The announcement from the bureau of civil aviation security (BCAS) that soft copies of air tickets displayed on smartphones and tablets will soon be accepted at airports, has brought joy to the city’s travellers.
Airline passengers, who until now, have to display printed copies of tickets, have said this move will make travel easier for them.
S.P. Singh, deputy commissioner of security, BCAS, New Delhi, said “We can save a huge quantity of paper and also make it very convenient for air passengers.”
A note on the bureau’s website said the image of the e-ticket produced by the passenger on any electronic device should be the same as that issued by the aircraft operator. Also, passengers would be allowed inside the departure terminal only after the authenticity of such e-tickets and the genuineness of its holder was established through identity verification.
“This decision should have been made long ago. Smartphones have become very common and accepting soft copies will make it extremely easy for air passengers,” said R. Harishankar, a passenger who works in the hospitality industry. He added that this would be especially beneficial to business travellers, as they had to fly frequently. Initiatives to reduce the waiting time of passengers at airports should also be made across the country, he said.
Another passenger said printing tickets for every passenger in a large group consumed a lot of paper and allowing allow soft copies was a welcome and an eco-friendly move.
Y. Yokota, a tourist from Japan on the way to Goa, after visiting places of interest around Chennai, however, said producing a printed ticket was the safest form of air travel. He feared that smartphones could hang suddenly and lead to delays and havoc among passengers and airport staff.
The move will also contribute significantly to saving paper, considering that 5.34 crore passengers flew by domestic airlines between January and November 2012 all over India. Chennai airport alone, handled close to 1 crore domestic passengers last year and this volume is only bound to increase once the new terminals are made operational.