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American Airlines first carrier to offer Interline e-Ticketing with Global Alliance Partners

Travel News Asia 9 June 2004

American Airlines is to become the first airline in the world to offer interline electronic ticketing with all its global alliance partners when it completes the roll out of the service with Aer Lingus and Iberia in the coming days, keeping oneworld firmly on track to becoming the first airline grouping offering this customer convenience between all its members.

Interline e-ticketing which enables passengers to use a single electronic ticket when their itineraries include flights on more than one airline - is now in place between ten of the 28 potential pairings of oneworld partners, with another seven pairs on schedule to offer the service during the next couple of months.

By then, interline e-ticketing will be in place to cover more than 90 per cent of passengers connecting worldwide between oneworld member airlines. The rest of the alliances network, extending to more than 573 destinations in 135 countries, will offer the service by the end of this year.

American Airlines set oneworlds interline e-ticketing progamme running with partner Finnair in May 2002, becoming the worlds first airlines based on separate continents to introduce this service. American connected up with LanChile last July, with Cathay Pacific and Qantas in November and British Airways in April.

British Airways expects to be the second oneworld member to offer interline e-ticketing with all other oneworld members making it also the second airline in the world to provide this convenience with all its global alliance partners. Besides its American Airlines link, it has been offering the service with Qantas since April and in the past few days has launched it too with Finnair. It aims to extend it to Aer Lingus later this month, with the other four oneworld partners linked up by the end of August.

e-tickets offer consumers many advantages. They cannot be lost or stolen. They make check-in quicker and smoother, helping eliminate queues at airports by giving customers access to the speed and convenience of new automation features, such as self-service check-in devices.

Passengers with e-tickets have the ability to rebook between airlines with interline e-ticket agreements without having to obtain a paper ticket first. Previously, they were required to convert their e-ticket into a paper ticket before transferring between carriers.

Interline e-ticketing eliminates the need for paper tickets, enabling faster, easier connections between carriers. Customers with electronic tickets traveling on a journey involving a transfer between two airlines can be checked right through to their final destination, without the need for traditional paper tickets, eliminating queues and making connections smoother and more reliable.

Besides enabling them to respond to this consumer preference, e-tickets and interline e-ticketing also provide millions of dollars a year in savings for the airlines, by eliminating costly paper tickets and processes.

Announcing the landmark during a oneworld summit meeting in Singapore, American Airlines Senior Vice-President Planning Henry Joyner said: "American Airlines customers can now enjoy the convenience that interline electronic ticketing offers with all our oneworld partners - a first for any global alliance. By the year-end, when all oneworld partner airlines have fully implemented interline e-ticketing with one another, customers traveling on all oneworld itineraries will enjoy even smoother connections among all the alliance member carriers."

Beyond its oneworld partners, American now offers interline e-ticketing convenience with 15 carriers, including most of the larger US airlines Alaska, America West, ATA, Aloha, Continental, Delta, Hawaiian, Midwest, Northwest, United and US Airways. American also has interline e-ticketing agreements with KLM and Copa Airlines.

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