Handling KeyError in Django’s CreateCheckoutSessionView

It simplifies the process of building web applications by providing a well-structured framework. However, like any other software, it’s common to encounter errors during development. In this blog post, we will discuss a common error that Django developers encounter – KeyError exception – and explore how to handle it effectively.

The Error Scenario:

Let’s begin by understanding the scenario that led to the KeyError exception. In this case, we have a Django class-based view called CreateCheckoutSessionView, which appears to be related to creating a checkout session for a hotel booking application. Within the post method of this view, there is a line of code that attempts to retrieve a value from the kwargs dictionary using the key “pk.” Here’s the problematic line of code:

hotel_id = self.kwargs["pk"]

The kwargs dictionary typically contains keyword arguments extracted from the URL, such as primary key (pk) values. In this context, it seems that the view expects to receive a hotel’s primary key as a parameter in the URL, but for some reason, it’s not finding it.

The KeyError Exception:

When you encounter the following error message:

Exception Type: KeyError
Exception Value: 'pk'

It means that the code is trying to access a key (‘pk’) in the kwargs dictionary, but this key does not exist, hence the KeyError is raised. In Django, this error often occurs when the expected URL parameter is not provided.

Handling the KeyError Exception:

To handle this KeyError exception gracefully, you can implement error checking and handling mechanisms within your view. Here’s an example of how you can do this:

from rest_framework.views import APIView
from rest_framework.response import Response
from rest_framework import status

class CreateCheckoutSessionView(APIView):
    def post(self, request, *args, **kwargs):
            hotel_id = self.kwargs["pk"]
            # Proceed with the checkout session creation logic using hotel_id
            # ...
            return Response({"message": "Checkout session created successfully"}, status=status.HTTP_201_CREATED)
        except KeyError:
            return Response({"error": "The 'pk' parameter is missing from the URL"}, status=status.HTTP_400_BAD_REQUEST)

In this modified code, we added a try-except block to catch the KeyError. If the “pk” parameter is missing in the URL,

it will return a 400 Bad Request response with an error message indicating that the parameter is missing. This way, the application provides a clear and informative response to the client, making debugging and error identification easier.


KeyError exceptions are common in Django development when dealing with URL parameters and dictionaries. By implementing proper error handling mechanisms, such as the try-except block, you can improve the robustness of your application and provide helpful feedback to users when something goes wrong. Remember to check your URL configurations and ensure that the expected parameters are passed in the request to avoid such errors in first place.