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I just found and booked a flight from Japan to Australia.

I found the flight with SkyScanner.

That site redirected me to the online travel agent airtickets.com.

The flight itself is on JetStar.

Now the odd thing was that at the very end of the booking, after entering my credit card details and some stuff my bank (ANZ) asked me to complete along with it, I ened up getting an error on screen saying this or almost almost exactly this:

An error occurred. Please try again later.

Yet I received three emails from airtickets.com saying the transaction went through. There are numbers: a "reservation number" from the travel agency, and a "ticket number" from the airline.

It also seems that the appropriate amount of money has become unavailable to my credit card according to my online banking, though the specific transaction has not shown up there yet.

When I try to verify my flight via the airline it asks for my number and email address, but then tells me if I booked via a third party that I can only check via the third party.

When I try to verify my flight via airtickets.com their website only takes me to a page where I must choose between cancelling and changing my ticket once I enter my number and email address.

Since I don't believe there is no possibility of cracks in the system, how can I verify that my flight is truly booked and not going to be reverted by some automation in the system that detected an error occurred?


I'm now more confident, but still less than 100%, by doing this:

I could log in at https://checkin.jetstar.com - this address is designed for doing an advance web checkin, rather than for confirming your flight.
The JetStar system does currently contain my name and flight details but it's too early to do the web checkin itself. I get this message:

Your flight from Tokyo (Narita) to Gold Coast is not ready to be checked in yet. Please come back 48 hours or less prior to your flights departure time.

It's annoying the JetStar lets me log in here but not in the place for checking bookings. Having had unexpected things happen due to the strange logic of such systems before, I'm still not 100% convinced it's permanent and can't be reverted by error checking systems.


UPDATE

A friend in the airline industry got another friend in the airline industry who has access to the appropriate tools to look into this for me. The result is that my six-digit alphanumeric "ticket number" is indeed a confirmation that I have an e-ticket booked with JetStar.

Just now I checked my online banking and saw that the transaction has now gone through fully.

There will be one more update from me after I've been on the flight. Or with some shocking news if that turns out not to be possible...

(Not posting an answer because I don't think this could be re-usable by another person in a similar situation.)

  • Do you have a Qantas account that you could log into? For me, I can see my Jetstar flights in there... – Mark Mayo Supports Monica May 5 '14 at 3:54
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    No I don't have accounts with any airlines. I'm not loyal and always fly with the cheapest. – hippietrail May 5 '14 at 3:54
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    I'm not particularly loyal either, but accounts are free, points accrue and I've gotten free flights that way...just saying ;) – Mark Mayo Supports Monica May 5 '14 at 4:00
  • I had a frequent flyer thing years ago with JAL I think because I used to do huge flights, but I didn't do them frequently and the points always expired. I assumed all loyalty programs would work in a similar way. – hippietrail May 5 '14 at 4:02
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    could you send us your email in order to investigate your case? Athina, customer service/airtickets.com – user13528 May 7 '14 at 11:49
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Generally, if you already have the actual ticket number (generally 13 digits long), you're pretty safe; Issuing the ticket is usually the last step in the reservation process as far as I know. If you only have the PNR number / booking reservation number (6 characters, mix of digits and letters), I wouldn't be so sure.

But anyway, to be 100% sure, I think you should try and get on the phone with either JetStar and with the airline and sort this out (the airline's phone agents in particular should be helpful here, I think).

  • Yes the two numbers I have are 6-alphanumeric so I'm not so sure myself (-: – hippietrail May 5 '14 at 13:51
  • I emailed airtickets.com and they replied with a "confirmation" from JetStar. This one doesn't include a 13-digit ticket number either so I'm still concerned I might not have a fully booked reservation. – hippietrail May 7 '14 at 2:22
  • Just give the airline a call... – Eugene O May 7 '14 at 4:31
  • I don't have the money or know how to make a long-distance call within Japan. )-: – hippietrail May 7 '14 at 4:38
  • What about Skype? – JonathanReez Supports Monica May 7 '14 at 12:22
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You should be able to sign in somewhere on their site, like you said, but I guess the other solution is to simply contact Jetstar. I'd try twitter these days, after past experience with their customer support.

Providing the flight details, your name, the booking source and the date of travel should be enough, although if airtickets gave you a booking reference, that would be be even better.

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    If anyone happens to stumble on to this question and hasn't booked with an LCC, you might be able to lookup your booking (assuming you have a PNR reservation number) on virtuallythere.com (Sabre - SQ/VA and more) or checkmytrip.com (Amadeus - many oneworld airlines). LCCs often use a different system named Navitaire which doesn't have a public lookup website. – Sam May 5 '14 at 8:16
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    For anyone else wondering as I did, PNR stands for Passenger name record. – hippietrail May 5 '14 at 9:00

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