, then it's probably not a big deal. Paying $10,000+ for an international first class ticket one way means you should prepare for lots of questions, only because that type of purchase isn't normally made with cash.

Happy Flying!


User currently offlineStartvalve From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10797 times:

OK so it is possible. What kind of ID do they require? The reason I am asking this is I think it wreaks of a glaring security hole if a terrorist got a fairly inexpensive fake ID and gets a ticket with cash. Not that a credit card makes it that much harder but there is a papertrail with a credit card because the card either has to be stolen or come from a bank somewhere.

User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13699 posts, RR: 61
Reply 5, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10774 times:
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You can even get a prepaid "cash card" from certain vending machines and use them for ticket purchases, too.


"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10739 times:

Startvalve ,

This is why purchases with cash are viewed with slight more suspicion than purchases made by credit card. And someone who pays with cash is likely to undergo a more thorough inspection. The TSA will still require a photo ID at the security checkpoint, and the airline will check your ID too.

As for the fake ID bit, sure it's possible to get an authentic-looking fake ID. That's why I wonder why people put so much stock in those ID cards anyway. They prove nothing.



Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently onlinePA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2010 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10736 times:
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Best ID is and always will be a U.S. passport, but drivers license is also perfectly acceptable. Student ID cards are also accepted.

There is no prohibition about purchasing airline tickets for cash. It is simply one of several flags that could result in increased security scrutiny. Keep in mind that paying for tickets by cash is not the only flag. Many folks either don't have or can't get credit cards and are still purchasing airline tickets.




It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13169 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 10671 times:

Paying cash for airline tickets may be the only option for some people as they don't have credit or for religious reasons, including those who are strict Muslims. I am a little unsure of the details, maybe someone here can clarify this, but for some Muslims, paying or charging interest in any way is against the faith, unless is a shared risk. Such persons cannot get a conventional car loan or even a mortgage for the same reasons, but can arrange leases on the same, so long as the risk is shared. Thus the special look out for cash customers because of the disproportinal numbers who do that may be Muslims and to make it look like not being discriminatory as to a persons faith.

User currently offlineCanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2843 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 10600 times:

Whether you use a credit card or cash when you buy a ticket rarely adds suspicion. More likely it's who it is, and who they're travelling with. All FF miles and service class conversations aside, a small, but significant part of the travelling public does not own credit cards, for whatever reason, and they still purchase tickets at a ticket counter with cash. I sold one last night 50 minutes before the flight left, a professional woman, who had been bumped off another airline two times. She paid with travellers checks. Suspicion to me is, again not how you pay, it's who is paying for it and who they're travelling with.

I was unaware that it was acceptable to use a student ID card? As far as I know it does not meet the criteria, "government issued photo identification". It may supplement other ID. I think it would be more uncommon, and suspicious to have that as your only ID, than paying with cash, unless you are only 17 years old.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlineTripseven From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 10590 times:

In December, I bought a 1-way WN BWI-PVD standby ticket with Cash at the counter. I got an extra security sweep, but no problems other than that.

User currently offlineSafetyDude From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3795 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 10533 times:

Paying $10,000+
I believe that the FAA has a rule of how much money you can carry.

 Smile
-Will



"She Flew For What We Stand For"
User currently offlineAlphascan From United States of America, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 937 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 10486 times:

Prior to 9/11, I was at the NW ticket counter checking my bags when a man in his 30s next to me purchased a one way MSP/PHX ticket with cash. That happened to be my flight.

When he arrived at the gate, the CSA waved at two gentlemen hovering just outside of the gate area on the concourse. I noticed it, the other passenger didn't. Turns out the flight was delayed for a mechanical reasons and whenever that guy left the gate area, those two gentlemen followed him, right up to the time he boarded.

Added some intrigue to an otherwise uneventful flight.



"To he who only has a hammer in his toolbelt, every problem looks like a nail."
User currently offlineDeltaAgent1 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 104 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 10439 times:

Im new to this forum, but I do work at a ticket counter, and we do
have customers who pay cash for tickets all the time.
They are treated just as any other passenger, and must produce
ID that is verifiable.


User currently offlineHawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3202 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10373 times:

Ssides wrote:
In addition, Continental has just started a program with Western Union where you can buy your tickets with cash through a Western Union office. The fees are pretty steep, but it's not that bad of a deal.

Cheap Tickets offers this as well (or at least they did a year ago, don't know if they still do), it's called Western Union QuickCollect, and IIRC the fee was $12.95 on top of any service fees. This fee is charged by Western Union, not by Cheap Tickets.

David / MRY


User currently offlineCschleic From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1277 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10311 times:

Buying a one-way ticket sure gets me flagged at the security checkpoint. Even though I fly a lot on the same two airlines, have had a frequent flyer number forever, both round trip and one way (one way on one airline, back on the other due to schedules), always buy through their websites, etc.

User currently offlineStartvalve From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 10236 times:

Someone mentioned using a student ID as ID for getting on the airplane. Is there any truth to this? I have had several student IDs and some of them I could reproduce at my desk with about 15 minutes and a laminating machine.

If it is from a state school I guess it would be "government issued" but then what do private school people do?


User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10163 times:

Paying $10,000+
I believe that the FAA has a rule of how much money you can carry.

Not quite. There are no limits as to how much cash one can carry in the United States, and no limits on how much money can be take into or out of the country. Banking transactions involving more than a certain amount of cash - it may be $10,000, but I'm not certain - have to be reported to the Treasury Department, and people carrying more than a certain amount into the country have to report it to Customs. There are no actual prohibitions, just reporting requirements.



"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
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