When purchasing a flight ticket, is there any point in indicating the passenger's passport number if optional?


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  • 3
    Where is the flight from/to/via? Also even if it’s required to be provided at some point before the flight per APIS rules, it may indeed be optional at the current time/stage in the booking process.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 21:54
  • @jcaron thanks, I'm curious for the general case Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 21:55
  • 6
    My guess without any further details is that it’s simply optional at this stage (this seems to be during the initial booking/purchase process, right?) and can be provided at a later date.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 22:15
  • Close voters: could you please leave a comment to explain what is unclear or what details I should add? Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


When you are flying internationally, your passport data is needed.
If you type it in upfront, you save time when checking in. Also, many airlines offer to upload a photo afterwards, and get it verified. This allows you to check in online for international travel, instead of having to wait until you are at the counter in the airport; and with that you can pick your seat a lot earlier (unless you prefer to pay for early seat picking). When you are at the counter, they may have only middle seats remaining...

Also, believe it or not, many people realize only in the airport that their passport is expired or invalid (unsigned). When you type the expiration date in, you have a chance to realize it and get it renewed.

The data you enter is not binding; only your name is. You can always change the passport data later.

  • 1
    You may also be able to scan the passport as ID at airport check-in self-service machines if it's already associated with your booking (rather than having to type in booking codes and then enter passport details on one of those nasty airport touchscreens that don't always work very well). But there are many different systems.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 10:46
  • 2
    @StuartF I've always been able to scan my passport as ID at the airport check-in self-service machines even when my passport isn't attached to the reservation in any way. I just assumed it was matching name/DOB/gender from the data contained in the passport itself to the data entered when booking. I've done this many times even on airlines that I've only flown domestically and, thus, never had a reason to give them passport information.
    – reirab
    Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 15:57
  • 2
    Where have you seen airlines accepting uploads? I have checked in online for many dozens of flights and I have never had to or even been given the option of uploading a passport. Mind you, most of my international travel has been between various European countries, both within and without the Shengen area) and a few to the US, could this be a regional thing?
    – terdon
    Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 17:17
  • 1
    I see it (and used it) at United, Delta, American, Lufthansa; typically for travel between US and Europe, either way. Except that United has a bug and it never works, because on the ticket they glue your middle initial to the first name, and then it of course doesn't match the passport.
    – Aganju
    Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 18:28
  • 1
    Just checked, Air France offers it too. You need to have a free account, and use the App, with all of them, as the upload and verification is stored at your account level.
    – Aganju
    Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 18:39

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