As of June 2008, the world’s airlines will no longer offer paper tickets to their customers as they move exclusively to e-ticketing. It’s probably been years since most readers have flown with a paper ticket, as e-ticketing is long the norm in the U.S. and Western Europe. However, certain airlines, flights to certain destinations (most notably the former Soviet Union) or flights on certain types of flexible tickets still require paper tickets; there are 100 days remaining for these holdouts to bring their systems into line.
It is important to note that any paper tickets already issued will continue to be honored after June. Student fares and around-the-world tickets, such as those sold by STA Travel, will soon be entirely in electronic form; itinerary changes will be made, depending on the fare type, either directly by the airline, through the STA website, or through a local STA representative.
Anyone who’s ever had to pay extra for printing or shipping a paper ticket or for reissue following loss or theft will gladly welcome this universal step. While the booking code may be necessary for ticket changes, generally presenting your passport at the counter or swiping it at the self-check-in kiosk is all you need to get your boarding passes; the truly plugged in arrive at the airport with boarding passes in hand, printed out with seats selected via online check-in.
Moral of the story: put your paper ticket stubs in your scrapbook or time capsule — your grandchildren are going to want to see what those relics looked like!
Thanks to Family Friendly for the tip.
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