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I was advised that I have to confirm my flight 48 hours before departure. What does that mean exactly? '48 hours before the departure' is just a "point" of time, not a period. I don't think it means I have to do so 'exactly' 48 hours before the departure because it's almost impossible.

The possibilities are 1) Before '48 hours before the departure' 2) After '48 hours before the departure' 3) Around '48 hours before the departure'

I'm really confused

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@Simon Not necessarily a formality. It depends on what kind of flight it is. For chartered flight it may not be a formality. – Karlson Mar 2 '13 at 18:32
@Karlson Ah Ok fine, i've deleted my comment – Simon Mar 2 '13 at 20:55
What airline is the flight with? Very few airlines require you to re-confirm bookings now days, although many travel agencies/etc still (incorrectly) advise people to do so. – Doc Mar 2 '13 at 20:56
@Doc Thats what I thought – Simon Mar 2 '13 at 22:11
Reconfirmation was discussed here:… – crenate Mar 3 '13 at 8:04
up vote 7 down vote accepted

It means you should confirm your flight by 48 hours prior to departure.

In reality your window is likely to be from a few hours before that point to a few hours after. And it can be essential for some flights, as if you don't confirm then they may allocate your seats to someone else.

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I've reconfirmed flights a week or more before departure, when it was unlikely I'd be able to do so later. Usually no problem, though the girl at the other end may have extra work to do looking for the future flight in the system – jwenting Mar 4 '13 at 7:26
You're right - the ones which do have a problem just tend to tell you to call back later. – Rory Alsop Mar 4 '13 at 7:54

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