What Is an E Ticket for Airlines?


Before computers made many everyday tasks easier. And before the Internet put the world at our fingertips, flying from place to place on commercial airlines required a multi-layered paper ticket. Now, instead of a multi-layered ticket, e tickets, or electronic tickets, are all travelers need.

No More Paper

  • An e ticket is a digital record of purchasing a seat on a commercial airline flight. E tickets permanently replaced the multi-layered paper ticket on June 1, 2008. In 2008, the use of e tickets became mandatory by International Air Transport Association members. Joel R. Goheen is credited with creating the e ticket.

Buying E Tickets

  • After choosing and paying for the desired flight(s) on an airline or travel agency website, confirmation numbers are given. These confirmation numbers serve as a proof of purchase. This proof of purchase, or e ticket, can then be printed on a single sheet of paper from a home computer.

On the Ticket

  • When printed, e tickets will contain confirmation numbers, flight number, seat number and itinerary. E tickets may also contain bar codes that can be scanned by airport personnel. E tickets and proper identification should accompany the traveler at all times.

Lower Costs

  • Printing an e ticket at home can both be less expensive and less time-consuming. By printing an e ticket at home, consumers do not have to pay for shipping and handling or for the cost of a travel agent. E tickets can be printed instantly instead of waiting for tickets to be received by mail.

Boarding Passes

  • An e ticket may be needed to obtain a boarding pass. Passengers can check-in and obtain boarding passes for flights up to 24 hours before departure. Check-ins can be done online or at the airport by using confirmation numbers on the e ticket.

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