Time for SIA to review its policy

It is all too common for a traveller's family member to purchase an air ticket online on behalf of a traveller.

The family member who purchased the ticket may not be a travelling companion; or the travelling companion may check in separately from the traveller (Woman jailed for throwing sign at SIA employee; July 25, and Norm to verify credit card details, say 3 airlines; July 26).

In either instance, SIA should not inconvenience the traveller and the ticket purchaser to verify the ticket purchase at the check-in counter.

When air tickets are purchased online with a credit card, the credit card holder has to authorise the purchase with a one-time pin number, and he would usually receive an SMS alert within a minute of the card being charged for the purchase.

If an airline ticket was purchased online without the card holder's consent, this would be a dispute to be resolved between the card holder and card issuer.

SIA should not trouble itself to verify the ticket purchase and inconvenience the traveller, and certainly not at the check-in stage.

I had always assumed that SIA's policy on verifying credit card details during check-in had some security-related concerns.

If so, then SIA should educate its customers on this.

But if SIA is merely adding yet another layer of checks to the multiple layers of credit card fraud prevention as suggested in the two articles, then SIA should review this policy of theirs.

If a traveller had already paid for the air ticket, received an e-mail confirmation from SIA, selected his seat and meal preferences, and is all set to go, then SIA should not be harassing him to prove the legality of his mode of payment for the air ticket at the check-in counter.

Perhaps it's time for SIA to review this policy of theirs.

Chia Boon Teck

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2017, with the headline 'Time for SIA to review its policy'. Print Edition | Subscribe