[photopress:air_eticketing.jpg,full,alignright]e-ticketing is simple and is, in many parts of the world, the preferred way of getting an airline ticket. On multiple sector journeys the old printed ticket may still be preferable, just. But there will probably be no printed airline tickets in, say, five years from now.
A straw in the wind is that Air China now has interline e-ticketing with Continental Airlines. So both Continental and Air China passengers can use a printed number – a single paperless, electronic ticket – for air journeys served jointly by the two carriers. This is not a breakthrough but more a continuation of a major development. For Continental joins a list of more than twenty other airlines Air China already cooperates with to offer interline e-ticketing service.
Air China is also working on implementing interline e-ticketing with the twenty airlines of Star Alliance before Air China becomes a full member of the alliance later this year. In fact, it only has four airlines to add before it has all of the Star Alliance.
All of which is very important if you are an international passenger. You can create your own itenerary on the Internet, print out the numbers – or just write them down. Then, at the airport, you show identification, give the number and, in exhange, you get a boarding pass. Inded, at some airports that also is automated and you just type your number into a machine and it prints out a boarding pass. At Schipol, in Amsterdam, the next logical step has been taken and you can also check in your own baggage. This all saves the airlines an immense amount of money and makes life easier for the passenger.
Mrs. Zhang Lan, Vice President for Air China, said, ‘Interline e-ticketing is a great convenience to our international passengers, and we are pleased to offer this useful service. Many passengers across our global network need to change airlines to reach their final destination, and the ease of a single interline e-ticket makes flying Air China that much more appealing and care-free.’
Checking through the Air China list you need to look for airlines with which it does NOT as yet have this arrangement. It is quicker. EasyJet would be one and RyanAir would be another. But there are not many. Air China is keeping well up with the times.