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Travel » Travel-tips » E-ticketing-070806
E-ticketing Or Paper Tickets
Which Do You Prefer?

E-ticketing Or Paper Tickets Did you know that 75% of all air-tickets sold in India are e-tickets? Well, if you're amongst the 25% who prefer paper tickets, you may soon have to change. Read on to know why.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has made it mandatory for all airlines to convert to e-tickets. The original deadline was to be 31st December 2007. However, with airlines all over the world requesting for more time to make the transformation it has been extended to 31st May 2008.

Frankly, the move to electronic tickets may not pose that big problem in other parts of the world. For Indians however, it is quite a serious concern.


The Internet penetration in the country is still as low as 3.7%. And the scenario is not much better in other countries in Asia. So why is IATA in such a hurry to do away with paper air tickets?

Advantages of electronic tickets:
  • For one, e-tickets cost the airline a lot less to issue than regular paper tickets. This could translate into lower ticket prices for us as well so we're not complaining.
  • Secondly, e-tickets can be printed anytime and anywhere if you have access to the Internet so it provides convenience for passengers. Even if you happen to lose your e-ticket, all you need to do is print out another one and you're ready to fly.
  • Some airlines also offer passengers the facility to check-in online and even print out their boarding passes well in advance. This does come as good news, especially for people who always seem to be rushing to catch their flight on time!

However, there is a significant downside to e-tickets as well.

Disadvantages of electronic tickets:
  • In the event of a computer malfunction at the airline, it may not be possible to allow passengers to check in until such time that their system is online again.
  • Also, the chances of ticketing fraud may increase, as it would be only too easy for fraudsters to print the same e-ticket several times and sell to unsuspecting passengers. (But this can be avoided by printing your e-ticket yourself or buying it from a known travel agent)

All things considered, whether e-ticketing is better than traditional paper tickets or not, is a subject still open to debate - till 31st May 2008!

So what do you think?
  • Is it too early to make e-ticketing mandatory for airlines across the globe?
  • Shouldn't passengers be allowed to choose their preferred ticket type?
  • Is it fair to force 'ALL' air travellers to settle for e-tickets?
  • Which do 'You' personally prefer? E-tickets or paper tickets?

Ruchi Agarwal
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