United to Scrap Paper Tickets

United Airlines
said on Monday it will start charging passengers a $20 fee to use paper tickets for trips that could be booked electronically and it plans to have all electronic ticketing by the end of 2003.

Starting Thursday, United will charge $20 for customer-requested paper tickets issued by United channels in the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico for travel that could be handled electronically, United said.

U.S. airlines have been shifting to electronic tickets from paper tickets, which are more costly to administer. Airlines also are working to coordinate computer reservations systems so more complicated multiple airline trips often used by business travelers can be completed using electronic tickets.

The announcement from United, a unit of No. 2 U.S. carrier UAL Corp., came about a month after AMR Corp.`s American Airlines, the world`s largest carrier, said it plans to stop issuing paper tickets for domestic trips by March.

United said it plans to stop issuing paper airline tickets within the United States by next July and plans to issue only electronic tickets for all eligible itineraries at all domestic and international locations by January 2004.


United currently has electronic ticket agreements with Air Canada, American, Continental Airlines and Northwest Airlines, and expects to set up more agreements soon.

In June, American said it would charge travelers $20 each for paper tickets if they had the option of using electronic tickets. American also plans to end agreements with carriers that cannot meet an all-electronic ticketing standard.

Related stories on ITN:

(18/06/2002) Northwest Airlines Implements Paper Ticketing Fee

(01/05/2002) Delta to Charge Fee For Paper Ticket Conversion
(02/11/2001) Continental Airlines Adds Fee For Paper Tickets

(14/06/2000) Air Canada & United Introduce Inter-Airline Electronic Ticket