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Travel Agents, 20 years ago plus?

fishrow
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Posts: 67
Registered: 31-08-2009

Travel Agents, 20 years ago plus?

So, travel agents are still busy as they provide a knowledgeable(?) discussion point for holiday companies products.
But how did they operate 20 even 35 years ago?
You could book any kind of holiday or journey and get tickets for the latter in the shop.
I'm sure they had keyboards and crt monitors but did they have dedicated lines like ISDN or such into a specific travel computer system?
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Re: Travel Agents, 20 years ago plus?

Quote from: fishrow
I'm sure they had keyboards and crt monitors but did they have dedicated lines like ISDN or such into a specific travel computer system?

Yes, they did, Modems have been around since the 60s, just really very slow, in the 70s and 80s they improved to a point where "online" transactions could be completed within minutes from tappetytapping on their remote terminal (bearing in mind, computers back then were usually one central server with many remote terminals installed elsewhere), and they did indeed usually use dedicated lines, earlier ones being analogue add latterly they were digital (such as the old BT Kilostream), so transactions weren't interrupted by someone picking up a phone...
Later of course came ISDN and whatnot which sped things up some more, but, now it's all just ADSL or fibre (FTTC or FTTP)... Smiley
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Re: Travel Agents, 20 years ago plus?

Didn't they also use Prestel?

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Re: Travel Agents, 20 years ago plus?

"Galileo" as a Airline computerized reservation system  has been in use since 1975, ran on a x25 circuit
"Amadeus" another CRS has been around a little longer,
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Re: Travel Agents, 20 years ago plus?

Travel agents have always seemed to be ahead of the game in communications but they also relied heavily on dedicated telephone lines to the travel operators.
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Re: Travel Agents, 20 years ago plus?

I was involved in the development and installation of an on-line booking system in the early 1980s. .We used to service up to 8 clerks over a single leased line to the office. The line speed was 9600 bps. We had a 5 second response time once they pressed the enter key. The display screens (VDU) were based on IBM's 3270 protocol which greatly reduced the amount of transmitted data.  These modern youngsters who can't cope on 10 Mbps!!!
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dnpark38
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Re: Travel Agents, 20 years ago plus?

Well in my recollection in 70/80's they used the telephone and after sometimes a long wait they were answered and first thing they did was give their code number.  They then asked about availability of the holiday you had discussed with them from a brochure..
It was possible to negotiate on price too.
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nadger
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Re: Travel Agents, 20 years ago plus?

SWMBO worked for about 10 years in travel agents - left about 35 years ago
In a small agents contact with travel companies was telephone only.
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Re: Travel Agents, 20 years ago plus?

Over the years I have used some excellent travel agents. They were all small companies where the directors ran the business and had in depth knowledge of the areas they were talking about. You don't seem to get that with the large groups on the High Street now. I can't remember the last time I used a travel agent. I find I can do just as well myself.
fishrow
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Re: Travel Agents, 20 years ago plus?

Interesting recollections and of course ISDN was a later pre-adsl affair, I just mentioned it if anything similar was a precursor in those earlier days. thanks all