Whenever I book a flight, I always make sure that I have a confirmed e-ticket number.  In most cases, tickets are instantly ticketed when you buy them.  Sometimes it can take little longer, especially if your flights involved other partner airlines.

Until you have an ticket number, you can’t fly.

AA’s Ticketing Status

AA has a number of ticketing statuses.  These are the common AA ticketing status I’ve encountered:

  • ON HOLD:  AA agents can temporarily hold award reservations.
  • ON REQUEST:  Your booking is requested.  Whether you have a paid or an award booking, this is a common status when you have flights on a partner airline.  AA needs to confirm with partner airline for processing.
  • PURCHASED: A status on paid tickets while you wait for the issuance of an e-ticket.  This does not tend to be a lingering status; the booking often moves into “Ticketed” soon enough.
  • TICKETED:  Your reservation is confirmed.  You now have an e-ticket number!

“On Request” with Partner Airlines

A booking is “On Request” status until confirmed by the partner airline.  This varies by the airline, but generally, this can take up to 24-48 hours.

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The problem I find with the “On Request” status?  I think it’s also a “catch-all” bucket.

I once purchased a ticket for a travel date that was still ways out.  When I called a week later to inquire why it was still “On Request”, the agent discovered a payment processing issue on their end.  He confirmed payment details and re-processed the request.  I got my e-ticket confirmation minutes later.

Who knows how long my ticket would have been stuck in that state if I hadn’t called.

Too Close of a Call

Last month, I had to book an close-in award flight involving a partner airline (CX).  CX is a Oneworld partner, but it’s not one of the 8 partner airlines where you can book on the AA website.  You have to call in and book with an agent.

I purchased my ticket with an AA Agent on Saturday night, for an unexpected and non-flexible travel date just under 72 hours later. I paid the expedited “close-in” ticketing fee.  More than 12 hours later, my booking was still “On Request”.  I called to make sure that everything is is order, and the rep reassured me that it is a normal wait.

The timing was a little too close for comfort.  It was Sunday afternoon and I didn’t know if I have a flight out on Tuesday.  If it can’t be confirmed, I need to make other flight arrangements.

I was so relieved to finally get a trip receipt later that day.

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Exepdite service fee for 2 tickets.


It meant that my trip had finally been ticketed!

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In Summary

I have lots of thoughts on why AA had not integrated more partner airlines on their website for booking, but that’s for another day.

If you have a ticket and it’s stuck in the “On Request” mode for more than 24-72 hours, it’s probably a good idea to call the airline.

Remember, a confirmation number is not good enough.  You can’t fly until you have an e-ticket number.


Has the “On Request” ticketing status thrown you off on your travel plans?  Were you able to fix the problem in time?