Do You Need a Passport to Book an International Flight?

Do you need a passport to book an international flight is a question that is often asked by those who have never traveled out of the country before.  If this is the first time that you are traveling outside of your country, you may be wondering the same thing!  

Well, to answer your question, you do not need a passport to book an international flight, but you will need one for the day that you depart for your trip!  

This is a slightly difficult thing to understand, because you may think that you need your passport as you are purchasing your tickets.  The reason for this is that many airlines ask for a passport number and expiration date, along with all the other information that is normally asked for during ticket purchasing checkout.  However, it is completely optional to add this information in the beginning.  

Instead, you can purchase your international flight tickets and then input your passport information later, or even as you are checking in for your flight.  

Now that you have the answer to the question, “Do you need a passport to book an international flight?”, you can simply worry about making sure that you have your passport in time!

Need a Passport to Book an International Flight

Obviously, if you already have a passport, all you need to do is make sure that it will be valid for at least six months past the date that you plan on returning home.  This is the limit that is put in place by many foreign countries, so it is best to use this amount of time to make it easier. Of course, it just gives you a little extra leeway for those countries that do not have specific requirements when it comes to the length of passport validity or for those countries that only ask for three months.  

If you do not have a passport yet, or yours has expired, then you will have some work to do.  First, make sure that you are not purchasing tickets for international flights too soon, because it takes time to obtain passports.  Yes, you can ask for your passport to be rushed through the process and be express mailed to you, but things happen, and it still might not show up in time.  In fact, they say that expedited passports can still take up to three weeks to be delivered, so plan accordingly.  

A good rule to follow is to mail your passport application in at least eight weeks prior to your departure date.  It is best to do it twelve weeks in advance, to make sure that everything goes as planned and the worst that can happen is you have it much sooner than you need it!  

If you are concerned about whether you left enough time for processing, or you just want to make sure you receive your passport in time, be prepared to pay for the rush service.  This amount is around sixty dollars and that doesn’t include the cost for express shipping both ways. The total cost could end up being a couple hundred dollars, which could pay for a dinner or two out plus more when you are on vacation.  

It is important, whether you have your passport yet or not, that you enter your name and information exactly the same for your flight information.  For example, if your passport reads John H. Smith, then your ticket for your international flight should also read John H. Smith. Leaving out the letter H on your international flight ticket could mean the difference between you getting on the plane or you being left behind.  


As you are making your international travel plans, it will be easy to know whether or not you need a passport.  However, as you are purchasing your international flight tickets, you should check to see whether or not you need a visa for the country you are visiting.  Not every country requires a visa, but those that do, will not let you enter without one. The rules for visas change on occasion, but they are usually straightforward, and it isn’t that difficult to obtain a visa for the destination of your choosing.  

Again though, you must make sure that you apply for your visa in time, so you are not turned away for not having one when you arrive after a long flight.  

Do you need a passport to book an international flight is a question that you will no longer need to ask, as you travel to faraway destinations around the world.  Instead, you will know that you can easily book your flights and simply enter your passport information prior to your departure date.  

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment