Sunday, October 29, 2006
electronic tickets are go
China is now issuing electronic tickets for domestic flights. I traveled with one last week and had a bit of an issue at the security gate when I handed over just my boarding pass and passport instead of the usual passport, boarding pass and ticket;
Security officer: ticket please
Me: I have an electronic ticket
Security officer: I need your ticket
Me: Yes, but it's an electronic ticket (showing email print out of flight details)
Security officer: but where's your ticket?
Security officer's colleague shouting across from the next desk: It's an electronic ticket!
Security officer motions to another colleague, "She doesn't have a ticket"
Me: I have an electronic ticket!
Colleague calls over supervisor,
Me: It's an electronic ticket!
Supervisor grunts and motions me through.
Now, wouldn't you expect an airport security officer to know about electronic tickets? It was all ok in the end as at least I knew I was in the right but what if I wasn't used to air travel procedures? Or wasn't used to electronic tickets? How confusing would that all be? I could perhaps be wondering if the travel agent or the airline had ripped me off somehow... how would I know whose word to take on this?
Illustrates in a small way how even sensible improvements can cause disruption, doubt and distrust - you just can't bank on everyone, even those whose should, to know what's going on. Now apply that to implementing a rebranding, a new look for packaging or a new service procedure and imagine the fun that could be - people thinking sellers are trying to pass off fakes, sales people not sure of the new system, misinformation abounding. Fun all round. Changes are inevitable as the systems and standards here improve but change shouldn't be undertaken lightly.