How to Retrieve an Airline Confirmation or E-ticket Number?

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As many of you know, I have an upcoming trip to Panama. The trip will allow me to fly on Air China’s 777-300 in First Class and TACA Airlines E-190 in Business Class. I will also get to check out two new (to me) Marriott properties. While I am against making plans prior to arriving at a destination, the preplanning (airline and hotel bookings) is something that I absolutely must accomplish. This task should be completed at least four weeks prior to the trip. I was on autopilot (pun intended) for Panama until I tried to verify my return flights.

First, a little back story. Avianca is a member of Star Alliance, so I did not create a LifeMiles account. I merely added my United MileagePlus membership number to the reservation. By doing this, all mileage earned would be credited to my United account. I printed the reservation and also forwarded a copy to my email. Fast forward to yesterday, I could not locate the printed reservation anywhere. Suddenly, I had a bright idea, retrieve the emailed reservation (that would definitely work, right?). As luck would have it, the reservation was no longer in my email.

At this point, there were two options for retrieving my e-ticket or confirmation number:

1) Credit card statement. This was the easier of the two options. When you purchase a ticket, the e-ticket number will appear with the transaction. The number will be there immediately after purchase. I was able to retrieve the 13 digit number in less than two minutes. I was then able to locate my reservation on Avianca’s website without issue.

2) Call the airline. This option was very difficult. I called the Avianca USA phone number numerous times but I was not able to speak with an agent. If I was lucky enough to speak with an agent, I would have had to verify my identity before receiving the confirmation or e-ticket number. This process could take anywhere from a few minutes to almost an hour, depending on call volume and airline.

Final Word

If you “misplace” your airline reservation, simply log into your credit card account, find the transaction, and save the e-ticket number.  This will allow you to edit, reprint or email the reservation. If I would have known this before yesterday, it would have saved me some time. I feel kind of silly for not being aware of this, but at least I learned something in the process.

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