Monday, May 13, 2013

Can travel agents use their miles to purchase tickets for customers without first notifying them?

Q. My friend purchased a plane ticket with this and when he tried to link his frequent flier account with the reservation, the airline told him that he cannot earn miles with this since it was purchased with frequent flier miles. I understand tickets purchased with miles cannot accrue miles, but the travel agent never alerted him that she was going to use frequent flier miles and I don't believe this is standard practice. Is this allowed?
I meant her own miles.

But the underlying issue is that the agent never alerted him about the use of her personal miles.

A. "If you mean the air miles used to purchase your friend's plane ticket originally belong to the travel agent, yes it is allowed. For many airlines, the dirt cheap air tickets do not earn air miles too, not every ticket is entitled to air miles. For travel agents, using their own air miles to book a ticket for a customer at a low price is one of their ways to make a profit and there is nothing wrong with it."

This is completely wrong. By taking money and then using his or her miles to book the ticket, the travel agent is selling awards, which is explicitly in violation of the terms and conditions of nearly every single frequent flier program operating throughout the world today. Not only is this practice bad for the seller -- the airline may choose a number of penalties for the account holder, including the forfeiture of miles or the closure of the account altogether -- but the buyer of the ticket can be penalized as well.

The airline, under the terms of the frequent flier program, usually has the right to terminate the award ticket if they determine that it has been sold in violation of the program's rules. This means that your friend, if it's discovered that he purchased an award ticket, may either not get to go on his trip at all, or if they discover it when he's trying to come home, he may be forced to buy a walkup one-way ticket back home, which could be extremely expensive.

(If either of these things occur, then your friend will only have recourse against the travel agent in trying to get his money back -- the airline's terms are clear that the ticket can be unilaterally cancelled.)

It doesn't matter whether the ticket would or would not have earned miles based on the fare code -- when a person buys a ticket from a travel agent, I venture that they'd have a reasonable expectation that they were buying a revenue ticket, and not just buying an award that runs a risk of being cancelled from under them if the airline questions where the award came from. For that reason, I'd highly suggest that your friend speak to this agent and ask for a refund -- barring that, I'd personally consider filing a chargeback with the credit card company, if a card was used, based on misrepresenation of the item purchased.

How to buy products at Delhi Duty free without actually arriving at or departing from International Airport?
Q. The thing is I want to go and buy from Duty Free. I stay in Delhi and would like to buy with going out of India (lol). Any suggestions.

A. Unless you have business being at the airport (employee etc..) or you have a valid ticket to travel and valid passport, then no you cannot buy from any airport duty free with these.

How do I buy an airplane ticket for a minor online?
Q. 16 year old. I need answers ASAP, because I'm leaving by car tonight and would like to have a sure way to return.

A. You have to call the airline
Airlines consider "minors" to be under the age of 12. With some airlines minor fare is 75% of adult fare and some airlines charge 100% adult fare. It varies completely by airline policy.


You have to buy an adult ticket which is a little more expensive, but they will never check for proof of age at the airport or on the plane. They only ask for ID and Passport when he checks in, to varify that he is who he claims to be and that he can legally leave the country.

continental airlines
Can I purchase the ticket online?
Yes, OnePass members may book a ticket for an Unaccompanied Minor online. Please see our Unaccompanied Minor policy for details.http://www.continental.com/web/en-us/content/help/flightsearch.aspx

Northwest Airlines

Your child will be expected to handle boarding, deplaning, and transfers to connecting gates on their own. Enrollment in Northwest Unaccompanied Minor program is mandatory for children ages 5 to 14. If you prefer your teenager, age 15 to 17, travel without supervision, please advise the reservation, ticket or travel agent at time of reservation and it will be noted in the reservation.

Remind your teenager never to leave the airport for any reason until they have reached their destination city. He or she should never seek help from or leave the airport with strangers.
Provide your teenager with instructions, phone contacts, and a small amount of money in the unlikely event their flight is missed, delayed, canceled or rerouted.
Most hotels will not accept young people who are not accompanied by an adult.
Remind your teenager that they can seek the assistance of any uniformed Northwest employee if they have questions, concerns or need reassurance.

http://www.nwa.com/services/onboard/minor/faq.shtml#q13




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