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June: End of the paper airline ticket, welcome to electronic boarding pass for everybody

09 June, 2008 20:55  EasyExpat EasyExpat

As of June 1, IATA (International Air Transport Association) will no longer supply paper ticket stock to 60,000 travel agencies in 125 countries around the world. OK, most of you frequent traveller think already that paper airline tickets are past (for example, British Airways issued 790,000 airline tickets in March, of which 8,000 were paper), but in many other countries it is quite frequent, especially for long distance including different itinary and flights. Now the rules will be that you can just register with your passport (registration number might be requested, but not necessary).

In the urge of reducing costs everywhere, from baggage allowance to food on board, the elimination of paper airline tickets stands to reduce airline costs by as much as €2 billion worldwide and cut the cost of issuing a ticket from €6 to less than €1, according to Bryan Wilson of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Whereas in June 2004, only 18% of tickets issued were e-tickets, by the end of March2008, the number had risen to 94%.

But paper tickets won't disappear immediately. In theory, the traveler holding the last paper ticket issued has up to one year to commence their journey and another year to use the return ticket before that ticket is no longer valid. Therefore, it is possible a paper ticket could still be floating through the system until May 31, 2010. In addition, not every airline is subject to IATA's electronic ticketing rules (it affects approximately 240 company members).

Anyway, it should trigger passagers to choose even more their booking through the Internet or directly with the airline company, rather than with travel agencies.

Easyexpat, with information from USAToday, Yahoo!, EuroNews and IHT.


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