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Why not use e-ticket for flights?

3/3/2006

E-tickets are easier. So why is a paper ticket better? And when?

E-tickets have made ticketing much easier. Nothing to lose, nothing to wait for, no delivery to pay for. Many airlines are even charging extra for paper tickets. However there is one reason paper tickets are better. If the airline you are flying on goes on strike, or goes out of business a paper ticket is essential. With a paper ticket you can go to another airline and be given a new seat. The paper ticket contains a "voucher" for payment. If you end up in such a situation airlines cannot view other airlines e-ticketing information or rebook seats based on it.

Think this cannot happen to you? Just think of 2005 and British Airways' catering strike, Italia's recent strike, SAS, and more. In the US and think it cannot happen to you? Just remember Northwest, United, and many others of recent years. A few years ago a Las Vegas airline just stopped flying in the middle of the day and told passengers when they came to board that they were now out of business. In Europe Sabena and Swiss Air (now reinvented as Swiss) suffered similar fates. Swiss Air still tried to fly but owed the airports money for fuel so the airports would not let their planes take off.

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