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Delta Airlines, Paypal, and Frustration


Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2011
Reaction score
Has anyone had negative experience using Paypal to pay for airline tickets?
Last night using Delta's website (normally I Orbitz..) - I placed an order for 2 international plane tickets totaling a little over $1800. When checking out it provided me with the option to pay using Paypal. I have my personal checking debit card saved on Paypal, and thought it would save me from typing it in.
So I login with Paypal, continue onward until I am back at Delta's site and it throws me an error that I have insufficient funds after attempting the wire. I thought that was strange. I logged into my web banking (which has over draft to my linked savings turned off). My checking had a capture/charge for the total amount visible instantly. However, Delta/Paypal was requesting it a second time - and it was rightfully saying insufficient funds since I didn't have another $1800 in there to cover the transaction again.

I called Delta right away, explained the situation, and said that I didn't want to lose my flight since there were only 3 seats left on that date at that time. The manager said that she needed to run the card through again in order to hold it, even if it denied. She was able to find my flight checkout pending in their website - and reserve my seats. She said that I will need to call the bank and have them lift the capture, and then Delta could reapply the charge. This morning I called the bank, they said Delta already has the money, you need to call them. I called Delta, and they stated that the bank never approved the transfer. I then called the bank again, and they said that they needed a fax to lift the holds, and that delta tried running my card about 10 times, and it made a mess. I then call Delta back and they said its all good – it went through – everything is fine now…..
Anyhow, long story short - my ticket finally went through with delta after 24 hours of failing online. I thought all was good, logged into my web banking - and they captured 1800 dollars 3 times when it should have been 1 time – so they have a hold for over 5.4k on a 1.8k purchase. For some reason my bank allowed them to even though overdraft is shut off (it never touched savings, just thought it would get rejected up front). So now I have a negative balance, and a crippled checking account.

Paypal is blaming it on my bank, my bank blames it on Delta, and Delta blames it on PayPal.
I am told that I have to now wait 3 days until all of the captures clear out of my checking (except for the real one they are going to use).
So no big deal, that checking account is crippled for a few days.
What really pissed me off was when the manager of delta said that it is normal for Paypal to capture 2-3 times the amount. I do not believe that. If I only authorized a purchase of $1800 to begin with, why would I need to have 1800 x 3 to cover all of their captures?
I think the problem came in when the 1 manager tried running my card again.
I have made several large purchases using Paypal, and never had any trouble.

Very frustrated, and not sure what to do besides wait it out. Thats the last time I use my personal checking online for anything. I am just using my credit card now......

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