A Hollywood actor claims her two young boys were denied boarding on Air Canada after they failed to produce the credit card used to purchase their tickets, stranding them in Vancouver. Air Canada claims that several warning signs led to the reservation being flagged. When was the last time you were asked to provide a credit card at airport check-in?
Actor Suggest Racial Profiling At Heart of Air Canada Boarding Incident
Holly Robinson Peete, who starred in the 80’s police drama 21 Jump Street, was filming in Vancouver and brought her sons, aged 16 and 19, up for a visit. She then booked them Air Canada tickets back to Los Angeles in business class. But the boys encountered trouble at check-in:
- During check-in, the boys were asked to produce the original form of payment (credit card) used to purchase the ticket
- They did not have their mother’s credit card, but reached her on the phone
- This was not a good enough for the Air Canada agent, who allegedly “walked away from them” leaving them alone at the counter
- The two were forced to book a hotel room overnight and were rebooked for an Air Canada flight the following morning
- The next morning, they flew home without an issue – they were not asked to produce the credit card
Peete wonders if the boys were profiled because they were black males. Air Canada dismisses that charge:
“Sometimes legitimate transactions require additional verification when the booking is made in an unusual way, such as foreign purchases made outside Canada for last minute travel and these are identified by our automated anti-fraud systems. The purchase regrettably was not validated in time for the customers to travel.”
Peete isn’t buying it:
Thank you and everyone for the concern. My sons are still in Canada because they were turned away last night from boarding a flight home because they couldn’t produce the credit card that paid for the ticket. AC says that “ that happens sometimes”. I’m not buying it… https://t.co/q6j51dTjIF
— Holly Robinson Peete 💃🏾♍️ (@hollyrpeete) October 5, 2021
Air Canada adds that, “We have followed up with the customer as we recognize this did cause inconvenience.”
Have You Been Asked To Provide Credit Card At Airport Check-In?
I cannot recall an instance in which I have been actually asked to produce a form of payment at check-in. Certainly, I have received a warning on many bookings, particularly journeys originating in Africa for Award Expert clients, that state proof of payment is required.
Back when Air France Flying Blue used to be more more zealous, there was an incident that required in-person ticketing for a redemption ticket. The itinerary was a one-way from Africa and the name did not match the amount holder. Ostensibly the in-person ticketing rule was to prevent fraud, though it created a huge headache.
That’s the rub, isn’t it? We don’t always pay for own tickets – certainly not in the case of children traveling. But is this just the cost of doing business? I know that there are many people who legitimately buy same-day, one-way, business class tickets…yet I realize those are all signs of potential fraud (I’ve seen my fair share of fraud from people making unauthorized bookings from frequent flyer accounts and they often look like that).
So what’s the balance? Well, if the last names match and you can get the mother on the phone, you probably should have let the guys fly.
Still, I realize this isn’t an easy issue.
Two teenagers were denied boarding on Air Canada because they did not have the original form of payment with them. Whether overzealous or not, keep in mind that it is wise to travel with your original form of payment. Just in case…
image: Air Canada (yes, I know it is YYZ not YVR)