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 that 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.

In addition to travel and event access, e-tickets are now expanding into other domains, such as public transportation and theme parks, allowing for seamless entry and reduced wait times at entry points.

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.

The Cambridge Dictionary has the following definition of “e-ticket”:

“A ticket, usually for someone to travel on an aircraft, that is held on a computer and is not printed on paper.”

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

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

For example: “With the rise of e-commerce, shoppers can now purchase everything from groceries to electronics without ever stepping foot in a physical store.”

  • E-learning

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.

For example: “E-learning platforms have democratized education, enabling students in remote areas to attend classes and earn degrees entirely 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 their system.

For example: “The company’s email server was temporarily incapacitated by an e-mail bomb, which flooded the inbox with thousands of messages within minutes.”

  • E-meeting

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.

For example: “The international team coordinated their project through a weekly e-meeting, connecting participants across multiple time zones via video conferencing.”

  • E-wallet

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.

For example: “She tapped her phone to the scanner to pay, utilizing her e-wallet which securely stored her payment information for quick and easy transactions.”

Brief history

The term “e-ticket” was first used at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom in the US in the early 1980s. It was a designation for a type of admission ticket that allowed bearers onto the most advanced or popular rides and attractions.

3 Airline paper tickets and one airline e-ticket
Image created by Market Business News.

In the airline industry, IATA’s push to switch to 100% electronic ticketing resulted in a rapid transition, which was completed by May 31, 2008. After this date, paper tickets were largely phased out.

Other industries soon followed, including movie theaters, concert venues, train services, public buses, and sports events. Additionally, the use of e-tickets has expanded to include festivals, trade shows, and even parking services. This digital evolution has streamlined the ticketing process across various sectors

Video – What is an E-Ticket

This interesting video presentation, from our YouTube partner channel – Marketing Business Network, explains what an ‘E-Ticket’ is using simple and easy-to-understand language and examples.