cedarjet
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Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

Reconfirming a booking -- what was that all about?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:18 pm

Was just reminded that as recently as the 1990s, you were expected to call the airline a couple of days before the flight to tell them you were coming, which was known as "reconfirming your flight". I remember calling Olympic Airways in Sydney in like 1994 and they were quite grumpy when I questioned the need to do this, implying if I hadn't, they would have given my seat away (and as an aside, those were the days, big old 747-200B with bronze relief artwork on the walls in business class, routing ATH-SIN-SYD-MEL-SIN-ATH twice a week).

Can anyone shed some light on this tradition? I guess it went away with e-tickets. Did you ever not do it and find your booking cancelled when you got to the airport?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
azstar
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Re: Reconfirming a booking -- what was that all about?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:40 pm

Prior to sophisticated computers and non refundable fares, airlines had no idea whether you were ticketed, and/or whether you had taken your outbound flight. So, reconfirmation was a form of inventory control. If you didn’t “reconfirm”, it could be assumed you weren’t going to occupy a seat and the airline could consider it available for sale.
 
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flyPIT
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Re: Reconfirming a booking -- what was that all about?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:23 pm

I remember my parents doing this with Swissair back in the day.

So lets say one forgets to reconfirm their paid ticket and shows up for their full flight and the airline sold the seat to someone else? Did the airlines refund the unconfirmed passenger back in those days when they resold the seat? If not what right does the airline have to double dip by charging twice for the same product? I'm of the opinion that if someone pays for the seat it is their right to not show up.

Likewise, if someone is traveling A-B but buys a ticket from A-B-C because it is cheaper, haven't courts pretty much sided with passengers - they do not have to utilize the segment from B-C when airlines press the issue?
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dstc47
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Re: Reconfirming a booking -- what was that all about?

Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:18 am

Old enough to remember this. In an era before sophisticated computer systems, email and mobile phones, paper, telex and phone based airline systems ruled.

Reconfirmation was a condition of carriage, and if you did not do it, your seat might well be allocated to another. Of course, flights were often much less full than they are now, so turning up unreconfirmed might not be a disaster. Now days turning up to find your flight cancelled will tell you how high the load factors are and how difficult it is to recover from a service outage.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Reconfirming a booking -- what was that all about?

Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:57 pm

Was true on Cunard Line, too.
 
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eta unknown
Posts: 2629
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 5:03 am

Re: Reconfirming a booking -- what was that all about?

Fri Mar 13, 2020 5:22 pm

Reservations staff would change your seat status from HK to RR. It was useful for the airport staff pre-departure load check.
 
spacecadet
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Re: Reconfirming a booking -- what was that all about?

Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:12 am

Was this a European thing? I don't remember ever doing this on a US flight and I've been flying since the early 80's. (Technically since the 70's, but I would have been too young before the early 80's to remember this, or have dealt with it myself.)
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Reconfirming a booking -- what was that all about?

Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:38 pm

Yes, it was in the 60s and early 70s in the US
 
IPFreely
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Reconfirming a booking -- what was that all about?

Sat Mar 14, 2020 4:07 pm

flyPIT wrote:
So lets say one forgets to reconfirm their paid ticket and shows up for their full flight and the airline sold the seat to someone else? Did the airlines refund the unconfirmed passenger back in those days when they resold the seat? If not what right does the airline have to double dip by charging twice for the same product? I'm of the opinion that if someone pays for the seat it is their right to not show up.


The OP was referring to time long ago --way before non-refundable tickets and change fees. In those days having a paper airline ticket (no e-tickets) was almost like having cash. The airline wasn't "double dipping" by selling your seat if you didn't show up because your ticket still had full value if you showed up for a later flight instead of your scheduled one.
 
classicjets
Posts: 268
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:15 am

Re: Reconfirming a booking -- what was that all about?

Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:36 am

I flew from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon on Vision Air in 2014 and Grand Canyon Airlines in 2015 and both asked me to reconfirm 24 hours in advance.

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