Air Canada and United Airlines today introduced the airline industry`s first true inter-airline (interline) electronic ticketing service, making it possible for customers to use a single electronic ticket for travel on more than one airline. The service, available immediately, is the first electronic ticketing initiative that actually bridges two different airline computer reservations systems.
“Electronic ticketing is in very high demand, particularly amongst business travelers,” said Marc Rosenberg, Vice President, Sales and Product Distribution. “Our surveys show that customers want the service further expanded so that they can take advantage of `ticketless travel` when their itineraries include multiple carriers. Together with our valued Star Alliance partner United Airlines, we are pleased to now offer the convenience of interline electronic ticketing to our customers.”
“Today we enter the final frontier of making electronic ticketing universally accessible,” said Chris Bowers, Senior Vice President for North America at United Airlines. “Electronic ticketing has fundamentally simplified the way people travel and this industry breakthrough will make it possible for even more customers to take advantage of the many conveniences of flying paperless.”
Beginning today, customers of Air Canada and United will be able to use a single electronic ticket when their itinerary includes travel on both airlines or on Air Canada-United code-share flights operated by either carrier. Previously, customers were required to have an individual electronic ticket issued by each airline. Customers of both airlines will also benefit from interline electronic tickets if a need arises for them to be re-booked from one airline to another, as Air Canada or United staff will be easily able to accept electronically ticketed passengers without the customer having to obtain a paper ticket first. Later this year, the new Air Canada-United interline electronic ticketing service will also be available on flights operated by Canadian Airlines.
Electronic ticketing offers customers conveniences no other ticketing option can.
Information normally available on paper documents is stored electronically, ending customer concerns with carrying, forgetting or losing an airline ticket
Check-in, security and customs procedures for travel using an electronic ticket are the same as current procedures for passengers with paper tickets. Customers using Air Canada`s or United`s international E-Ticket service check in with their passport and the ticket receipt and, if booked by telephone with an Air Canada or United reservations representative, with the credit card used to purchase the ticket.
Initially, Air Canada-United interline electronic tickets will be available through an Air Canada or United Airlines reservations representative over the telephone or at any Air Canada or United ticketing outlet. Travel agency functionality to offer Air Canada-United interline electronic tickets will be introduced in the fourth quarter of 2000.
Air Canada first introduced electronic ticketing in 1995 and further expanded it to all its routes across Canada as well as to several U. S. destinations during 1996. In 1998, the airline extended electronic ticketing to virtually all of its North American network. Over the past two years, Air Canada has introduced electronic ticketing to the U.K., Frankfurt and Hong Kong and will extend it to Tel Aviv and Paris in the near future.
United introduced its electronic ticket service on its West Coast United Shuttle flights in the fall of 1994. In 1995, the airline expanded E-Ticket service to all of its North American destinations. United has offered international electronic ticketing service to all 255 of the destinations it serves throughout the world since November of 1999. United`s E-Ticket software is used by 14 airlines throughout the world.