web Musings of The Global Traveller

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Paper ticket issuance hassles

It hasn't taken me long to curse IATA's 100% e-ticketing initiative. For some info check out a previous blog entry here.

A recent booking apparently required a paper ticket for reasons that are not clear to me. The obvious limitations or potential issues are not relevant - there are less than 16 flights, not an infant or child fare, all airports are e-ticketable, the marketing airlines are all e-ticketable.

Anyway, for some reason I need a paper ticket. It is now 3 weeks since the booking was made (and payment taken), with no ticket yet issued. I've made several phone calls to the airline and no one has yet worked out (a) exactly what is the problem, and (b) how to fix it or work around it. I'm glad my travel dates are a long way ahead - if I'd been booking at the last minute as I often do, I would not have been able to travel.

Still, I hope it is resolved soon. A couple of flights are codeshares and the operating airline could decide to cancel my booking for not ticketing within their time limits.

If you have any itinerary likely to require paper ticketing, my suggestion is to book and ticket well in advance of travel date. Unfortunately these ticketing issues do not just affect new bookings as some old paper tickets issued before 1 June 2008 may still require reissuing as a paper ticket, possibly at short notice if the flights change at an inopportune time.

I hope the airlines resolve the system issues quickly.

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