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View Full Version : Checking-in for a flight before computers existed?



NewKidOldKid
12-15-2010, 06:21 PM
How exactly did that work? You get to the airport to check in for your flight, stand on line, hand over your passport and... what? Do they have a paper list of passengers? This wasn't that long ago, but I simply can't come up with any ideas on how it worked.

Noah Body
12-15-2010, 06:36 PM
I got in line with my tickets and identification. You could check in with the sky cap outside, but I always went inside to the ticket counter. Once the confirmed you were who you said you were, they would issue you a boarding pass. As for what happened on the other side of the desk, I think computers have been in use since the 1970s. The SABRE system, maybe?

NewKidOldKid
12-15-2010, 06:39 PM
My character is flying in the early 60s. No computers back then. I'm really interested in what happens on "the other side of the counter," because I need him to be able to tamper with the records. So if they're not computer-based, what are they?

Noah Body
12-15-2010, 06:50 PM
What Flying Was Like in the 1960s (http://mysite.verizon.net/vze6l53f/whatflyingwaslikeinthe1960s/) might be helpful... at least kinda.

NewKidOldKid
12-15-2010, 06:57 PM
What Flying Was Like in the 1960s (http://mysite.verizon.net/vze6l53f/whatflyingwaslikeinthe1960s/) might be helpful... at least kinda.

Yeah, that helps a bit. Really interesting too.

PeterL
12-15-2010, 07:16 PM
I believe that tickets were recorded in a card reader computer system even back in the 1950's. There would have been dumb terminals at the city offices, the airports, and some travel agents' offices. I don't think that the airlines had centralized networks, but there were dedicated phone lines that were used to communicate the ticket sales. The actual physical ticket was very improtant, because iut was the only certain sign that a ticket had been sold.

This article should be ery helpful:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabre_(computer_system)

Noah Body
12-15-2010, 07:25 PM
Pete for the win!

NewKidOldKid
12-15-2010, 07:30 PM
I believe that tickets were recorded in a card reader computer system even back in the 1950's. There would have been dumb terminals at the city offices, the airports, and some travel agents' offices. I don't think that the airlines had centralized networks, but there were dedicated phone lines that were used to communicate the ticket sales. The actual physical ticket was very improtant, because iut was the only certain sign that a ticket had been sold.

This article should be ery helpful:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabre_(computer_system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabre_%28computer_system))

Thanks! That's exactly what I needed!

PeterL
12-15-2010, 08:09 PM
Amazing, I finally did something useful.

Noah Body
12-15-2010, 08:14 PM
Personally speaking, I've always found your advice in this area helpful. :)

NewKidOldKid
12-15-2010, 09:04 PM
Amazing, I finally did something useful.

Ahhh :)

firedrake
12-15-2010, 09:09 PM
A slight digression:

Best.Boarding.Pass.Ever.

Internal flight on Aeroflot from Moscow to Irkutsk. The boarding passes were strips of cheap newsprint-type paper with the seat assignment written by hand. :Wha:

I think I still have it somewhere.