The days of paper airline tickets are long gone. Since the airline industry now handles reservations electronically, you now receive a confirmation number instead of an actual ticket. But since computers often make mistakes, it's wise to confirm your reservation several days before you travel. There are several ways to do this, and easy methods for you to create your own version of a paper ticket.
Book the ticket. If you do so through a travel agent, you'll receive a printed itinerary with a confirmation number. If you do it yourself online, you'll be able to print an itinerary and a confirmation number yourself. Keep the paperwork in a safe place.
Keep an eye on the itinerary for changes. If you are booking several months ahead, it pays to periodically visit the airline's website to make sure nothing has changed regarding your ticket. Check again a week or so before your flight.
Call the airline or visit its website 24 hours before your flight to reconfirm your flight. If you do this via phone, simply give the agent your confirmation number and say, "I'd like to reconfirm." Online, enter your confirmation number in the correct field on the airline's website, which will then show you the parameters of your flight and seat selection.
Print your boarding passes. Most airlines allow you to do this within 24 hours of your departure. You will have to log onto the airline's website and access your itinerary. When within the 24-hour period, you'll be presented with a option that says, "print boarding passes." A boarding pass not only serves as a reconfirmation, but gives you more paper documentation in case you run into any trouble at the airport.