Long before e-tickets, emails and online inventory portals, Travel Agents did things the old-fashioned way. No seriously, they had to hand write plane tickets & then use stickers to cover up errors.
We travel back a couple of decades to when things seemed simpler for Travel Agents but were actually a lot harder in a humble travel agency from the 90s.
Let’s see what we’ll find:
1. Paper tickets
Do you remember these bad boys? If you still have one, it’s time to donate it to a museum.
Back in the day, these little blue and purple ticket books were like gold. If you accidentally lost one, you’d either have to buy a new ticket or wait 12-weeks for a replacement.
IATA-member airlines officially ceased issuing paper tickets to travel agents back in 2008.
As with e-tickets, on paper tickets, carriers were represented by a two-letter code (AN = Ansett Australia, in the example above), and the departure and destination cities were represented by the same International Air Transport Association airport codes (some of which can inspire a giggle) we still use today.
2. Fax machines
Slowly but surely sinking into obsoleteness, this piece of tele-communication tech was once the lifeblood of travel agents back in the day.
Back in the day, it was through this device that hotel confirmations, date changes, and refund requests would be made – basically, most types of communication was done through this channel.
These days, we just do this all online.
3. Brochures, books & fare sheets
Long before we had access to computers and the encyclopaedic knowledge of Sir Google, travel agents had to actually flick through fare sheet binders to construct airfares, and browse brochures to answer questions.
4. Manual Credit Card machines.
For us moderns, being asked to use one of these relics is like asking an Aussie to translate Russian into Chinese – it’s just not possible.
For our forefathers though, there was nothing quite as satisfying as swiping a card after making a sale!
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- READ: How Agents can best help travellers with disabilities
- READ: What do travel consultants want to be called?
What else would you find in a Travel Agent’s office back in the day?
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