United Airlines and Air Canada
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.
“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.”
“Electronic ticketing is in very high demand, particularly
amongst business travelers,” said Marc Rosenberg, Vice
President, Sales and Production Distribution at Air Canada.
“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
Beginning today, customers of United and Air Canada will be
able to use a single electronic ticket when their itinerary
includes travel on both airlines or on United Airlines-Air
Canada 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 United or Air Canada 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
United-Air Canada interline electronic service will also be
available on flights operated by Canadian Airlines.
Customer usage of electronic ticketing at both carriers has
surged. In May, more than 60% of the tickets used by United
customers were electronic. United’s surveys have shown that
electronic ticketing is the preferred form of ticketing for more
than 90% of the customers who use it.
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 United’s or Air Canada’s international
E-Ticket service check in with their passport and the ticket
receipt and, if booked by telephone with a United or Air Canada
Reservations Representative, with the credit card used to
purchase the ticket.
Initially, United-Air Canada interline electronic tickets will be
available through a United Airlines or Air Canada Reservations
Representative over the telephone or at any United or Air
Canada ticketing outlet. Travel agency functionality to offer
United-Air Canada interline electronic tickets will be introduced
in the fourth quarter of 2000.
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.
Air Canada first introduced electronic ticketing in 1995 and
further expanded it to all of its routes across Canada as well as
to several U.S. destinations during 1996. In 1998, the airline
extended electronic ticketing to virtually its entire North
American network. Over the past two years Air Canada has
introduced electronic ticketing to the UK, Frankfurt and Hong
Kong and will extend it to Tel Aviv and Paris in the near future
Together with its United Express partners, United Airlines
offers service to 255 destinations in 26 countries and two U.S.
territories. United and Air Canada are founding members of
Star Alliance, the most comprehensive network of the world’s
leading airlines that provides the global reach of nine airlines
and the conveniences of flying on just one. Other members of
Star Alliance include Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways,
Ansett Australia, the Austrian Airlines Group, Lufthansa
German Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore
Airlines, Thai and Varig Brasil. British Midland and Mexicana
will join Star Alliance on July 1,2000. United Airlines’ Internet
address is www.united.com.