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NYCTZ
Topic Author
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:42 am

AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:27 am

I was just looking around at Airtran.com for info on the new 737 and noticed by chance that they do not accept cash for alcoholic beverages, only credit cards. I never heard of that except to buy duty-free. Is it me, or is this a common practice and I am just out of the loop? I know swipers for credit cards are available on some carriers for various services, but just to buy a drink! Maybe cashless is a new trend. Just wondering?
 
travatl
Posts: 1946
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2001 4:57 pm

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:28 am

It's only been in effect since April 1, and there are no "swipers". The card is merely imprinted and later authorized.

Travis
1 Interview. 24 years. 3 Airlines.
 
NYCTZ
Topic Author
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:42 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:32 am

Thanks Travatl !

I'm sure the FA's don't miss trying to make change!
 
travatl
Posts: 1946
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2001 4:57 pm

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:37 am

Quite honestly - we hate the new system. The imprinters are poor at best, and people HATE it. (Do you want to put ONE beer on your American Express?)


Travis
1 Interview. 24 years. 3 Airlines.
 
Guest

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:46 am

I know this has probably been discussed in another B.o.B. thread, but I was under the impression that it is illegal not to accept US currency in the United States.

I mean... popular acceptance and legal enforcement are what gives those rectangular pieces of paper their value... "This note is legal tender for ALL debts, public and private."
 
whitehatter
Posts: 5180
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RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:51 am

It's probably an attempt to take costs out of the transaction. Cash handling for businesses can be expensive due to security and banking costs.

It also takes up FA time at shift end.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:40 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:03 am

Great, so an imprint of your credit card number is floating around at a flight attendants/aircraft cleaners mercy?

Edit: This wasn't to insult F/As or cleaners, I just mean more people have access to it for longer periods of time.

AAndrew

[Edited 2004-06-16 01:05:36]
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:05 am

MANY businesses no longer accept cash, among them transportation (limo, etc) and hotel.

N
 
JayDavis
Posts: 1870
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 1:09 pm

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:12 am

Okay, here is something for everyone to think about.

Have you thought about how maybe this new system is in place to keep employee theft down?

I am not accusing any or all F/A's from stealing from their employer but I bet this is one reason for the cashless society on board an AirTran flight.....

Something to think about............


Jay
 
FL1TPA
Posts: 225
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RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:05 am

I know from personal experience that theft was common at my station (TPA) before the cashless system. The F/A would hand the cash drop bags to the caterer or gate agent and they would end up in someone's book bag or locker. Now all we get are sealed receipt bags that we must log and have a witness to drop in the safe.

Seems a lot safer and cost-effective to me.

The hassle factor is another thing entirely. I would rather hand the F/A a five and wait to get the single back than pay 9% interest for a month on a can of Miller Lite.

Just my $.02.

Tim.

<>
"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffin' glue."
 
JayDavis
Posts: 1870
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RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:45 am

Well I think the main reason is employee theft, no doubt.

As for the hassle factor, why not just purchase some drink coupons before boarding the flight? It is my understanding that a passenger can purchase a set of drink coupons before the flight takes-off. Haven't seen it in person, but that is my understanding.

I also don't think you are going to be feeling that interest rate on a beer really causing you a lot of pain..........especially if you (God forbid) pay your credit card bill in full each month.

my two cents.........


Jay
 
CKT523
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 2:56 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:54 am

well, what about us poor sods who dont HAVE a credit card? I have a Visa Electron card which is debit and electronic only ie no raised numbers, all printed onto the card, now I dont know about the US, but Visa Electron isnt all that widely accepted in the UK unless you're in a chain store, especially not on an aeroplane! I also know that in the US you dont have to have a credit check always to get a credit card, but if ure a poor student in the UK not earning an awful lot and have a shitty bank, you aint gonna get a VISA!!Not accepting cash is ridiculous.
 
squirrel83
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RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:16 am

I dont like the imprinting IDEA, there are so many security resons I could go into, but just one is What if it is a fake credit card or the guy has no money on it left and so on; theres no way to say he your card is declined, thats just the begining

I guess they dont want a tip . .
A346, 7E7, 747, 777, Sonic Cruiser
 
jblake1
Posts: 262
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 10:25 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:18 am

CKT523-

I'm not sure what Airtran's policy's are but if you have a vaild account number you don't necessarily need a imprint. Simply writing your card number/name/experation/ and your signature in ink on the charge slip should suffice.

So your Electron would probably work in this instance.

Then again Airtran may not permit it???
 
MidnightMike
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:07 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:22 am


Well, it would make it easier for the airline & the Flight Attendants to service the customers faster. The hardest part of the job is to make change of a large bill, credit cards are much easier to work with.
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travatl
Posts: 1946
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2001 4:57 pm

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:52 am

Jay -

There is no "puchased voucher" system in place.

Midnight Mike -

It's not. I'm tellilng you...we hate it, the passengers hate it. We want it to go away - it won't so we're learning to deal with it.



As for a loss prevention measure - absolutely. The old system had cash deposits going through several pairs of hands before they finally made it to the bank. Luckily now, it's just your credit/debit card numbers.

Travis

1 Interview. 24 years. 3 Airlines.
 
JayDavis
Posts: 1870
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 1:09 pm

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:23 am

Travis,

You are correct, my mistake. It is CO that has CO Currency that you can purchase before boarind the flight.

Hopefully, we will come up with a solution and soon.

I guess I could give all of my corporate accounts here in DFW a ton of free drink coupons and they wouldn't have that problem in Dallas  Smile !!


Jay
 
travatl
Posts: 1946
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2001 4:57 pm

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:41 am

Exactly - it's gotten to the point where we actually get more of those these days anyways.

They are actually looking at a voucher purchase program through the byepass kiosks, but nothing yet.

1 Interview. 24 years. 3 Airlines.
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
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RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:11 pm

this may seem strange to some but when i read that i couldn't help but notice the identity theft bell going off in my head. i work at an airport and the people there are not at all the most honest. what could happen if one just managed to fall to the ground during turbulence and no one noticed it until the cleaners were removing the catering carts? hmm...
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
Sean-SAN-
Posts: 815
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2002 4:02 pm

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:17 pm

You can easily buy electronic credit card swipers on eBay that record the number, etc.. If I can buy one, why can't AirTran get with the times?
 
MMEPHX
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:54 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:56 pm

"I also know that in the US you dont have to have a credit check always to get a credit card"

eh? you can't hardly do anything in this country without a credit check these days, let alone apply for a credit card.

back to topic...seems a bit of a daft idea but maybe it is to counter employee theft or is it discourage alcoholic sales on board so AirTran can eventually say no need to bother buying and stocking a few beers and save a few bucks?
 
citrusrsw
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 6:24 pm

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 3:47 pm

I've seen a few flights come into my station out of charge slips (at the time our out station didn't carry extras). Free drinks for everyone!!
 
ei a330-200
Posts: 353
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2001 8:22 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 4:11 pm

I know that I (being a poor college student) have frequently had to buy a "pre-paid" credit card. American Express and Visa offer programs like this. If you have a local mall thats owned by the Simon Company, you can just stop by and buy a "gift certificate" for the mall, and it ends up being valid anywhere Visa is accepted. Just thought I'd let y'all know!!!
 
JAFA
Posts: 740
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 1:31 pm

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:23 pm

LOL....I am quite sure it has to do with employee theft of cash. Too bad the customers have to suffer becasue of a few bad apple thieves. This could be a good case for the argument that Airtran FA's really do need a raise. I am sure this theft problem is not limited to AirTran.
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15079
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RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:46 pm

Here's a wacky out-of-the-box idea ! Why not save everybody the hassle and inconvenience, and not sell alcohol on flights at all ? Only offer free beverages - so much easier, less weight of drinks to carry, less customer annoyance when there's no Jack Daniels left, less hassle for FA's trying to make change/swipe cards - taddaaaa ! If you are desperate for a drink, tank up at the airport bar (and hopefully get denied boarding by an alert CSA), or else SURVIVE till you arrive ! Or else offer all alcoholic beverages for free, like a civilised airline.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
qwerty
Posts: 383
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2001 7:31 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:10 pm

what did y'all expect. Airtran hardly does anything right or that makes sense as a professional airline. And I'm not knocking LCC, I love WN.
 
Guest

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:42 pm

Still... don't... see... how... not... accepting... cash... is LEGAL. practical, well that's up for argument, but what does the law say on the matter?
 
beachbum12b
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 22, 2004 1:57 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:49 pm

Since changing to a credit card/debit card system, our revenues from alcohol sales has increased almost 300%. Sounds like a pretty good move to me!

Qwerty, let's see, we're making money, ordered 100 new planes, hiring new employees and expanding all over the United States and you say "AirTran hardly does anything right or that makes sense as a professional airline." You should do your research before you make such a stupid comment.
 
noelg
Posts: 2313
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 11:39 pm

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:59 pm

Could be to stop people underage drinking and to take the burden off the F/A to decide whether the customer is over 18 or not?

Not sure about the US but over here the age for both credit cards and drinking is 18, so nobody under 18 would be allowed a credit card.

Noel.

 
PHLBOS
Posts: 6520
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:38 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:19 am

How many extra 'Bonus Points' can one get when they purchase drinks on an FL flight with an AirTran VISA card?  Big grin

Enough for a free flight... or just a free upgrade to Bisiness Class?  Laugh out loud
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
doug_or
Posts: 3244
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RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:27 am

Noel, its 21 for drinking in the states.
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:40 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:28 am

Well, it would make it easier for the airline & the Flight Attendants to service the customers faster.

I doubt it. I know on Song every time someone paid with a credit card, the F/A would be standing there much longer, but they do theirs digitally.

Could be to stop people underage drinking and to take the burden off the F/A to decide whether the customer is over 18 or not?

Here, an 18 year old can't buy an alcoholic drink. You must be 21 to consume alcohol in the US. So if the person appears to be under 30, they must be carded.

AAndrew
 
noelg
Posts: 2313
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 11:39 pm

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:28 am

its 21 for drinking in the states

My theory is obviously flawed! Back to the drawing board then...

Thanks Doug!

Noel.
 
robsawatsky
Posts: 477
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RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:56 am

A Q/A for you from the Federal Reserve:

Q: I thought that United States currency was legal tender for all debts. Some businesses or governmental agencies say that they will only accept checks, money orders or credit cards as payment, and others will only accept currency notes in denominations of $20 or smaller. Isn't this illegal?

A: The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 102. This is now found in section 392 of Title 31 of the United States Code. The law says that: "All coins and currencies of the United States, regardless of when coined or issued, shall be legal-tender for all debts, public and private, public charges, taxes, duties and dues."

This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.
 
User avatar
Crosswind
Posts: 2588
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2000 4:34 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:42 am

Ridiculous...
Not only are credit card slips vulnerable to loss/misuse, but it must surely be labour-intensive for someone to process a whole day's worth of manual credit card slips in order for AirTran to process the transaction.

If AirTran were serious about this they should have invested in the technology to have a proper IFR system which can process payments, both cash and card, onboard the aircraft. I would think in the long-run this would pay for it's self as it can reconcile all payments and balance the float at the end of the flight, as well as monitoring exactly what is sold.

This system, SkyTrader runs on handheld PDAs, making it relativley inexpensive, but it is efficient. At the end of the day/flight all the information is downloaded on the ground to process all payments and update stock reports on sales made.

Regards
CROSSWIND
 
jcs17
Posts: 7376
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 11:13 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Thu Jun 17, 2004 5:20 am

I really like the idea. Most airline passengers have credit/debit cards and the newest generation of travelers never carries cash on them. I know if I actually have cash on me, its less than $20. I don't think its a big deal that you only charge one small purchase on your credit card. It happens all the time.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
freshlove1
Posts: 1245
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:38 pm

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Thu Jun 17, 2004 5:33 am

You most certainly can get a credit card if you are below the age of 18. I had one when I was 14. It goes something like this. Your parents co-sign for another card in your name, so they are technically responsible for what you do with it until you are 18. But when you get the billing statement it breaks it down into columns showing what card was used for what purchases. So if the F/A thinks that you need to be 18 to get a credit card then they are mistakenly wrong so it may be possible for a 14 year old to get a Jack and Coke and use the credit card. I don;t think most F/A's ask age when serving drinks, atleast I have never heard any ask a passengers age before serving them and I have sat next to some very young people that in my opinion were not close to 21 and were allowed by the cabin crew to have had drinks on a flight.
 
CKT523
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 2:56 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:50 am

I flew on DL from MAN to ATL in 1998 when i was 15 and was drinking the whole flight, JD,Bud,Wine the lot. Seem to remember they cabin crew simply left a selection out in the galley on the ATL-MAN sector during their rest period. you just helped yourself! Rest of the time I just asked or rang!
 
wjcandee
Posts: 8967
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: AirTran-credit Cards Only For Alcoholic Bevs!

Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:43 pm

Airtran doesn't shy away from technology when it is cost-effective, so I'm sure there's a reason for the imprinter rather than a swiper. They're profitable because they're *tight* with a nickel. Maybe they thought they would see how customers took to it by using basically-free imprinters before investing in swipers. Credit card companies routinely charge extra now for manually-keyed transactions, particularly ones that have such a low dollar volume per transaction. At some point that extra cost may make it worthwhile to use a swiper. OTOH, the imprinted receipt is sometimes viewed as better "proof" than a swipe, so maybe not. In any event, that they would undertake the expense of manually processing all these transactions is by itself an indication of how much pilferage of liquor money goes on (must be going on) at most airlines. Accountability is simply difficult with a cash system; the manpower needed to audit and follow-up is expensive. In any business, no follow-up leads to pilferage, and most old-time flight attendants will have a story or two about the liquor money envelope(s) that ended up in someone's hall closet "by mistake" and might have gotten spent when nobody had asked for it (them) six months later. If you take out the cash, you take out the temptation. I have NO DOUBT that the liquor *revenue* went up 300%. What I would be very curious about would be to see how much *consumption* of those little bottles and cans of beer went up. Probably less than 50%, I would guess. That's one great outcome for the airline: more revenue, lower expense.

In any event, it's a nice convenience for some passengers, as much as it is an inconvenience for others. It also, frankly, may benefit the airline in unexpected ways. For example, they now have a written record of how many beers Mr. Smith consumed, for example, should they ever be accused of overserving him...

All the best,

Bill

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