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Air Travel Goes Fully Online!!

Hurrah!! No more paper tickets for flights!! Starting June 1, thats right, just 2 days down the line, all major airlines across the world, including India, will stop issuing paper tickets and switch to 100% e-ticketing, sticking to the deadline issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The order which had previously suggested the end of 2007 for this transition, had revised the date after some protests.

Just hear this out....... About 5 billion A4 paper sheets are used to print tickets per year, which is double the amount of paper required for back-office paper work. And it costs $5 to $9 to issue a paper ticket, so the adoption of e-ticketing will result in saving $3 billion per year globally.

The Indian airlines who have introduced 100 percent e-ticketing are: Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Air India, and JetLite, while the foreign carriers who've adopted the new system are: British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa, Sri Lankan Airlines, Emirates, and GulfAir.

For consumers, it will become convenient to just carry print-outs of the itinerary instead of the bulky paper book each time. And they will have self-service kiosks for check-in, and will be able to enter the airport by just flashing the PNR number on the itinerary print-out (or via an SMS).

This is great news for the industry. However, the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) is protesting the deadline, and urging the Ministry of Civil Aviation to intervene to stop implementation of the ban on paper tickets. They claim that this would result in increase fares in case of interline tickets, which is when while travelling between two destinations a person needs to change the carrier on the way. Whatever!!

Anyways, this ushers in a new and novel way of ticketing which will definitely be welcomed by eco-conscious air travellers worldwide.

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