RealTime IT News

E-Stamp Takes Flight

E-Stamp Corp. Wednesday moved beyond its flagship postage service, adding the ability to print airline tickets purchased online through a partnership with Atraxis, an IT solution provider to the travel industry.

Through the Print a Ticket program, participants can print airline tickets directly from their home or office computer. The only airline participating in the test is Germany's LTU International Airways.

The trial runs through mid-September and is valid for stand-by flights between Munich and Dusseldorf.

The service, which launched this week, has received a warm reception from German travelers, according to Gina Aumiller, E-Stamp spokesperson. "The service has been used by quite a few people and the process has gone perfectly. Everything is running smoothly," she said. "LTU has created interest through radio advertisements as well as a direct mail program."

The Print a Ticket offering makes air travel easier, less expensive and more convenient, noted Robert Ewald, president and chief executive officer of E-Stamp.

"Fundamentally, we've developed a system that allows us to simplify the way people conduct everyday transactions, such as purchasing airline tickets," he said.

"This system is win-win for everyone since it enables the airlines to provide a more convenient access point for customers in addition to reducing ticketing fulfillment costs."

The airline is offering special incentives to attract customers to the pilot program, such as an LTU Card that entitles users to special baggage privileges, rental car discounts and no fee for seat reservations.

Security systems for the program allow for the replacement of tickets that are reported lost or stolen. "There is bar-coded, encrypted information for each ticket so only the designated customer may use a purchased ticket," Aumiller said. "If tickets purchased through the program are misplaced, an LTU customer service representative will email the client a link to generate a replacement tickets."

Upon successful completion of the pilot program, Atraxis plans to expand the program.

The new venture has dually permitted E-Stamp to license its technology, which allows the generation of value-added documents via the Web.

"This has allowed us to leverage our technology and create new revenue streams," Aumiller said. "This is the first time airline tickets have been printed out via the Internet.The ability to purchase an airline ticket directly over the Web and securely print it from the desktop affords considerable time savings to the end user.

"Additionally, Internet ticketing has significant benefits over services such as e-tickets since the customer possesses a document that has actual value." she said.