Last week, Jet Airways informed its “guests”, in a note signed by its Head for “Jet Privilege”, that it will charge Rs 50 for printouts of e-tickets at its Airline Ticketing offices. Printouts of e-tickets are required for entering Airports, and customers who haven’t been able to take printouts have no choice but to go to the airline counter to get tickets. I remember a friend telling me that even when he showed the security personnel an email version of the ticket (which he would have printed out), he wasn’t allowed in.

Anyone can actually copy an e-ticket into a word processor, change the dates, print that out and still enter the airport. While I was in Ahmedabad towards the end of last year I was told this procedure (of changing the date), also allowed people to get a permit to buy alcohol in the prohibition ridden state. So it’s  not that printed tickets are any more secure than emails. Jet Airways is probably just trying to reduce the workload for its staff, or save (or make) money on printouts. If the Indian Railways can do it, why cant airports and airlines implement a “Virtual Reservation Message”, or simply, an ID with a PNR number on a laptop or a mobile?

The other advantage of going virtual: saves paper.

The message from Jet Airways: