Bids Farewell to Paper Ticket
Meets deadline for 100%
Istanbul –The International Air Transport
Association (IATA) today launched a new era in air travel as it bid
farewell to the paper ticket on the eve of the industry’s conversion to
100% electronic ticketing.
say goodbye to an industry icon,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director
General and CEO. “The paper ticket has served us well, but its time is
over. After four years of hard work by airlines around the world, tomorrow
marks the beginning of a new, more convenient and more efficient era for
history of tickets…
tickets date back to the 1920s. Each airline used a different form with
varying rules. Airlines soon recognised the need for standardisation of
traffic documents, regulations and procedures to support the growth of an
industry that spanned the world. In 1930, the IATA Traffic Committee
developed the first standard hand-written ticket for multiple trips. These
same standards served the industry into the early 1970s.
ticketing revolution occurred in 1972 with automation. The IATA Billing
and Settlement Plan (BSP) for travel agents began in Tokyo that year. This
led to the birth of the IATA neutral paper ticket. For the first time the
IATA logo appeared on the cover of tickets that could be used by any
travel agent to ticket journeys on almost any airline in the world.
revolution took place in 1983 when the system was further automated with a
magnetic stripe on the ticket back. This allowed all of the ticket
information to be stored electronically on the ticket itself and it could
be used as the boarding pass as well.
At its peak,
285 million of IATA neutral paper tickets (both versions) were printed in
e-ticket was issued in 1994. By 1997 IATA had adopted global standards for
e-ticketing. But the evolution was slow and by May 2004, only 19% of
global tickets were electronic.
Simplifying the Business
At the 2004
Annual General Meeting in Singapore, the successive crises of war,
terrorism and SARS were still being felt, the price of oil was approaching
US$40 per barrel and the imperative for cost efficiencies was critical.
IATA presented a plan for Simplifying the Business, the highlight of which
was to achieve 100% e-ticketing.
years, IATA deployed a global team of 150 people to work with airlines and
system providers around the world to facilitate implementation.
four years we achieved what many thought was impossible. We made 100% ET a
reality everywhere – from our largest hubs to small remote island airports
with no electricity. It is an incredible industry achievement,” said
benefits to the business are real,” said Bisignani. A paper ticket costs
an average of US$10 to process versus US$1 for an electronic ticket. With
over 400 million tickets issued through IATA’s settlement systems
annually, the industry will save over US$3 billion each year.
can look forward to easier travel in an electronic world. 100% ET
eliminates lost tickets. ETs can easily be changed and reissued without
necessitating a trip to a travel agency or airline ticket office. And they
enable a wide array of self-service options such as online and mobile
”With ET a reality we can now enter the next
phase of Simplifying the Business,” said Bisignani. “We are moving ahead
with a further revolution - Fast Travel that will provide convenient
self-service options from check-in to baggage tracing and re-booking.”
will no longer issue paper ticket stock, IATA neutral paper tickets issued
by travel agents before June 1 remain valid for travel under the
conditions they were purchased. Paper tickets may still be provided
by an airline from its own offices or from a travel agent in the USA,
although it is anticipated the volumes will be very low.
the conversion IATA has contacted 60,000 travel agents in more than 200
countries to collect the remaining unused paper tickets in the system –
some 32 million worldwide. These will be securely reclaimed, destroyed and
recycled. “An era has ended. If you have a paper ticket, it’s time to
donate it to a museum,” said Bisignani.
paper ticket ceremony photos
information on Electronic Ticketing and Fast Travel visit: www.iata.org/stbsupportportal
(International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines
comprising 93% of international scheduled air traffic.
Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) is a system by which IATA, as an
independent third party, manages the transfer of money derived from cash
sales of airline tickets between travel agents and airlines.
IATA has 80
BSPs covering more than 162 countries and territories that handle some
US$220 billion annually.
When the ET
project was launched in June 2004, the industry was at 19% Electronic
IATA has 150
staff supporting its Simplifying the Business programme.
invested $1.3 million in an ET Buddy Programme to provide free
consulting to airlines needing assistance in launching their ET
2004 IATA has held 23 workshops worldwide to support ET
interline manual ticket established: circa 1930
Transitional automated ticket (TAT) established:
creates standard for Neutral Paper Ticket: 1972
launches BSP Japan and Neutral Paper Ticket: 1972
Ticket & Boarding Pass (ATB) established: 1983
Ticket (ET) established: 1994
standard for ET established: 1997
of Governors pass resolution for 100% ET: 2004
100% ET –
June 1, 2008