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Why Would An E-ticket Turn Into A Paper Ticket?  
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2746 times:


(I tried posting this last night; I don't see it in the fourm index, but it does show up when I try to post this message; therefore, I appologize if you've already seen this. Mods, please feel free to delete the earlier posts should they surface)
Hi All,

On a recent trip I was booked CLE-RIC/RIC-CLE-GRR/GRR-CLE on CO with a Y-fare basis (yes, you are reading that right, I was scheduled to have a 50 minute connection in my home airport... not even enough time to get fresh clothes from the car!)

Anyway, looking at the FLIFO in Richmond, thanks to a ground stop in Newark it was looking like I was going to misconnect in Cleveland. I was booked on the last flights* of the day and it was critical that I be in Grand Rapids the first thing the next morning.
I checked and the soon-to-be boarding NW (Pinnacle) had inventory available, as did the next DTW-GRR. Both had CO flight numbers attached and were showing "on time" status.

I approached the podium, told the agent of the information that I had gathered and politely asked if it would be possible to reroute me to Grand Rapids via DTW on Northwest*. After a heck of a lot of typing he printed what I assumed would be boarding passes but as he handed them to me I noticed they were on Continental-branded ATB2 ticket stock (complete with fare calc line, "FLIGHT COUPON"... ahh, the good ole days  Wink ) and he told me that he had made a confirmed reservation for me on the Northwest flights and something along the lines of "Don't loose these; it's a paper tickets now and like cash... You'll need to go over to the Northwest gate to check in and get your seat assignments".

And with that -- and a call down to the bag room -- me and my luggage made it to Grand Rapids on schedule (my luggage had a handwritten reroute tag on it, too).

The NW experience was a bit surreal (the agent being confused about what a paper ticket was or what to do with it, at the gate, about 15 minutes prior to departure being handed a "seat reservation card" and being told that that would get me through security and to "check with the agent at the gate when the seats are released about 15 minutes before departure for your seat assignment"...)

So I'm just curious (since the whole ticketing/reaccomidation thing has always facinated me)
a) Why would he have to issue paper tickets if the original ticket was an etichet and CO/NW are so closely intertwined?
b) Why would he book the reservation using the NW flight#s rather than the CO codeshare flight numbers? I would have thought that would be considerably easier and could have been processed as an "on-line" reaccomidation instead of off-line/interline?
c) Anything else going on in the background that I'm forgetting to ask about?


Anyway... the CO folks at RIC -- specifically that agent and whomever was in the bagroom really saved my you-know-what on Wednesday last week THANK YOU. CO's agents are usually the epitome of professionalism and courtesy, but he really exceeded my expectations. (even exchanged some airline BS!) -- I called 1-800-WECARE2 and expressed my thanks, and fully intend to write a letter to the CO RIC station manager when I'm back home (I'm still on the road -- through the middle of next week, but by car for this portion)

Lincoln

*- Had that not worked, I would have just cancelled those two segments and booked a new ticket on NW myself



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLrdc9 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 610 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2713 times:

I think he would give you a paper ticket because it is essenntially a new booking with the schedule change. Plus, you need a ticket to board the NW flight and you did not have one for that flight. So the only thing they can do is print out a paper ticket. This year flying on YX, my printer screwed up and gave us two e-tickets for my dad, but not one for me, so the check-in lady printed out paper tickets for both of us (while my dad waited in the security line). Same thing happened on the way back except we had all the boarding passes, they just gave us new stuff anyway. Unless I'm misunderstanding what you are saying (which I may be).


Just say NO to scabs.
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2647 times:



Quoting Lrdc9 (Reply 1):
So the only thing they can do is print out a paper ticket. This year flying on YX, my printer screwed up and gave us two e-tickets for my dad, but not one for me, so the check-in lady printed out paper tickets for both of us (while my dad waited in the security line).

Just to clarify the terminology, I'm not referring to a boarding pass -- like you print at home or get from a kiosk when you check in for a reservation that's been eticketed; I'm referring to the old-fashioned paper ticket which is the same size as a boarding pass but has far more information on it (and ususally does not reflect a seat assignment) -- like the fare paid, the issue city, the taxes, fare breakdown, point of issue etc.

In the "good old days" you would need a flight coupon (paper ticket) for each flight in addition to a boarding pass -- the ticket proved you paid for a filght, the boarding pass had your seat assignment and allowed you to board that particular flight; these day typically an eticket is issued, and the proof of payment/ticketing exists entirely within the GDS, so you only need a boarding pass to fly.

Part of the reason I'm curious is eariler this year I volunteered my seat on an oversold CLE-RDU COEx flight; the agent rerouted me CLE-PHL on CO and PHL-RDU on US -- only gave me an itinerary printout for the PHL-RDU segment and told me to go to the gat in PHL for a boarding pass.



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4336 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2612 times:

Inadvertently or not, the agent effectively did you a favor by issuing a paper ticket on native NW flights -- many agents, even in this day and age, screw up interline e-ticket involuntary reroutes.


Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2569 times:



Quoting Avek00 (Reply 3):
Inadvertently or not, the agent effectively did you a favor by issuing a paper ticket on native NW flights

Based on the way the agent was acting/talking, I don't think anything he did was inadvertant. He seemed to have an excellent grasp of what he was doing and how he needed to do it... that's part of the reason I'm really interested in the "why". Off-topic, but he had a really nice CO wristwatch, which I took as a sign of length of service (it it really/how long before you get the watch? I don't know, but...)

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4336 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2565 times:



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 4):
Based on the way the agent was acting/talking, I don't think anything he did was inadvertant. He seemed to have an excellent grasp of what he was doing and how he needed to do it... that's part of the reason I'm really interested in the "why".

He could have done the entire transaction electronically, but it's a fact that interline e-ticketing is not always an instantaneous affair -- by printing a paper ticket, the agt avoided the possibility that NWA would not have received your ticket info. in time, something that would have caused you not to make the new flight.



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineBicoastal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2547 times:

My experience is that electronically "pushing" an e-ticket to another airline is instantaneous. I don't understand why you you had a coupon attached. Usually you take your itinerary to the new airline, they have your e-ticket and issue you a boarding pass. No paper required.

User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4336 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2525 times:



Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 6):
My experience is that electronically "pushing" an e-ticket to another airline is instantaneous.

Pushing (or pulling) the etkt would have then required NWA to do the rebooking, and the pax might well have missed the flight if s/he needed to do that.



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineBicoastal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2501 times:



Quoting Avek00 (Reply 7):
Pushing (or pulling) the etkt would have then required NWA to do the rebooking, and the pax might well have missed the flight if s/he needed to do that.

But aren't rebookings done before an airline pushed a ticket? My experience is that agents call the other airline to confirm that seats are available (even though the computer shows inventory available), complete the booking and then push the ticket. When the customer gets to the other airline, everything should be set.


User currently offlinePA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1995 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2485 times:
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Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 8):
But aren't rebookings done before an airline pushed a ticket? My experience is that agents call the other airline to confirm that seats are available (even though the computer shows inventory available), complete the booking and then push the ticket. When the customer gets to the other airline, everything should be set.

That's the theory, but in practicality, it rarely works that way when you really need it to. Printing a paper ticket is the safest option when time is critical. CO absolutely did the best possible thing. If there had been any teletype delays between the two systems, the passenger would have been sunk. He would have had to run back to CO and get a paper ticket, because NW would not have been able to do anything if there were any delays in transmission. (NW Worldspan often doesn't play well with other systems... just ask KLM - they've been dealing with headaches for years!)



It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2475 times:



Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
The NW experience was a bit surreal (the agent being confused about what a paper ticket was or what to do with it, at the gate, about 15 minutes prior to departure being handed a "seat reservation card" and being told that that would get me through security and to "check with the agent at the gate when the seats are released about 15 minutes before departure for your seat assignment"

The agent must have been new or poorly trained. Paper tickets are still used extensively for issuing tickets in South American, Africa, some parts of the Middle East, Pakistan, India, etc. Anywhere where the computer/phone line hookups are not always reliable. He should have seen at least one paper ticket before.

Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
Why would he have to issue paper tickets if the original ticket was an etichet and CO/NW are so closely intertwined?

CO and NW reservation systems may not be intertwined at all. Even though CO and NW are part of Skyteam, the reservation systems may be completely different, and it can take time for a reservation on one airline to show up on another system.

Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
Why would he book the reservation using the NW flight#s rather than the CO codeshare flight numbers? I would have thought that would be considerably easier and could have been processed as an "on-line" reaccomidation instead of off-line/interline?

When an airline codeshares, they block a certain number seats on the flight for resale. It is quite possible that the CO codeshare flight # showed zero availability while the NW flight # still had seats. Also some computer systems show only either 0 or 4 seats available on a flight on a carrier other than the home carrier and if there are 1, 2 or 3 seats available, they will not show up.

In addition, if a flight is within a couple of hours of departure and the flight is overbooked, many computer systems zero-out the flight for booking to all but the ticket counter and the gate of the departing airport. This prevents others from overbooking an already overbooked flight further, thereby worsening the situation.

Most ticket agents at airports have the phone numbers for the ticket counters of the other airlines on speed dial, so that if they cannot make a booking through the standard computer system, they can ask the other airline to book direct on their system.


User currently offlineGeorgebush From New Zealand, joined Jul 2006, 679 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2412 times:



Quoting Avek00 (Reply 7):
Pushing (or pulling) the etkt would have then required NWA to do the rebooking, and the pax might well have missed the flight if s/he needed to do that.

Thats not entirely true. Any airline can sell availability on any other airline (except for SW and such.) Then they have to put the segments being rebooked in the control of the other airline (OA). Then the rebooked passenger checks in with the OA like normal, and receives a boarding pass.

It can be an agent's preference to issue a paper ticket, which is a LOT faster to do especially when re-booking an entire flight, and paper tickets arent always entitled to the same rules and regulations that a computer will/will not let you do with an E-Ticket.

It is quite simple (3 key strokes) to turn a segment on an E-Ticket to a paper ticket, but it can be very time consuming actually putting that e-ticket into OA control. Also each airline has a special way they want pax rebooked on them, and if your unfamiliar with those procedures a paper ticket is a quick fix.



Al Gore invented global warming.
User currently offlineJmhluv2fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 559 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2333 times:

The reason a paper ticket was printed was so that the airline that you were rebooked on (Northwest), could be properly compensated. You purchased your original reservation on Continental, and as far CO was concerned you were an
e-ticket passenger, but in order to put you on another carrier, your e-ticket must be turned into a paper ticket and ruled over to NW, in the airline business, its called a rule-120. Its easier if you simply have paper tickets to begin with and so long as the orgin and final destination remain the same you simply write Rule 120 on the ticket and give to whichever airline.
I remember when I worked contracted for 9E in PNS for a year, sometime certain airlines and certain agents would get really picky and make you reprint even a paper ticket to specify that airline flight numbers and connection cities, but if a paper ticket is ruled over, you are essentially giving the receiving carrier authorization to the ticket, they will then likely print a ticket/boarding pass on there own stock and sometimes staple it to the ruled over ticket.

Now you can consider yourself lucky, I have worked for both 9E (NW) and AirTran and in almost all cases if your delay was due to weather, you would not be ruled over to another carrier, most especially with AirTran, if delay was due to weather, ground stop, you were simply out of luck, you would have to wait for delayed flight or rebooked on another flight on same airline. Another headache with FL is that at the time I worked with them, 2002-2004, they had limited agreements with other carriers,In PNS Only DL and US could we use to rebook pax on, and eventually agreements with DL terminated for one of many reasons. When I moved over to Pinnacle, it became a little easier, as we could choose from every airline in PNS with the exception of FL of course, and we could rebook the pax right through the NW system, PARS and send pax on there way. Those three years were a ride for sure, In some ways I miss them there are certain parts like trying to rebook an oversold flight on delayed or canceled flights three days before xmas and not able to get them out for two weeks, that was really fun in addition to the 300 + bags we had on hand during the xmas of 2004 blizzard/ snow hell storm, man we had 8 full carts of bags out the rear, those are some memories.
Now I am rambling, at any rate thats in a nut shell why you received a paper ticket.

JMH-Pensacola, Florida


User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 13, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2310 times:



Quoting Georgebush (Reply 11):
It can be an agent's preference to issue a paper ticket, which is a LOT faster to do especially when re-booking an entire flight, and paper tickets arent always entitled to the same rules and regulations that a computer will/will not let you do with an E-Ticket.

Paper tickets and eTickets must follow exactly the same rules - there's no difference between the two.

But you are right in the sense that reissuing an eTicket can pretty much be a pain in the lower back...  Wink ... though that's also somewhat dependant on the GDS being used. I've done reissues of eTickets in Sabre with a change of airline and a recalculation of the applicable taxes in less than 30 seconds - though, unfortunately, you still frequently (happens a couple of times every week) get messages saying that the host airline's computer isn't responding, which - of course - immediately kills the idea of (re-)issuing an eTicket. Paper tickets are the easy, and safe, way out of that situation.



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineXJRamper From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2460 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2301 times:



Quoting Jmhluv2fly (Reply 12):
Now you can consider yourself lucky, I have worked for both 9E (NW) and AirTran and in almost all cases if your delay was due to weather, you would not be ruled over to another carrier, most especially with AirTran, if delay was due to weather, ground stop, you were simply out of luck, you would have to wait for delayed flight or rebooked on another flight on same airline

Yeah, thats because he was booked in Y class...which is the highest paid fare just below a full fare first fare (yes there are some first fares lower than unrestricted Y). When someone pays you that much money, you want them to return as a customer again and again. Its simple business common sense. If that means getting them to their destination via another carrier regardless of reason, you do it.

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 5):
He could have done the entire transaction electronically, but it's a fact that interline e-ticketing is not always an instantaneous affair -- by printing a paper ticket, the agt avoided the possibility that NWA would not have received your ticket info. in time, something that would have caused you not to make the new flight.

 checkmark   checkmark 

Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 6):
My experience is that electronically "pushing" an e-ticket to another airline is instantaneous. I don't understand why you you had a coupon attached. Usually you take your itinerary to the new airline, they have your e-ticket and issue you a boarding pass. No paper required.

Some times it is some times it takes a while. Because of the short time to get him on the flight through to GRR, it was easier to print the tickets and get him on his way so that he could make that flight. I've done it before I'll do it again.

XJR



Look ma' no hands!
User currently offlineGeorgebush From New Zealand, joined Jul 2006, 679 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2208 times:



Quoting Leskova (Reply 13):
Paper tickets and eTickets must follow exactly the same rules - there's no difference between the two.

Except 'Big Brother' can't govern a paper ticket so easily, and when your 5mins from closing the door of a fully loaded widebody which is delayed 2hrs a paper ticket is a hell of a lot easier to "sort out later" as we like to often say...



Al Gore invented global warming.
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2090 times:



Quoting XJRamper (Reply 14):
Yeah, thats because he was booked in Y class...which is the highest paid fare just below a full fare first fare (yes there are some first fares lower than unrestricted Y). When someone pays you that much money, you want them to return as a customer again and again. Its simple business common sense. If that means getting them to their destination via another carrier regardless of reason, you do it.

Yep  Smile That's exactly why whenever I'm travelling for business I book as full-fare unrestricted economy (i.e. Y-class). It's certainly not the cheapest way to go, but when you need to make changes or if you encounter irregular ops there's no better way to fly. It's worth noting that since both of the original flights in question were RJs so with little doubt it was the highest paid fare period. (The total fare, exclusive of taxes, was something like $1,970)

Also, since it was a fully refundable ticket, had it not been possible for the CO agent to rebook-- and since it was a weather issue I was anticipating some difficulty-- I would have just cancelled those two segments (represnting just under $1000 in revenue), gotten the refund processed and walked over to NW and booked a new reservation myself, so I have to imagine that CO got to retain more of the revenue by rebooking (the rebooked ticket was in "M" class on NW, but I don't know where that falls--and it doesn't realy matter*)

One of the things that sticks in my mind is-- after I had told the agent what I was trying to go he said "You know, technically....oh, wait, you're on a full-fare...never mind" Big grin

Lincoln
(I also saw the same agent decline, after consulting with a supervisor, to rebook a passenger on a 'free' ticket... so lesson learned: Full-fare is definately worth it)

*- Aside from looking like I may not get any miles, let alone EQMs for those segments ,but hey: I'm well over the threshold I was trying to cross, so I don't really care.



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4336 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2077 times:



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 16):
*- Aside from looking like I may not get any miles, let alone EQMs for those segments ,but hey: I'm well over the threshold I was trying to cross, so I don't really care.

You absolutely will get miles for your NW flights if you entered your OnePass number, or else submit your BPs to the OnePass Service Center. It's easy now to say you don't care about those miles, but wait until you're looking to redeem for an award, and you're a few miles short -- getting the miles to put you over the top can sometimes be an expensive annoyance, let me tell you.



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2051 times:



Quoting PA110 (Reply 9):
(NW Worldspan often doesn't play well with other systems... just ask KLM - they've been dealing with headaches for years!)

Now it's Amadeus' headache, and we play a bit better than CORDA did  Smile

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 10):
CO and NW reservation systems may not be intertwined at all. Even though CO and NW are part of Skyteam, the reservation systems may be completely different, and it can take time for a reservation on one airline to show up on another system.

To right they're not intertwined. They are on completely different systems, both of which are pretty old and not well suited to alliance integration. While CO can sell NW space in SHARES, it is not sold via a real-time link with NW's system, so it can take a while for the TTY message to reach PARS, be processed and for a reply to get back to SHARES. If you're on a proper alliance platform, last-seat availability and real-time sell on your partners is a standard feature, so rebooking is quicker and more accurate.


User currently offlineN917me From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 729 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1940 times:



Quoting Avek00 (Reply 3):
Inadvertently or not, the agent effectively did you a favor by issuing a paper ticket on native NW flights -- many agents, even in this day and age, screw up interline e-ticket involuntary reroutes.

AMEN to that.. even worse, having to explain to the newly rerouted customer that the OAL screwed up without bad mouthing the OAL. I can't tell you how many customers a day we get that were electronic invol reroutes that were screwed up. However, we unlike some other airlines, try to take care of it rather than sent the customer back.

Quoting PA110 (Reply 9):
That's the theory, but in practicality, it rarely works that way when you really need it to. Printing a paper ticket is the safest option when time is critical. CO absolutely did the best possible thing.

Yes. CORRECT. when time it critical... just print the coupons, endorse them and send em on their way.

There couuld be a number of reasons why the CO agent printed the coupons. Most likley, they felt the "print and endorse" option was the fastest and safest.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22726 posts, RR: 20
Reply 20, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1935 times:



Quoting PA110 (Reply 9):
Printing a paper ticket is the safest option when time is critical. CO absolutely did the best possible thing.

I got rebooked in CLT by US (onto another US flight) 3-4 years ago and they went ahead and issued a paper ticket. Apparently, it's not always about the 'connection' between the carriers.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
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