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Airline tickets have undergone a transformation over the years, going from printed cardboard with multiple carbon copies for each leg of a trip to almost exclusively being issued via electronic means.

Airline tickets have also evolved in terms of how and where they can be purchased. What once could only be bought directly from an airline or a neighborhood travel agent can now be purchased through the Internet from dozens of entities, including CheapTickets, Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz, and SideStep.

Even the boarding pass, once always either attached to a ticket or issued by an airline's agent, has begun to go electronic, even so far as to be scanned off of a passenger's cell phone or personal digital assistant. The first to try this new technology in the United States was Continental Airlines in late 2007.

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