American Airlines announced today it will add a fee for paper tickets purchased through travel agents in certain European countries, the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America for itineraries that are eligible for electronic tickets. The paper ticket fee is intended to encourage the use of electronic ticketing whenever possible. There will be no fee for issuing a paper ticket if an itinerary is not e-ticket eligible. Today, more than 90 percent of American Airlines customers travel on electronic tickets.
This move will allow American to remain cost competitive with other airlines that have recently introduced similar fees and is consistent with American’s policy of charging for paper tickets issued by U.S.-based travel agents when the itinerary qualifies for e-ticketing.
Effective immediately, the fee for a paper ticket issued on an electronic ticket-eligible itinerary through travel agents in Italy, Spain, Belgium and France is 25 EUR, while the fee in the United Kingdom is 25 GBP. Fees for paper tickets issued through travel agents in the Caribbean (including Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands), Mexico and Latin America will be effective Nov. 8, 2004. The fee will be 25 USD, converted to the local currency.
Approximately 91 percent of American’s passengers travel on electronic tickets. That percentage has grown steadily since American first began e-ticketing in 1996. Today e-ticketing is offered throughout American’s worldwide route network, including all of the 40-plus countries served by the airline. In addition, American offers interline e-ticketing with 21 other airlines - more than any other carrier - including all members of the oneworld Alliance, of which American is a founding member.
Customers benefit from e-ticketing since e-tickets cannot be lost or stolen, and changes and refunds can be made faster and easier. In addition, e-tickets enable passengers to avoid lines and move through the airport more quickly. Airlines and travel agents benefit from reduced administrative costs and increased efficiency.
Today’s announcement applies only to paper tickets on e-ticket eligible itineraries issued through travel agents in certain European countries, the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America. Travel agents in the United States and Canada can continue to issue paper tickets on e-ticket eligible itineraries for the current 50 USD.