From 1 June 2008, only electronic tickets will be issued for Lufthansa flights as well as for flights operated by all other IATA airlines. The decision to phase out paper tickets in the airline industry was made back in 2004 as part of IATA’s “Simplifying the Business” initiative. Electronic tickets offer customers considerable advantages while at the same time providing an opportunity for airlines to save costs.
Furthermore, the switch to electronic tickets will benefit the environment. According to IATA, abolishing paper tickets means that 50,000 fewer trees will need to be felled each year. In future, after making a reservation, Lufthansa passengers will not receive a paper ticket, but will instead be issued with an electronic ticket, or etix. With an etix, passengers can use the convenient online check-in service and print out their own boarding pass at home, or collect it at one of the 350 check-in terminals at airports. Thanks to the latest service innovations, they can also have an electronic boarding pass sent to them by email or by SMS to an Internet-compatible mobile phone. Without etix, none of these services would be possible.
On 1 June, when the IATA ruling goes into effect, virtually all Lufthansa tickets will be issued as etix. Passengers will therefore no longer have a choice between a paper and an electronic ticket. Paper tickets issued before 1 June will, however, retain their validity. With an anticipated take-up rate of more than 98%, Lufthansa exceeds the industry average rate of 96.5% that IATA has targeted for that date. In comparison: at the end of 2004, at the launch of the IATA initiative, Lufthansa had achieved a 45% take-up rate.
In order to increase the share of electronic tickets, about 80 partner airlines have been integrated into the electronic interlining system: More than 200 Lufthansa stations worldwide have switched to etix and all the technical booking and check-in functions in the relevant systems have been adapted. Station staff has undergone intensive training to prepare for the introduction of the new system. Over the next few months, the remaining interline partners will be linked to the system and further IT adjustments will be made.