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I Bought Plane Tickets Online, Now What?

The airline industry is booming and at the moment is considered the most popular mode of transportation, at least as far as longer trips are concerned. Regardless of whether it is a vacation or business trip in question, most people would opt to fly rather than drive, mainly due to the duration. A 2000 mile trip takes well over a day to drive, but you can be there in a few hours with a plane, including the procedure before and after getting off the plane.

If we ignore the past two years due to the little thing called a pandemic, the airline industry was generating billions each year. In the pre-pandemic era, when things were running smoothly, the airline industry had 4.5 billion passengers and 42 million flights in 2019. Things took a turn for the worse in 2020 and seemed to improve in 2021.

The primary source of profit for this industry comes from selling tickets. Depending on the destination, date, class, and many other factors, they can range in price.

What Happens After Purchasing an Airline Ticket Online?

With all of the technology we have at our fingertips, purchasing tickets is quite simple. Hear over to the airline’s website, choose the date and destination, add some luggage if you need to, pay with your credit card and you’re good to go. While that is true, things aren’t as simple as that.

Paying for the ticket is one thing, but there are some additional steps you’ll need to take before you are eligible to get on the plane.

The general rule is that by purchasing the ticket, the airline company plans you for the flight, but in order to confirm, you’ll need to check in first. The process is done online, and this is where you can select the seats you’d like or purchase additional luggage space. Once this happens, you’re good to go and ready for the flight, regardless of whether you checked in hours before the flight or an entire month. One thing to note is that the time frame in which you can check-in depends on the airline.

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Do I Need to Print My E-Ticket?

printed airline tickets

In the case of an e-ticket, the point of the document is to avoid using paper, so the digital document is what you’ll need to get the boarding pass. Once you get to the airport, you’ll need to show your passport and e-ticket, and you’ll be good to go. Considering that we live in modern times and all of us own a smartphone, you can download the e-ticket there and show it at the desk.

An important thing to note is that regardless of whether you check-in a week before your home or at the airport a few hours before the flight, you will need to pass through that procedure to get on the plane.

How To Get Your Ticket at the Airport

The reason why airlines advise their customers to arrive several hours before the flight is to go through the standard procedure, which starts with getting the ticket. Yes, you are getting one when you make the purchase, and you can even get the boarding pass if you check-in before the flight; you’ll still need to get the ticket that will enable you to board the plane.

Most airlines print out these tickets at the counters at the airport. You will provide all the information required from you, and the clerk will print out the ticket. In recent years, this process has become automated, and some airports have machines where you can go through the process yourself. This is also where you’d leave the baggage if you paid for it to be checked.

Is a Boarding Pass the Same as a Ticket?

One things that people sometimes mix up are ticket and boarding pass. Both are different and serve a different purpose. The ticket is what you get once you pay for the flight, and that is your confirmation that you have paid for it. Technically in order to get a boarding pass, you’ll need the ticket. There are several situations here, and they depend on the airline you’re traveling with.

My advice is to inspect or reach out to the airline and get the details of how the process works. That way, you can be sure that you’ll avoid any complications or even a missed flight.

How Were Airplane Tickets Bought Before the Internet?

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we have the option to purchase airline tickets with the tip of our fingers. In the early days, things were a bit different.

For starters, since there was no internet, customers needed to go to the offices of the airlines and check if there were available flights. To make things more accessible, the offices were much closer to them, and you could find plenty within the city limits. Today, the only place you can find these are the airports.

There was also an option to get the information by phone. You’d call the airline and get the information for the flight, and if you’re interested, you can purchase the ticket directly.

Another way to get your hands on a ticked was through an individual agent or an agency. You can call them up and give them the information about the flight you’re looking for, and you’ll get a call back with the available flights and prices. Even though the number of airlines in the past wasn’t as vast as today, going for an agency was still a better option because it spared people from going to multiple agencies.

Andov Slavcho

Slavcho Andov is a part-time freelancer and full-time geek. He's a board game enthusiast, tech junkie, amateur photographer and Sith lord. Ohh...and he loves to travel.