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  1. #1

    Default No Check-In-Without-Credit-Card Airline Rule

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of:
    Possibly more than one country.

    Hi, I hope this is the right place to post this question.

    Husband and I bought 2 return tickets Madrid/Doha/Male with Qatar and back to go on holidays to the Maldives.

    I bought the tickets through a perfectly legal, fast and efficient banking system that generates a temporary, virtual, one-time-use, credit card number for single purchases or transactions; as soon as used, that number is deleted from the system and cannot be retrieved.
    They are called "substitute credit card numbers" or "controlled payment numbers".
    I am not an expert, but I would say that, from the legal point of view, these are not credit cards, they are more like a credit transfer.
    Qatar system accepted the payment and processed to issue valid reservations.

    Anyway at Madrid Airport, Qatar staff refused to issue a boarding pass (and therefore to let us on the airplane) because we could not produce the actual plastic thing, the physical credit card.
    The tickets had already been paid for; they actually showed me papers stating that they had been regularly paid for, but since no credit card was produced we could not board and we lost the entire amount of the flights PLUS the entire amount of our stay (the resort did not refund us either, given the short notice cancellation ...).
    As an aside note, I must say we demanded to speak with the manager but the staff girl said the manager was somewhere else and unavailable...

    They said we could pay for another ticket and they would issue a MCO to us for the refund. Unfortunately having had a very bad experience with credit cards we did not have one with us and could not pay for another ticket.
    So we were left on ground.

    They alleged that this is a security policy they have in place and that the rule could not be bent.

    Personally, I was left with a feeling that airlines can put in place anything they want and label it "security policy" but where the policy in question amounts to denying a paid for service to the relevant customer who is regularly identified, on a unilaterally imposed technicality, then the policy cannot but be abusive under the general terms of the law.
    They argued that they are clear about reserving the right to not let people on the plane if they do not present the credit card and would not listen when I tried to explain that the payment HAD NOT BEEN MADE THROUGH AN ACTUAL CREDIT CARD but that they had accepted the payment [/U]. I tried to make them see that they had accepted the money but were disapproving of the form of payment

    I have purchased airline tickets through this method before, namely with Air France, and never, ever, had any problem. I have never, ever been denied access to an airline or hotel based on the fact that I did not carry a credit card with me.

    I would like to have your advice on this, please, if possible.
    Is a rule such as this, ultimately, legal?
    I really fail to see the rationale behind this rule. It is allegedly a security measure. Security from what ? Leaving 2 customers on ground and flying with 2 empty seats ... what were they securing us and the airline from ??
    What sense does it make when the tickets HAD ALREADY BEEN PAID FOR and they confirmed it ??
    If another couple were claiming the same tickets I would understand that they gave the tickets to the couple holding the credit card, but this was not the case ... they left with 2 empty seats.
    Can I take this complaint to IATA?
    Can I take this ANYWHERE?

    The holidays were lost and I am sure the money is lost but I pure and simple do not want QATAR AIRWAYS to get away with this undisturbed.

    I understand that this is a USA forum and that you cannot help me with the laws of other countries but please if you can answer me, then answer me as if this had happened to a USA citizens, in accordance with USA legislation. That will already be helpful.

    Thank you again

    Thank you for your time and any input you may have on this

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: No Check-In-Without-Credit-Card Airline Rule

    Answering a question about Qatar law as if it were US law is a meaningless exercise.

    The laws are radically different.

  3. #3

    Default Re: No Check-In-Without-Credit-Card Airline Rule

    Are you automatically assuming that a contract between an airline seated in Qatar and two EU citizens for transport from Spain to the Maldives is simply governed by Qatar law ??
    Not sure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: No Check-In-Without-Credit-Card Airline Rule

    how can you claim the payment wasn't made through an actual CC when you yourself said:

    substitute credit card numbers"
    substitute CC numbers are attached to an active CC account. How would the CC company obtain payment if it wasn't so?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toledo, OH

    Default Re: No Check-In-Without-Credit-Card Airline Rule

    Quote Quoting Virginia Castelbranco
    View Post
    Are you automatically assuming that a contract between an airline seated in Qatar and two EU citizens for transport from Spain to the Maldives is simply governed by Qatar law ??
    Not sure.
    No, we're telling you that we only handle questions of US LAW ONLY. You know, just like it says on the form that popped up for you to ask your question to begin with?

    Neither Qatar nor Spain nor the Maldives is the US, for our geographically impaired friends playing along at home.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

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