I made a booking through ebookers, using a combined BritishAirways/AmericanAirlines flight (BA for one way, AA for return) about 4 weeks ago. I got booking numbers for both BA and AA from ebookers.

The booking number for AA works on the AA website, and the AA booking shows both legs of the journey, but doesn't allow me to check in on the BA flight.

The problem is, the flight is tomorrow and the booking number for BA seems to be unknown by the BA online system, which is worrying (no, the booking number isn't NOSYNC). The flight is from ZRH to the United States. I do have an approved ESTA.

Is there anything I should do to avoid possible issues, other than showing up at the airport 2 hours before departure? I'm also thinking of US specific issues such as API (AdvancedPassengerInformation) data.

  • 1
    Does your BA flight show up on the AA airlines website when using the AA record locator? If yes, then I wouldn't worry. You could also call AA and ask for the BA record locator - perhaps they will be able give you the right one. – DCTLib Feb 28 '16 at 15:38
  • BA and AA use completely different reservation systems (Amadeus vs Sabre). You need different record locators (6 letters/numbers) for the two – Gagravarr Feb 28 '16 at 19:48
  • @Gagravarr Correct, the booking numbers are different for both, and 6 characters each. The number for AA works with AA, and the number for BA doesn't work with BA. Once at the airport I'll try the various other identification methods which the online check in doesn't support, but which the physical check in kiosk allows - maybe there was just human input involved in the back end somewhere, so the number ended up being wrong. – Peter Feb 28 '16 at 22:59
  • I don't see how the various mentions of ESTA are related to the question? – CMaster Feb 29 '16 at 14:26
  • @CMaster I brought it up so noone else had to, and because it might be helpful for someone who later stumbles upon this question. I agree the tag is unnecessary so I'm removing it. – Peter Mar 1 '16 at 5:51

There was almost no problem at all, check in at the airport took only 5 minutes, using my passport number. I also gave them the first address in the US for API, and showed them the approved ESTA confirmation.

Edit: Thanks to a helpful comment by Henning Makholm I was able to locate the correct booking reference on the boarding pass, and confirm it by using it to look up the booking through the BA website. The correct number is completely different from the one I was given by ebookers. What actually went wrong is anyone's guess, but I should also mention that immediately after the original booking 4 weeks ago, the BA booking number was initially given as NOSYNC, until it was replaced with the incorrect number soon after. The AA number was available and correct from the beginning.

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    Thanks for following up on this. Your boarding pass is likely to contain the correct booking reference somewhere (sometimes under a "PNR" heading). Is there something that the booking number you already have could conceivably be a typo for? – hmakholm left over Monica Feb 29 '16 at 14:38
  • @HenningMakholm Nice one. I couldn't find the booking number on my boarding pass on my own, but knowing it's there and a bit of trial and error made it work. I now have the correct booking number, which I know because it allows me to log in at BA. It matches the BA booking number I was given by ebookers in only one digit, and isn't at all similar. So I guess I may have received someone else's booking number (which wouldn't work due to mismatching passenger name), which could be due to any number of software or human faults. – Peter Mar 1 '16 at 5:48

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