Do You Need Passport Number to Book Flights?

doing check-in before an international flight

It often happens that we need to make a reservation well before the actual date of the flight. For example, you might see a fantastic promotional offer including tickets to several lovely European countries at a rock-bottom price.

But what if you only have an expired passport (or worse, don’t have one at all)?

Thankfully, there is a way out of this predicament. In this article, we’ll break down the applicable rules and other vital information you might need when booking your next journey.

Do You Need Passport Number to Book International Flight?

going to the airport check-in service

Many international airlines do not require passport information (like number, expiration date, and nationality) at the time of booking. However, there can be exceptions. The rules can vary depending on the airline and destination countries–some companies don’t need you to provide passport details when booking and some make it a requirement.

One way or another, you will eventually need a valid passport when doing the online check-in or checking in at the airport. Without a passport, you won’t even be allowed to board the plane to another country.

Why is this such a strict rule?

The thing is, this requirement is crucial for complying with immigration and security regulations.

While it often happens that you don’t need a passport to book a ticket, international travel also involves customs and various checks, and your passport information is essential for this process. All airlines collect this information to ensure that passengers meet the destination country’s entry requirements.

Remember that passport requirements can differ from one country to another. Some may also require additional visa information, depending on your nationality and the purpose of your trip. Always check the entry requirements well in advance to avoid any last-minute issues.

So, having a valid travel document is an absolute must during an international flight.

But what if you’ve already submitted an application for a new passport and just haven’t received it yet?

If this is the case and you need to book a ticket as soon as possible, there are two possible workarounds:

  • You can try using your expired UK passport to book a ticket by entering the old credentials for now. When your new passport arrives, contact the airline and have your details changed.

  • If you don’t have a travel document yet, you could try filling the passport number field with zeros. Then, wait until you get your new passport and enter valid numbers post-booking.

Whatever method you use, make sure to consult the airline or your travel agent if it’s okay to do so!

Have Your Passport Ready for an Overseas Trip

As you see, although you usually don’t need a passport to book, you’ll need it later anyway.

We strongly recommend submitting a new passport application to be fully prepared for your next international flight.

Whether you apply in person at a post office or online, remember that it may take up to 10 weeks for HMPO to process passport applications! If it’s too much considering your travel plans, you can order expedited service and get your papers much sooner than usual.

To expedite the passport renewal process before it even starts, you can take an instant photo online on our website. For example, you can get a valid Asda passport photo without having to leave your home or visit the store itself!

Do You Need a Passport for Domestic Flights?

travelling within the country is usually possible without a passport

In case you need to travel solely within the borders of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland (for instance, between London and Edinburgh or Manchester and Belfast), the rules regarding passports are milder than those for international flights.

Usually, travellers within the UK aren’t required to provide their passport number when flying domestically.

When booking domestic flights, airlines typically ask for other advance passenger information like your name, contact information, date of birth, and so on. This information is primarily used for identification and communication purposes.

Still, when flying domestically without a passport, you will need at least some other form of identification. As a rule, it can be a full or provisional driving licence, a bus pass, a residence permit or another document containing your personal details and a photo. Some companies even allow to use of expired passports for identification.

Again, different airlines have different rules, so it’s better to call them and make sure what ID you can use.

Other Information Required When Booking

When reserving a flight, you’ll need to enter passenger details (name, contact info, birthdate, address), travel dates, departure and arrival airports, flight preferences (cabin class, seats, meals), additional services (car rental, insurance), payment info, and a frequent flyer number if you have one.

Please note: when it comes to an international flight, visa or travel authorization may also be required. Specific requirements may vary by airline and destination, so check their website or the booking platform for any variations.


you don't need a passport to book an international flight

In most cases, you do not need to provide your passport number when booking a flight, and you don’t even have to have your travel document if you’re flying domestically.

But with international flights, you do need a passport when actually checking in online or at the airport.

The best practice is to always ensure that it’s valid for at least six months beyond your travel date and that you meet the entry requirements of your destination.

When booking any flight, remember that individual airline policies may vary. So, make sure you’re informed about any changes in international travel regulations and requirements.