Can I Buy a Plane Ticket for Someone Else in Another Country?

Yes, you can buy a plane ticket for someone else in another country, and they don’t even have to be a family member.

But for them to board the plane, they will require some additional documentation.

With so much ease in communication nowadays, it’s easy to book flights for someone else even if they live in a different country.

At the same time, filling out passenger details can be confusing because all the information and details must be correct.

So, let’s take a look at what you need to know about buying plane tickets for someone else in another country. 

Is it Possible to Buy a Plane Ticket for Someone Else in Another Country?

Whether you are gifting or just paying for their ticket, buying a plane ticket for someone else overseas is simple.

You just need the passenger information, like their passport number and date of birth, and your own credit card to pay.

Just be sure you have their correct details, like their legal name, before you pay for their reservations.

If you don’t have all the details correct, the person can’t fly. 

Additionally, remember that although buying a plane ticket for someone else is easy, there are some other factors involved. 

For example, airlines might require identification documents that only the buyer can provide, like the payment method. Also, there may be travel restrictions in their country, which we’ll discuss below. 

But, once you’ve finished the booking process, you can send the flight details to them, including the travel dates and information for pre-ordered meals. You should also send them all flight updates so they get the same information that you do. 

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Is Buying Airline Tickets for Someone Else Legal?

There is nothing illegal as long as the personal details and passport ID number printed on the ticket belong to the person flying. Airlines do not care who paid for the ticket as long as they have received the payment.

Flight Restrictions 

Although COVID has made traveling more difficult, there have always been restrictions on a person from one country entering another. Thus, you need to ensure that the person you purchase the ticket for can fly to the intended country.

Also, remember that you sometimes have to book a flight to an intermediate country to reach that restricted destination. 

So, for an example, here’s the travel advisory page of the official website of the U.S. Department of State.

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What Must the Passenger Have Before Boarding the Plane?

Below we have listed all the documents airlines can ask for at the airport.  

Passport or ID Documents

A person flying must have their ID documents so that the airlines can match their date of birth, country of origin, and photograph with their system’s data. These identity documents include a driver’s license and passport. 

Usually, people use their passports as their ID, especially for international travel, so they should definitely take theirs with them. But, remember that they can’t use an expired passport.

And keep in mind that the airline only needs the passenger’s details, not the purchaser’s ID. 

Printed Itinerary with Passenger Name Record (PNR) 

When buying an airline ticket, the system issues you a PNR (Passenger Name Record). The purpose of the PNR is to make a place in the airline booking database so that even if the passenger loses the physical ticket, they can still travel.

Thus, they should bring along their printed PNR when boarding the plane. This number helps the airlines quickly view their personal information and match it with the airline ticket.

Letter of Confirmation From the Person Who Purchased the Plane Ticket

You can also write a letter confirming that you have paid for the ticket. The letter should have a signature, the PNR, and your passport details. 

Then, you can submit the letter to the airline to prove the passenger’s credibility.

Copy of the Credit Card Used for Payment and the Purchaser’s Passport

As discussed above, the airlines must verify the validity of the transaction. And for that purpose, they sometimes ask for a copy of the card used to pay for the transaction. 

So, If you’re buying a flight for someone else, the recipient may need a photograph of your credit card to show at the check-in desk or the sales counter. So, get a few copies of the card ahead of time so that they won’t be denied boarding on the day of the flight.

However, you should cover your card’s security code and expiry date to ensure no one takes essential payment information. 

Also, remember that you need to do this verification for debit cards as well. 

Additionally, when booking the ticket online, airlines often ask for a copy of your passport for record-keeping purposes. But, the traveler doesn’t need to have a passport copy of the person paying.

Finally, it’s a good idea if they have your correct billing address to help confirm the purchase. 

Traveling With Middle Eastern and Asian Airlines

Rules change when traveling with Asian or Middle East-based carriers. They have different requirements for identification. 

Unlike most other airlines, these air carriers need the actual credit card used to pay for the ticket.

This rule makes travel impossible if the person you are buying the ticket for is abroad. So, instead, you can try flight booking through an online agency or buying from a different airline to get around this regulation.

How to Buy Airline Tickets for a Minor in Another Country?

It is possible that your underage child is abroad visiting or studying and you have to buy a plane ticket for them. 

The process for purchasing a ticket for a minor is similar to what we have seen so far. But airlines can impose some additional rules.

For one, some airlines only allow unaccompanied minors to travel during the day. Or, with American Airlines, an unaccompanied minor can only board non-stop flights.

So, since the rules vary, you should call your airline and confirm the procedure.

Buying Tickets Through an Online Agency

Buying through an online agency makes the process much less cumbersome, and sometimes you even get a discount. Plus, online agencies usually have less complex identification processes, and they communicate directly with the airlines. 

Buying the Ticket for Someone Else With Your Miles

Most airlines give air miles to their customers, which you can use for a free flight or reduced air travel. Surprisingly, you can share these frequent flyer miles with other people too. 

Thus, if you purchase tickets for someone else, even someone who lives in another country, you can use your miles to pay for their plane reservation.

But the moment you run out of these free flights or miles, you’ll have to start paying for their travel.

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