On a forum I frequent some users were complaining about a question using the turn of phrase "flight ticket" as something no English speaker would ever say.

I disagreed because it sounds like something I've heard plenty of times, even though I usually say "plane ticket" myself.

But I'm not sure in which regions of the English speaking world, or in which era or age group it's preferred.

Google Ngrams tells me "flight ticket" is more popular than "aeroplane ticket" but less popular than "airplane ticket", "air ticket", and "plane ticket"... but I couldn't figure out much more about the history or demographics of the phrase.

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    FWIW, a DDG search on flight ticket returns a preponderance of South Asian sites for me, and the autocomplete is flight ticket booking which is something I'm pretty certain no North American would say. Airline ticket or plane ticket are natural for me, flight coupon if I am referring to that specific concept in industry terminology. – choster Mar 20 '18 at 14:54
  • Yes when I did more Googling I found sites in South Asia but also China. It's pretty common for India at least to continue using old-fashioned British turns of phrase that have died out in the UK and perhaps never even caught on in other English speaking territories. I'm not sure whether the Chinese sites would've got it from the Indian sites or via Hong Kong use. – hippietrail Mar 25 '18 at 12:28
  • Here's a Canadian guy using "flight ticket" from a random Youtube video I just happened upon: youtu.be/uMTZuqS2xLE?t=12m59s – hippietrail May 1 '18 at 23:54

If we take Google Books as a usage indicator, plane ticket is by far the more common expression in AmE, while plane and air ticket are equally common in BrE. Flight ticket appears to be less commonly used.

  • Yes I could figure out which terms were more and less common. I just couldn't figure out who uses "flight ticket" or when it was used. It seems more used in Indian English, perhaps also in China for whatever reason. I also found an early 20th century mention from Australia, which might suggest it was also used in Britain at the time. But that's the best I could do on my own ... – hippietrail Feb 18 '18 at 10:14
  • Flight tickets (or airplane tickets, or whatever) are becoming rare, at least in physical form. They're mostly electronic now. What's often physical is a boarding pass, which isn't actually a ticket. – Xanne Feb 18 '18 at 11:34
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    but used nevertheless. – squidlydeux Feb 18 '18 at 16:16

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