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IATA Shreds Paper Tickets in Favour of E-Tickets

Posted July 31, 2008 by BookingBuddy

Airfareetickets Fans of paper tickets, it’s time! Time to bid a sad, fond farewell to the humble strip of magnetised paper that has been such a staple in your travels. Time to stop mumbling hysterically to yourself, ‘I know I left it here’! as you turn the house over while searching the night before your 6 a.m. flight. Time to stop clutching your ticket in its cosy paper jacket as you run frantically towards the check-in desk.

Sometime back, some tech geeks decided the humble old paper ticket wasn’t fancy enough and decided to jazz it up by designing a ticket that used electronic paper. It sounded fantastic and Star Trekky, but that’s probably all it will be for now—a fantasy.

For the good folks at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have decided the humble paper ticket (not to mention the electronic paper kind) is out of fashion. Or, as Giovanni Bisignani, the IATA’s CEO, so cruelly and succinctly put it, ‘its time is over’.

Like so many other things—the Jacobean ruff, canned snoek, George Michael's ‘career’—the paper ticket's time has been and gone. Those in charge have declared it obsolete. It might briefly come back into fashion (like the ra-ra skirt) but the question is, do you really want it back in fashion? (See George Michael.)

Often, things become obsolete for a reason. And the paper ticket’s reason is ... the e-ticket. Not really a giant leap for mankind there, but it does make our lives a little easier now that we can change our tickets and check in online.

With carriers like Delta Air Lines and British Airways recently announcing mobile check-in facilities, it seemed like the paper ticket’s death knell would have sounded soon anyway. What I’m really going to miss, though, is finding all that loose change I dropped down the back of my sofa while searching for my paper ticket ...

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