phases out paper airline tickets from IATA

IATA phases out paper airline tickets

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is getting ready to phase out paper airline tickets in favour of e-tickets, having placed its final order for the former.

Around 16.5 million paper tickets were ordered from specialist printers to supply IATA-accredited travel agents around the world, but from June 1 next year all tickets handled via the IATA Billing and Settlement Plan will be electronic.

“This is the ‘last call’ for paper tickets,” said IATA director general and chief executive Giovanni Bisignani. “E-ticketing went from 16 per cent in June 2004 to 84 per cent today. Consumers enjoy the convenience and flexibility of paperless travel.”

He added that the move to e-ticketing would help to save trees.

Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman Anna Knowles called the IATA’s move positive, saying it will make for “a simpler process for both the airlines and their passengers”.

However, she stressed that the money saved by airlines on tickets was unlikely to lead to cheaper airline tickets.

“Prices of tickets for air travel are extremely good value for money – we have a seat sale going on at the moment with prices as little as £239 return to New York so the e-ticket element will not have a tangible impact on prices as low as this,” she said.

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