What is an E-Ticket?

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  • Written By: Erika Peterson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
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  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2015
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An e-ticket is an electronic ticket. Electronic tickets are used for various types of public transportation. An e-ticket is usually non-transferable, and it is often as simple as a confirmation number or code. E-tickets are a common type of ticket for public transportation, and they offer increased security and convenience.

The e-ticket or electronic ticket was introduced in the 1990s. The invention was credited to Joel R. Goheen, the owner of JRG Airlines, located in Palm Beach County, Florida. The e-ticket is part of a ticketing system that is most frequently seen at airports, but it is also used in some countries for road, urban or rail public transportation. On 1 June 2008, airports and airlines in the United States switched exclusively to an electronic ticketing system. An e-ticket is now used at every airport in America to represent the purchase of a seat on a flight. These tickets can be bought on the Internet or by telephone.

E-tickets are usually refundable, and refunds or travel date exchanges can be easily done Online and by phone. An e-ticket also offers easy check-in for the traveler. For example, in the United States passenger airline travelers enjoy self-service check-in options. These include the ability to check in by phone or on the Internet. There are also self service kiosks at the airport itself.


Websites and in-airport kiosks will print the traveler's boarding pass, and he can immediately proceed through security. For the old-fashion traveler, the e-ticket offers full-service check-in as well. This type of service usually occurs at the airline's ticket counter or over the phone. These options take a little more time to complete than self-service options. The wide variety of flight check-in options shows the versatility of the e-ticket and why it is so popularly used today.

Before the electronic was introduced in the 1990s an E ticket had an entirely different meaning. From the 1950s to the 1980s, an E ticket was used at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. These e-tickets were part of a coupon book that came with admission. They were used to gain access to the most in demand, expensive and newest rides. Disney stopped making the coupon books that contained E tickets in 1982.


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