Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Economy of digitalization...SMS Ticketing

We can now use our cellphones to check flight status and to check the status of airports around the world but I was astounded when I stumbled on an article in an Indian newspaper about SMS Ticketing for airlines. It seems that in an effort to cut costs several Asian and Middle Eastern carriers are seriously considering increasing their direct interactivity with the traveler by making text message bookings available. This is yet another example of corporations continuing their lock-out of the middle man (travel agents) and increasing their focus on direct connectivity between the company (or airlines in this case) and the individual customer. This will obviously eliminate the need for travelcentres that airlines have to pay money to operate and will also eliminate paper ticketing and even paper itineraries altogether. As corporations find ways to use technology to their economic advantage it puts customers at an electronic level, further decreasing direct human contact. You may think this is a good thing that saves time and hassle or you may think it is a bad thing in that our reliance on technology is so great then what happens if that technology fails for some unforeseen reason and renders us helpless without its operation. An interesting demonstration of the political economy of digitalization I guess.


Post a Comment

<< Home