ATIF HASSAN (atif.hassan@dacb.edu.pk)
Lecturer, Defence Authority College of Business, Karachi
Aug 03 - 09, 2009

An electronic ticket or e-ticket refers to the purchase of a seat on a passenger airline, usually through a website or by telephone. This form of airline ticket has rapidly replaced the old multi-layered paper tickets and become mandatory for IATA members as of June 1, 2008.

During the last few years, where paper tickets were still available, airlines frequently charged extra for issuing them. E-tickets are also available for certain entertainment venues.

Once a reservation is made, an e-ticket exists only as a digital record in the airline computers. Customers usually print out a copy of their receipt, which contains the record locator or reservation number and the e-ticket number.

E-Ticketing provides many benefits, including: Cost Savings - Reduce the costs associated with printing and mailing tickets to the ticket buyers. Eliminate or reduce the need for ticket stock, envelopes, and postage.

Labor Savings - Reduce the labor associated with printing and mailing tickets. Cut down on the effort required to retrieve tickets for Will Call pick up orders.

Safe and Secure - E-Tickets are safe and secure. Barcode validation eliminates the possibility of counterfeit and duplicate tickets.

Actual Attendance Reporting - how many of the e-ticket patrons attended the event and when they arrived.

Instant Delivery - Ticket buyers love being able to print their tickets immediately. There is no need to wait for the mail or wait in line at the event. Customers can print their electronic tickets immediately after they purchase them. This makes e-tickets ideal for the last minute gift or the last minute decision.

Additional Information - E-Tickets provide space for additional useful information such as street maps, driving directions, and other information traveler may need to know.

Advertising - E-Tickets provide unique advertising capabilities. Increase the organization's revenues by offering advertising space on the web ticket.

Airblue was the first airline in Pakistan to introduce e-ticketing, wireless check-in and self check-in kiosk facilities. The airline also became a member of Sabre system that is used by over a hundred airlines to help it with ticket automation services.

Airblue became the first airline in South Asia and only the second carrier in the region behind Emirates to introduce self service check-in facilities at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi. The system allows passengers with baggage to obtain a boarding card through the touch screen menu without needing to report to the counter.

Airblue plans to extend the self-service check-in facilities to Lahore and Islamabad, and eventually to all cities on its network.

Pakistan International Airlines is using Sabre Airline Solutions technology to let customers book e-tickets over the Internet and pay by credit card. The airline has introduced e-ticketing for all bookings made directly with the airline and through travel agencies, eliminating paper ticketing long before the IATA-mandated deadline of 31 December 2007.

The airline has rolled out its Internet-based SabreSonic Web application in major regional markets, enabling it to issue e-tickets for online bookings. SabreSonic Web is planned for introduction in all international markets in 2007. Additionally, PIA is implementing kiosk and Web check-in applications. These initiatives are a part of the airline's Customer First service upgrade programme.

Shaheen air also offers electronic ticket travel service. An innovative way of using technology of issuing air tickets electronically eliminates traditional paper tickets and creates an electronically held record (ticket) of the transaction. This electronic image of the ticket is stored in the Shaheen Air reservation system.

E-ticket is a convenient, fast, and safe option to the regular physical paper ticket. Now no more worries about losing or having the ticket stolen before stamped by Shaheen Air. You can book a confirmed ticket on local host up to 3 hours prior to departure.

From 1st June 2008, the International Air Transport Association, which represents 240 member airlines, had no longer allowed travel agents to issue paper tickets for air travel.

All paper tickets had been replaced by electronic tickets (e-tickets) as part of a global move to 100% e-ticketing. E-tickets provide airline passengers with the most cost-effective method of issuing and managing tickets, offering extra convenience for travelers on the road.