Make us your home page
Instagram

Delta Air Lines eliminates ticket jackets

Another bit of airline tradition may be fading into history like flight attendants in hats, silverware and pillows in coach.

Delta Air Lines agents on Monday stopped giving passengers paper ticket jackets. The move saves Delta money, though the airline won't say how much, in a way that shouldn't bother the vast majority of travelers who use electronic tickets, said Delta spokeswoman Susan Elliott.

"They've become obsolete since passengers moved away from paper tickets," she said. "It's a cost savings and ultimately a good way to save paper." Delta believes it is "one of the first, if not the first" major airline to eliminate ticket jackets, Elliott said.

Frequent flier Michael Moule of Tampa might miss having the paper jacket to hold boarding passes when he flies on vacation with his family. But not on business trips, where he prints a boarding pass at home and takes only a carry-on bag to avoid waiting at the ticket counter.

"Even when I'm at the counter and they try to hand one to me, I don't take it," said Moule, a transportation engineer and Delta Platinum Medallion flier. "It's just extra paper they're wasting."

Paper tickets have become as rare as free meals in the back of the plane. Forty percent of travelers worldwide used electronic tickets at the end of 2005. That jumped to 70 percent in 2006 and 94 percent last year. E-tickets are the choice of 97 percent of U.S. airline passengers.

On June 1, the International Air Transport Association, or IATA, a trade group representing 240 airlines, will stop selling ticket agents abroad the paper stock for airline tickets. Airlines Reporting Corp., which processes tickets in the United States, predicts that 99 percent of all airline tickets issued by travel agents will be electronic by the end of this year.

The shift has been a huge boost for struggling airlines. Distributing and accounting for a single paper ticket costs $10, compared with $1 for an e-ticket, says IATA spokesman Steve Lott.

Continental Airlines and the Transportation Security Administration are testing the next step in paperless travel: the electronic boarding pass.

Passengers taking domestic flights from Houston, Boston and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport can show gate agents and TSA officers a bar code sent by the airline to their cell phone or PDA. Hand-held scanners confirm the code.

At the end of the test, which will also include Newark Liberty International Airport, the TSA will decide on expanding the program nationwide, said spokeswoman Sari Koshetz. The potential savings: $3.50 to $5.50 per boarding pass, according to IATA.

"The paper that (airlines) use has been just an enormous expense," says Darryl Jenkins, an airline consultant in Virginia.

Airlines, however, might not be so eager to give up ticket jackets. AirTran Airways and others sell advertising space on paper folders. Orlando-based AirTran makes enough to cover printing, said spokesman Tad Hutcheson.

The airline briefly stopped using them and got a surprise. Customers picked up brochures for AirTran's Visa credit card and frequent-flier program to hold boarding passes. "I would rather have them using a ticket jacket with costs offset (by ads) … than a brochure which costs 25 cents each," he said.

Information from USA Today was used in this report. Steve Huettel can be reached at huettel@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3384.

Delta Air Lines eliminates ticket jackets 05/06/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2008 2:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  3. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park

    Business

    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  4. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers

    Business

    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  5. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Banking

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]