Home Tips Flight Itinerary: What It is, Types, & Its Role in Visa Application

Flight Itinerary: What It is, Types, & Its Role in Visa Application

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Air travel terminology can be confusing, especially for first-time travelers. Be it the difference between a direct and nonstop flight or the confusion with PNR number and flight number, certain air travel terms are not very obvious while some others are mistaken. A flight itinerary is one such confusing term for first-time flyers, who tend to take it for a flight ticket and actually end up buying one when applying for a visa. So, let’s understand a flight itinerary in detail to avoid such costly mistakes. 

What is the meaning of a flight itinerary?

A flight itinerary contains information about your booked or reserved trip. It has all the details of your planned travel like the country of origin, destination, dates of travel, timings, flight duration, departure and arrival airports, connecting flights and airports (if any), their IATA codes, reservation/flight numbers, passenger name, etc. 

Flight itinerary has different names: flight reservation/confirmation, dummy air ticket, dummy flight ticket.  

Why is it needed for visa application?

Embassies consider flight itineraries as proof of an individual’s specific travel plans. This assures them that the traveler does not intend to stay illegally in a country and will return to his/her country after a definite period of time. Hence, they ask for a flight itinerary when applying for a visa. You do not necessarily have to book a flight ticket for this, but instead, can hold a seat on a plane (for a certain amount of time as allowed by the airline) to get a proposed flight itinerary, which you can present to the embassy. 

Are there different types of flight itineraries?

Flight itineraries are issued for different types of bookings/reservations such as one-way, round trip, or multi-city flights. Hence, the types of flight itineraries include:

One-way itinerary issued for a one-way flight journey from one city to another. For example, a flight from Los Angeles to Thiruvananthapuram.  

Round trip itinerary, which contains details of both the onward and return journey. When you arrange for your flights from San Francisco to Chennai and back at the same time, you will receive a round-trip itinerary for your travel between San Francisco and Chennai

Multi-airline itinerary is created when you book flights with more than one airline to travel on the same route. For example, your itinerary from Los Angeles to Kochi is considered a multiple airline itinerary when you book Qatar’s Los Angeles to Doha flights and then take IndiGo’s connecting flight to Kochi from Doha. Your round-trip itinerary between Los Angeles and Kochi is also called a multi-airline itinerary if you choose Air India for flying from LAX to COK and United for traveling back. 

Multi-city itinerary includes information about your journey to more than two cities, i.e. when you plan to visit more than two cities in one trip.  

Group itinerary for multiple tickets booked in a single purchase. You will receive a group itinerary when you book international flights for your entire family as a group (but not single tickets for each member). 

What is the difference between a flight itinerary and a flight ticket?

A flight itinerary, which essentially is flight route information, might function as sufficient proof to confirm your travel plans, but a flight ticket, which is issued only when you pay for a seat on a plane, confirms your booking. You will be denied boarding if you fail to produce your flight ticket. 

How can you get your flight itinerary?

You will receive a copy of your flight itinerary via email after you book flight tickets or reserve a seat on the plane. You can call the airline or your travel agent if you do not receive it or can also download it from the official website.

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