Paperless tickets becoming the norm

It may not be long before airline passengers don't have to panic about forgetting their tickets, as airports are beginning to join the paperless document management movement.

"It is a common sight to see passengers running around to get printouts of tickets to enter the terminal," an airport officer said, according to a recent report by The Times of India. "Such inconveniences can be avoided now."

According to the news source, the Chennai International Airport in India is switching over to a paperless ticket system, where passengers will be able to board their planes after showing attendants their e-tickets. That way, if mom or dad forget to grab their tickets on the way out of the house, they can simply open them up on someone's laptop, tablet or smartphone.

More than 80 airlines and sale agencies have already joined a similar movement in Paris, France, as part of the Cargo Information Network (CIN). In addition to airline passengers, the paperless system is capable of tracking shipments into and out of the country. 

"This community information system is primarily aimed at improving productivity and reducing costs for its participants," said Jean Bouilhaguet, head of CIN.

Meanwhile, e-tickets are becoming more common at the ground level as well. In Mumbai, India, the busing system has shifted toward paperless operations, according to a separate report by The Times of India. Like passengers at the Chennai International Airport, commuters can board any of the city's state buses by showing e-tickets to conductors on their laptops, tablets or smartphones.

Companies need to react
When it comes to tickets for travel, paperless document management is currently considered a luxury. However, transportation companies may want to go paperless soon if they don't want to get left behind.

In a recent interview with Inman News, DocuSign Chief Strategy Officer Tom Gosner stressed that consumers are beginning to expect paperless options for everything. Gosner, who founded the real estate firm, suggested that the best way for companies to serve their customers is to use the applications "that they use themselves."

"We've been writing on paper for thousands of years, but in this decade all of this will end," Gonser told the news source.

Gosner added that he has dealt with customers who refuse to work with real estate agencies that do not use paperless techniques, like e-signature. Forcing people to search for fax machines, he said, "is just not the way they want to spend their time."