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Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:07 am

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?
 
ssides
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:11 am

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.
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PA110
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:14 am

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.
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StevenUhl777
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:21 am

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!
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:23 am

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.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:26 am

You can even get a prepaid "cash card" from certain vending machines and use them for ticket purchases, too.
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jhooper
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:32 am

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.
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PA110
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:34 am

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.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 7:53 am

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.
 
canoecarrier
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 8:24 am

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.
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tripseven
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 8:31 am

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.
 
SafetyDude
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 8:41 am

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

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alphascan
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 9:24 am

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.
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DeltaAgent1
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 9:42 am

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.
 
hawaiian717
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 11:51 am

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
 
cschleic
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:22 pm

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.
 
Guest

RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Fri Feb 20, 2004 10:49 pm

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?
 
prosa
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RE: Paying Cash For Airline Tickets

Sat Feb 21, 2004 1:40 am

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.
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