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Booking a flight can be stressful enough without having to remember yet another number assigned to your reservation.

But your flight confirmation number, also known as a booking reference, is a crucial component of air travel that serves many purposes before, during, and even after your trip.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: A flight confirmation number is a 6-character code that airlines assign to your flight booking. It allows you and the airline to pull up your reservation details and is required when checking in for your flight.

What Exactly is a Flight Confirmation or Booking Reference Number?

A flight confirmation or booking reference number is a unique identifier that is assigned to your airline reservation.

It is a combination of letters and numbers that helps airlines and passengers keep track of their flight details.

This reference number is essential for various purposes, including checking in, managing your booking, and resolving any issues related to your flight.

A Unique Identifier for Your Booking

The flight confirmation or booking reference number serves as a unique identifier for your booking. It is like a digital fingerprint that distinguishes your reservation from others.

This reference number is linked to all the important details of your flight, such as the flight number, departure and arrival times, seat assignment, and baggage allowance.

Having this unique identifier ensures that your booking is easily identifiable and accessible by the airline and other relevant parties.

Issued During the Booking Process

The flight confirmation or booking reference number is typically issued to you during the booking process.

Once you have completed your flight reservation, the airline will generate a confirmation email or booking confirmation page that includes this reference number.

It is important to save this information as you will need it for various purposes, including online check-in, modifying your booking, or contacting customer support.

Format Varies by Airline

The format of the flight confirmation or booking reference number can vary depending on the airline. Some airlines may use a combination of letters and numbers, while others may use only numbers.

It is important to pay attention to the format and ensure that you enter the reference number correctly when required.

In case you misplace or forget your reference number, you can usually retrieve it by accessing your booking confirmation email or by logging into your airline account.

Why Do You Need a Flight Confirmation Number?

When you book a flight, you are usually assigned a unique flight confirmation number. This number serves as a reference for your reservation and is essential for various reasons.

Let’s explore why having a flight confirmation number is important:

To Access Reservation Details

A flight confirmation number allows you to access all the important details about your reservation.

By providing this number, you can easily retrieve your flight itinerary, including the flight times, seat assignments, and any additional services you may have requested.

This is especially handy when you need to double-check your travel plans or make any necessary arrangements.

For Online Check-In

One of the main reasons you need a flight confirmation number is to complete the online check-in process.

Most airlines offer the convenience of online check-in, allowing you to skip the long queues at the airport.

By entering your flight confirmation number, you can check-in online, select your preferred seat, and even print your boarding pass. This saves you time and ensures a smoother travel experience.

To Make Changes or Cancel the Booking

If you need to make changes or cancel your flight booking, having the flight confirmation number is crucial.

Airlines typically require this number to verify your reservation before they can assist you with any modifications or cancellations.

Whether you need to change your travel dates, upgrade your seat, or request a refund, the flight confirmation number acts as proof of your booking and helps streamline the process.

As Proof of Purchase

Your flight confirmation number also serves as proof of purchase. It confirms that you have paid for your flight and have a valid reservation.

In case of any discrepancies or issues with your booking, having this number handy allows you to provide evidence of your purchase.

This can be particularly helpful if you encounter any problems during your travel, such as lost luggage or disputes regarding your fare.

When and How to Find Your Confirmation Number

Immediately After Booking

Once you have completed your flight booking, the airline or travel agency will provide you with a confirmation number.

This number is a unique identifier for your booking and is essential for various purposes related to your travel.

It is important to take note of this number as soon as it is provided to you, as it will be required for future reference.

On Your Booking Confirmation Email

One of the most common places to find your flight confirmation number is in the booking confirmation email sent to you.

This email serves as a receipt for your purchase and contains important details about your flight, including the confirmation number.

Make sure to check your inbox for this email and keep it accessible for any future needs.

On Printed Records and Itineraries

If you prefer to have a physical copy of your travel details, you can also find your confirmation number on printed records and itineraries. This may include any printed tickets, boarding passes, or travel documents provided to you.

It is advisable to keep these documents organized and easily accessible during your journey.

Remember, the confirmation number is essential for various purposes such as checking in online, making changes to your reservation, and tracking your flight status.

It is recommended to store the number in a secure place and have it readily available whenever you need to refer to it.

What to Do If You Lose Your Confirmation Number

Contact the Airline

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of losing your flight confirmation number, don’t panic. The first thing you should do is contact the airline directly.

Most airlines have customer service representatives available 24/7 who can assist you in retrieving your confirmation number.

Be prepared to provide them with your name, travel dates, and any other relevant information to help them locate your reservation.

They will be able to provide you with the necessary details to ensure a smooth travel experience.

Check Your Email Records

Another option to consider is checking your email records. Airlines typically send a confirmation email immediately after you book your flight, which includes your confirmation number.

By searching your inbox or spam folder for keywords such as “flight confirmation” or the airline’s name, you may be able to locate the email and retrieve your confirmation number.

It’s always a good idea to save these types of emails in a separate folder for easy access in case you ever need to refer back to them.

Try Retrieving it Online

If you booked your flight through an online travel agency or a third-party website, you might be able to retrieve your confirmation number by logging into your account.

These platforms usually provide a record of your bookings, including your confirmation number.

Simply navigate to the website, sign in to your account, and locate the specific reservation to find your confirmation number.

If you’re having trouble finding it, check the website’s FAQs or contact their customer support for assistance.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in case you lose your confirmation number.

Consider taking a screenshot or jotting it down in a secure place to avoid any unnecessary stress during your travel.

By following these steps, you’ll be well-prepared to handle the situation if you ever find yourself without your flight confirmation number.

Tips for Managing Your Confirmation Number

Save Confirmation Emails

When you book a flight, you will receive a confirmation email containing your flight details and a unique confirmation number. It is important to save this email in a dedicated folder in your email account.

This way, you can easily access the confirmation number whenever you need it, whether it’s for checking in online or making changes to your reservation.

Take Screenshots

In addition to saving the confirmation email, it is a good idea to take screenshots of the email and save them on your phone or computer.

Screenshots provide an extra layer of backup in case you accidentally delete the email or can’t access your email account.

Plus, having the confirmation number readily available on your device can save you time and frustration when you need to reference it quickly.

Store in a Travel App

Many travel apps allow you to store your flight confirmation details, including the confirmation number, in one convenient place.

This can be especially helpful if you are a frequent traveler or have multiple upcoming trips.

By using a travel app, you can easily access all your flight information, including boarding passes and gate numbers, in one centralized location.

Print Hard Copies as Backup

While digital backups are convenient, it’s always a good idea to have a physical copy of your flight confirmation as a backup.

Print out a hard copy of your confirmation email or write down the confirmation number on a piece of paper and keep it in your carry-on luggage.

This way, even if you encounter any technical issues or lose access to your digital devices, you will still have the necessary information at hand.

Remember, your flight confirmation number is important for many aspects of your travel experience.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you have easy access to your confirmation number and minimize any potential stress or inconvenience during your journey.


A flight confirmation number may seem like an easily forgettable string of characters, but it’s much more than that.

It’s your key to a smooth journey from booking to boarding and beyond. Protect it as you would any other travel document or purchase record.

With your confirmation number in hand, you can approach each step of your upcoming flight with confidence.

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