*Updated April 2015
When do I get my E-tickets and how do they work?
The advantage of electronic tickets (e-tickets) is that they really are comfort documents to an electronic proof of payment. With the exception of a few higher-end tour operators, cruise lines, and coach tour operators, most companies use e-tickets.
Charter e-tickets (those purchased as part of a vacation package) are usually sent 7-10 days prior to departure or earlier. Scheduled airline tickets are emailed immediately when they’re issued.
Our process at tripcentral.ca involves a quality control review of all documents before they are sent to you, to ensure all the information is correct (i.e. name spellings and dates of birth) so you will be able to board your flight without problems. We prioritize the sending of tickets by departure date, so if you book last minute, you will get your tickets before you leave. Keep your eyes open for them, and when you receive them, it’s important to verify the information and even print them if you’d like.
For domestic flights, you can actually show up at the airport without them. The airline has a copy of your ticket so you can approach the check-in booth with just your passport. However, for international flights, it is recommended that you print your ticket for customs, just in case.
When should I check in for my flight?
If the airline allows web check-in, you can do it at home usually within 24 hours of your flight. For online check-in you’ll need your valid passport and electronic ticket. When you are checked in, you have the ability to print your boarding pass or send it to your mobile device by email.
If you don’t check in online, check in at the airport usually opens 12 hours before departure at the self-serve kiosk. Here, you can use the touch screens to select your seat if you haven’t already and print your boarding pass or send it to your mobile device. Some self-serve kiosks even allow you to print your baggage tag and attach it before dropping it off. You can usually only check your bags up to 4 hours prior to departure.
You should arrive at the airport 90 minutes in advance for domestic flights and at least 120 minutes in advance if you’re travelling to the USA. We recommend checking in three hours prior for international flights. Check in counters and baggage drop offs usually close 45-60 minutes before boarding, so ensure you arrive early to catch your flight. Passengers arriving for check-in after this time may be denied boarding.