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Papier vs. electronical flight tickets
When you use an air carrier, there are two kinds of tickets you will encounter: the hardcopy type and the eTicket (also known as ticketless travel). Hardcover tickets are quickly decorated with lines of dinosaurs - they seem somehow less topical. It is important to consider the pros and cons of these two kinds of tickets before you start to deal with such notions.
Hard-copy tickets are so called because the air tickets (the piece of hard-copy containing the precise information about the trip and referred to as air tickets) are in hard-copy state. In the case of an eTicket, this information is stored in the airline's reservations system and displayed as an eTicket at check-in.
Passengers travelling with an eTicket receive a copy of the route and the transport agreement. They are not a ticketing document, but an indicator that you have an e-document. You do not have the right person in your hands with an electronical ticketing. However, it is not enough to know that hard and e-tickets are different; it is important to know what the positive and negative are.
Hardcopy tickets are especially useful when your plane is cancelled because of a mechanic or other line-related problems and not because of a meteorological one. If, however, it is not the case and you have a hard copy pass, you may have a variety of choices that you may not have yet taken into consideration. When you have a hard copy travel pass with a large carrier and fly from an international airfield where another large carrier travels to your final destinations, a hard copy travel pass can be to your benefit.
When your trip is cancelled, you can ask another airline's agents to approve your ticketing (more tricky to do if there is more than one airport from which carriers are flying to your destination). Frequently the other carrier will do it, and you are now ahead of those on eTickets.
When you see with an eTicket because you do not have a real one, you are more at the mercy of the carrier with whom you are booking. And, in the event of a weather-independent cancelation, you will be placed on the next available flights with the same carrier, even if it is hour later.
Even in non-cancellation scenarios, hard copy tickets can be an advantage. Let's say you check the timetables to your final destinations and find a cheaper date with another carrier. You may only be able to change carriers with a hard copy airfare, especially if it is a national airfare (and not a charters airfare).
When it comes to an overseas travel, don't worry, because the regulations for overseas tickets are very different, while national ones are often unbelievably similar. For example, an unwritten policy of a large carrier was to take tickets from other carriers when a passenger showed up at check-in. There was a large aerodrome with lots of terminal buildings, and a number of carriers operated exactly the same itinerary.
Thus the agent was ordered to catch the traveller, which involved taking the passenger's ticketing from another carrier and taking (shovelling) part of the other carrier's profits. While this does not take place at the same rate at any given airports, it does and could be to your advantage if you have a hard copy ticketing.
Ticketless travel means your tickets are never thrown away or taken away. Should you loose the documentation sent to you by the carrier, it can make another copy at the destination for you. The fact that you can't loose your tickets is the lifesaving feature of an eTicket for many individuals. It' really quite noticeable when you notice that there are many folks who have inadvertently forgotten their tickets at home or in the offices.
In contrast to e-tickets, if you are leaving your hard copy at home, you must either make a charge to replace the original tickets (if it is a reduced ticket), buy a completely new one ( as is often the case with full-rate tickets), or be unable to travel at all.
E-Tickets remove this potential hassle, and for many travellers, especially those who travel a lot, it is a great sales argument not to have to care about a lost one. A number of charters and even some major carriers only allow you to have e-tickets or charge a fare for a hard copy airline pass.
There is a higher price for an air carrier to make hard-copy tickets, and some air carriers practise transferring these expenses to the passengers. Then there are those who do not even make out tickets on papers. Air carriers that provide e-tickets are usually either charters or smaller carriers.
When travelling internationally, often hard-copy tickets are used instead of e-tickets, as in some places they want to see evidence of the journey home and want to take no less than a hard-copy one. There will be others who will allow e-tickets, and carriers will use this wherever possible, as it is much less expensive to do so.
If you use more than one carrier, you will usually receive printed tickets, basically because carriers do not all use the same reservation system, and therefore it is necessary to have evidence that you have a single flight with each carrier. Tickets around the globe are usually also made out as hard -copy tickets because not only do you normally travel with more than one carrier, but you also don't always have to specify accurate travel times.
While there are other discrepancies between the two tickets, they are more important for carrier auditing than anything else. For those who are now worried that their e-tickets have given them few options in the event of weather-independent cancellation, you can be sure. If there is no room on other carriers, it doesn't make any difference if you have this one.
Also, if the circumstances change horribly for the carrier concerned, it will call other carriers and try to get places if they are available on those routes, whether your tickets are e-tickets or hard-copy tickets, and give you a valid application that will be acceptable to another carrier.