I always feel kind of naked when I show up at the airport without a paper ticket. I’m grateful that I have one less thing to lose, but I worry that when I walk up to the counter, it’ll be like making the maitre d’ “find” the “missing” reservation, or persuading the auto rental clerk that a confirmed reservation means she actually has to give me a car. More seriously, there are still significant problems in getting one airline’s e-ticket honored by another, if you need to change your flight.
American Airlines said today that they plan to move to all-electronic ticketing by the end of next year, and that starting next week, a paper ticket will cost you $20. The kicker, though, is in the last graf:
As part of this initiative, American will implement 100 percent interline e-ticketing with those carriers that can meet the technical standards and will eliminate such agreements with carriers that cannot. Interline agreements among carriers allow baggage interchanges, passenger transfers and other transactions.
I read that to mean that if an airline doesn’t honor American’s e-tickets by the end of 2003, don’t count on being able to do an interline ticket or baggage transfer. It’ll be interesting to see how American’s competitors respond.