the major airlines have websites and are strongly encouraging
passengers to book e-tickets directly with the airline (by
offering frequent flier bonuses and price discounts). When do you
think the airlines will accept e-tickets as negotiable documents
just like they do for paper tickets (in case of strikes or weather
Currently, the majority of airlines only accept paper tickets as
negotiable documents. However, that is rapidly changing through a process
called "interline e-ticketing," which allows negotiable
e-tickets between carriers.
Northwest and Continental started selling integrated e-tickets early last
spring, and recently, Northwest has expanded to integrate United. With the
interline system, customers can use an e-ticket issued by Northwest, for
example, to fly on an itinerary that includes a leg on United or
Continental. Travel industry analysts expect that most U.S. airlines will
be interlining tickets within several years.
Globally, the International
Air Transport Association (IATA) and SITA
(provider of integrated information solutions to the air transport
industry) have entered into a strategic partnership to stimulate the
wide-scale adoption of interline e-ticketing. IATA estimates that by the
year 2005, 50 percent of all airline tickets will be e-tickets.
The airlines, and other travel industry players, have aggressively
implemented e-services and self-service offerings in recent years, aiming
to reduce operating costs and increase customer satisfaction. It costs an
airline about one dollar to handle an e-ticket, compared to eight dollars
for a paper ticket. The use of paper tickets is also very labor
intensive—in some cases, a paper ticket goes through 11 pairs of hands
before it ends its journey.
I hope I've been helpful. Happy travels!
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