Monday, April 27, 2009

E-Tickets

Egypt_Air_Travel

I might be wrong here, but I always thought - the whole point of E-ticketing was to make the process paper-less. Perhaps it wasn’t the sole intention, but I am sure it was an important aspect.

When travelling from Kuwait, all I have to do is show my passport at the check in counter, and that’s pretty much it. I don’t even need to give them the e-ticket or PNR number, let alone carry a print out. But this isn’t the case in Bombay or B’lore or Kochi (may be in other places too, who knows). I just don’t get it.

What makes matters worse is - at Bombay Int’l airport, there is no ticketing counter for Jet Airways, outside the airport. Implying - I have to go to the domestic airport, get a print out from their ticketing counter and then go to the Int’l airport.

Alternatively - take a print out of the ticket from my email or the web and carry it with me. Which might not always be feasible. In my case, well I am shacked up at a hospital - it isn’t exactly a priority for the hospital staff to provide me with a printer. But these guys are helpful, provided you talk the right way. I have said this before, being a prick – helps. But then again – this is a personal issue and it’s my problem or an issue with Jet Airways, which can be discussed later.

Coming back to the point I was making – the last time I was travelling, I had downloaded the ticket (PDF File) from my email into my phone (accessed the email from the phone itself). I had saved the file and I presented the same at the entrance of the Bombay Int’l Airport (Zoomed to 150% to show my name and flight details clearly, scrolling up would show the airlines logo). Needless to say, it wasn’t acceptable.

Thankfully I had gone to the domestic airport, the previous day itself and collected the print out for my e-ticket, so it wasn’t a problem and I didn’t have to argue this time around. The reason I tried it with the phone thing was - I just wanted to see if they would accept the digital format or not.

I fail to see how this (insisting on a print out) enhances the security at the airport. Come on, if some terrorist / anti social element did want to execute a lethal plan / mission at the airport, he has already made it till the entrance with his tools. You think he would care if he created havoc inside the building or outside?

Lets assume that he did.. now, here is a person who is resourceful enough to have managed to get his hands on controlled substances and is walking around the city. He has now made it to the airport without having any problems and now intends to carry forward with his mission. I don’t see why he would be having any problem in getting a ticket issued for himself and presenting it at the gate and walking in. Do you?

So, what exactly is the logic behind presenting the print out at the gate? I think it’s a valid question. Put up a metal detector at the entrance. Frisk the people walking in if you have to, get a bloody X Ray machine installed at the entrance itself to scan the baggage. None of this is set up, at present – not in Bombay, not in B’lore not in Kochi, not in Kuwait either. 

These might cause more inconvenience than presenting a printed ticket, but at least there will be SOME logic behind subjecting one to this inconvenience.

Hell, the airport in Kuwait is a mall. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. In fact, I love it. I get most of my shopping done at the airport. Plus, I really like the idea of having a 24 hr Starbucks, Zain customer centre etc etc. Love the idea of a bank branch that operates 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. This is probably why I don’t complain much about the Kuwait Airport. It’s convenient. I like it.

I am going on and on about the airport in Bombay (and other places in India) simply because they have security measures in place that really don’t do anything to enhance the security but do cause a lot of inconvenience which could be avoided if the people coming up with the rules had a bit of common sense.

Dikhaawon pe mat jaao.. apni akal ladaao.

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