Paper airline tickets have nearly become obsolete, as carriers strive to lower costs and increase efficiency. With electronic tickets (also known as e-tickets), you can get through check-in and baggage lines much faster and don’t have to keep track of numerous, multi-layered paper tickets or worry about replacing them in case of loss or theft. With e-tickets, you can also make changes to your flight online, which can save you valuable time.

How to Get Your Air Ticket

Book your reservations and purchase your ticket online, either through an airline website or on a travel-comparison site such as, or‌ After the airline has charged your credit card, you’ll receive a confirmation number by e-mail. Print the confirmation e-mail and take it with you to the airport so you’ll always have your ticket number/flight number with you.

Visit a travel agency. If you’d rather not get your ticket online, a travel agent can book your reservation and obtain your e-ticket for you. This might be more helpful for international flights. rather than domestic flights. Write down the confirmation code or request a printout of your itinerary and code.

Locate an e-ticket self-service kiosk for your airline after you arrive at the airport.‌ You can usually find one in the airport lobby or near your airline's ticket counter. Occasionally, airlines have kiosks adjacent to departure gates. Enter your confirmation code or scan the barcode, using the kiosk’s touch-screen system. If you’ve forgotten to bring your confirmation number, the kiosk will ask you to enter other ticket information, such as the passenger name, departure city and flight time. Some airlines allow you to enter your frequent flier number at this point as well. This information varies by airline. Once you’ve input your information, the kiosk will give you your printed boarding pass with all your flight details.

Head to the ticket counter, if you’d rather not use a kiosk.‌ The agent will ask you for your name, destination and the approximate time of your flight, as well as other possible travel documents. Be prepared to show your photo ID. Have your confirmation number ready in case the agent is unable to locate you in the system. After the agent has confirmed your seat, she’ll print your boarding pass.

Take your luggage and boarding pass to the e-ticket express baggage line, where an agent will check your bags. You’ll have to show your ID here as well.

Then you are free to head to airport security with your carry-on bag.

Travel Tips

This method of online ticketing tends to take much of the burden off air travel so you don’t worry about losing the hard copy of your flight ticket.

Many airlines offer this option now including Southwest Airlines and united airlines.