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booking a flight before the internet how it was done 23 04 2023 2

Booking A Flight Before The Internet: How It Was Done

Traveling is a great way to explore the world, but how did we book a flight before the internet? In this article, we’ll explore the steps and processes involved in booking a flight before the internet became a thing.

How Did You Book A Flight Before The Internet?

In the olden days, booking a flight was done through a travel agent. There was no online purchase or advance seat assignment. You got a paper ticket for your flight with all the details such as the flight number, departure and arrival times, etc. printed on it.

The travel agent would use a massive board called the availability board which listed all the seats on upcoming flights. It used a system of light bulbs to indicate the available seats. The travel agent would then reserve the seat by consulting the availability board and using the light bulbs to confirm the ticket availability.

The increase in air travel in the 1950s and 1960s made this manual process increasingly difficult and time-consuming. People then began to go to a travel agent to book their tickets instead. The travel agent would contact the airline on their behalf and provide them with the needed information to book their reservation.

Nowadays, the whole process of booking a flight has been revolutionized by the internet. You can now log onto the internet and not only select your route, but also pay for the ticket, choose your seats, order a special meal, and even get an e-ticket. All of this can be done with a few clicks of the mouse.


Booking a flight before the internet was a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. Travelers had to go through a travel agent to book their tickets, and the travel agent had to consult the availability board and use light bulbs to confirm the ticket availability. Now, with the internet, the process of booking a flight has been drastically simplified. So if you want to book a flight quickly and easily, be sure to check out Find Traveling Deals!

What method did people use to obtain airline tickets prior to the invention of computers?

Back then, airlines employed antiquated systems that could be used to gain access to the airlines’ stock and reserve tickets over the telephone. It could take up to an hour or more to make a single reservation.

What method did people use to purchase airline tickets in the 1980s?

If you wanted to book a flight, you had to contact the airline either by telephone, visit their premises, or use the services of a travel agent.

What was the process for booking flights in the 1970s?

You could always go to the airport, but it is more typical for leisure travelers to seek out a travel agent. Some airlines had city offices that still exist to this day. Additionally, bigger companies may have had an in-house agent to make reservations, or a secretary could book over the phone.

What are the top three airline ticketing systems?

The three most important Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) to be aware of are Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport. To understand how airline distribution works, it is important to know that a GDS gathers flight information from the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO), which is the primary supplier of price-related data.

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