Card Payments on a Plane

I’ve heard that Revolut or other e money cards can be rejected by attendants on flights - is this no longer the case now real debit cards are issued (this applies to Rev and Dozens, flying in a few days!) or would the staff likely not know?

Is this a manual intervention & as such could it be navigated via just using Apple Pay privately? (My Rev cards are also ones they likely wouldn’t recognise, same for Dozens I spose)

Hit or miss depending on the airline. My solid advice? Never run with a single card. Always keep a backup.

Also, yes use Apple Pay. Or something else of a similar nature, means that the staff can’t pre-assume your card doesn’t work via contactless or something stupid like that

1 Like

Ultimately, yes - all cards do work via Apple Pay and they “police” the airline card acceptance policies manually by refusing to allow you to use recognised “banned” cards.

So just use whatever card you like via Apple Pay.

No, some cards genuinely do have non-connected usage turned off. It depends in the configuration, but I think the only ones likely to have that done are the people with thingy

Yes, I know.

But all the usual cards “banned” by airlines for “not working” are not ones which prohibit offline processing.

They are cards like Monzo, Revolut and Starling.

I should have said “all those cards”, as @Rexx was particularly interested in Revolut and Dozens.

Very few cards are genuinely online-only, most are online-preferring and set to allow limited usage offline if the bank cannot be contacted.

The sort of cards which are genuinely online-only are actual prepaid cards and restricted cards for children or basic bank accounts. GoHenry or Hyperjar Kids would be unlikely to work, for example.

1 Like

I mean in terms of functionality I’ve used my Dozens and Rev cards at the M6 Toll - assume this would require similar functionality (although you can’t use apple or g pay there!)

I’ll just use Apple Pay or a Revolut card that doesn’t say Revolut on it

I’ll have my travel credit card too - but that’s for emergencies…

They ban them out of fear of the payment bouncing - based on when they were prepaid cards right?

Despite being e money accounts - not all cards of this nature are actually pre paid - I’ll get round it :shushing_face:

That’s right, and also out of confusion between how prepaid cards and e-money accounts interrelate.

Initially, there were also fraud concerns with Monzo prepaid cards since the card could be frozen and reported lost/stolen before the payment was fully processed (given offline terminals process on a delay).

Fears over this have presumably dissipated now almost every bank offers this feature.

1 Like

I’m not certain if this processes offline or not, but given it’s a transportation scenario it may well do.

I believe I read that one reason why it wasn’t contactless was because it was originally configured to use Chip + no authentication (which is allowed up to a certain limit for transport) and never changed once contactless came out.

Good - in case in doesn’t work, you will still have a backup method to pay!

You can always use credit cards in offline terminals, so there shouldn’t be an issue there.

Personally, though, I think airlines incorrectly and unfairly banning certain cards is irritating because there is no reason for it if the card is capable of being processed - so I would want to just use my preference, assuming it is going to work, as otherwise I’m letting them dictate how I pay and I view that as unfair when I’m the one giving them money.

1 Like

Contactless is fine at the toll - just not phone based payments. May have changed recently. But it was defo offline as my payment with Dozens didn’t appear till the next day (and I definitely heard people leaving their details who had only gone out with their phone…).

WRT to the credit card - it’s fee free abroad as well - so perfect for travel. But I’ll spend on debit when I don’t have any security concerns.

The Credit Card is on Apple Pay too - but I’ll make the payment without them policing the way I spend my money :100: as far as I’m aware the only way my Rev card wouldn’t physically work is if I turned location based security on.

1 Like

Best advice is to open and start to eat/drink your food before payment. Then, if they refuse the card, “Thanks for the free food.”


Popular opinion here but we should exempt card payments from being illegal usage of phone on public / private roads.

May think it would weaken the courts a bit when they try prosecuting people using phones while driving, but I believe payment records show that you were using card

Interesting, so probably a rare use of offline contactless.

Again, that is now only permitted in the U.K. in certain transport-based scenarios, but the toll would qualify. Another one, I think, is parking metres.

I think I’m right in saying that Apple Pay and Google Pay try to force all contactless online and don’t work if the terminal can’t go online?

1 Like

This seems like something where the government shouldn’t even be worried about “weakening” laws, since as you say it would be pretty obvious if they were making a payment or not.

Other laws around reckless driving would also apply if somebody was somehow making a payment in a ludicrously reckless way.

It’s just a case of existing law not covering it well because mobile payment hadn’t even been thought of when it was enacted.

1 Like

Apple/Google store a set number of tokens on your phone in the secure element or equivalent of

Let’s you do some payments offline, but will not refresh new tokens until connected to the internet (your phone, not the terminal).

As such, offline transactions should work fine

It will depend on the issuer and their risk appetite of the airline.

Last time I used Easyjet, when processing payments; the cabin crew knew which cards wouldn’t work but tried them anyway. They seemed slightly relieved that I handed them a credit card and not Revolut/Starling etc that they were just dealing with. On a United flight, all cards seemed to work; not sure if that is due to a different setup or simply as everyone provided ‘better’ cards that operated offline.

My VM savings card doesn’t work offline on Chip n Pin but is available on Google/Apple Pay; I wouldn’t expect it to work on a flight.


I think you’ve summed up the situation there - was glad I had a card the first time

1 Like

Was it yours that they tried or someone else’s - did it go through?

That’s my point - it shouldn’t.

If you sign a contract with Mastercard, or Visa or whoever, you must accept all their cards. Not say “I don’t trust those brightly coloured ones, we don’t accept those” if you are perfectly capable of processing them.

Nowadays it is even possible to receive internet on planes via satellite signal, so they could even process card payments online if they wanted to.

That may have been what Delta Airlines were doing.