Purchasing Tickets With

Thu Feb 20, 2003 9:03 pm

A few days ago I purchased tickets to Spain on

I was surprised to find they did not accept Switch, a popular debit card used in the UK, as a form of payment. Most of the low-cost airlines based in Britain already accept this card, along with the usual list of major credit cards, to make bookings on their websites.

Fine, I thought, it's not the end of the world, I'll just use my Visa. So I did. And the transaction was successful. And I received my confirmation email. Good, I thought. Now I can get back to surfing Airliners.Net

Today I got a phone call from BA; the rep told me they were having trouble processing my credit transaction. Hang on, I thought, my credit card was accepted at the time of booking, and I received my confirmation email.....

Anyway, to get to the point, I did not have enough credit left on my card to purchase my ticket. Should have checked this before making the booking, so really, its my fault.

Question: when purchasing tickets, do the merchant's computer systems actually check whether the card has sufficient credit, or do they simply just check that the card is valid?

It just seems odd that you should be able to purchase things online (such as airline tickets) with no credit left.

This isn't a dig at BA (although they could have offered to accept payment with Switch...), just a general query regarding purchasing things online with credit cards.

BA DC-10
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2001 8:40 pm

RE: Purchasing Tickets With

Fri Feb 21, 2003 3:28 am

I work for Tescos, and the system is very much the same. Although it is strange, because usually the system checks your credit limit. However, the money is not usually taken until the day after. You could have booked, then spent something else on your card, so when BA tried to take the money, there was not enought credit limit left.

RE: Purchasing Tickets With

Fri Feb 21, 2003 7:22 am

Hi BA,

Well, the thing is that having now looked at my credit card statement online, I was up to my limit 2 days before I attempted to book the flight with BA.

In the end, I walked to my local BA Travelshop who were willing to accept payment by Switch, but only for a GBP10 offline handling fee.

I said "no thanks", asked them to cancel my booking, and booked a cheaper fare online (avec Switch...) with BMI.

I really enjoy flying with BA, there is no doubt they are generally a very good carrier, but this time they let me down with their inflexibility and I also felt a bit ripped-off when I was told I would have to be charged an extra GBP10 to pay for the ticket at the Cambridge Travelshop....and to think Easyjet were half the price (but their schedule's not convenient this time round...)

a rather miffed Capt.Picard

Posts: 3398
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: Purchasing Tickets With

Fri Feb 21, 2003 10:19 am

Capt Picard, I'm shocked!.

and to think Easyjet were half the price (but their schedule's not convenient this time round...)

That's not a proper student attitude! Gotta save pennies....  Wink/being sarcastic

Anyway. I never book through airline websites. Usually expedia or travelocity will have a better fare. And I never managed to find BA's special offers on their website (they are advertised, but I never manage to get the fares when trying to book... or at least didn't the last time I tried, about a year ago)



RE: Purchasing Tickets With

Fri Feb 21, 2003 12:13 pm


My connection leaves MAD for EZE at 2250. Easyjet only flies twice daily to MAD, arriving at either 1045 or 2230. The former lengthens my journey too much (hate getting up at 3am...) the latter gives me too little time to retrieve luggage and check-in at the Aerolineas Argentinas desk which WILL be a mess, as usual.

I used, this time came up the cheapest and the schedule was perfectly timed for connections.

c ya
Posts: 752
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 7:05 am

RE: Purchasing Tickets With

Fri Feb 21, 2003 12:18 pm

While on the topic about BA's website...

I can't sign up for any of their FF programs. I fill out the forms for Venture club, etc., but the system doesn't take it, anyone know why?

RE: Purchasing Tickets With

Fri Feb 21, 2003 12:23 pm

Minor "techical" error; the second daily easyjet flight arrives in Madrid at 2130, not 2230, which would leave me 20 minutes to deboard, retrieve luggage and check-in for the flight to Bs As.  Nuts !

Is this a whining thread from someone who should have known better than to book an expensive flight with a creditless Visa card? Yep, sure is...  Insane Big grin

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