Individual travel services
Remember that when you are buying individual travel services from a travel entrepreneur, those cannot be reimbursed from the security deposit of said company should any problems arise. The security deposit can only be used for fulfilling obligations arising from contracts of holiday packages; it can be used to organise the holiday package travellers’ return home should the travel entrepreneur declare insolvency, the same applies for reimbursing advance payments for travellers whose trips got cancelled.
You should receive an e-ticket or confirmation when buying flight tickets or other individual travel services from a travel entrepreneur. If you do not receive either of those, contact the travel service provider and ask whether those bookings are valid and if they have been paid for.
The basics of purchasing tickets to scheduled flights
- Bookings for scheduled flights have to be formalized as tickets within a limited time period, in most cases within 24-72 hours. Flight bookings with lower prices have to be purchased quicker. In the case of some discount campaigns and flight companies, booking is not an option at all and tickets have to be paid for immediately.
- Cheap flights never have the option of booking tickets e.g. in November and purchasing said tickets in February. Only relatively high prices with flexible conditions enable for lengthier boking periods, and only if there are enough free spots on the specific flight.
- The contract of carriage and liability of the airline will apply from the moment of issuing the ticket. Until then the airline has the right to change prices or cancel bookings.
- You can check whether a booking has been formalised as a ticket on the basis of the traveller’s name and booking code, either on the homepage of the airline or on one of the three websites that belong to international booking systems: www.checkmytrip.com (Amadeus, most used in Estonia), www.viewtrip.com (Galileo, also used in Estonia) or www.virtuallythere.com (Sabre, may be used if the ticket has been bought from outside of Estonia).
- The aforementioned sources will also provide information on flight times, terminals, possible stop-overs, airlines that actually operate the flights, catering, reserved seats, type of airplane etc. They might also contain information about hotel and car rental bookings, if those have been made in the same booking system.
- A flight ticket number consists of a 3-digit airline code, which is followed by a 10-digit number, for example 960 1234567890. If one ticket has more than four flights, two extra digits will be added with a dash, e.g. 960 1234567890-52. The flight ticket numbers of Estonia Air always begin with 960, the number is 105 for Finnair and 220 for Lufthansa.
- Ticketless airlines are mostly cheap air travel companies who demand that tickets be purchased immediately. In this case, you get the booking confirmation only after having paid for your ticket and that will be enough for registering on the flight.
- Concealing a booking or ticket number is not in the best interest of any honest vendor. In the case of scheduled flights, there is always at least one source (listed above) from where you can check this information in real time.
- You can check-in for your flight by using your name and booking code and/or ticket number. Remember that some airlines may require an extra fee for checking in to your flight, however some routes may not have the opportunity for online registration (extra fees do not apply in those cases). If you wish a ticket vendor can also register you for the flight (with your permission), but this may be accompanied by an extra fee.
- No mediators can see if a flight has been overbooked. The need to leave someone off the flight due to an overbooking will only become apparent before departure at the airport. Should this happen, you as a traveller (at least in the European Union, but in most other places as well) have the right for financial compensation, an offer for an alternative flight and care.