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I've booked international air tickets from a variety of sources and I've always needed to supply passport details, e.g. airline websites, travel agents. However I've just booked a flight with Expedia and at no point did they ask for my passport details.

Has anyone got some experience with this? Should I be concerned? Do I need to provide them at some point, or just when I show up at the airport to check in?

  • I have just had the same thing happen to me. What was the outcome? :) – user32315 Jul 29 '15 at 11:13
  • Eventually I got access working to the airline's site and entered my details in there. I don't believe I needed to, as I was never prompted for it, but I figured why potentially cause myself future hassle. My airline was Thai Airways BTW. – dlanod Aug 10 '15 at 23:48
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In some airline examples, it's only when you get to check in - either online or in person, that the passport details are requested. Before then you'd receive only a booking reference number, and you may be asked for your name and other identifying details (as you've stated Expedia did).

The booking number is enough to confirm it was your ticket, and at check-in, the passport details will be entered, either by you or the airline staff at the counter.

  • Does this vary by route or airline? I know some airlines seem very insistent on getting the details up front. – SpaceDog Apr 28 '14 at 5:44
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    Often it's by destination country - some countries (notably the US) are very keen to hoover up all your personal details ASAP... – Gagravarr Apr 28 '14 at 7:35
  • @SpaceDog I couldn't be certain, I've just noticed in the past myself. As Gagravarr points out, some countries are more fanatical about getting your specs. – Mark Mayo Apr 28 '14 at 8:32
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It depends where you're coming from and going to, however -- in my experience -- if the airline needs these details then either they will contact you directly, or they will get Expedia to do it. This often happens a little after booking, and sometimes they will wait until nearer your departure date.

If you're concerned the first thing to try is go to the 'Manage my flight' or equivalent on the relevant airlines webpage and try and access your booking via the information Expedia gave (hopefully you have the e-ticket number or booking reference, but often just name and flight are enough). These pages generally make it clear that you need to provide further info, and you can generally do it from that page.

If that doesn't work, and you don't get an e-mail, then contact Expedia support and ask them in the first instance. They should be able to help you.

  • I did try the airline page, as that seemed the most logical place, but the booking reference didn't call up any flight. Thanks for the info though. – dlanod Apr 28 '14 at 5:42
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    How far away is your flight and how long ago did you book? Sometimes it takes a while for the on-line site to catch up with bookings on the backend. – SpaceDog Apr 28 '14 at 5:44
  • The flight is in June, and we only booked about a fortnight ago. – dlanod Apr 28 '14 at 6:15
  • Sometimes you can manipulate agency booked flights via the normal online system. But anyway if they need the info someone will contact you, if you're really concerned mail Expedia support (and possibly the airline) and double check. – SpaceDog Apr 28 '14 at 9:07
  • @dlanod Are you certain you used the right booking reference? You'll have one for Expedia, but you'll have another one for more or less each airline on the itinerary. An airline won't be able to look up a flight based on Expedia's number or another airline's number. In any event, flights booked through third parties like Expedia often omit or get wrong details like seat requests or frequent flyer numbers, so I try to call in and confirm that everything is in order after booking. – choster Apr 28 '14 at 14:52
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We have travelled to Thailand for the past 8 years with Thai Airways and have always booked our tickets online; at no time have we ever been asked for passport numbers, just showing these at check-in. Never had any problems whatsoever.

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Each time I flew Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, purchasing the flight on Expedia, I was required to provide my passport information. However, I recently purchased a flight to the Philippines on Philippine Air and I was not required to give my passport information, nor does it appear from the expedia or Philippine airline site that it is possible for me to do so.

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It depends mainly if your itinerary requires API (Advanced Passenger Information); and if so, you generally provide this at the airline's website - as they are ultimately responsible for forwarding this information to the relevant authorities.

API is required for most international travel (at least, mainly if you are traveling to Europe or the US) for some Asian countries its a hit and miss.

If you are going to be using any sort of express check-in service (like a baggage drop and online checkin) it is always better to provide this information.

If you plug in your reservation code and your last name at the airline website's "retrieve booking" function, you'll find out if you need to provide these details or not.

If you are a frequent flier with the airline, they generally keep your passport information linked with your FF number to make bookings a lot easier, so make sure once you have booked with Expedia that you update the reservation with the airline and add your FF numbers. For most airlines, doing so will automatically update your passport information on the reservation.

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