FORT WORTH, Texas - American Airlines and LanChile have become the second pair of oneworld carriers to introduce interline electronic ticketing - with the world’s most international airline alliance aiming to extend the practice throughout all eight of its members by the end of 2004. Interline e-ticketing eliminates the need for customers to have paper tickets for travel, thus enabling faster, easier transfers between carriers.
Use of electronic ticketing is increasing rapidly across the airline industry, and customer acceptance continues to rise. E-tickets are used by nearly 89 percent of American Airlines passengers and more than 60 percent of LanChile’s. American offers interline e-ticketing with more U.S. domestic airlines than any other carrier. All types of travel on American’s domestic network are eligible for e-ticketing, including award bookings in the AAdvantage® Travel Awards program. In March, e-tickets were introduced to the AAirpass® program, American’s pre-paid travel program.
E-tickets provide many benefits to travelers. For example, 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 help eliminate lines at the airport by giving customers access to the speed and convenience of new customer automation features, such as self-service check-in devices and online check in via the Internet.
Interline e-ticketing enables customers with electronic tickets to more simply rebook from a flight on one airline to a service operated by another carrier - if the need arises - without having to obtain a paper ticket first and then have that ticket endorsed by a sales agent. If they are traveling on a journey involving a transfer between two airlines, interline e-ticketing means they can be checked right through to their final destination, again without the need for traditional paper tickets, eliminating queues and making connections smoother and more reliable.
oneworld was the first of the global airline groupings to commit to interline e-ticketing, which customers prefer and which provides substantial savings for the carriers. A year ago, oneworld members American and Finnair were the world’s first airlines based on separate continents to introduce interline e-ticketing. Interline e-ticketing will be extended, on a phased basis, by year’s-end 2004 across all other oneworld airlines - British Airways, Qantas, Iberia, Cathay Pacific and Aer Lingus.
This is LanChile’s first interline electronic ticketing agreement, and it will continue extending agreements with all oneworld partners. LanPerœ, LanChile`s subsidiary, will be added to American Airlines interline electronic ticket agreement, once LanPerœ launches electronic ticketing on its international routes.
Henry Joyner, American Airlines’ senior vice president-Planning, said: “Expanding interline e-ticketing is fundamental to our overall focus on providing customers with the kinds of technology enhancements they value - those which make travel simpler and hassle-free. Interline e-ticketing now means travelers will find connecting between American and LanChile flights to be easier than ever. We are working closely with all of our oneworld partners to make interline e-ticketing a reality across the Alliance.”
Luis Ernesto Videla, LanChile’s general manager, said: “LanChile is pleased to announce this very important step toward full electronic ticketing that will substantially improve the service provided to our passengers, simplifying their trips around the world. We have started, together with American Airlines, interline electronic ticketing and continue to work on implementing it with the rest of our partners in oneworld which will bring even more benefits for our customers, achieving our main goal of always providing world-class service.”
Between them, oneworld’s eight member airlines serve more countries than any global airline alliance, with flights to more than 560 destinations in 136 countries. Members of any oneworld airline’s frequent flyer scheme can earn awards and points on eligible fares and redeem them throughout this network. The eight airlines and their affiliates carried more than 225 million passengers last year on a combined fleet of almost 2,000 aircraft, earning revenues of some US$50 billion. In the past three years, oneworld has delivered more than US$2 billion in value to its members, through increased revenue and cost savings.