The days of multi-layer air tickets appear
numbered, as the China Air
Transport Association (CATA) has stopped providing paper tickets and
instructed sellers to issue e-tickets.
The decision is in line with an International Air Transport Association
(IATA) move that requires its 261 member airlines to abandon paper tickets
by the end of 2007.
E-tickets will be issued once the current batch of paper tickets has
been used up. The change currently only applies to domestic flights.
"We haven't received notice from the CATA that paper tickets for
international flights will be stopped," said a ticket agent in Beijing.
Customers will book tickets through airlines or ticket agents as usual,
and will be given a booking reference.
They will then be able to use automatic check-in facilities at
airports, and receive an invoice for reimbursement. They can also check-in
as normal at the counter.
Special passengers like infants and those flying to airports without
automatic check-in machines can still use paper tickets.
The wide use of e-ticketing is expected to lower operational costs,
which could lead to lower prices, said an expert with the safety
technology centre of the General Administration of Civil Aviation (CAAC).
A survey by civil aviation website www.CARNOC.com between August 28 and
October 15 showed widespread concern over the new system.
Despite having the Internet proficiency to take part in the online
survey, 43 per cent of respondents said they would prefer to receive a
While some feel more secure without the worry of a ticket, others said
they did not trust sending personal details over the Internet, or worried
they would not get reimbursed.