Industry Bids Farewell to Paper Ticket25 June 2008
IATA launched a new era in air travel as it bid farewell to the paper ticket as the industry converted to 100% electronic ticketing on 1 June.
“The paper ticket has served us well, but its time is over” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO at a ceremony held in Istanbul, Turkey on 31 May.
Paper tickets were introduced in the 1920s. More than 70 years later, the first e-ticket was issued in 1994. In 2004, the successive crises of war, terrorism and SARS were still being felt, the price of oil was rising and it became critical for airlines to cut costs. IATA launched Simplifying the Business, a programme that would achieve 100% e-ticketing.
“The benefits to the business are real,” said Bisignani. “The move to electronic ticketing will save the industry over US$3 billion each year.” And e-ticketing brings a number of additional benefits to travellers: no more lost tickets. No more waiting by the mailbox for your paper ticket. And changing itineraries is much simpler.
The environmentally conscious might ask what is happening to all the paper that was in the system. IATA is collecting the remaining unused paper tickets - some 32 million worldwide - to be securely reclaimed, destroyed and recycled.
“An era has ended. If you have a paper ticket, it’s time to donate it to a museum,” Bisignani said.