Paper Tickets
February 26, 2007 1:26 AM   Subscribe

If I buy a paper airline ticket, via the Internet, in a foreign country that does not have paper tickets delivered to it by some airlines, can I show up to my flight ticketless and have them print me a new boarding pass?

I'm in SE Asia and am headed back to the states in March. The cheapest prices for flights I can find are for paper tickets, not e-tickets. It seems some airlines will only ship paper tickets via UPS to European countries. This just seems horribly stupid to me. Does anyone know if there is a way around this paper ticket debacle?
posted by PHINC to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
 
No! A paper ticket is like cash. You must have it in order to fly. If you don't they will make you buy a new ticket (at expensive walkup rates this could be thousands of dollars) and they might tell you that you can send in the old one later for a refund (minus processing charges, of course).

You could get someone in Europe to express mail the tickets to you. But really, I would want to have an e-ticket, or failing that a paper ticket from an Asian travel agency or airline ticket office.
posted by grouse at 2:29 AM on February 26, 2007


Can you stop buy a ticket office for the airline in the county you're in now and pick up the tickets there? Or is your trip being routed through multiple airlines? Or are you traveling on some aggregator ticket versus a fare booked with an airline direct?

I hate paper tickets. I had to get a paper ticket for my last trip for some reason. And when I had to change my return date, I had to go to the ticket Lufthansa ticket office to get new tickets issued. They were also able to re-ticket me on the American Airlines leg of the trip as well.
posted by birdherder at 5:00 AM on February 26, 2007


Paper tickets suck. Spend a few extra bucks on an e-ticket and avoid the headaches. I lost a return flight paper ticket once and ended up paying many extra dollars. Not much of a savings if you ask me.
posted by JJ86 at 5:57 AM on February 26, 2007


Ask for PTA (prepaid ticket advice) from your travel agency.
posted by Gyan at 6:34 AM on February 26, 2007


Since each airline has a different policy on this issue, it'd help to know which airline you're trying to use.
posted by matty at 7:06 AM on February 26, 2007


It's an iffy proposition. I've gotten away with it in Germany (they mailed the paper tickets to the States but were willing to create a boarding pass based on a fax of them).

If I were going to do it again, I might go the "My paper tickets were lost/stolen" route. That combined with a fax of the originals seems like it would have a fairly high chance of success.

Still, your best bet is to pay the extra money to have a friend in Europe forward the tickets to you.
posted by tkolar at 8:17 AM on February 26, 2007


I might go the "My paper tickets were lost/stolen" route

Please read my earlier post before considering this—it might cost you big bucks. Your airline will also have a lost/stolen paper ticket policy laying out exactly what their procedure is and how much it will cost you.
posted by grouse at 8:35 AM on February 26, 2007


I recently had to get paper tickets to a friend of mine in New Zealand. The airline she's flying on doesn't do electronic tickets, so that wasn't an option. The travel agent who booked the flight said we could send them to be held at the departure airport, but that there'd be a US$75 fee. We decided to just mail them (Global Priority Mail) to someone she knew in Wellington for about US$20.
posted by aneel at 8:43 AM on February 26, 2007


grouse wrote...

Please read my earlier post before considering this—it might cost you big bucks. Your airline will also have a lost/stolen paper ticket policy laying out exactly what their procedure is and how much it will cost you.


Sorry, I should have been more clear. When I said "I've gotten away with it" in my original post, I meant that the desk clerk went ahead and issued me a boarding pass without charging me the fee.
posted by tkolar at 9:06 AM on February 26, 2007


Yes, and I should have read what you said more carefully. I thought that you meant try the "lost/stolen route" without including the fax/photocopy of your paper tickets. Still, I think this is very risky and potentially expensive, and that you should check on the airline's lost/stolen paper ticket policy.
posted by grouse at 10:01 AM on February 26, 2007


I was in a position like this once. You should just walk into a local travel agency and buy your ticket there. They hand you your ticket, you put it in your pocket, and you are done.
posted by Kololo at 10:23 AM on February 26, 2007


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