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I have never personally had to reconfirm the ticket, but have read that in some case you can lose a place on a flight, even if you paid for it!

Where does the idea of ticket reconfirmation comes from? How to find out that you are required to reconfirm the ticket? Does it only applies to agencies of also to bookings made via website? Can an agent reconfirm your ticket already at the time of purchase?

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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

With very few exceptions, reconfirmation no longer exists.

Historically, in the days of paper tickets (remember those?), reconfirmation existed as a way of both the airline and the passenger being able to confirm that the tickets were all correctly issued and paid for, thus reducing the chances of problems occurring with a passenger turning up at the airport for a flight when the airline had no record of them.

With far more computerized systems, with e-tickets, and with airlines now having websites where you can check your booking the need for re-confirming your ticket has disappeared and no major airlines still require it.

You may find some small regional carriers that still ask you to confirm your booking, but you'll never see it on a major carrier.

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Actually you have to confirm your tickets before travel because there is a good chance that one of the operating carriers on your ticket change the schedule (normally for tickets booked way ahead of the travel date or to rare and fare destinations). Of course when the schedule change it can be either a minor thing that won't affect your trip or sometimes it can lead to a major change in your route and time and sometimes it also affect the travel date. So if the airlines or the agency whom you booked with failed to notify you for whatever reason -and that can happen- they advise you contact them before travel by like 3 or 2 days to make sure that the schedule is still the same and in case of a change in schedule they shall re-protect you by either a free change or a full refund even for a non-refundable ticket, Keeping in mind that each airlines have a re-protection policy so you can't hop on any alternative flight that you see on the internet.

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This is incorrect for most airlines these days - see the other answers. –  Andrew Ferrier Dec 24 '12 at 21:25
    
With all due respect I work in a travel agency for around 2 years now and this is normally the case. Of course I respect all the other answers and the main goal is to benefit the others and gain more knowledge about the mater but I work with almost every airline and that's the main reason to call before traveling yourself. We live in this hassle everyday =)! –  Mazen El-Kashef Dec 26 '12 at 5:18
    
I have never travelled on an airline in the last 10 years where ticket reconfirmation has been necessary. Perhaps you are discussing double-checking the itinerary online or over the phone (probably just common sense, but it isn't required to keep the tickets valid) rather than the process of formally reconfirming the booking (which is required to keep the tickets valid) Do you have any references for when the latter is needed? –  Andrew Ferrier Dec 26 '12 at 9:02
    
Assuring that your schedule has not changed is something very different from reconfirmation. –  mithy Jan 3 '13 at 9:22
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From my experience it still exists on some smaller charter carriers, that would need to know a couple of days ahead of time about no-shows (so that they could resell the tickets and fill the airplane, or arrange alternatives if overbooked and everyone shows up).

Also, while scheduled airlines will fly regardless, charter flights may be canceled any time, and it is not always possible to inform the travelers.

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