[Dave Birch] You probably won’t have noticed, but the paper airline ticket has breathed its last. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has had a thousand souvenir final tickets printed up for distribution to industry luminaries, and that’s it. The 300+ member airlines have switched to electronic tickets…

Those few paper tickets which were printed in recent months will be honoured – although airlines have said this will also come to an end.

[From Paper airline ticket dies this weekend after 75 years – Telegraph]

So there you go. Total dematerialisation, and in a relatively short time. The airline industry has responded to the new technology: It has scrapped something that is based on paper, has worked for generations, is accepted all over the world etc. Paperless progress. It can happen here…

Although I haven’t seen a paper air ticket years (in fact, putting my mind to it, I can’t even remember when I last used one), reading about their demise was still sad. I can remember when I got my first paper ticket (which was from London to Jakarta, as it happens), I can remember looking through the leaves for the different legs of the trip, working out the airport codes and the time zones, wonderful. I suspect, although this may be a Proustian slip, that I can still pick up the residue of the smell, the fading chemical tinge of the duplicating paper.

Will this be how I remember cash, a generation from now? The twenty pound note as nothing more than the faint smell of urine at the ATM in Woking town centre? The tenner circulating around neurons, propelled by the mixture of sweat and dirt at the ATM on Waterloo station? Personally, I’m hoping it goes out with a bang, not with a whimper.

These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]

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