Iberia Airlines Denied us Boarding Passes Due to Not Having Exact Credit Card Used to Pay Taxes on Award Flight

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Jul 3, 2019
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#1
Wife and I had seats booked using Iberia Avios MIA - MAD in first on Sunday June 2 I booked our 3 kids 19, 18, 15 on same flight in economy using AA miles. When we arrived to check in at the Iberia counter in MIA 2.5 hours before flight departure , the agent at check in refused to check us in because I did not have the exact credit card I had used to pay the taxes to Iberia for the two first class award seats.

The Iberia Avios used to secure the tickets for my wife and myself came out of my year old Iberia avios account (which is linked to my 5+ year BA Avios account) and the avios account has the same exact name on ticket. I had 3 forms of ID including passport and driver license, 6 other credit cards all with my same exact name, digital access to my Chase account that showed the exact credit card I used to pay the taxes on the Avios award for wife and myself, digital copy of the statement that showed the taxes being paid, and the agent still refused to check us in.

Iberia agreed to put my wife and I on the same flight the next day but our kids could not be booked as that flight because, like the flight we were originally booked on, economy was already oversold. We ended up having to rent a car at MIA, drive the 250 miles roundtrip to get the exact credit card used to pay the taxes, and book kids on different AA flight (AA metal) using 330k AA miles instead of the 90k AA miles originally used.

Iberia responded that I would have gotten a pop up advising me that I had to have exact card. Tickets were booked 330 days prior to departure. If I got a pop up notice I do not recall it.

AAdvantage says that we chose not to send kids on flight that they were booked so they would not reimburse anything. They did allow me to credit the 90k AA miles (3 x 30k for the original saver award seats on Iberia) towards the 110k each tickets.

Cost to me included $130 for rental car to drive from Miami back to Estero to get the credit card, 240k AA mile differential required to book our kids on AA metal the following day, 2 nights (1 night x 2 rooms) hotel rooms in Barcelona, tickets to Sagrada Familia that had been booked and prepaid, 1 day lost in Barcelona.

When I asked what happens if credit card used is closed or changed to different card due to fraud issue or ?? the Iberia ticket agent had no answer.

Note that this credit card requirement is not stated anywhere in the ticket info I received from Iberia. It was supposedly in a pop up that would ahve appeared at the time of booking (which was 300 + days prior to departure).
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
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#2
How ridiculous this is. Please use our company contacts to write a polite and succint request for compensation.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#3
From the Iberia website:

Do I have to show my credit card at the airport?
You do not always have to show the credit card used to buy the ticket at the airport on the day of departure.
When you purchase your ticket (either through Iberia.com or by calling Serviberia) and depending on a number of factors, such as flight dates, destination, cost of the ticket and the country where the credit card was issued, you will be notified immediately if you need to show your credit card at the airport on the day of departure.
If you purchased your ticket from an Iberia ticket office or a travel agent's, please check again with the issuing office. If you are told upon purchasing your ticket that a credit card should be presented, you MAY NOT use a virtual card, remember that Iberia does not accept virtual cards for the purchase of tickets.


I agree this is ridiculous though. Perhaps this was their way of dealing with the overbooking issue. It freed up 3 seats in Economy and there's no way to prove the popup did or didn't appear upon booking. I do hope you can get some compensation.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,612
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#5
Slightly different issue but this happened to me last month in London. Had tickets to see Hamilton and realized I had forgotten to bring credit card used to purchase the Hamilton tickets. Thank god I figured in out somewhere in France the week before. I had a neighbor go to my house, open the safe (another story) paw thru a purse I’d stuffed in there with cards we did not need to take. Off to Fed Ex and $275 later my credit card/Fed Ex letter was in the hotel safe waiting for me when we checked in. That $275 was the cost to 3 day deliver one Chase CC to London.

Hamilton rules and they checked every person entering the Theater in London. The Invoice name of the Purchaser has to match the name on the credit card and on the valid Govt photo ID. This was actually spelled out as a requirement before and after purchasing.
After this little Drama I will make sure cards used for travel and bookings go with me. Those Hamilton tickets sure got expensive!
 
May 1, 2018
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#6
Slightly different issue but this happened to me last month in London. Had tickets to see Hamilton and realized I had forgotten to bring credit card used to purchase the Hamilton tickets. Thank god I figured in out somewhere in France the week before. I had a neighbor go to my house, open the safe (another story) paw thru a purse I’d stuffed in there with cards we did not need to take. Off to Fed Ex and $275 later my credit card/Fed Ex letter was in the hotel safe waiting for me when we checked in. That $275 was the cost to 3 day deliver one Chase CC to London.

Hamilton rules and they checked every person entering the Theater in London. The Invoice name of the Purchaser has to match the name on the credit card and on the valid Govt photo ID. This was actually spelled out as a requirement before and after purchasing.
After this little Drama I will make sure cards used for travel and bookings go with me. Those Hamilton tickets sure got expensive!
You got ripped off. A fedex international envelope should be $100 for overnight service between the US and the UK.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,612
3,455
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#7
You got ripped off. A fedex international envelope should be $100 for overnight service between the US and the UK.
Unfortunately he went to a shipping place and I was at the mercy of whatever the neighbor arranged. I have a receipt and I reimbursed my neighbor. :(
Though guaranteed 3 day delivery may have been the extra cost. Otherwise it got there when it got there.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,612
3,455
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#8
Well I’m off a tab bit $265.35 - I rounded up in my reimbursement to my neighbor and still owe them a bottle of wine. Anyway this requirement of having CC used is being mentioned more and more.
 
Last edited:

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#9
From the Iberia website:

Do I have to show my credit card at the airport?
You do not always have to show the credit card used to buy the ticket at the airport on the day of departure.
When you purchase your ticket (either through Iberia.com or by calling Serviberia) and depending on a number of factors, such as flight dates, destination, cost of the ticket and the country where the credit card was issued, you will be notified immediately if you need to show your credit card at the airport on the day of departure.
If you purchased your ticket from an Iberia ticket office or a travel agent's, please check again with the issuing office. If you are told upon purchasing your ticket that a credit card should be presented, you MAY NOT use a virtual card, remember that Iberia does not accept virtual cards for the purchase of tickets.


I agree this is ridiculous though. Perhaps this was their way of dealing with the overbooking issue. It freed up 3 seats in Economy and there's no way to prove the popup did or didn't appear upon booking. I do hope you can get some compensation.
This kind of thing is crazy-making. It's as though Iberia knows that a certain percentage of pax will not have the purchasing card with them, so they can deny them boarding, maybe even making extra revenue rebooking them. If ever there were a reason to find a good travel agent, this would be right up top of the list.

If an airline has goofy rules like this, they need to post that information very prominently on the "buy now" page, and follow up with an email restating the policy. A "pop-up" on their website ain't gonna cut it.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#13
The pop up warning the need for the credit card is done by algorithms— this is fraud prevention issue — stolen credit cards, looted and hacked frequent flyer accounts—

It is more common in certain parts of the world

Was there an attempt to check in online prior?

Do you fly Iberia often and have a profile and stored credit card? If this was an open account, buy miles/ open credit card for bonuses but have no history actually flying Iberia but having hundreds of thousands of points I can see how an algorithm would trigger fraud.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,203
8,114
113
San Francisco
#17
Your l
The pop up warning the need for the credit card is done by algorithms— this is fraud prevention issue — stolen credit cards, looted and hacked frequent flyer accounts—

It is more common in certain parts of the world

Was there an attempt to check in online prior?

Do you fly Iberia often and have a profile and stored credit card? If this was an open account, buy miles/ open credit card for bonuses but have no history actually flying Iberia but having hundreds of thousands of points I can see how an algorithm would trigger fraud.
Your last paragraph is a real eye-opener, Christina. "The computer" certainly could have flagged this scenario as fraud. Great insight! But Iberia needs to do a much better job of communicating. If fraud was detected, an email should have been sent telling the pax about their CC rules.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,127
16,265
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#18
Your l

Your last paragraph is a real eye-opener, Christina. "The computer" certainly could have flagged this scenario as fraud. Great insight! But Iberia needs to do a much better job of communicating. If fraud was detected, an email should have been sent telling the pax about their CC rules.
OP states Iberia claimed a pop up appears at time of booking stating the credit card is needed. OP said because he booked 330 days before he doesn’t remember.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#19
OP states Iberia claimed a pop up appears at time of booking stating the credit card is needed. OP said because he booked 330 days before he doesn’t remember.
If one does not remember then it is better to have the card used — ADM posted the information from the website in #3 which may be enough disclosure...

I have had to produce credit card with last minute bookings and in certain parts of the world... there are numerous issues that can trigger a fraud alert. Having no history flying an airline but having a massive amount of points through credit card promotions may be another...

Why the credit card points and no history - could be hacking, identity theft all sorts of issues.

The OP states that the Iberia points account was one year old — and tickets were booked 330 days in advance — which to me means the Iberia avois account in what 34 days accumulated enough points for 2 premium seats transcontinental.

Getting enough points for 2 premium transcontinental seats on a 30 some day old account sounds like point promotions and/or credit card churning — things which can trigger fraud alerts and therefore a request to see the physical card.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,127
16,265
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#20
If one does not remember then it is better to have the card used — ADM posted the information from the website in #3 which may be enough disclosure...

I have had to produce credit card with last minute bookings and in certain parts of the world... there are numerous issues that can trigger a fraud alert. Having no history flying an airline but having a massive amount of points through credit card promotions may be another...

Why the credit card points and no history - could be hacking, identity theft all sorts of issues.

The OP states that the Iberia points account was one year old — and tickets were booked 330 days in advance — which to me means the Iberia avois account in what 34 days accumulated enough points for 2 premium seats transcontinental.

Getting enough points for 2 premium transcontinental seats on a 30 some day old account sounds like point promotions and/or credit card churning — things which can trigger fraud alerts and therefore a request to see the physical card.
Good point- you are correct- how did the OP earn enough points in such a short amount of time to qualify for two tickets on an airline they’ve never flown?
 
Likes: jsmithw