What is an e-ticket? Definition and examples

An e-ticket is a digital ticket that is as valid as a paper ticket, i.e., it is the equivalent. It is an electronic ticket which gives the holder the right to travel or attend an event. Although we associate the term ‘e-ticket’ with flight tickets that airlines issue, it could mean any ticket we buy online. Specifically, any ticket we buy for which there is no issuing of a paper ticket.

An e-ticket that an airline issues is a reservation in its computer system. It tells them that they have confirmed somebody’s seat on a specific flight.

TechTarget has the following definition of the term:

“An e-ticket (electronic ticket) is a paperless electronic document used for ticketing passengers, particularly in the commercial airline industry. Virtually all major airlines now use this method of ticketing.”

E-Ticket - Electronic Ticket
Your e-ticket has your name, the date and time of your flight, and your seating assignment.

E-ticket receipt

When an airline issues an e-ticket, it also gives us a receipt. We can print that receipt. Often, their format is similar to the old style paper tickets. However, it is only a receipt. We do not need to present it at the check-in counter.

However, if there is a dispute, the receipt serves as proof that the airline issued the e-ticket.

E-ticket hard copy

When e-tickets first came out, many people felt uneasy about arriving at the airport with no physical document. Therefore, airlines often sent a hard copy of the electronic ticket in the post.

Most airlines do not do that anymore. However, if you ask for a hard copy, they will probably send you one.

Nevertheless, you do not need to take anything with you to the front desk, except for your passport or ID. When you present your ID, the airline will give you a boarding pass.

E-ticket saves money

The main advantage of electronic ticketing for the issuer is that it reduces the cost of booking. Printing documents and then posting them costs money.

Another advantage, both for the purchaser and issuer, is that the document cannot get lost or damaged in the post. Neither is there a risk of sending it to the wrong address.

However, if a hacker gets into the airline’s computer system, the e-ticket could ‘disappear.’ A hacker is somebody who breaks into a computer system illegally by deciphering password codes.

Regarding the benefits of e-tickets and charging for paper ticket options, AirTreks.com writes:

“Traveling with e-tickets gives the added benefit of not having to carry valuable paper tickets with you on your travels, thereby circumventing the risk of theft, damage or loss.”

“Most airlines still offer a paper ticket option but usually charge steep fees for them, upwards to $50 for the service.”

‘E’ stands for ‘electronic’

Since the advent of the Internet, many new terms have become common in the English language. Many of them start with the letter ‘e’ followed by a hyphen. In each case, the ‘e’ stands for ‘electronic.’


E-commerce, for example, stands for electronic commerce. It means online business.


E-learning or electronic learning means learning online. There are many online courses today. You can even study for a post-graduate Masters degree online.

E-mail bomb

An E-mail bomb is an avalanche of emails, all going to one e-mail address.

It is a type of nasty cyber attack. The aim is to crash the victim’s server, i.e., shut down his or her system.


An e-meeting, or electronic meeting, is one that participants do over the Internet. They can see and hear one another, speak in real time, but they are far away from one another.


An e-wallet is a digital wallet. It is a digital system that stores a person’s payment information such as credit cards, ID, address, etc.

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