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Do you need a passport number before booking flights?

Lansing, Michigan
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Do you need a passport number before booking flights?

We have a group that is going from the US to Europe. One person doesn’t have a passport yet, but is in the process of getting his stuff together to apply. A travel agent told us we can’t book flights for anyone who doesn’t have a passport number because TSA can cancel the ticket-no notice-no refund-if there isn’t one, as of Nov. 1. I went ahead and booked the rest of us online and was never asked for passport numbers.

Is the TA right or is it possible he was confused? Can we go ahead and book the last person? We really all want to be on the same flights. Thanks!

Travelling The World
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for Alghero
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1. Re: Do you need a passport number before booking flights?

No, you don't. You can buy the ticket. You will need to include the passport details as soon as they are available, and apply for ESTA in good time if that is applicable. But as long as everything is in order before you fly, it's fine to book the tickets now and provide passport details later.

Edited: 9:18 am, November 12, 2010
Travelling The World
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for Alghero
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2. Re: Do you need a passport number before booking flights?

Sorry, just noticed, no ESTA involved as you are coming from the US. But the same principle applies.

For example, this is what British Airways has to say: britishairways.com/travel/…en_gb

Edited: 9:33 am, November 12, 2010
San Diego
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for San Diego
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3. Re: Do you need a passport number before booking flights?

I'd get a new travel agent!! You can definitely book a ticket on line withOUT having a passport no. You will just need to put that info in as soon as you get it.

Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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4. Re: Do you need a passport number before booking flights?

Since when can the TSA cancel bookings?

The DHS can stop planes traveling TO the US if they don't like the compulsory passenger information sent to them but the TSA are a bunch of people who are one step from the nonce's wing at the local jail

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Do you need a passport number before booking flights?

I'd get a new travel agent!!

_____________________

Indeed, once again a TA proves themselves to be a moron. I think those who fail to become insurance agents end up working as TAs, the vast majority of them appear to be utterly useless.

South London
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6. Re: Do you need a passport number before booking flights?

The airlines will cancel now if they have not recieved SFPD (secure flight passenger data) which will include middle names and dates of birth.

APIS (advanced passenger information) will be your passport details and address whilst staying in the US. Some of these details are requested before you fly, but not at the time of booking,.

Lancaster...
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7. Re: Do you need a passport number before booking flights?

(Slightly Off Topic) As is often the case when I'm reading UK postings, I had to Google the term "nonce'. I must agree with the term used in reference to TSA personnel. Thanks for the laugh.

Travelling The World
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for Alghero
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8. Re: Do you need a passport number before booking flights?

It's when you encounter a poncey nonce that you are really in trouble!

Houston, Texas
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for Solo Travel
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9. Re: Do you need a passport number before booking flights?

I went to book some upcoming "fun" travel for me and a couple friends. The only information needed to ticket were names and birthdates (ie. Secure Flight data). Passport is not needed until check-in.

Lancashire, United...
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for Playa Blanca
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10. Re: Do you need a passport number before booking flights?

and there was me thinking it was only UK travel agents that were useless!!!