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My problem with Eva Air and a near family death

Taipei, Taiwan
posts: 2
My problem with Eva Air and a near family death

I am from the UK. I am living in Taiwan and studying Mandarin Chinese. On Thursday my mother was rushed to the ICU unit at the local office because she was suffering from internal stomach bleeding. As a result she had to receive emergency medical surgery yesterday at 12:20am Friday 14 June 2013 (UK time). The surgeon informed the family that because this is a very complex operation the survival rate would be 50%. As a result my sister in the UK had helped me book a flight to get back to see my mother in the event that she would pass away. Because this was an emergency my sister used her credit card. I then here in Taiwan called the office because of the policy where the credit card holder would need to show the card at the airport. This at the time was physically impossible as to get to London my sister would have to book a domestic flight and fly over an hour to get there. She was busy being beside my mothers bedside in case she passed away.

Eva Air did not allow me to board the flight due to this even though my sister offered to give a letter of confirmation with a copy of her passport and credit card (back and front copy). This again was refused by Eva Air. When I called the London office to plead with them that in this special case could they make an exception. This was not only denied, but this representative also blamed me for the problem and said I would have to have my sister travel all the way to London to provide proof of purchase. Therefore the flight was cancelled and now a refund is in place.

I feel very disappointed the way in which this matter has been handled by Eva Air. This is a situation that I could not have planned for or controlled. My mothers condition is very critical and still I am here in Taiwan hoping that she doesn't pass away while I am here. I do realize there is a policy in place to protect us against fraud but I also believe there is a fine line between policy and compassion. I would put it this way, if the shoe was on the other foot, wouldn’t you want the policy rules bent a little because of this?

18 replies to this topic
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 14,070
reviews: 5
1. Re: My problem with Eva Air and a near family death

Firstly my best wishes to you, your mother and family.

Quite a lot of airlines do this for private bookings (United and Thai are personal experiences of mine and there was a thread regarding Turkish a few months ago). And it IS for fraud protection. And I'm afraid they can't show "compassion" as every fraudster would make the claim that their mother is seriousky ill.

The question I'd have re EVA is "was the requirement for the credit card holder to be present at check in presented BEFORE booking"? If so then EVA is in the right. If not then I think there is a shortcoming on their part.

As to your current situation. If your sister were to book the flight through a travel agent - get her to use a reputable full service agent such as Trailfinders - the CC requirement shouldn't be there as EVA isn't carrying the risk of a fraudulent transaction (the agent is). So I'd suggest that.

Good luck and best wishes.

Edited: 4:20 am, June 15, 2013
London, United...
posts: 12,937
reviews: 22
2. Re: My problem with Eva Air and a near family death

Good advice from usbt.

I hope your mum recovers and best wishes to you all.

Singapore
posts: 1,315
reviews: 105
3. Re: My problem with Eva Air and a near family death

Interesting. This doesn't help OP at all but I recently flew with Tiger airways MNL to SIN. This condition is stated when booking, but when i checked in they did not ask to see my card at all and I had no problems boarding. It seems to me the key document to check should be the passport. If your passport is valid and all details match the booking why should the airline refuse to check you in?

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,489
reviews: 72
4. Re: My problem with Eva Air and a near family death

Hi.

I have to agree with USBT here.. I think the issue is how and where did you book, and by extension where and how was this "credit card presentation" mandate disclosed.

If it was made available to you, then as ugly or seemingly "un-compassionate" as it may seem, they would appear to have acted correctly and in line with what would have been the disclosed (and passenger accepted) requirement before booking was confirmed.

The issue of no exceptions is an unfortunate occurence, but if one takes a dispassionate viewpoint, I think a case can be made for why this isn't it wasn't granted a discretionary waiver.

The ugly truth is that this is a prime example case of where one or more "bad apples" so to speak, who used/abused fhat discretion in the past, has effectively ruining it for everyone in the future as the carrier doesn't have the time or resources to really look at each case one-by-one, but due to past abuse (by a small percentage) just makes a one-size fits all policy to avoid being burned again.

Travel Safe,

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,489
reviews: 72
5. Re: My problem with Eva Air and a near family death

Hi,

"If your passport is valid and all details match the booking why should the airline refuse to check you in?"

Two very different issues there..

The passport issue only addresses the governmental side of the process.. That being the airline is confident that you meet all the requirements to depart, transit (if applicable) and enter the destination country.

The credit card issue is largely a wholly commercial matter... That being is the charge is legitimate? Unlike hard merchandise, an air ticket can't really be seized or returned if found to be obtained fraudulently. Once travel occurs (or the ticketed event passes) largely the carrier can't recoup that cost.

Given that air tickets can easily run into the several thousands of dollars, I can see a credible reason and loss-risk reason why certain carriers impose this requirement.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 6:23 am, June 15, 2013
South Pole
posts: 15,418
reviews: 39
6. Re: My problem with Eva Air and a near family death

either you or your sister pay for the ticket in cash.

Edited: 6:37 am, June 15, 2013
Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 19,378
7. Re: My problem with Eva Air and a near family death

I also hope your mother recovers fully and quickly.

This is why I urge anyone who travels anywhere to have their own credit card. It's invaluable in an emergency.

London, United...
posts: 12,937
reviews: 22
8. Re: My problem with Eva Air and a near family death

>>Given that air tickets can easily run into the several thousands of dollars, I can see a credible reason and loss-risk reason why certain carriers impose this requirement.<<

I disagree with this. It's simply laziness on behalf of the airline and passing the burden to the customer. In this day and age there is other ways to validate a transaction. It just takes a little bit longer. There is no reason the airline has to impose the restriction that the payer needs to front up with the card in person.

Many many transactions take place that involve a lot of cash in other industries and this is not required. The airline simply needs to put a process in place to validate it and could even put limits ie over x amount do this, over y amount do that. I also seriously doubt this transaction was for several thousands of dollars.

Where as I agree, if the op was made aware of this restriction and accepted It prior to purchase, then the airline acted correctly and she has no complaint. I do however thing it's time airlines got rid of this antiquated validation requirement and found alternate ways going forward that did not inconvenience pax to this extent.

NomadicForever
posts: 3,001
reviews: 13
9. Re: My problem with Eva Air and a near family death

I vrry frequently have to buy tickets for a family member. In order to avoid a situation like stated above, I pay the tickets cash.

Chiang Khong...
posts: 3,199
reviews: 1
10. Re: My problem with Eva Air and a near family death

Hi

In a situation like this is when you buy thru a third party booking agent

last year I wanted to buy a flight on Korean Air for my wife on my credit card but I wasn't flying with her.

Korean Air would not let me . So went thru Orbitz same flight, same price, no problem.

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