R.Ramabhadran Pillai

KOCHI: Internet provides an answer to those who want to book travel tickets without going to the counter. Now booking can be done even on mobile phone. The SMS on the mobile phone is the new link for arranging the journey on flights. The technology is being utilised by the budget carrier Air Deccan.

Name registration

Those who wish to avail of the facility need to register their names on the Air Deccan website (www.airdeccan.net) . During the registration, the customer is given a code number (M-PIN), similar to the code given to bank customers for operating ATMs of banks.

The registered passenger who requires the mobile ticket service has to send an SMS to 676723. To start purchasing tickets, the passenger may send an SMS message BOOK to the number 676723 or send HELP to the same number for detailed information on flights.

Payment through credit card

The payment is executed through credit card.

After confirming purchase of the tickets using your M-PIN, the customer would receive an SMS confirming that the payment is successful, and also the ticket details including the PNR number. This is the ticket. There is no paper involved in the ticketing at all.

In order to ensure that the confidentiality and the security of the credit card are maintained, the company does not encourage the customers to send such information directly in an SMS. The customer has to provide the mobile PIN code (M-PIN) on SMS to confirm payment, a top company official said.

The passenger with the mobile ticket would be required to show the ticket SMS on the phone or just give the PNR number at the airline counter outside the airport terminal. The airline's ground staff there would authenticate the ticket on the computer. The passenger would be asked to show a valid identity card such as a photo credit card, passport, voters ID card, PAN card and driving licence.

The customer can utilise the service for self as well as accompanying persons, but the latter too should have been pre-registered on the airline website. The pre-registration is just a free exercise that allows direct purchase of tickets forever afterwards, says the official. The personal information requested by the company is to ensure quality of the mobile ticket service. "We do not part with your personal information or the credit card information to any third party, or use it for any purpose other than the Mobile Ticket service," according to the official.

The customer can check the seat availability for a flight between a specific origin and destination for a particular date, using the flight availability option on SMS.