Booking a flight for someone else can be a thoughtful and helpful gesture, whether you’re planning a surprise trip for a loved one, assisting a friend in making travel arrangements, or organizing a business trip for a colleague. However, the process can seem a bit daunting if you’re not familiar with it. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to book a flight for someone else with ease.
Gather Necessary Information
Before booking a flight for someone else, collecting all the necessary information is crucial. This includes:
- Full name — Ensure you have the correct legal name of the traveler as it appears on their identification.
- Travel dates — Know the departure and return dates or the duration of the trip
- Destination — Determine the departure and arrival airports.
- Contact information — Have the traveler’s phone number and email address handy for notifications and updates.
- Passport information — If the traveler is going international, you’ll need their passport details. This includes the Issuing Country, Passport Number, and Expiration Date.
Get the Traveler’s Preferences
Consider the traveler’s preferences when booking the flight. This includes their seating preferences (window, aisle, or middle seat), meal preferences (if applicable), and any special requests or needs (e.g., wheelchair assistance). This can all be set during the booking process, if applicable.
Research and Compare Flights
Start by researching flights to find the best options that match the traveler’s preferences and budget. We recommend using Google Flights to compare prices, flight durations, layovers, and other factors that are important to the traveler. Then, once you have found a flight, try to book directly with the corresponding airline. This makes it so much easier if there are schedule changes or irregular operations (IRROPS) during their trip.
Once you’ve found suitable flight options, get in touch with the traveler to confirm their preferences and get their approval before booking. This step ensures that you’re booking a flight that aligns with their needs and schedule.
How To Pay For & Book Their Flight
When it’s time to pay for and book their flight, the process is similar to booking a flight for yourself.
- Select the flights — Choose the flights that align with the traveler’s preferences and schedule.
- Enter the traveler’s information — Input the traveler’s details, including their full name and contact information.
- Payment — Enter the payment information, either the traveler’s or your own, depending on your agreement.
- Use the traveler’s payment method — If the traveler is comfortable sharing their payment details with you, you can book the flight using their credit card or payment information.
- Use your payment method and reimburse — If the traveler prefers not to share their payment information, you can use your own payment method and have them reimburse you later. Make sure to use a credit card that offers a bonus for travel purchases so you earn points for the trip, too!
- Review and confirm — Carefully review all the details, including passenger information, flight itinerary, and payment information, before confirming the booking.
While you shouldn’t need to adjust their flights if you follow the steps in our article, most US airlines allow full refunds within 24 hours of purchasing if you need to make changes.
Notify the Traveler & Share Confirmation Documents
After successfully booking the flight, make sure to inform the traveler of their itinerary, including flight details, booking reference (PNR), and any relevant information like baggage policies or check-in procedures. Provide the traveler with confirmation documents, including e-tickets and booking confirmations. It’s a good idea to send these documents electronically so that the traveler can access them easily.
As the departure date approaches, remind the traveler to double-check their travel documents, such as passports and visas, and any COVID-19-related requirements or restrictions that may be in place.
Booking a flight for someone else can be a thoughtful and efficient way to help someone with their travel plans. By gathering all the necessary information, considering the traveler’s preferences, and following the booking process carefully, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free experience for both you and the traveler. Remember to communicate openly with the traveler at every step to ensure they have a smooth experience.