Paper ticket – 1909 – 2008. R.I.P.


ISTANBUL: A new era in air travel began on Sunday as it bid farewell to the paper ticket on the eve of the industry’s conversion to 100 per cent electronic ticketing at the call of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), representing over 230 global airlines.

“Today we say goodbye to an industry icon. The paper ticket has served us well, but its time is over. Four years of hard work by airlines around the world mark the beginning of a new, more convenient and more efficient era for air travel,” said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA inaugurating its Annual General Meeting.

IATA, which represents 93 per cent of the world air traffic, had set a deadline of May 31 to introduce 100 per cent e-ticketing which came into effect worldwide, including India earlier in the day.

Besides being environmental-friendly and saving an estimated USD three billion annually on paper, consumers can now look forward to easier travel in an electronic world, where 100 per cent electronic ticket eliminates lost tickets. ETs can easily be changed and reissued without necessitating a trip to a travel agency or airline ticket office. And they enable a wide array of self-service options such as online and mobile check in.

“With ET a reality we can now enter the next phase of Simplifying the Business,” said Bisignani. “We are moving ahead with a further revolution fast travel that will provide convenient self-service options from check-in to baggage tracing and re-booking.”