oneworld is the first of the global airline alliances to complete the roll-out of interline e-ticketing (IET) between all members of the grouping.This means its customers can travel with the convenience of just one electronic ticket throughout the unrivalled combined network served by the alliance’s eight member airlines - American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, LAN, Finnair and Aer Lingus - and their 17 affiliates. Together, they fly to 603 destinations in 136 countries worldwide.
Interline e-ticketing offers passengers considerable advantages. It makes connections between flights by different airlines smoother, easier and more reliable, and reduces the time and hassle involved in rebooking from one carrier to another, should that be needed for any reason.
Customers have no traditional paper ticket to lose or risk having stolen, checking-in is quicker and smoother, and they have access to the speed and convenience of new automated features, like self-service or internet check-in, helping eliminate queues at airports.
e-tickets and interline e-ticketing also provide millions of dollars a year in savings for the airlines, with IATA, the world airline association, estimating that electronic tickets cut costs by around US$8 for each paper ticket eliminated. On that basis, with more than seven million passengers a year transferring between oneworld partners, the alliance’s IET programme stands to save the eight member airlines around US$60 million a year.
With the number of passengers connecting between the alliance’s carriers growing - by 12 per cent in 2004 - the financial contribution of IET will increase further.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: “oneworld was created to make travel to more places more easy for more people - and completion of interline e-ticketing links between all our member airlines is a significant landmark towards that goal. It makes travel throughout oneworld’s unmatched worldwide network simpler and smoother for our customers - while also cutting costs considerably for our member airlines.
“Being the first alliance to extend this level of customer convenience between all our airlines is a reflection of oneworld’s determination to offer our alliance customer service better than the competition and to reap the benefits that technology provides for both our customers and shareholders. It also underlines oneworld’s ability to get things done faster and more efficiently by being a manageable-sized grouping of committed and high quality carriers.”
American Airlines and Finnair set the alliance’s IET programme rolling in May 2002 when they became the industry’s first airlines in separate continents to offer this service. American then became the first airline in the world to complete IET links with all its global alliance partners, in June last year. British Airways followed suit, completing its connections with all its fellow oneworld members in October, joined by Qantas in December.
Finnair is the latest partner to extend IET to all its fellow oneworld members. Twenty five of the alliance’s potential 28 pairs of partners are now linked up with IET, covering 99 per cent of the passengers transferring between oneworld airlines’ flights. The remaining three connections - between Aer Lingus with Cathay Pacific, Iberia and LAN - will be completed within the next month.