[photopress:air_airline_ticket_1.jpg,full,alignright]It was bound to happen but there will be some minor problems until it is totally sorted out. According to The Beijing News air-ticket agents around the world, including China, will stop selling paper tickets from June 1.
In fact, many air travelers have not seen a paper ticket for years.
International Air Transport Association (IATA) has set June 1, 2008, as the deadline to stop issuing paper tickets. For that date on only e-tickets will be used.
Zhang Wei, ticket sector account supervisor from Ctrip.com, China’s top online travel agent, said e-ticketing has gained popularity in China since October 16, 2006, and most passengers have taken e-tickets in place of paper tickets.
A survey done by Ctrip.com shows 97.37% of 13,044 interviewed said they will choose e-ticketing as their first choice.
Zhang Wei said, correctly, ‘Ending the use of paper tickets can help reduce airlines’ costs.’
Domestic airlines said one e-ticket can save more than RMB20 ($2.88) compared with a paper ticket in terms of printing, sales and transportation costs. And there is the question of agencies having to provide safe storage from tickets and the relevant printing equipment.
IATA says global e-ticketing is now around the 93% mark, saving $6.5 billion annually.
Currently in China, 99% of domestic flights use e-ticketing, but only 40% of international flights.
Air China said it is ready to fully use e-ticketing. Currently 97% of its domestic and 55.5% of its international flights issue e-tickets to passengers.
Twenty-six overseas airlines declared they have charged or will charge additional fees on paper tickets in a bid to promote e-ticketing.
Source: China Daily