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27 March 2008


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You should see if this lady will agree to sort them out. ;)



I can only say I don't understand why you friend has to do this when I fly United about once a month, including the last three months, and never have--despite not buying the tickets with my own credit card. Why is the autochecker flagging her ticket when it lets mine go by?


Apparently this is a brand new policy. It's never happened to me either, before.

Cathy Jaspers

Glad to hear that UA is at least one airline that will not allow anyone who finds or steals my credit card to book any and all people for flights out of town until they can talk to me personally! Proving unauthorized use to a credit card company is not easy as I found when a hotel booking site used my credit card in their system to charge me again for hundreds of dollars 40 days later.


That would be fine if talking to me personally changed anything. Didn't you get that even though they DID talk to me personally AND we had like a month until the flight -- plenty of time for me to prove however they wanted that I was truly me -- she still has to have my card or my complete info including security code and billing address?

How does forcing people to hand out their personal account information to anyone they might want to buy a ticket for -- a friend, child, employee -- protect us?

It doesn't. It INCREASES our risk.

Cathy Jaspers

Yes, I did get it. Personally can also mean "in person." If I were you I would have long gone to the airport with credit card and drivers license. I had to do that one time to authorize and upgrade for my brother returning from overseas with the few miles in my frequent flyer account. I understand that now there are ways that they can do that by phone because of personal information on that acct that only the owner of that frequent flyer account would know. I would bet that you don't have a frequent flyer account with United?


I do have a frequent flyer account with United. As does the person for whom I bought the ticket. In addition, I've bought tickets for her and other people from United before, and never had this happen. And they didn't want me to "drive to the airport," they said the only way she could use that ticket was the way they said: By having the number, billing address, expiration date, and security code of the credit card, or the card itself.

And even if a trip to the airport would have sufficed, that's complete crap, too, Cathy! I mean, come on. People buy tickets for people all the time, probably tens of thousands of people every day. I've done it for years, I've bought tickets for people in other countries! I've never, ever had this happen and if this is a new United policy, I will never use United again. It's idiotic and exposes its customers to credit card fraud by forcing them to provide their billing information to someone else.

Cathy Jaspers

You say, "they did not want me to go to the airport." I can see previously in which the airline asks you to show up in person at a United Airlines ticket office (that would be the airport) or a travel agency anywhere you live...as I said, I think you have incredible stamina for this sort of thing (arguing). Credit card companies do not automatically credit your account for "unauthorized use" as I am learning from my present problem. The question with fraud is, when all is said and done, who pays for the "unauthorized use of the card"--my credit card company or me? In your case you could also add, "the airline?" My credit card company will only call a customer, they said, when there are "out of pattern spending" on the account. Since I travel a lot and book hotels all over the world this one big horrible charge did not seem suspicious to the credit card company. And I am having trouble proving I did NOT authorize it. I wish that every charge for services (hotels and airline tickets) I could show up somewhere with my credit card in hand and my drivers license to prove that I am who I say I am and "authorize" the charge. Is using a credit card these days a big free-for-all?? And I was thinking...what about this scenario:

What if a live-in girlfriend wakes up one morning after her boyfriend goes to work and books a ticket on line so she can pick up and leave. She arrives at the airport and no one asks her for the credit card used (she is not with her boyfriend at check-in)? But she can give every bit of information about the credit card owner and the credit card she got her hands on because "he is my boyfriend and he gave me this present to Hawaii." Robbery in progress....what should the airline do? I am sure this has never happened to an airline, but from this blog...now I am thinking...is this scenario so far fetched?? I trust everyone I know...but any crook with an imagination can figure out what maybe the airlines don't already know...or at least the smart ones....which would need to be avoided. They would cause too much trouble.

Back to another day fighting with my credit card company.....hope this never happens to you, Christie.

John Jenswold

United Airlines, quite possibly the absolute worst customer service department of any business on Earth.

Scenario: My brother's wedding in Greensboro, NC. Naturally, family and friends are looking forward to the occassion to gather and celebrate. I purchase 2 round-trip tickets with a credit card 2 months in advance; one for myself leaving from Chico, CA and a second for my adult son leaving from LAX. My son tries to print an "easy" pass before departure and is informed he will have to produce the credit card used to purchase the ticket. With me already on my way, my wife, unable to attend, tries to call (bad idea). She finally gets to speak to someone in India who informs her there is nothing to be done and no refund can or will be made. Some smart thinking on her part solved this problem by driving to our local airport to show the credit card to the United personnel which then cleared my son to leave LAX. Should be the end of story. Right? WRONG! Arriving in Chicago for connecting flight, my son is now informed that his flight is cancelled and there is not going to be another that will get him there in time for the wedding the next day. As I write this, he is flying back to LAX and I am a bit more than miffed. I will never fly this carrier again after this. I predict United Airlines is not long for this business world and would not be surprised if upper management is "cashing out" and looking for the rear exit right now.


I am going through this right now! I have purchased tickets for my son, to come home from Denver to Boston. They tell me he has to have my credit card at check-it when I finish the purchase! So, I call - they tell me it's to prevent fraud, from the credit card company. I called again, then they say I have to go to an airport closest to me and have my credit card "swiped" before he checks in, and she did NOT recommend my sending MY CREDIT CARD to HIM ! - ah, yeah, OK, well - The ride to Boston is not fun, and I live nowhere close! - What is going on? This is unbelievable!

douglas mcmillion

Check it out, all you airborne complainers. Travel agencies are free to the traveler, and they are always right on top of any not-so-visible deals or discounts. Also, 99.9% of the time, a travel agent will be closer to where you live than you are to the airport. So, you pick up your Midol at the drug store and quick, drop by the travel agent, show them your Credit Card, get your ticket, give it to your friend sans your CC info, take your Midol and devise better uses for the energy you have expelled here. Happy flying:)



I think you've given the epithet, "mysogynistic asshole" new meaning. Congratulations!



Oh, and by the way travel agencies are NOT free to the traveler. They charge a surcharge.



I dont know what travel agents you use, but they are paid by the airlines or cruise ships, et al. And vulgarity in expression only pinpoints the inability to command the english language well enough to express ones self. Additionally, was that your pathetic attempt to kiss the hind-end of all females, in hopes of one day actually getting one?...lol And if by some miracle one does have pitty on you, here's a tip for you; females don't respond well to whimps faining to sympathetically side with them against other males. They think it's sissy and unmanly. They might let you go to the mall with them though and talk girl talk.



Oh, please tell me you did not just attack my "masculinity?" I am shaking in my hypothetically masculine boots here at the very thought.

I personally don't NEED, nor do I desire to "get" a female. I, therefore, have no need to kiss their "hind-ends." I stand by my own observation of your complete and utter lack of respect for the female gender, regardless of whether the women in the world feel they need to agree with me about that observation or not.

I have a perfectly serviceable command of the English language. Telling me that I fail to measure up to some standard of masculine expression or normality in the eyes of either gender doesn't change the fact that you, sir, are, indeed a "misogynistic asshole." Sometimes one just needs to call an asshole an asshole.



ROFL... I banned that guy's IP address, but I decided to let his comment stand for how deliciously off target it really was.

PS, Travis? If I liked boys and you liked girls, I would totally marry you.


I would totally marry you too!! :)

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