With your credit/debit cards, you can now enjoy delicious in-flight meals and quell your hunger pangs.
Now, you might wonder, how can you make card payments without internet connectivity at 30,000 feet?
Challenge of Payment without Internet
You’ve probably experienced moments at malls or shops when card machines don’t work due to a slow or non-existent network.
Well, the situation isn’t very different in the sky.
When an airplane takes off, your phone is required to be in airplane mode, disabling all internet-related activities.
In-Flight Card Payments
So, how is card payment possible while soaring through the skies? Enter “In-Flight Commerce” (IFC), a technology designed for transactions without internet or Wi-Fi.
The swipe machines used for this purpose are memory-based and come equipped with a special code known as the “Merchant Category Code” (MCC).
In simple terms, each purchase made in-flight, be it duty-free shopping or in-flight entertainment, is assigned a unique code. This code ensures that the card machine can only be used during the flight.
No Need for Special Cards
Many travelers wonder if they need a special card for in-flight payments. Rest assured, a regular debit or credit card works just fine.
What’s more, there are no additional charges for making card payments while in the air. Your card is charged only after you’ve safely landed.
Next time you’re onboard and craving a snack, remember that your trusty debit or credit card can come to the rescue, allowing you to enjoy a meal even when your wallet is far from reach.