FORT WORTH, Texas - American Airlines today announced it has reached an important milestone in its effort to go paperless by implementing “interline” e-ticketing agreements with 10 other domestic carriers, thus eliminating the need for paper tickets by its customers for domestic travel. Interline e-ticketing enables easier transfers between carriers, should a transfer between airlines be necessary due to weather delays or a change in travel plans.
American now provides interline e-ticketing with more domestic airlines than any other carrier. It now offers interline e-ticketing with Alaska Airlines, Aloha Airlines, America West, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Midwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.
American also announced that effective immediately, it will no longer issue paper tickets for e-ticket eligible domestic U.S. itineraries through its reservations, airport ticket counters, Travel Centers and AA.com.
The move to become paperless is part of an aggressive corporate-wide cost-reduction initiative designed to eliminate all paper transactions at the airport, thereby reducing significant internal costs and simplifying the customer’s travel experience.
“Eliminating paper transactions is a fundamental part of our efforts to enhance the customer experience with technology that makes air travel simple and hassle-free,” said Andrew Watson, vice president of e-Business at American Airlines. “Electronic ticketing has been an important foundation to our goal of customer self-sufficiency - enabling customers to manage their own travel experiences. And our customers continue to ask for more. With the elimination of paper tickets comes even greater cost savings and productivity for the airline. American set extremely aggressive e-ticketing goals with its domestic and international airline partners; goals we are sure will set an important precedent for the airline industry at large.”
Approximately 84 percent of American’s customers now use e-tickets - up year over year from 65 percent - and customer acceptance continues to rise. All types of travel on American’s domestic network are eligible for e-ticketing, including award bookings in the AAdvantage® travel rewards program. In March, e-tickets were introduced to the AAirpass® program, American’s pre-paid travel program.
E-tickets provide many benefits to travelers. Check-in at the airport is quicker and smoother, e-tickets cannot be lost or stolen, and they make changes and refunds faster and easier than with paper tickets. e-tickets are the key to using American’s growing array of automated services, including online check-in with AA.com, plus more than 710 Self-Service machines and 340 Curbside Check-in units at 87 airports.
American is on schedule for transitioning to all e-tickets for international itineraries with its one world Alliance partners by the beginning of 2004, and for transitioning to e-tickets for all international interline itineraries by the end of next year.
Paper tickets are still available through travel agencies for a fee. Paper tickets are also still available through American Airlines if the itinerary involves international travel for a fee. To maximize the cost savings associated with e-ticketing, effective immediately, the transaction fee for issuance of paper tickets by travel agents in the 50 United States or Canada for e-ticket eligible itineraries on American Airlines will increase from $25 to $50 per ticket. American Airlines will also charge this same fee for issuing a paper ticket for an international itinerary that is e-ticket eligible. The fee change is intended to increase the incentive to use e-tickets.