Sabre Travel Network
is introducing electronic ticketing (e-ticketing) for travel agencies in Ireland. It has completed a six-week test programme with American Express in the Republic and will introduce the capability to all Sabre Connected agencies from today.
The company offers e-ticketing through its global distribution system (GDS) on 49 airlines, of which 21 are European carriers. In Ireland, e-ticketing will initially be available for flights on Air France, bmi, British Airways, Lufthansa, Continental Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines. It will be available for Aer Lingus flights by the fourth quarter this year.
Pearse Reynolds, American Express vice president and general manager of corporate travel for the UK and Ireland, said cost control and customer convenience were the two main issues driving the e-ticketing trend.
“Efficiency is the name of the game. Out go the couriers, postage, itinerary printers and paper wastage, all replaced with a single email,” he said.
E-tickets generated in the Sabre system are backed up with emailed receipts that travellers need when checking in for flights and clearing immigration in some countries.
David Brown, Sabre Travel Network’s director for Ireland, the UK and the Nordic region, said the company also offered an unused electronic ticket report to make it easier for agents to identify and request refunds on behalf of their customers.
“When you have an unused paper ticket sitting on your desk, it’s a visual reminder to claim the refund,” Brown said. “With an e-ticket that doesn’t exist, so it’s easier to forget about an unused flight - particularly if you are a business traveller who spends a lot of time in planes.”
E-ticketing is proving so popular around the world that Sabre Travel Network’s development laboratories are working with airlines on a number of alternative ways to use the technology. These include sending passengers an SMS message with an e-ticket barcode, enabling them to check in or board the aircraft simply by swiping their mobile phones over a scanner at the airport. Other concepts include a secure smart card that can be ‘credited’ with a ticket or boarding pass, which can then be ‘debited’ when the passenger checks in at the airport.
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(23/07/2003) Sabre Secures Commitment from Three Major Carriers
(21/07/2003) Sabre Extends Merchant Programme to European Hotels
(30/06/2003) Sabre Travel Network Strengthens Ties with BTI UK