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When searching on Orbitz for round-trip flights, I see a number of results with this note highlighted in yellow when expanding Flight Details:

"This flight is pending government approval."

What does that mean? How does the likelihood that such flight will occur compared to other flights along the same route? What should I expect if it does not occur, compared to the cancellation of a flight without that note?

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It's a good question except for the subjective/speculative "Is it safe...?" part.... –  Flimzy Jul 11 at 17:38

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If an airline is planning to open a new route, especially international routes, they will need a long list of approvals before they can operate that route. Usually this process is a bureaucratic process since it involves many organizations (civil aviation authorities, airport authorities, etc.).

Anyway, airlines usually have a green light to open the route before the paper work is done, hence they start advertising that route before they get the final approvals on paper. So generally speaking it is safe to book these flights, but just in case something goes wrong, the airline is notifying you in advance about that. Also, you will get a full refund in case things go wrong.

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