Philippine Airlines has begun offering passengers an electronic ticketing facility that allows them to book and pay for flight seats by telephone or through the Internet - a major convenience for customers, who do not need to leave their home or workplace to accomplish these tasks. The service, introduced last May 1, is initially available for flights between Manila and Cebu, but will be expanded to cover all PAL destinations in the short term. It is part of the flag carrier’s strategy to shift to electronic solutions for administrative and commercial processes.
The new facility does away with paper tickets. Instead, the passenger is issued an electronic ticket, a ‘virtual ticket’, that is stored in PAL’s computer system, thus eliminating the need for the physical document.
The passenger avails of e-ticketing through either of two ways. He can call PAL Reservations in Manila or Cebu and book his flight through the agent. He then pays by relaying his credit card details, which is protected by secure technology, over the phone.
Alternatively, the passenger can visit the PAL website and click “Book and Buy.” The system then guides the passenger through the booking and payment process. The latter is likewise by credit card. In both cases, as proof that the transaction has been successfully completed, the passenger receives, via e-mail or fax, an “Itinerary/Receipt” containing his flight and payment details.
Upon check-in at the airport, the passenger simply presents this document, along with valid identification, to obtain the boarding pass.
If the Itinerary/Receipt is misplaced, it can easily be replaced for free at any PAL ticket office, unlike actual air tickets, which require a lengthy, tedious process and incur a penalty when lost.
The advent of e-ticketing pushes PAL further along the road to full automation. “This is a major step towards building a comprehensive electronic commerce system in the airline—a strategic investment that we expect will yield long-term benefits,” said PAL president Avelino L. Zapanta.