Electronic tickets, or e-tickets, are becoming more common among airline travelers. The tickets are not actually tickets at all, but are emailed confirmation numbers detailing the information about the flight including travel times, seat location and price. E-tickets include everything a paper ticket would, but the passenger can choose to check in and print out the e-ticket in advance or just pull up the information at an airport kiosk.
Print out or write down your e-ticket confirmation number. If you have a smart phone that can pull up your electronic ticket, you can choose to use that instead of bringing a copy of the confirmation number to the airport.
Locate your airline's self-service kiosk. Most self-service kiosks are located in front of the ticket counters, but at larger airports they sometimes can be found in the lobby as well. The kiosks will have a computer monitor and computer keyboard. Most airlines will have several kiosks in the same area.
Follow the instructions on the kiosk's screen to find your reservation. Both Southwest's and American Airlines self-service kiosks will let you access your reservation with your confirmation number, your frequent flyer program number or a major credit card with your name on it.
Check in for your flight with your confirmation number. At that time you can choose your seat location, upgrade your seat and place yourself on standby for other flights.
Print out your boarding pass and check-in your luggage, if you have any that needs to be checked, and print out luggage tags. You will need to have a credit card available to pay for any applicable luggage charges.
Check your baggage. Some airlines print your luggage tags once you check in, allowing you to just drop the baggage at the designated spot; others require a separate visit to the counter. Once your baggage is checked you can proceed through security with your boarding pass.