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12.12.2005 Business & Finance

BA e-ticket use soars

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Accra, Dec 12, GNA - British Airways says its e-ticket concept introduced about three years ago has shot up to 76 per cent use of all journeys on its routes. It said the system was designed to offer more "enjoyable and comfortable" flights while ensuring that passengers arrive at their final destinations in better shape and refreshed. From a moderate 40 per cent use in 2003, the airline said it was part of a grand plan to constantly move away from issuing paper tickets to becoming an ell e-ticket airline.

Briefing the Ghana News Agency at BA's Waterside Offices at Hounslow in London as part of the launching of "The BA Experience", Ms Abigail Moore, International Communications Executive and Head of Corporate Communications, said e-tickets can now be used on about 150 routes or 70 per cent of the network, "and more routes are being added each month." She said British Airways was developing inter airline e-tickets with many carriers around the world, stressing that fully flexible inter airline e-tickets arrangements with other carriers is a huge benefit to regular business travellers who are able to swap between airlines without having to queue up to have their paper tickets endorsed.

Ms Moore said British Airways has also introduced a separate upgraded economy cabin, known as World Traveller Plus, with fewer seats so that passengers have all the extra space, with more friendly and highly trained crew always on hand to take care of passenger needs. Commenting on the online booking system, Ms Moore said "the airline is confident about the benefits of the concept, dedicated to making travel less cumbersome, avoiding queues and accessing cheaper air fares comparative to the no frills carriers in Europe.'' "The website comes in five languages and offers customers few minutes to check in and use an interactive seat map to pick or change their seats long before boarding. Customers can even print their own boarding passes from their homes, offices or hotels." She said the online boarding pass initiative, currently acceptable at over 78 airports across BA's network, is part of British Airways's drive to simplify the check-in process for passengers and help smooth their way through the airport and onto the aircraft.

On the airline's newly designated cabins, Ms Moore spoke highly of BA's seat in Club World that converts to a complete flat six foot bed for business travellers, saying the company spent 2009 million pounds to create the "lounge in the sky" for business passengers to relax or work at 35,000 feet. The seat is fully electronic with integrated lumbar support and can adopt any recline position between fully upright and completely flat. It has a fully adjustable headrest with 'ears' to provide support while maximising personal space and privacy providing a home-like feel in the cabin.

The Club Europe cabin features leather seats and interiors and increased space for baggage, offering what Ms Moore called an, "unbeatable allowance of 18 kilos - one laptop and an overnight bag." More than three million passengers fly Club Europe, with 65 per cent travelling with hand luggage only.