February 23, 2021

Let’s be honest – scams and frauds affect all industries, and the airline industry is no different. 

The truth is, digitalisation, which brought along plenty of good things both for the ones in the industry and the customers, came with a great liability as well. And if we know that almost 40 percent of all airline tickets are sold online, we understand how someone skilled and willing enough to scam the system can make a profit from it. Another part of the reason why the travel industry is so attractive to fraudsters hides in the high resale value of goods that can be sold back at a hefty price. Because companies in the travel industry operate with lower margins, we can easily see how damaging frauds can be for them.

If you are in the airline industry yourself, then you’re well aware of the fact that ticket frauds are one of the main sources of revenue losses. That said, we decided to examine how ticket scams affect airline companies and what are the most common causes why they still happen.


What kind of airline ticket frauds we most commonly see?

Some of the most common types of airline ticket frauds include:

  • Fake payment information. Fake payment information happens when cyber criminals just use another person’s credit card information for scamming purposes. Furthermore, statistics show that stolen credit card information can be sold for less than $15, which fraudsters use to buy and resell tickets on the black market.


  • Ticket cancellations. One of the ways airline ticket frauds happen is through ticket cancellations. Airlines usually heavily promote flight credit, in hopes of attracting new customers. Well aware of this fact, fraudsters use this opportunity to book flights with stolen credit cards and cancel them, leaving them with credit card bonuses they can resell or use to purchase tickets that can be further resold legally.

How to prevent airline ticket frauds?

Even though airline frauds are common, there are precautions you can take to secure your funds during travels. With that being said, here are some ways you can protect yourself from airline ticket frauds:


  • Transaction monitoring. The best way to detect fraud is to examine patterns that lead to fraudulent behaviour. Some of the most frequent patterns of fraud happen during the payment process and you should focus on these things during the checkout:


  • The amount of transaction and used currency.

  • Types of credit cards given that some are more likely to be used by fraudsters.

  • Location. Some regions are more at risk than others, and that should be monitored.


  • User profiling. As an agency, you should always have a good overview of your customers, since it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. That said, make sure to check the IP address. This will help you reveal the location or the potential use of VPN and TOR. Furthermore, check email addresses to determine whether it’s disposable, or from a high-risk domain. And, lastly, check device fingerprinting, as it can help in determining whether the same device has been previously linked to fraudulent activity.


  • Using a booking platform. If you want to safely manage your bookings use a provider that uses a central booking system. This will allow the company to detect malicious activities much faster.


  • Implement an incident management process. Mistakes will happen, but their severity will depend on how you react to them. Make sure to build awareness, and strict processes when frauds do happen. That way, you can react promptly, coordinate resources to catch fraudsters and protect customers (and yourself) more efficiently.


  • Use a trusted provider. Travel agencies that manage flight ticket bookings need to determine if a booking is fraudulent or not. That’s why having a trusted partner that will help them ensure there are no major losses is a must. As an expert in the market, Thomalex offers the possibility of several payment getaways. They are already integrated into the platform.  All you need is to choose your preferred one, and continue with your work without fear! What’s more, to implement it, you don’t have to possess any technical knowledge nor you’ll need additional technical requirements. What’s more, in case you already have a payment getaway we don’t have, we can easily integrate through their API and make it available to you. If you want to learn more, don’t be shy – give us a shout!


Thomalex Launches Air France and KLM NDC Content on its Corporate Booking Tool

At Thomalex, we’re dedicated to providing innovative solutions that enhance the travel

Read More

Thomalex Teams Up with LATAM Airlines for Seamless NDC Integration

We are excited to announce a collaboration that’s poised to redefine the

Read More