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High-Tech Airline Bookings Hit Turbulence

Ticket-less air travel has been hailed as the wave of the future and the ultimate convenience for the flying public.

Instead of carrying around conventional paper tickets that can be lost or stolen, passengers who book electronically need only present a confirmation number at the gate to receive a boarding pass. No muss, no fuss, no hassle.

Still, the recent near-strike at American Airlines proved that a paperless system is far from perfect, according to travel agent Bev Zukow, owner of First Travel of California in Villa Park.

She said travelers who rebooked on competing carriers found that other airlines readily honored American tickets--as long as they were the old-fashioned paper kind. Technology-loving types that had booked ticket-less flights directly with American were forced to wait in line at the airport to exchange their confirmation numbers for conventional American tickets that could then be used on other carriers.

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“So much for convenience,” Zukow said.

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Marla Dickerson covers tourism for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-5670 and at marla.dickerson@latimes.com


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