The flight manifest contained the names of all the passengers who flew on Oceanic Flight 815. From the manifest, Hurley determined that Ethan Rom was not on Flight 815, and was in fact an Other. ("Raised by Another")
Hurley used the manifest in order to make a census of everyone on the beach and at the caves. He asked everyone for his name, place of residence, and the reason he was in Australia, to compile the census.
Only a few people have actually seen the manifest:
- Locke - He knew Hurley's and Sawyer's real names from the manifest (Hugo Reyes and James Ford, respectively).
- Sawyer - Hurley originally got the manifest from Sawyer's stash.
- Hurley - He used it to compile the census.
- Frank Lapidus - He claimed to have memorized the entire manifest for Flight 815 and was able to identify Juliet as not being a passenger. ("Confirmed Dead")
The earliest known time that the mid-section survivors were in possession of the manifest was day 5 - Sunday, September 26th, 2004, during the burning of the fuselage. It then went into Sawyer's possession for approximately eleven days before passing to Hurley on Day 16.
The manifest was slightly different here. Some characters such as Desmond, who were not on the plane orginally, were on it in the flash sideways. Other passengers were seated differently or missing altogether. ("LA X, Part 1")
After having some realization about this world, Desmond asked his limo driver to get him a copy of the manifest so he could show the other passengers something. ("Happily Ever After") Desmond was later seen seeking out various passengers of Flight 815 and manipulating their circumstances to trigger an awakening, though it is unclear to what extent he consulted the manifest to accomplish his goal.