Paying for your flight

With a multitude of online, mobile, and in-person payment options available, choosing the one that suits you best when you're booking a flight can seem daunting. That's why hippo.co.za shares some advice about the most common payment methods available, along with a few top tips for the next time you pay for a flight. Read on to find out more!

Here are the most common payment methods available, but be aware that not all airlines will offer all of these.

 

  • Credit card
  • Cheque or debit card
  • Instant secure electronic funds transfer (EFT)
  • QR code payment
  • Samsung Pay
  • Discovery Miles
  • Pay in-store
  • Book and pay at the airport kiosk
  • Bank deposit
  • Travel agent

 

Most of these payment options are made available after you've selected your flights, entered your personal information, and confirmed your seats.

What is the best and safest way to pay for my flight?

The easiest and most frequent method of payment is by credit card.

If you pay with a credit card, the website you're booking on will guide you through the process. Read all the information at each step carefully to make sure you understand what you need to do. Some sites will ask you for your credit card number, the date the credit card expires, and the CVV or security number. Other sites may want an image of the credit card or additional information like the name on the card and whether it's a Mastercard or Visa card. Remember to keep your phone with you as sometimes you'll need it to complete a payment.


In the past, online credit card payments were notorious for their lack of security, but in recent years, advanced security technology has made it one of the safest ways to shop online. If you're unsure about the safety of the website you're using, you can use scamadvisor.com to check the legitimacy of the site. We suggest you use an established airline or a well-known flight comparison site, like hippo.co.za, to book your tickets.


If you still feel unsafe using your credit card to pay for a flight, there are other options such as EFT, QR code, a mobile payment app, and more traditional methods like a bank deposit. Whichever you prefer, the website will guide you through the payment process.


When you pay by instant secure EFT, you'll first be redirected to a page where you can select your bank. You'll receive an SMS with a one-time pin (OTP) on the cellphone number registered to the owner of the bank account. You'll need to enter this number online when asked to confirm that payment can go ahead.


If you feel safer paying in person, a few airlines offer the option of paying a deposit online and paying the remaining amount at an airport kiosk on the day of your flight. You can also simply buy your ticket on the day at the airport, but this option is risky as flights are often fully booked by this time. Some local airlines even allow you to pay for your ticket at your local Pick n Pay or Checkers store.


If you have a Discovery Card, you can pay using your accumulated discovery miles. You might even find an airline that accepts bitcoin or other crypto currencies! If all of these payment methods seem too daunting or are simply too much effort, you can pay your travel agent and let them worry about the airlines and other arrangements.

Top tips for paying for your flight

The best advice we can offer is to read the website's guidelines for payment, follow the instructions carefully, and ensure the site and payment method you use are secure and legitimate.

Remember that sometimes you'll need to display proof of payment at the airport, either with a printed document or by presenting your actual credit card. The website you're paying through should let you know about any such requirements though.


Finally, if you feel unsure about your online safety at any point while booking your flight, you can always phone the airline before paying to make sure it's legit.


Prices quoted are correct at the time of publishing this article. The information in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal, or medical advice.