air travel – How can I find out if an airline ticket has been used or cashed in?

If you have the booking information, such as a ticket number or booking identifier (i.e. PNR, reservation code), and you are the one who purchased the ticket, you should be able to log in to your Delta account to check on the status of the reservation, or call Delta to have the information looked up.

If you did not purchase the ticket yourself or through a travel agent, but gave funds directly to someone else to purchase, you are probably out of luck. Airlines are not in the habit of giving out information about their sales to strangers, even in countries without strong privacy protections in law.


As commenters have noted, however, your post has red flags suggesting you may be the victim of a scam or attempted scam. There are numerous ways in which scammers try to get you to send money to them. I personally have received a number of variations over the years, including messages supposedly from superiors at work asking me to buy and send gift cards, friends who lost their wallet or passport in a foreign country and need me to wire money, family members who need help processing a windfall, and indeed the proverbial Nigerian prince in exile. See My online friend is asking for money in order to visit my home country. Is this a legit request or a scam? for some tips and possible recourse.

air travel – Why are airline passengers asked to lift up window shades during takeoff and landing?

I will answer this with a very long answer since aviation safety is my day to day job.

The window shade opening is a part of a long process to prepare the cabin for sudden (unexpected) emergencies. Why is that? Well, cabin crew have only 90 seconds to evacuate all passengers in case of emergencies. The process of evacuation itself should not take more than 90 seconds regardless of the size of the aircraft or the number of passengers. So to make the evacuation possible in 90 seconds cabin crew and other airline staff will prepare every flight in advance to make this possible. One example is the emergency exits, only healthy adults are allowed to occupy these seats, they are also required to read the safety card for emergency exits to make them prepared in case of emergencies to help the cabin crew. They are called ABPs (Able-Bodied-Persons). This is just one example.

Anyway, window shades opening is a small part of a long preparation process. Passengers are asked to open window shades before take offs and landings because these are considered to be critical times in aviation. Many things can go wrong during these times (most accidents do happen during take offs or landings), so people are asked to open window shades along with other things (seats in an upright position, people seated and buckled etc.) to make everything prepared as if the plane were in an emergency. In case something goes wrong (God forbid) things will be ready in advance so cabin crew can easily evacuate people in the short period of 90 seconds.

Specific reasons behind the window shade opening include:

  • Passengers are curious, hence they are perfect extra eyes to see if something goes wrong out there. Usually, passengers report stuff right away.
  • In case of sudden emergencies, every second counts. Therefore if shades are open crew can easily see outside conditions to help them in planning the evacuation (which doors to use for evacuation etc.).
  • In case of emergency (which is more likely during take offs and landings) people should be prepared just in case. So during the daytime, opening window shades and putting cabin lights to full makes the eyes used to sunlight so if something goes wrong and passengers need to be evacuated there will not be a sudden change in light contrast which might lead to temporary blurred vision. The same thing at night flights, window shades are open and cabin lights are dimmed.
  • It helps ground emergency personnel outside to see the inside of the cabin.

These rules might be different from one airline to another, but in general, almost all airlines require their crews to make sure of the window shades during take offs and landings. They also add it in the preparation announcements prior to take offs and landings.

uk – My name has “Mr” appended on airline ticket reservation. Would that cause problems at the airport?

Don’t worry, it’s a common way of writing it and all personnel at the airport knows how this works.

I’ve worked in travel for over 10 years, so the rest of this post is based on that experience. In the “old times” airline reservation systems used to be white-on-blue screens full of cryptic codes and conventions. (And in fact, even though in many travel agencies better graphical interfaces are common, you can still see the “old-fashioned” displays even now – at the check-in desk of your airport they often still use these systems).

Some of these conventions, established many years ago to – presumably – reduce the amount of network traffic and the amount of text that operators have to key in, carry over in today’s travel. The obvious ones are the use of flight numbers (almost all flights are codeshares which have about 4 different flight numbers for the same physical aircraft – if I had to redesign the system I would change that) and the use of three-letter codes to denote airports (e.g. AMS, LON, CDG, LAX). The naming convention is also one of these conventions. In these text-based systems, names are still entered in the form SURNAME/ABCMR or SURNAME/FIRSTNAMEMR (Nowadays, for “security reasons”, airlines usually require the full first name). One advantage is that the surname of passengers in the same booking only needs to be entered once, e.g. SURNAME/ALBERTMR/JENNAMRS/JOHNCHD (Again, security is now quoted as the reason that women need to provide their maiden name – one of the major causes of people being denied check-in is that they automatically provide their married name which is not necessarily the one in their passport).

I know that some systems (like Amadeus) also support an optional space: SURNAME/FIRSTNAME MR. Often in passenger-facing documents, such as travel schedules and boarding passes, this is automatically converted to Mr. Firstname Surname, just as the cryptic CDGLAX is also printed as “Paris Charles-de-Gaulle – Los Angeles Intl.”. However, as I explained above, the space is optional (GEORGIOSMR or GEORGIOS MR are both allowed). Apparently the website that they gave you, which (in simple terms) is just a front-end that reads the information from the same text-based system, is not smart enough to recognize the title without the space. Had your reservation agent added the space, it would probably have converted it correctly.
However, and to answer your question:

Is it likely that they’ll think “mr” is part of the name of the ticket’s owner?

— no, to an agent or customs officer at the airport who are used to reading the “cryptic” form, it will not be a problem.

air travel – TAP Airline Refund

I purchased two tickets to Prague in November 2019 to leave June 16, 2020 on Priceline.com with the airline TAP -Then COVID hit. In May 2020 I was told by Priceline that I had to call TAP to reschedule or get a refund/travel credit. I did and they told me I had to wait until the day of my departure. I called and called and called on the day of my departure and none answered. I sent an email, no one answered (and still has not almost a year later). I got on Facebook and contacted TAP they said it’s Priceline that needs to refund me – Priceline says its TAP. I want to take the trip again when it’s safe, I just want a travel credit and not one person in TAP or Priceline will respond or help. I paid with American Express and they said that since TAP won’t respond there is nothing they can do. I’m out over $1000

Paper airline ticket/receipt

Will my emailed ticket/receipt be sufficient to board my domestic flight? I do not own a Smartphone. Delta has a two-hour wait time for customer service.

Rechecked luggage for a connected flight on the same airline & ticket

I’m traveling from Jamaica to Cancun, Mexico via Panama. Do I need to claim my checked bag in Panama or will my bags follow me right through to Mexico? I booked the flight on 1 ticket and it is with the same airline.

bookings – Airline abbreviated infant’s first name to single letter. Problem?

There are already a lot of questions on this site regarding ticket/passport name mismatches, but here is one with an extra twist:

We just booked a flight from Berlin to Boston (including return flight) for my wife, our infant child, and me, with Lufthansa (on their website). In the booking form, we entered all our names exactly as in the passports. We also had to specify whom our child was travelling with (we chose my wife). There was some weird popup saying that a name had been shortened. Now, in the “booking details” e-mail, my wife and our child are grouped together as follows:

<my wife's last name>/<my wife's first name> MRS with <first letter of our child's first given name> <complete double barrelled last name of our child with hyphen replaced by space>

Is it common practice to shorten an infant’s given names to a single letter? I’m a bit worried that when they print our tickets/boarding passes and there is only the first letter on it, they won’t accept that at the various airport security checks.

air travel – Can an airline, such as Iberia, see my recent flight history with Veuling?

I am flying with Vueling from A to B, two days after I am flying with Iberia from B to C. I want to know if Iberia will have access to my previous flight from A to B with Veuling.

Iberia and Vueling is the ‘low-cost’ brand with Iberia and most of its flights are code-shared with the company. Where flight from A to B is Vueling and code-shared with Iberia, flight from B to C is only Iberia.

air travel – How long can it rightfully take for an airline to reply to a EC261 claim?

I think I am entitled to compensation under EC261. I filed an application from Ryanair’s website and, after the automated ZenDesk acknowledgment email, I haven’t heard back for months.

Is the company required to answer within a specific time frame? What is this time frame, and to whom should I escalate if my request is being ignored?

For context, I am a EU citizen living in the UK, and this is referring to a flight between the UK and the EU at a time when the UK was still under EU regulations (before 31 Dec 2020).

(This post isn’t asking whether I’m entitled to compensation – in fact, I haven’t given any details here –, but whether and under what rules I’m entitled to an answer)

air travel – How long can it take for an airline to reply to a EC261 claim?

I think I am entitled to compensation under EC261. I filed an application from Ryanair’s website and, after the automated ZenDesk acknowledgment email, I haven’t heard back for months.

Is the company required to answer within a specific time frame? What is this time frame, and to whom should I escalate if my request is being ignored?

For context, I am a EU citizen living in the UK, and this is referring to a flight between the UK and the EU at a time when the UK was still under EU regulations (before 31 Dec 2020).

(This post isn’t asking whether I’m entitled to compensation – in fact, I haven’t given any details here –, but whether and under what rules I’m entitled to an answer)