All the information you need to book your flights online!

[Updated August 2020]

When it comes to travel, we know that it can be daunting when there are a thousand things to consider and lots and lots of planning to do.

So, when it comes to booking your flights and knowing what you need to make the purchase as simple as possible, we have made the online process easy, convenient and secure.

  1. Enter departure and arrival cities, and select travel dates
  2. Browse flight options and select your ideal flight
  3. Insert correct passenger details (as per ID)
  4. Select any additional add-ons like insurance or extra baggage
  5. Confirm your preferred payment method
  6. Receive your e-ticket straight to your inbox. Off you go!

Flight and passenger details

To book your flights online, you will need some basic information of the destination you’ll be flying to, and your departure and return dates. You will, of course, also need all of your personal details that will appear on your flight ticket. To speed up the booking, it’s a good idea to have all of these details at hand.

  • Trip details
  • Personal information – Full names (to be spelled exactly as it is in your ID or passport), date of birth, country of residence
  • ID number
  • Ideal departure times and length of flights (do you prefer a direct flight or are you happy with connections?)
  • Preferred cabin class

Domestic flights

South African citizens only need their identity number (ID) to book a flight. Passengers over the age of 16 years old are allowed to travel within the country on their own and will only need to produce their original ID card and booking reference number to board a flight. Passengers under 16 years old will need written permission from their parents/guardians and their birth certificate. For more information on travelling with minors, have a look at our guide on flying with kids and information on unabridged birth certificates.

If you are flying locally and are a registered licensed driver, you may use this original form of identification to board your flight. Please note that your driver’s license will have to be valid for the dates you intend to fly domestically.

International flights

When flying abroad, you will need to produce your original, valid passport at the check-in counter, as well as any visa that the country you’re flying to may need. Please remember that visas need to be applied for long in advance, so make sure to set plenty of time aside for that.


Image courtesy of @mari.medel via Instagram

Make sure to check the validity of your passport, as you won’t be able to leave the country with an invalid one. Many countries also require that your passport be valid for a period of at least 3 – 6 months from the date of return to South Africa.

Do you need a passport when you book your flights?

No. You will not need to enter your passport number at the online booking stage of your trip, but you will need it when booking flight packages and when you check in for your flight.

If you are applying for a visa, you will need to fill in forms with your passport number, as well as provide a certified copy of it. Make sure to use the exact same spelling as in your passport when booking your flights, as many airlines do not allow, or charge a penalty fee for booking under an incorrectly-spelled name.

Also read: How to book a flight without a passport number

How to book a flight ticket for someone else

To book a flight for someone else is pretty simple. As with booking flights for yourself, you will need all of their personal information, as well as a list of preferences such as airline choice, preferred time of flight and budget for their ticket. Of course, you will also need their consent to book their flights for them.

Once you’ve booked your flights and theirs, you will have the option of emailing them all of the flight details so that they can also have these details. For group bookings, contact our team of experts to help you get the best deal and streamline the process.

Paying for your flight

There are numerous ways to pay for your flights! Once you’ve filled in all of your details and are ready to pay, you can use one of these convenient payment options to seal the deal:

  • EFT
  • SID Instant EFT
  • Online credit/debit card payment
  • Cheque card
  • Cash deposit
  • Pay in-store (Pep, Pick n Pay)

To pay for your flight using any online options, you will need to provide the name on the credit or debit card that you’ll be using, the card number and 3-digit CVV code that’s found at the back of the card, as well as the expiration date of the card.

If you’re still unsure of your options to pay for your flight, or you don’t have a credit card but would still like to book your flights online, please have a look at Travelstart’s handy page on how book flights without a credit card.

Can you pay for your flight with cash?

If you’re not too keen on paying for your flight via an online transaction there’s no need to worry as you can always do this with a cash deposit. You can pay for your flights directly from your bank to the Travelstart account, and voila, your flight is booked. Once the deposit has been made, the bank teller will provide you with a stamped deposit slip, which would then need to be scanned and emailed directly to, along with your booking number. You will need to email this information on the same day, to avoid a difference in ticket price.


Should you print out your ticket ahead of arriving at the airport?

It is not necessary to print out your flight itinerary and ticket ahead of time. To check in for your flight, all that the airline officials at the airport will need is your form of identification and reference number. For international flights, you will also need to have your passport and any visas with you.

Many international airlines advise passengers to print out electronic tickets ahead of time to avoid long queues at check-in. You can do this if you wish.

There are quite a few airlines that have kiosks at the airports which allow passengers to print out boarding passes. This is usually made possible by either entering your flight booking reference number or scanning in your passport. You can also download your boarding pass onto your mobile phone, have it printed out, or simply mailed to your personal email address.

Where to collect your tickets

Your e-ticket will be sent to you via email, and some airlines even give you the option of printing out your boarding pass or sending it to your mobile device, making your check-in process a relatively simple one! Please note that you may still have to queue at your airline’s check-in counter if you have luggage to check in.

So now that you’ve got nothing keeping you from booking your next flight, why not sign up to Travelstart’s newsletter for great deals and promotions – putting you first in line to book that amazing trip!


All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart will not be held liable for loss or inconvenience resulting from the use of out-dated or incorrectly noted information.

Our Readers Comments

  1. Dear Travel start, I am having problem in booking a flight from Johannesburg to Lagos for 4 passengers since 2 days ago. Each time I click on continue to proceed to the payment page, it returns me to the passenger detail page again and again. I also asked a colleague to help with it, he also experienced the same thing. Unfortunately, the price of my intended flight increased today which I could have avoid if I was able to complete the booking yesterday. Kindly assist before you guys increase the payment again!

    • Hi Lateef,

      Thanks for reaching out and providing feedback when trying to make a booking via our website. Regret to hear you have struggled to make a booking.

      I’ve done a test booking for a flight in August OR Tambo – Lagos and managed to complete the booking.

      If you have not managed to come right in booking, please could you clear your browser history and rebook via Google Chrome.

      Should you wish to get assistance in receiving a quote and making a reservation, we have a team of Travel Experts that would love to help.

      You can contact our direct sales team, Travelstart Live by completing the following contact us form:

      Scroll down and Complete the form with your booking request and one of our agents will be in touch to assist with a quote.

      Alternatively you welcome to email them direct at:

  2. What happens if you book a flight but you forgot and happend to use a card that doesn’t have enough funds for the ticket? I’ve been trying to cancel and rebook but I don’t know how

    • Hi Bongie,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      I’ve searched using your email address and located 4 bookings.

      Two booking attempts made in May 2021 and two booking attempts in June 2021

      All 4 have been cancelled and no funds were taken.

      You welcome to search for flight prices directly on our website Here you are able to view all the different airlines that operate a specific route to ensure that you choose the cheapest possible option.

      Should you wish to get assistance in receiving a quote and making a reservation, we have a team of Travel Experts that would love to help.

      You can contact our direct sales team, Travelstart Live by completing the following contact us form:

      Scroll down and Complete the form with your booking request and one of our agents will be in touch to assist with a quote.

      Alternatively you welcome to email them direct at:

  3. My passport is expired and I have a valid driver’s license, is it possible to use my driver’s license on local flight when I am a foreigner

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      South African drivers license are accepted for domestic flights within South Africa. I am not sure for international drivers license. You will need to contact the airline you will be travelling on. They will advise you of their policy for what documents are required at check-in when flying with them.

  4. God day

    My Mother is 93 years old. We want to travel from Johannesburg to Capetown.
    She do not have her ID Book. I have a Id copy that is stamped. Can she fly with the cope ID

    • Hi Manda,

      Thanks for reaching out. Each airline is different. One would need a certified ID copy no older then 3 months. However we ask that you reach out to the airline you will be travelling with for the most up to date information on what documents they will accept when travelling.

  5. I am 71 years old and I want to fly to Cape Town on the 11 or 12 of November.
    What documentation do I need to fly to Cape Town.
    Please advise

    • Good day

      I would like to know how to cancel a flight ticket and request for refund. I’m trying with no success

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out. If you have made a booking with Travelstart please email with your Travelstart reference number and request.

      Our refunds team will look at the airlines directives to see if that airline permits cancellations / refunds and if so email a quote.


    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Most airlines charge for pre-seating. This product can be selected at time of booking. Once you have paid for your booking you welcome to e-mail our Guest Team at: with your Travelstart reference number and seat request.

      Alternatively seating can be done 24 – 48 hours prior to departure directly on the airlines website.

  7. I have three first names. When I type it in the first name column the spaces are deleted.
    Do I proceed as is?

    • Hi Salim,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The airline does not permit spaces or any special characters. These will be taken out. Example Jean-Paul will be: Jeanpaul

      The same applies to spaces between names. The spelling of the names and surnames on the ticket must match what shows in the passport being used to travel on. If you have any questions and booking with Travelstart please contact us first and speak to an agent direct. If you are booking with the airline please contact them direct.

  8. Hello there,

    I made a mistake on the year of birth, what is the process of updating it/ fixing – i’m freaking out?

    Looking forward to your reply email – thanks!!!

    • Hi Ziggy,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Please e-mail with your Travelstart booking number and correct date of birth. They will need to look at your booking and see what airline you travelling on and will revert with feedback. If you booked directly with the airline you would need to contact them direct and they will advise accordingly.

  9. Is a ticket invalid when putting dr title in front of surname as per passport?

    • Hi Petra,

      When booking on our website we do not offer the option of Dr or Prof etc We only offer Mr, Ms and Mrs As long as the names and surname on the ticket match what is showing in the passport being used to travel this is what is important

      If you booking directly with the airline please contact them direct and they will advise accordingly with regards to putting a different title.

  10. Hello. I am looking to book a return flight from Bangkok to Norwich for my Mother in Law. She is a Thai national and holds a full passport and visa ready for her visit to the UK. However she only knows the year she was born, she has never known the day and month of her birth. As a result her DOB in her passport reads xx/xx/1953.

    Her visa however shows her DOB as 01/01/1953. This is something the British Embassy in Thailand did without any input from my mother in law.

    I am concerned that if I book a flight for her using the DOB on her visa she may have a problem because her DOB does not show in full on her passport.

    Is the DOB on her visa enough to ensure she can exit and enter the UK without a problem?

    • Hi Matt,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Usually passport details (passport number, date of birth etc) are only required later once the booking has been made or at check-in. However if the passenger is travelling to the States this information is requested at at the time of making the booking.

      What I would suggest is contacting the airline your mother-in-law will be travelling on before making the booking and see what they advise. Best to check before booking.

  11. How can I prebook our seats o register no ZA06253445 .

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      As you are travelling on SAA to Victoria Falls, we should be able to assist with pre-seating.

      You welcome to e-mail with your Travelstart booking number and seat request and one of our agents will revert with feedback.

      Please keep in mind pre-seating is not a guarantee and we are not able to assist with emergency exit seats. This can only be requested at check-in.

  12. We are flying out on Saturday to MAURITIUS,when.can I book our seats please ,13h35 flight MK853

    • Hi Maree,

      Usually one is able to do pre-seating as soon as you receive your e-ticket however this is depending on the airline.

      Other airlines do charge for pre-seating, which means you will need to contact the airline direct, once they have received payment they will e-mail the confirmation for the seats purchased.

      Alternatively you can do seating 24 hours prior to departure on the airlines website.

  13. Always great to see such in-depth informative content relating to this industry. Great article.

  14. Thanks for the helpful information

  15. Great tips! thanks for sharing those, defintely helps when I’ll book my next travel 🙂

    • Hi John,

      Wow, thanks for the awesome feedback. So glad we could have helped 🙂

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