Do You Need a Passport to Buy Plane Tickets?
Passports are essential documents, but not required when purchasing plane tickets. Most airlines and third-party travel sites no longer ask for passport numbers at point of sale; instead they require you to enter contact, payment and billing details – something made possible with electronic ticketing systems.
However, when traveling internationally you will require your passport at check-in and boarding as many countries require what’s known as API or Advance Passenger Information to be submitted prior to or at time of booking; this usually happens either before arriving at an airport.
If you are flying domestically, state-issued ID cards or enhanced driver’s licenses that meet minimum security standards established by the Real ID Act can still be used as long as they comply with this act. This means your name and birthdate must match exactly on each ID document used, as well as having your picture on them.
However, some airlines require you to provide your passport number at the point of purchase in order to verify it with the government. If this occurs after purchasing tickets without providing passport info beforehand, calling the airline usually helps resolve it; should your passport number change between booking and boarding then this must also be reported immediately to them.