Paper ticketing in shreds

The end of the paper ticket is a distinct possibility as airlines and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) back eticketing.


Eliminating paper ticketing will save 50,000 mature trees a year says IATA, the industry body which represents over 240 of the world’s airlines. The aviation industry will also save $3 billion a year by using etickets rather than paper tickets.

“We are changing an industry with tangible benefits for travellers, agents, airlines and the environment. Consumers enjoy the convenience and flexibility of paperless travel,” says IATA director general and ceo, Giovanni Bisignani.

From 1 June next year IATA will no longer issue paper tickets. Since it launched its eticketing drive in June 2004 eticketing has grown from just 16% of the market to 84% today.

One of the airlines backing eticketing is Continental. The airline has just announced its 100th eticket partner, DragonAir, and aims to have all its interline agreements eticketable by the end of this year.

“Continental is committed to refining the customer's experience with truly convenient, paperless travel on all itineraries,” says the airline's senior vice president, corporate development, Mark Erwin. The airline, which is the fifth largest in the world, believes that etickets “reduce loss, theft and paperwork hassles for both the customer and the airline”.

Continental has also been developing other paperless solutions, including electronic vouchers for hotels, meals and ground transportation if flights are disrupted.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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