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Business Travelers Balk at 'Hassle Factor' on E-Tickets

Business Travelers Balk at 'Hassle Factor' on E-Tickets

Old Sep 28, 01, 8:50 am
  #1  
doc
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Business Travelers Balk at 'Hassle Factor' on E-Tickets

Business Travelers Balk at 'Hassle Factor' on E-Tickets

As business travel starts to pick up, some regular travelers have been reluctant to fly because of confusion about airport security procedures for the use of electronic tickets, the National Business Travel Association said yesterday.

"There are a couple of things that have been keeping some business travelers away," said Marianne McInerney, the executive director of the association, which represents about 2,000 corporate travel managers. One hurdle is overall concern about security, she said. But a more specific obstacle, she added, is "what they are perceiving to be the hassle factor" in using e-tickets, which now account for more than two-thirds of the tickets that airlines issue to business.

The problem, she and others said, began a few days after the terrorist attacks when airports reopened with tighter security measures, including blocking from inner terminals everyone except those passengers with tickets.

To pass through security, a holder of an e-ticket needs to show a printed itinerary, or a receipt, from an airline or a travel agency or online travel site. The customer often receives these itineraries by fax or by printing them out from a travel Web site.

Especially in the first week after airports reopened, some passengers complained that security agents were not accepting itinerary printouts and were instead requiring them to go to airline ticket counters for paper boarding passes before they could enter departure areas. Though security agents are now generally accepting printed itineraries as proof, travel managers said, some confusion remains.

Policies on electronic tickets differ "from airline to airline and airport to airport," said Ms. McInerney, whose group is working with the airline industry on e-ticket policies and the matter of standardizing itineraries and receipts, perhaps with a universal template to create more readily verifiable printouts that carry uniform information like a ticket number that can be matched to an airline computer reservation.

"The airlines have invested a lot in making the use of e-tickets a very easy way to travel," she said, "but now the policies must be married into the security process across the board."

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/28/business/28TRAV.html
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Old Sep 28, 01, 11:08 am
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Another stupid rule.

How hard would it be to print a "phony" ticket if you were just trying to get onto the concourse?

Duh!

Sung like the song by the lion in the Wizard of Oz"

" If I onnnly had a brain"
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Old Sep 28, 01, 11:16 am
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It is a stupid rule. Who cares if I fake an Expedia.com intinerary print-out. It's not that hard.

But that doesn't allow me to bypass security or even get on the plane. All this does is waste people's time.

If it takes longer to screen passengers, fewer people without tickets would bother waiting in the security queue. It's a self-solving problem.
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Old Sep 28, 01, 9:05 pm
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I agree it's a dumb rule but I must stand up for my colleague the Cowardly Lion... it was not he but Scarecrow who sang...

With the thoughts I'd be thinkin'
I could be another Lincoln
If I only had a brain!
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Old Sep 29, 01, 12:37 pm
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What hassle?

The minimum you need, according to NWA's most recent update, is just an itinerary with a ticket number. Anyone booking online automatically gets this info via e-mail or from an airline's website. Anf if you use a travel agent, the agent's itinerary confirmation is fine, too.

The only difference between pre-Sept. 11 and now is that you need an actual piece of paper to get through security whereas before you could check-in at the gate with just an ID.

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Old Sep 29, 01, 2:15 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">What hassle?

The minimum you need, according to NWA's most recent update, is just an itinerary with a ticket number. Anyone booking online automatically gets this info via e-mail or from an airline's website. Anf if you use a travel agent, the agent's itinerary confirmation is fine, too.

The only difference between pre-Sept. 11 and now is that you need an actual piece of paper to get through security whereas before you could check-in at the gate with just an ID.</font>
There's an additional requirement that you haven't mentioned: you also need to have a person at the security checkpoint that understands all of the other requirements.

This past week, what was referenced by the article happened to me: I was prevented from passing through security without a boarding pass, even though I had a printed e-ticket receipt. In my case, it was the one that the airline sent me in the mail, so it would be more difficult for someone to forge than just an email confirmation, but that's not really the issue.

Since I was on CO, it didn't take me even 60 seconds to use the kiosk at the ticket counter to get my boarding pass. There's rarely a line at these, even when the ticket counter line is long, so it's not really that much of a hassle, but it certainly would be if I was at an airport or airline without the kiosks.

The frustration is that we have security people that are not aware of what the real rules are, and I for one thought it was not the best of times to raise a stink at the security checkpoint regarding what the rules are. I suppose if I was in a position where I would have to unneccesarily wait in a long line because of this problem, I might politely ask for a supervisor.

It's a combination of all these little things that may work together to keep air travel from returning to normal, and that's why it worries me.
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Old Sep 29, 01, 4:01 pm
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Old Sep 29, 01, 4:30 pm
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For cryin' out loud. Anyone can print an email with phony travel plans on it. How long before the bureaucrats (geniuses?) who made that decision realize this?????

"There are two truly infinite things, the Universe and stupidity, and I am unsure about the Universe."
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Old Sep 30, 01, 12:25 am
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The real 'bug' here is that anybody can buy a ticket and get a receipt. So, the restrictions are kind of meaningless for somebody that has bad intentions.

-David
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Old Sep 30, 01, 12:13 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Steve M:
Since I was on CO, it didn't take me even 60 seconds to use the kiosk at the ticket counter to get my boarding pass. There's rarely a line at these, even when the ticket counter line is long.</font>
Ditto for NW. Last week all kiosks were open, yet about 50 people stood in line at GRR. I checked in my family of four with luggage in less than three minutes.

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Old Sep 30, 01, 1:04 pm
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The purpose of this restriction is to limit the number of people going thru the checkpoints so as to reduce lines, and allow the security screeners to spend more time on the people who have to go through.

Of course, getting through when you're not planning to fly is very easy. You can get an itinerary and print it out. You can even save the HTML and make your own without actually booking anything. Or, you can go and get a refundable Y fare for travel that day and use it to get in, and then refund it on your way out. That's not the point.

The point is that it does have the effect of reducing the number of people going through the security checkpoints, which is all it is designed to do.

The people who are really penalized are the ones who frequently change travel plans while in the car on the way to the airport. Yes, it's easy to get a confirmation or receipt, unless you often come out of a 1pm meeting planning to drive to your hotel for the night, when you check your voicemail and find out that you've been ticketed on a 3:30 flight to Omaha for a dinner meeting.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a stack of open Y tickets on my regular routes. I can no longer use them without stopping at the ticket counter.

But overall, even though it does inconvenience people, this seems among the least odius of the new regulations.
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Old Sep 30, 01, 4:01 pm
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You are right. I decided to try and use my printed intinerary to go through security in Jackson. They said I had to have a ticket. I told them the FAA said this was okay. So they decided to look at it. Then they cam beack with the same answer. So I go and get one. Dumb, dumb.

And keeping extra people off the concourse. The only ones they are keeping out are goodness gracious safe Americans. Sure it might, BIG MIGHT take security a bit more time, but those that might go down are with all kinds of carry on bags, therefore minimal security issues.

The terrorists win again. America looses.

AND NOT IN THE NAME OF SAFETY.
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Old Oct 1, 01, 8:14 am
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Airport security restrictions softened

http://www.usatoday.com/money/mlead.htm
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Old Oct 1, 01, 9:22 am
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Corrected link for doc's post.
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