Do you need a passport to buy plane tickets to a foregin country?

Question from a Reader, Answers in Comments

I don’t have a passport, but I need to buy tickets so I can get the passport! (They need proof of travel for one day service). I have to get my passport like NOW, so I want to buy tickets to Austrailia but I don’t know, do you need a passport for that? I don’t want to go all the way to the airport just to find out I can’t buy tickets without a passport. I’m buying from Air Canada.
I know you need a passport to take the flight, but to simply buy the tickets do you need a passport for that?

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  1. TBM Said,

    Yes, buy your ticket first and then get your passport. It’s not a requirement to have a passport to purchase.

  2. pilot_403 Said,

    No, you do not need a passport to buy the tickets.

  3. ahhchoooo Said,

    Not usually. Some airlines will request your passport number on purchase just to speed up your check in once you arrive. I think that is optional though, so you can probably choose to bypass that

  4. Ixtana Said,

    Generally speaking, you do not need to show your passport when you purchase your ticket. However, if you are planning to travel to Australia, Air Canada may be a little wary of selling you a ticket without you currently have a passport as you need to have an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) issued for Australia. Normally this is done by the travel agent or the airline at the time the ticket is purchased.

    Air Canada can occasionally be reasonable however…if you explain that you need to get the ticket first so you can have a rush done on your passport, they may understand. If they are okay with that, please remember to get Air Canada to issue you with an ETA as soon as you have your passport because otherwise, you will not be allowed to board the flight!

  5. 1 Luv Girl Said,

    Best bet is to contact the airline since some airlines do require you to have a passport at time of reservation.

    Check online at

  6. pilsbury_dough_girl67 Said,

    i dont think u do need a passport to purchase the itckets, but u do need the passport to check in and possibly recieve them. may be best is to ask a travel agent.

  7. Mike Tyson II Said,

    No, you don’t need a passport to buy plane tickets as long as you’re travelling within the borders of United States. But travelling outside of USA is completely a different story. Even crossing the border of US and Canada, the government will soon require a passport. Going anywhere in Europe and Asia it is imperative that you have a passport. My advise to you is to get a passport if you’re planning on travelling anywhere outside of USA.

  8. Fiona I Said,

    You don’t need a passport to buy the tickets.
    Depending on where you buy them they may ask for some passport details, but you can always explain you situation, most will be quite understanding (after all they won’t let you travel without the passport but they get paid either way!)

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