Pardon the naive question, but my travel agent sent me an e-ticket, not thru email but in an URL link within an email. My phone's browser did not get me in, and Firefox also had trouble (probably due do NoScript) but I had no problem viewing the info with another browser.

Still, there is a slight possibility, that come check-in time, I again won't be able to access the info. So, and especially with regards to automated check-in kiosks, what's the minimal set of information I need to provide to proceed smoothly?

I am assuming that I need:

  • the flight number, time and destination.
  • a passport exactly matching ticket issuance name and info.
  • the e-ticket number itself and only that.

I know I can be checked in by an attendant, possibly by looking up the info with my laptop, but I would like to avoid that. And the e-ticket info on the website isn't super printer friendly (I'll look if they have a print-friendly link or I can screenshot the ticket, but the question still intrigues me in principle).

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    Do you have an airline and airport in mind? This is a very broad question. – Mikael Dúi Bolinder Dec 15 '19 at 3:10
  • Why is it a broad question? I know that certain airports and countries have extra complications, but airport security and immigration considerations aside, what exactly are you expected to provide from an e-ticket during checkin? I mean, in abstract you could print all of it and use that to do the checkin but what's the bare minimum info it carries that you need to know, in case you lose it, your phone/computer runs out of batteries, etc... – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Dec 15 '19 at 3:16
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    I on,y ever use my passport number nothing else for my travels for the last 10 years or so I never produce ticket numbers or anything else – Matt Douhan Dec 15 '19 at 3:19
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    Isn't it completely at the airline's discretion? The airline can in principle deny boarding for any reason, including not giving them whatever information they ask for. – fkraiem Dec 15 '19 at 9:28
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    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica Yes. It is completely airport dependent. In most Indian airports, there is basic identity check before checkin desk. You won't be admitted to semi secure area where checkin desks are located, without showing a printed or e ticket, along with passport. Ticket number won't do. Contrary to that, on Singapore airport, regardless of Airline, I need only passport to checkin. Nothing else, not even ticket number. – Anish Sheela Dec 16 '19 at 2:51

This is dependent on the airline and airport.

For some airlines, it’s still just a ticket, and using your passport or other ID you will be able to check-in (either at a desk or at a kiosk) to get your boarding pass. When using a kiosk, you may be able to use other ways to retrieve the file: PNR locator (the booking reference, usually a 6-letter code), frequent flier card or number, etc. This varies quite a bit. But as you’ll often need ID at some point anyway...

For others, the “ticket” is actually directly your boarding pass, and they usually need the barcode that is printed on that ticket. Some airports may accept scanning it off a mobile (most do nowadays, but there’s probably the odd exception), all with accept the paper version. Many LCCs will charge you to get the boarding pass printed at the airport if you didn’t print it in advance (or don’t have the barcode on your phone, if that’s accepted).

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Just your e-Passport.

AFAIK: the smoothest process I've ever had was just scanning my e-Passport at the self-service check-ins. This was with British Airways in Gatwick but I've seen similar at many airports.

You usually only need the passport at gates too, the boarding pass is only needed for passing security and shopping in the duty free, most of the times.

However, if you're not required to prove your ID, like when travelling in the Nordics (where I live) you might not have an ID on you...

Another common way is using only the ticket number.

When checking in manually (at the check-in disk) you only need you passport too. They can check if you're on the passenger list and issue you your boarding pass.

Low Cost Airlines

Being used to the above I thought the same applied to low cost airlines (Wizz Air for example), I had to pay 60 € extra because I hadn't saved the boarding pass PDFs 2 hours before departure, nor printed them 2 hours before. These things are different between airlines and I therefore consider this question very broad.

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  • ah, I see your point better now. but you still got in, even if the airline stiffed you and applied one of their make-money overcharges. – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Dec 15 '19 at 3:18
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    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica That's not a triviality, though; it could have doubled the cost of the flight, or more. – Lightness Races in Orbit Dec 15 '19 at 16:59
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    With WizzAir I have tickets bought that are one way for around £8-10. Paying £60 for check-in means paying 6 times more than the actual ticket cost. But personally I check-in on their phone app (once did 2 minutes before the check-in deadline!) and so have the boarding pass always available on my phone. Paying the fee would definitely make it a sad day. – kiradotee Dec 16 '19 at 2:36

In the browser in which you can access the ticket, hit the print button, and print to a PDF file. Then send that PDF to your phone, in a way that you're sure it gets cached!

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If you don’t have something the scanner will accept, you have to get an agent or kiosk to print one. This requires a passport or other photo ID, or your name and six-character confirmation, or the card used to buy the ticket.

I always print mine in advance, because more than once, the scanner has not been able to handle an image on my cellphone. And with one exception, the kiosks have always failed to scan my passport.

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  • I have had years when the boarding card terminals always asked for a code, either the e-ticket number or the reservation number, and it was never a hardship to transport those to the airport. – Willeke Dec 15 '19 at 16:59

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