Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Tickets

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E-tickets have replaced paper tickets, but paper boarding passes still are common.
E-tickets have replaced paper tickets, but paper boarding passes still are common. (Image: scanrail/iStock/Getty Images)

E-tickets, or electronic tickets, have become the norm in airline travel. Most travelers purchase spots on airplanes through a website and receive e-tickets with all the flight details delivered to their emails. Once at the airport, you check in and receive a paper boarding pass.

Advantages of Purchase

Travelers have much more information at their fingertips thanks to online ticket purchasing. Compare costs and examine various routes and flight times through online portals that collect information from multiple airlines at once. E-tickets are sent to your inbox, where you can store them until you head to the airport. You also can send your flight information to friends and family so they can track your trip's progress; this is especially convenient if someone is picking you up from the airport.

Disadvantages of Purchase

The disadvantages of e-tickets are relatively few; however, if you are less technologically savvy or don't use computers and email, you may find the online ticket purchasing system confusing. You may accidentally delete the email containing your e-ticket or it may get lost among the many messages flooding your inbox. E-tickets also take away some of the personalization of gifting a plane ticket to a friend or loved one.

Airport Pros

E-ticketing has streamlined some of the airport check-in process. Some airlines allow you to use a self-check-in kiosk, skipping the long line at the airline ticket desk. In some cases, you may be able to check in at home with your e-ticket information and receive a digital boarding pass on your smartphone, allowing you to save time at the airport.

Airport Cons

Sometimes technology can create additional headaches in cases of power outages and security breaches. The digitization of every step of the process has raised some concerns over the safety and security of storing so much information online, although airlines have taken every step to ensure personal information is safe. You also are at a disadvantage if you're unfamiliar with smartphone and e-ticket technology, although airport staff are helpful in these situations.

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