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I want to know how embassies verify flight bookings made with travel agencies? I made a reservation with a reputable local travel agent and was only given 1 PNR code among my 8 bookings. There is a reservation code, though. According to the agent, “All Embassies are connected to IATA that’s why they can see the flight blocking.” How true is that?

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    With your PNR and your name, anybody can see your booking, for example on checkmytrip.com – fkraiem Nov 21 '17 at 7:39
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The PNR code and your name are enough to locate your flight in the international booking systems like Amadeus. The wording used by the embassy is a bit sloppy though ("connected to IATA"). All international flight are operated by airlines who are members of the IATA and follow its regulations. Such flights must be registered in one of the big international booking systems. The PNR code is the reference number used in those systems. The embassy may have extra privilege (acting like a travel agency) and therefore can see personal details.

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    Many low-cost airlines, including ones that operate international routes, are not members of IATA. – Henning Makholm Nov 21 '17 at 13:07
  • Correct, not all are in IATA. This doesn't change the picture though. Even if they are not IATA members they will often (not always) use the big booking systems. Anyway, there are a limited number of those for any given country, so the embassies will be able to check those airlines websites if the flight is not in a GDS. – Michael Renper Nov 24 '17 at 10:15
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Probably they doesn't. But they see a lot more flight booking than you, so they could check further, in case of doubts. And they are used to receive fake documents.

Website of airlines permit everyone to check the status of a booking (booking reference, name and dates are available on booking document), connecting to IATA is also not difficult, and this possibly is done indirectly: embassy will put your data in a central system [on embassy country], which also control booking. This data is used also for other checks.

Note: sn embassy usually have few airlines to check: (local airlines and national [of embassy] airlines; long-flight airlines are not so many), and it will make extra check if you book a very strange journey to reach destination nation.

Remember: the authorization to enter in a country is given by immigration officers, so if you enter in other ways, they could verify the reasons, and if they find a fake booking on origin, you will not be able to enter.

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    -1, no, that's not how it works. Basically all major airlines use one of three GDSes and anybody can look up any booking in a GDS if they have the record locator (PNR) and the last name. The embassy doesn't have to "put data" anywhere. – jpatokal Nov 21 '17 at 10:10
  • @jpatokal: right, and I wrote that with the data is available for all persons (having few booking data). But the data is stored centrally for other reasons [security clearance, further checks and statistics, data for immigration office, and for double check: you know, not all countries have enough personal, so local outsourcing + random central check is regularly done). Consider also security reason of embassy network. Being available doesn't mean it is secure to use on embassy network. – Giacomo Catenazzi Nov 21 '17 at 11:30

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