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HOME : Unsorted : Article Details for YOUR AIR TICKET FROM 7-ELEVEN THAILAND
Feb 25, 2018



How Thai people are buying their air tickets from convenience stores.

Submitted by : PhilippARTICLE :

When you think about convenience stores you think about buying snacks, soft drinks maybe shampoo. But how about if I told you that in Thailand you can buy your air ticket together with your burrito, ice tea and lipstick. Yes, you heard me right. And it all came out of necessity.

Here in Thailand credit card usage isn’t very widespread. It’s a developing country after all. And even the few people who do have their own little plastic cards are wary of using them online. E-commerce here is still in its infancy. Well then you ask, how to online merchants collect their money? Now here is where the ingenuity starts.

Thailand may not have lots of credit card holders but there is definitely no shortage of convenience stores in Thailand. There is a 7-Eleven store at virtually every corner and all of them have open 24 hours a day. In 2004 Nok Air - a local low-cost airline partly owned by Thai Airways International – came up with the concept of “buy online – pay offline”. And it’s really quite simple. You go online and book your air ticket of your choice. You will get a payment code by SMS text message to you mobile phone. You take this code to you local 7-Eleven store and make the payment for your air ticket there whilst you buy some dim sum or noodle soup. And it works really well. Other airlines have followed suit. And even travel agencies are doing it now which means that you can pay for your air ticket of virtually any airline an a convenience store.

Another recent addition to the payment option is the ATM machine. Go reserve your air ticket online and print a barcode at the end of the booking process. Scan it at your local ATM machine and debit the amount directly from your savings account. Of course for this option you need a bank account with a Thai bank. But I have tried it and it really works. You will receive your electronic ticket within 24 hours after you have settled your bill. I don’t know what the obsession with credit cards is about in Europe and North America. The rest of the world can do without it. For customers, the little plastic cards are convenient, I agree. However, for merchant’s cash is still king. Maybe it’s time to learn something from the developing world, particularly Thailand in this respect.

And this could not only be applied for purchasing air tickets but any other product that is available online. So next time you find yourself in a convenience store, buying that chocolate bar at 4 o’clock in the morning, imagine that you could also pick up your air ticket to the Bahamas if you were in Thailand. And if you do ever come to Thailand, you should really give it a try. Get your return air ticket from your local convenience store. Maybe by then, they even process visa application while you wait for your croquet monsieur. Buying an air ticket in Thailand. Who thought there is such a story behind this…


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