Can You Buy Plane Tickets with Cash?

Yes, you can buy a plane ticket in cash. And there are plenty of other non-credit card options available to buy your ticket, but each has its pros and cons.

Credit cards have made payments and transactions easier. But stats show that people tend to spend more with credit cards. 

So, some people prefer to use cash.

But, can you buy a ticket in cash? Where can you buy a ticket with a cash payment?

Let’s explore. 

Where Can You Buy a Plane Ticket With Cash?

You can usually go to the airport and buy your ticket from the cash ticket counter. You can also call your carrier, confirm the ticket, and then pay them at the airport ticket counter within 24 hours of calling.

Airlines used to have widespread ticket offices as well, where you could buy a plane ticket with cash. They aren’t common anymore, but there may still be a few, and they also accept cash.

But, just keep in mind that airlines charge a small fee for cash ticket transactions.

Finally, remember that some airlines no longer accept cash, but they may take personal checks or a bank account transfer instead. 

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Issues When Buying Tickets With Cash

You are going to need some extra patience when paying for your airline tickets by cash because it does not go as smoothly as with a credit card.

Here are a few reasons buying a ticket with cash can be more difficult:

1. When paying in cash, most airlines require sufficient time between the ticket payment and the air travel date. This period may range from hours to weeks, so don’t think you can just buy the next flight out of town. 

2. You may need to show some additional documents for verification, including your government-issued photo ID. 

3. You might have to be at the airport hours early so that the staff can complete the screening tests on time. You sometimes have to do this because air tickets paid with cash are subject to extra security checks.

Important Limits on Cash Ticket Transactions

Although airlines offer non-credit card payments, they are usually more cautious about people buying tickets at the airport with a cash payment.

Firstly, you should know that not all airports entertain this option. For instance, in the case of American Airlines and United Airlines, only certain airports will let you buy a plane ticket in person.   

Secondly, not all ticket counters in the airport will let you buy with cash. So, spare some time to find that counter too. 

However, you can always call the airline in this case, instead of wandering around the airport. 

Lastly, and most importantly, you may need to go through extra screening when you buy tickets with cash. Airlines go through this process because cash payments allow your payment to remain anonymous. 

And, since the process is anonymous, terrorists have used cash purchases in the past. Thus, security will want to make sure you have no ill intentions. 

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Online Payment Methods That Don’t Require a Credit Card

There are also other ways to make online purchases besides using a credit card. 

The first option, of course, is a debit card. With a debit card, you can conduct your transactions almost exactly as you would with a credit card.

However, you need to ensure that your debit card is part of a major credit card company, like Visa. 

A prepaid card falls under the same rules as a regular debit card, and you can conduct in-flight purchases with them.

Another option to buy flight tickets is your airline gift card. Though it varies, you can use certain airline gift cards for online travel purchases.

Or, you can pay with cash through Alternative Airlines. And many airlines now even accept PayPal as a certified payment method. 

So, in short, if you don’t have a credit card, you can still travel by air with other online payment options.

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Cash Airline Ticket Purchase Through a Travel Agent

If you want to pay for your travel ticket via cash, you can also use a travel agent. Travel agents guide you through the various packages each airline offers, letting you compare and choose the cheapest flight.

Travel centers are not common anymore, though. But if you find a travel agent with an office, they normally don’t mind getting paid by cash.

Can I Pay for a Ticket Upgrade With Cash?

Yes, you can usually upgrade from economy to a business class ticket using cash. You can also sometimes use money orders, Western Union or traveler’s checks, or a checking account transfer. 

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If you intend to pay by cash, the best option is to pay at the airport or through travel agencies because debit cards and PayPal may present ambiguities. But still, they are pretty good options if your situation demands.