Do you need to show your credit card at check in?

As an anti-fraud measure, many airlines have adopted a policy of asking to see the credit card your tickets were purchased with at check in. This concerned me after buying tickets with my dad’s credit card for my family (wife and kids) to visit home later this year. We are flying Korean Air, so this information is pertinent only to them.

The Korean Air website clearly states that the credit card used to buy the tickets online needs to be shown at check in:

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Visa (if required by country visiting)
  • e-Ticket itinerary/Receipt
  • Credit card used for online transaction (if booked online)

Reading online flying forums for confirmation only served to confuse the situation, as it appears that some airlines (even Korean Air in some situations) actually ask for the owner of the credit card to also be present at time of check in.

To clarify, we called Korean Air on both continents we would be flying from and they gave us the same reply: Although their website seems to say otherwise, the only time you need to show a credit card at check in is if both of the following two items are true:

  1. You bought the ticket on the Korean Air website
  2. You did not encounter a Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode screen at time of purchase


In Thai, we were told “not to worry about it,” which is just about the most worrying thing you can be told in Thai when you want a straight answer, so I called KAL customer service in the states and was told the exact same thing. Since we bought the tickets from a 3rd party (discount travel site), it seems we will not be asked to produce the card at check in.