ssides
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Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:41 am

I recently purchased tickets on bmi from LHR to MAD. I assumed the tickets would be electronic. However, I have just been informed that because my credit card has a US address, they sent paper tickets to my address in the states. I'm here in London, and will need these tickets by Monday, and with the postal strike it's a big hassle for me.

Is this common among European airlines? I cannot believe the simplicity of electronic ticketing hasn't reached this continent! And what's up with reservation telephone centers closing at 10:00 PM? I miss the US!!!
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
by188b
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:36 pm

On the other side of the coin, when i wanted to buy a ticket from united reservations for LAX-SFO, i had to endure a 30 minute wait as i was british buying a US domestic ticket and i only had a UK billing address. Yes SSides, you can guess what i was going to say, I missed the UK!
next flights : BD LHR-TXL J, FR SXF-STN Y, SN BRU-LHR Y, MA LHR-BUD Y, BA BUD-LHR J, BA LCY-SNN-JFK J, BA JFK-LHR J, BA
 
Leskova
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 4:33 pm

Ssides, just checked it - BD's flights from LHR to MAD are, for whatever reason, not e-ticketable - but BD definitively has E-Tickets: I use them from HAJ to LHR somewhat regularly and my last tix were always electronic.

I guess that they probably don't have e-ticket-check-in facilities available in MAD yet...
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JGPH1A
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:35 pm

BD flights to MAD are not e-ticket eligible. I'd phone BD and ask to collect the tickets at LHR - they can cancel the ones sent to your home address and re-issue them.
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ssides
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 7:30 pm

I called BD, but it's a #35 charge to re-issue the tickets. $30 to have them sent FedEx from US to UK. I'll go with the latter.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
ssides
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 7:37 pm

On the other side of the coin, when i wanted to buy a ticket from united reservations for LAX-SFO, i had to endure a 30 minute wait as i was british buying a US domestic ticket and i only had a UK billing address. Yes SSides, you can guess what i was going to say, I missed the UK!

What's interesting to me is that it is the major carriers, e.g. UA, BA, BD, that have this policy. While living in London, I have purchased several tickets on Ryanair with my US credit card and haven't had any problems. I also know that it's pretty easy to purchase tickets from WN in the US with a non-US credit card. This policy is crazy -- I could understand maybe if you had an Iraqi address on your credit card or even Saudi Arabia, but I would think the US and UK airlines get a fair amount of business from citizens of the other country.

And it still kills me that virtually no European airline has a 24-hour reservation call center.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 8:06 pm

BA is even worse - I have UK and French credit cards but a French Billing address - BA's crap website wouldn't accept a French credit card for a booking originating in the UK, and when I tried my UK credit card they would take it either, because the billing address is in France - bizarre ! When I phoned their Res number they couldn't get the fare I wanted owing to Point of Sale being UK not France, so the fare would have been higher, plus they wanted to stick me with a GBP10.00 service fee for handling an e-ticket booking over the phone. I politely told the lady not to bother, I went onto Amadeus and made the booking myself, at the completely legal advertised fare I wanted, and paid with my French credit card - queued the booking of to my local T/A to issue the ticket. I get (legally I might add, in case anyone thinks I was booking what I shouldn't) the fare BA advertised on their website and that I want, the T/A gets her (pretty miserable) commission, and BA lose out on reducing their costs.

Easyjet/Ryanair etc have no problems at all accepting credit cards from wherever - they're happy to, as they get to charge your EUR5.00 for the privilege.

There are some US websites that require a US billing address for credit card bookings, but I just give my bruv's address in MA, they never seem to have a problem.
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Pe@rson
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 8:15 pm

I booked two tickets for travel aboard BMI in December: a paper ticket (the traditional ticket) for MAN to GLA and an e-ticket for GLA to MAN. I had absolutely no problem with either, so will be using the latter from now on.
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Leskova
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 8:56 pm

Ok, this really might just be me - and I'm biased (I'm a travel agent) - but whenever I hear of these types of problems like airlines only sending the tickets to the original cc-billing-address, I really do wonder: why don't you simply do what JGPH1A did? Use a travel agent!

Of all the people that came into our office within the last 12 months, about 10% had actually really found the lowest applicable fare on the internet - in about 90% of the cases, I was able to offer them fares between EUR 10 and EUR 250 lower... I know that lot's of T/As charge service fees (because, again as JGPH1A stated, the commissions that we get are close to non-existant), but still, you'll probably often enough end up paying the same as you would by booking through the internet - but without the hassle of having to have tickets sent halfway around the world because the airline thought that it was necessary for them to send the ticket to you billing address - and not your residential address...
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ssides
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 10:19 pm

Leskova:

Had I known it would be that big of a problem, that's what I would have done. However, it is so, SO much easier for me to simply browse around the internet in the comfort of my apartment here in London rather than pay for a phone call to a travel agent or go to a TAs office, wait 30 minutes, and make my plans. I may be lazy, but that's the way I prefer to operate.

If I am booking several pieces of travel, such as flight + rail, flight + cruise, etc., I will definitely go to a travel agent. But for a simple round-trip from LHR to MAD, I'd just rather do it myself!
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
Leskova
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 10:27 pm

Ssides, I know what you mean - to some extent... actually, I keep forgetting that not everywhere you've got a t/a-density as we have here: in the (I know, I know - very small) town where I live together with about 12000 other persons, we've got 3 travel agencies, so if one of them is busy, you just walk over to the next one... if you really drag your feet, it'll take about 5 minutes (but that's not just dragging your feet, but also doing that backwards  Wink/being sarcastic)

I guess that the site that JGPH1A used probably would be a good idea for you as well - you can still do the researching yourself, but you can arrange it with the T/A that you queue the booking to that they can use your credit card for payment and either issue etickets or send the ticket to you (although, as I know what a "huge" commission UK T/As get, they'll probably end up charging for sending the ticket as well).

But, out of curiosity, since I've - for obvious reasons - not booked flights online: don't they tell you at some point that the ticket cannot be issued as eticket?
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JGPH1A
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 10:44 pm

Leskova - I think another problem in the UK is that travel agents in general are more geared to selling packages rather than individual travel. Certainly this is true of the larger national travel agent chains. My individual experience when living in the UK is that most times it is quicker, easier and cheaper to book travel online than through a travel agent. That may be a damning generalisation, and I know there are individual agencies that offer excellent services to individuals seeking personalised travel arrangements, but these agencies are very much the exception rather than the rule - in most cases the agency is staffed by very inexperienced and very poorly paid trainees who can just about manage the tour operators "click the big button" bookings, but when faced with anything more complicated than a standard out-and-back air itinerary, stare at you in blank incomprehension.

Just my experience however...
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BestWestern
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:07 pm

In the UK, if you pay peanuts.....
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:12 pm

Bestwestern - that's universal, not just the UK ! Sad but true.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
ssides
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:13 pm

Leskova --

If I had looked very closely at bmi's web site, I would have found that electronic tickets were not available. Coming from the US, I have not used a paper ticket for air travel in five years at least. I just assumed it would be electronic. In my confirmation e-mail, there was even a link to information about e-tickets ... but upon closer examination, I eventually discovered that they weren't available.

Just a thought, but the lack of e-tickets in Europe may stem from the fact that so many Europeans are quite accustomed to train travel, which isn't very conducive to e-ticketing! This mindset may be more ingrained, which explains why people aren't as used to the e-ticket phenomenon as in the US.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
Leskova
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:17 pm

JGPH1A, well, for that much, I guess that you'd probably have similar experiences in some agencies here - most of them will be able to book flights, but some will start looking a bit worried and will grab the phone to talk to someone who knows how to book a flight... I'm actually no better - I have no problems booking flights, but as soon as someone approaches me wanting some package deals, I start looking worried...  Big grin

The British and German markets actually are quite different - seeing that TUI manages to put people on Britannia's 767s from the UK with 2-4-2 configs... if they's try the same here... boy, would those bookings drop... actually, one operator tried that here for a while - lasted about a year...

I think I'll just try to get back on topic now, before someone kills me  Big grin

BD E-Tickets are available on the following routes:

BMI E-TICKET IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON THE FOLLOWING ROUTES
LHR TO AND FROM AMS/BFS/BHD/CDG/DUB/EDI/GLA/HAJ/LBA/MAN/MME
LBA TO AND FROM CDG/EDI/GLA/LHR
MAN TO AND FROM ABZ/CDG/GLA/LHR

This is according to BMI, although this info was posted on 3 March 2003, so they might have added one or two destinations since then
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JGPH1A
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:30 pm

Leskova

Comforting to hear other countries have similiar issues with T/A expertise !

Regarding the British and German travel markets, I agree entirely - I too am horrified how much discomfort British charter passengers are prepared to put up with - 2x4x2 on a 767, 3x3x3 on a A330 - outrageous ! No other country in the world seems to have so little consideration for passenger comfort. I can't even imagine flying like that. My guess is that a lot of pax that fly chartered from the UK don't travel scheduled all the often - its the only possibly explanation. Travel habits are very ingrained in the UK, or at least they always have been - but that's changing now thanks to LCC.

Ssides...

Europeans have not been slow in adopting e-ticketing - BA were streets ahead of most US carriers with 100% e-ticketable routes. The trouble is that whereas most US carriers use their own dedicated check-in system at all airports throughout their domestic route network, European airlines do very often have to rely on external ground-handling agencies to provide check-in at foreign ports. In many cases this ground-handling is the exclusive domain of the local national carrier, many of whom have very basic systems that took a long time to adapt to e-ticketing. I don't know why its taken BD so long, they've been hosted by Lufthansa Systems for a couple of years now, and so should have been able to move much faster to e-ticketing than they have.
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ManchesterMAN
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:54 pm

I am looking to book a flight from DCA-LGA with US Airways. I am a UK resident - will I be able to buy an e-ticket with my UK credit card or will I have the same problem as others have mentioned on this topic? (If anyone has any experience of US Air)?

John
Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
 
Skymonster
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Wed Nov 05, 2003 12:17 am

e-ticket use in Europe is usually dictated by the DCS/Checkin system the carrier is using, especially at outstations (as opposed to base). As a carrier's own system is often not used for checkin at outstations, if the gound handler does not have a system that can handle e-tickets then the airline doesn't have much choice.

Andy
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Leskova
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Wed Nov 05, 2003 12:40 am

Maybe BD is moving ahead slower because it's not integrated in LHs ETIX system, but still relies on Amadeus ETicket - LH has been offering ETIX (their own ETicket-System) in MAD for quite a while now... the only "hole" in the system that I regularly have trouble with (as quite a few of my customers regularly travel there) is Switzerland - still no ETIX in that direction, although they had announced it a while back, that Switzerland would be available soon...

And 3-3-3 on an Airbus widebody (and I guess that 2-4-2 on a 767 will be no different) is quite awful - I've had to fly on that on SAA a few times, while they still had their A300s...
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JGPH1A
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Wed Nov 05, 2003 1:57 am

Leskova,

To the best of my knowledge, BD is not an Amadeus central e-ticket user - they use LH's E-ticket server - its not the same as the one used in the German market, that is run via ex-Smart now Amadeus Germany - I'm not an e-ticket expert though. You issue the BD e-ticket via Amadeus, but its not stored on our server, its BD own server hosted by LH (I think).

SAA never had 3-3-3 on their A300's (did they ?), it was 2-4-2, which is standard for an Airbus widebody. At least it was when I flew on them (but it was a while back I suppose).
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
Leskova
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RE: Electronic Tickets On Bmi?

Wed Nov 05, 2003 2:17 am

JGPH1A, believe me - SAA had 3-3-3 on their A300s... I flew on those things 3 or 4 times between JNB and CPT before they got rid of them, and I really didn't enjoy that... I always tried to get A320s on that route, but sometimes I just simply had no choice...

My flights on those planes took place between 1994 and 2002 - maybe they changed that at some point...

Concerning the servers BD uses - I just know the whole thing from the user side, so I'm definitively no expert on where they store their e-tickets - we still get a BD-filekey from them, so they seem to be storing things on an own server.


ManchesterMAN, if you book an eTicket, you won't have any problems - I know that we here in Germany can issue US eTickets... it'll all come down to whether they accept a British credit card through their website (they also have a European website, but I think that essentially just links through to their US website) - it shouldn't be a problem through a T/A (if you know one that can handle airline bookings  Big grin) and I'd expect it to be possible through their website as well: the problems that the others here in this thread faced was basically just the opposite of your problem: BMI couldn't issue an eTicket, so they sent a paper ticket - to an address in the US for someone (SSides) living in the UK. Since you want an eTicket (and the DCA-LGA route is definitively eTicket-enabled), you shouldn't encountr any problem.
Smile - it confuses people!