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Decipher Airline Ticket
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Although essential details should always be clearly printed on your itinerary, it is a wise practice to always check your airline tickets to ensure that everything is in order. But where do you start.

Following is a brief outline explaining how to read your tickets. Ticket codes vary between airlines, and may also seem variable within the same airline.

If unsure how to read your ticket, you should always clarify details with the ticketing office, airline or airport information service.

Deciphering your Airline Ticket

  • The name of the airline is indicated in the top left-hand corner of your ticket. If you have an around-the-world ticket, the first airline you are travelling with will appear first, followed by all the airlines that you are booked on under the fare.
  • Beneath these will be a series of codes for the fare:
    non rer - no changes to the routes
    non ref - no refunds
    reis - no reissues
    end - no endorsements (means you cannot sell the ticket to a friend or have the name changed)
    ref iss off - contact your travel agent to confirm the conditions
  • You should always ask to have amendment fees and cancellation costs details displayed on your itinerary before paying the fare in full.
  • The date the ticket was issued is important if you need to postpone the trip and have your ticket reissued.
    For international itineraries you usually have one year from the initial date of departure to reinstate your ticket, and for domestic travel it is usually one year after the date of issue.
  • Codes such as SITI, SOTO, SOTI and SITO indicate where the ticket was issued ie SITI appears on most tickets sold in Australia. It means the ticket was sold and ticketed within Australia.
  • Flight information is the main text of your ticket, and you should read the different coloured box showing the city, in conjunction with each other ie departure city and arrival city. Turn the page to the next coupon and your next city pair will be displayed. The number of coupons increase if you have a number of flights, as every flight will have a coupon.
  • After the two-letter airline code and flight number, there will be a single letter that will help the travel agent and airline identify what kind of ticket you have bought and the restrictions.
  • The figure on the bottom left-hand side of the ticket is the published fare (gross price) to your destination, and is often higher than the amount you have paid.
  • "Not valid after" date is the date by which you must return. So if you buy a ticket that is valid for 30 days, and you depart on the 1st July, the ticket becomes null and void 30 days after the departure date.
  • Your baggage allowance is also indicated on your ticket. If you are en-route to Europe or Asia, at the time of writing, it will read 20K (20 kilograms). If you are going to the United States, it will read PCE, meaning two pieces.
  • Finally, you will find that your airline ticket will include all the taxes that have to be paid.

And finally, if you are ever unsure, please confirm with the airline, travel agent or booking service.

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