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Do You Need a Passport Before Making Flight Reservations?

Of course you need a passport to travel outside of the country, but do you need to have one before making flight reservations?

Some international airlines may ask for your passport number when you make a reservation for an international flight. However, it is optional to provide it when you book, and shouldn’t have any problem getting your tickets without it.

However, getting on the plane without a passport is another matter entirely. If you show up at the airport sans passport, you will be denied boarding.

As you are planning your trip, remember to keep in mind how long it takes to get a passport once you’ve applied. If you apply with regular service, you can expect to wait at least 6 weeks.  If you apply with the government’s expedited service, you should still allow at least 3 weeks.

Two additional options are available if you need to get a passport in a hurry. With an itinerary showing that you plan to travel out of the country in the next 14 days, you can make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency office to get your passport, or use a private passport expediting company like The latter the option is the most convenient-no need to make an appointment or drive to a Passport Agency office.

However, you will need a copy of your itinerary to get a passport expedited using either of these two methods. So, if you have something come up and you need to take a trip out of the country in a hurry, go ahead and make your plane reservations and then apply for your passport through an expediting company or at a Passport Agency office.

RushMyPassport offers quick and convenient passport service, with processing times as low as 24 hours. There’s no need to make an appointment, take time off work or drive to a Passport Agency office.  Just go to the nearest passport acceptance facility (usually a library, post office or County Clerk’s office), fill out your application like normal and have your documents sealed and sent to us. We’ll hand-deliver your application to the Department of State and then send your passport right back to you via Fed-Ex.

Apply for your passport today!

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3 Responses to “Do You Need a Passport Before Making Flight Reservations?”

  1. lupe rodriguez

    I need to know if there is a document i can use to board a flight to mexico from lax. I was denied a passport due to child support issues. i already bought my ticket. what can i do. the airline volaris does not want to refund my ticket.

  2. Alison Kroulek

    Hi Lupe,

    No, you won’t be allowed on the plane without a passport. If you’re flying because you’ve obtained employment in Mexico or for a family emergency, you can take it up with the agency that handles child support issues in your state, and if you provide documentation they may release you so you can get your passport.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Ed Garvin


    My advice is to pay the child support that is due. There is a reason why the government does not issue passports to individuals who are delinquent on child support payments.

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