This week Whine Wednesdays deals with annoying “Online Payment Verification Emails” that Qatar Airways still seems to be sending to some that purchase tickets from their website.
Years past, it often was a challenge to use credit cards to pay on airline websites and presenting the card used to pay for the ticket was required when checking in.
You can access Qatar Airways here.
Over the course of any year, I purchase airline tickets for perhaps 10 people. I normally use OTAs such as Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline for ticket issuance and even travel agents for more complicated ones where online OTAs just don’t work.
I was seeing red when I received the above email from Qatar Airways after the eticket was already issued. If they don’t like the payment method used (it passed the AVS and received authorization from Amex), they shouldn’t issue it in the first place.
Hell would freeze over before I would send over a copy of my passport and a credit card statement for “review purposes” and I was very clear about this. I told them to cancel the ticket.
I told them that this is not happening and to refund the ticket. I can always purchase the very same ticket using number of OTAs where this “payment verification” process is NOT required.
I value my time and didn’t have enough to visit Qatar’s CTO in Bangkok, although I probably could have done a write up about it. This ticket wasn’t personally to me so there were no way to have the card for verification purposes at the time of travel. Told them again to cancel the ticket.
And so they did!
Purchased the same ticket using Vayama. The price was $52 lower if you entered their site from Kayak search compared to direct.
QR eticket receipt (original QR issued ticket)
See the credit card note.
QR eticket receipt (QR issued ticket for Vayama)
No note about the credit card here.
See the price on the QR issued Vayama ticket is supposedly higher but the collected amount actually is $1,171.23, that is lower than the price what Qatar was asking for the same flights.
The price shown here is the $1,171.23
This is one of the reason why I rarely book directly with the airlines. I have zero time for nonsense like this and their usually awful websites (QR did work fine though) that usually try to up-sell this and that during the booking process from car rentals to hotel rooms.
I have no idea how the OTAs work but I rarely have any problems using cards issued from number of countries paying for tickets. I love also getting around the stupid SITI restrictions using various Expedia country websites.
This ensures that I won’t be booking directly with Qatar Airways anytime soon. Qatar Airways should ensure that they have Verified by Visa, Mastercard SecureCode and American Express SafeKey implemented so that customers wouldn’t be inconvenienced their 1990’s style “verification” processes. It is 2017 already!
How can their verification department be sure that those passport copies and credit card statements received are real? I am sure that the fraudsters are able to photoshop real looking ones when needed.