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Booking online flights....help

Travel Forums Asia Booking online flights....help

1. Posted by travloverr (Budding Member, 7 posts) 14 Aug '07 01:24

travloverr has indicated that this thread is about Malaysia

Has anyone tried booking a flight online (on the airlines' official websites) using a debit card, specifically VISA ELECTRON? We're bound to book flights with:

www.airasia.com
www.bangkokair.com

and maybe also
www.thaiair.com

Is this OK? I currently do not own a credit card, just debit. For those who've tried it, how did it go?
Once I saw a small portion in the AirAsia site (I think they revamped it a bit?) that said they accept Credit Cards, Visa Electron and Master Synergy. However, in the booking form, the only option there is "Credit Card" and then Visa/Mastercard under it. Is it the same and still 'use-able' for debit card? Unfortunately, I cannot find their e-mail address also and there is no guarantee for a response anyhow.

As for Bangkok Air, they say they accept all Visa cards however, only the usual Visa logo (not Visa Electron logo) is on their site which leads me to think they could mean "all Visa credit cards." I've tried e-mailing them and they said the same thing (using some "off" English which is understandable but not too reliable, IMO) but just to make sure, has anyone had an experience using their debit card with them also?

For Thai Air, if you've tried it, please post here with feedback too. Thanks and I hope my card will be OK to use. My bank says it can be used for online transactions (it has a CVV code) but double-check to be sure. Hopefully someone can help.

2. Posted by lizp (Full Member, 74 posts) 14 Aug '07 02:39

I think you will have problems using a Visa debit card. I know for certain that you can't use a Visa debit card in Malaysian ATMs to withdraw money.
Does your debit card have a code number (7 numbers) on the back , cos they want the last 3 numbers when you book online.

3. Posted by Marsha M (Budding Member, 3 posts) 14 Aug '07 04:35

I think you should have no problems purchasing the air tickets online. I have purchased many stuff over the Internet using my Electron from sites displaying the VISA sign only and not the ELECTRON one. the only way to find out for sure is to try it.

4. Posted by travloverr (Budding Member, 7 posts) 14 Aug '07 07:55

^ My card is currently in the process of renewal so I can't try it anytime soon, I can only inquire with others who've tried it. Thanks for your feedback though. :) My bank says it's OK to use online (it comes with the CVV code) AS LONG as the merchant (in this case, those 3 airlines) is OK with it as well. In this case, I'm still not 100% sure if AirAsia/Bangkok Air/Thai Air accept payments with a debit card, Visa Electron. I can only hope they do as it will make my travel booking so much easier and hassle-free.

If anyone has actually tried or were able to inquire with these airlines, please post here and let me know. :)

As an alternative and just in case it really can't work (hopefully and ideally it can), would it be a smart idea to buy it when I get to Singapore, which is one of my first destinations? I assume those airlines have offices there. My concern is that the rates might be much higher and/or they won't have any available seats/flights on the dates that I want (as my travel itinerary/dates are set) and will be basically stuck there, or will be forced to search for another flight, perhaps a more expensive one.

I'd really like to be able to book well in advanced also to get a good rate, pay in full (using my debit card) and have all the itineraries for the entire trip in my hands even before I leave. Seems a whole lot better this way.

5. Posted by sushi_ (Budding Member, 49 posts) 14 Aug '07 11:28

if you have any problems with your electron you could always buy a prepaid credit card so you don't have any nasty bills to come to, you just pay the money into the account and make purchases so long as you have sufficient funds- try money supermarket for a list of companies that do them.

6. Posted by cybervlad (Full Member, 78 posts) 15 Aug '07 03:41

travloverr, internet site doesn't check type of card, it just send request to the bank issued card. Most of the banks do not allow internet transactions (i.o.w CNP-transactions) with VISA Electron cards, they process these transactions only with VISA Classic and above (Gold, Platinum etc).
Also vendor (in discussed case air company) usually doesn't check is the card are credit or debit.
So, you can try to book using your VISA Electron. But if your bank will decline transaction, you need to use VISA Classic or "virtual" card, especially designed for internet transactions.

p.s. I booked tickets on airasia.com several times using VISA Classic (debit) and VISA Virtuon (debit) without any problem.