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Buying tickets for someone else as a gift for christmas

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Buying tickets for someone else as a gift for christmas

I would like to buy plane tickets in Australia online and then send to South Africa. What is my best option and which process should I use to ensure that tickets arrive safely. Do they need actual tickets to board or can they use online boarding pass or facsimile.

13 replies to this topic
Oregon
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1. Re: Buying tickets for someone else as a gift for christmas

You don't need to physically mail anything. Just send them the airline's confirmation code, and they can check in online or at the airport. Please make sure to find out what the EXACT spelling of their name is on their passport, and book directly with the airline to avoid complications.

Something else to consider is whether the passenger will need a visa to travel. This is something that they will need time to sort out.

It will probably actually be better for you and the passenger if you don't surprise them with the tickets, but let them know that you plan to buy them so that the two of you can work out the details together.

rural West Aussie
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for Perth
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2. Re: Buying tickets for someone else as a gift for christmas

What a lovely, generous idea! However, I agree with terriks that it would probably be better not to make it a surprise, but in consultation with the recipients.

You need to know if they have passports, because it will take time to organise them.

You need to know (as terriks points out) the EXACT spelling of their names AS THEY ARE ON THEIR PASSPORTS. (Eg, "Daniel", not "Dan"; "Jacqueline" , not Jackie" etc).

As terriks points out, they may need time to organise visas.

They may also need time to organise time off from work/study.

You need to know the exact dates they are able to travel, because changing it even by one day could end up costing several hundred dollars.

You need to check that the airline you are purchasing the tickets from is not one of those that requires the passengers to produce the credit card used to pay for the tickets, at the check in desk on departure.

Dubai, United Arab...
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3. Re: Buying tickets for someone else as a gift for christmas

<<It will probably actually be better for you and the passenger if you don't surprise them with the tickets>>

Fully agree.

It is a wonderful idea. But there are too many options of things going wrong to just buy a ticket.

Just think about the dates. If you need to change the dates, that can cost between nothing and a full new ticket.

Inform the person but align on dates and make sure the first and family name do match 100% what is written in the passport.

And also -as per above - check visa requirements and passport expiry dates.

UAE
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4. Re: Buying tickets for someone else as a gift for christmas

Be careful with exchange rates. Even if you buy the tickets in Australia you will be billed in South African Rand since South Africa is where the journey starts.

Chicago, Illinois
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118 reviews
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5. Re: Buying tickets for someone else as a gift for christmas

Also agree buying tickets as a surprise can be difficult. You need the persons passport and other info. Need to know what times work for them. Better to make a nice card that says what you’re getting them to be the surprise. Then book the tickets in consultation with them.

rural West Aussie
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for Perth
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6. Re: Buying tickets for someone else as a gift for christmas

>> Even if you buy the tickets in Australia you will be billed in South African Rand since South Africa is where the journey starts.<<

Not necessarily, I've bought tickets for a number of European flights while sitting at my desk here in Aus, and was billed in AUD.

UAE
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7. Re: Buying tickets for someone else as a gift for christmas

Yes, you will be billed in the currency of your credit card. But there will have been a foreign exchange conversion from EUR to AUD and you won't know the conversion rate until it appears on the statement. Some conversion rates are not favourable.

Canberra, Australia
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8. Re: Buying tickets for someone else as a gift for christmas

I agree with the others: lovely idea but somewhat impractical.

My suggestion would be to pick an airline and buy a gift voucher! Most airlines have them. That way you've "bought the ticket" but then the person can book it themselves and make sure everything's okay :D

Wales
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9. Re: Buying tickets for someone else as a gift for christmas

All good advice but to be fair, the OP doesn't say this is a surprise.

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10. Re: Buying tickets for someone else as a gift for christmas

Also If the purchaser is not actually flying the airline may want to see the credit card used when they check-in.

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