We get asked more often than we can count, "how long will my flight reservation remain valid?" The short answer is: it depends. If you wish to know more, let us shed some light on the subject.
What do you mean by a flight reservation?
A flight reservation in this case is just a temporary hold on a flight and not an actual ticket that customers can use for travel. Most embassies recommend that you only reserve flights and not buy air tickets for visa processing. These reservations provide them with the applicants' intended dates of travel.
How do I verify if a flight reservation is real?
A genuine flight reservation should come with a valid six-digit airline reservation code that can be used to verify the booking through the airline's website, usually under a "Manage Bookings" tab, or by calling them.
Why do flight reservations not have a confirmed expiration date?
Airlines may choose to release a reservation at any time without giving prior notice to the customer or travel agency. Some reservations may hold only for a few hours while others can last for days or even weeks.
Since flight reservations are not paid for, airlines might give preference to paid air tickets over them. Reservations for popular flights are less likely to hold for as long as less popular flights. Similarly, reservations for a flight that leaves in a couple of days may last for as little as a few hours.
Let's take an example. You are going to a large conference in Las Vegas, or an expo in Milan, and get flight reservations made for your visa application. Flights to and from these destinations around the event dates will be extremely popular. As a result, airlines may let go of your unpaid reservation in favor of a paid ticket.
Can you give me a rough estimate?
At Booking For Visa, we refrain from making claims on behalf of airlines. Some people might say that reservations last anywhere from 24 hours to two weeks. Since we have seen reservations going below and over this time range, and even getting canceled without prior notice, we cannot promise our customers a date. No person or business providing such services should make any claims on behalf of an airline. The best we can offer is to create a new reservation free of charge should the previous one expire.
When should I order my flight reservation?
Ideally, a day or two before your visa interview or application submission. However, we understand that customers want to complete their visa applications as soon as possible. This is exactly why we, at Booking For Visa provide you with the option to choose a later delivery date at no extra charge. You can find that option on our booking form when you place your order with us.
We will create a fresh reservation for you on a date of your choosing. Creating a reservation just before visa application submission gives it a better chance at lasting longer, although we can give no guarantees.
Remember, there is no set expiration date for an unpaid flight reservation, and no one should guarantee one.