Thursday, April 26, 2007

British Airways had an online 1978

Simon Calder, travel editor of The Independent and our presenter at the Travolution Awards on Tuesday night, signed off the evening with a prophetic quote from BA, back in the 1970s.

Ross Stainton, the airline's chief executive, writing in its Annual Report in 1978, said:

"We shall need separate, very simple check-in facilities for discount passengers, and the fare will entitle them only to a straightforward end-to-end journey with no stopovers.

"I can envisage do-it-yourself reservations where the prospective passenger consults a TV display to see what is available and at what price, and then makes his own booking entry into the computer.

"Ticket issue, at least for simple journeys, may be a matter of pushing a credit-card into a slot and getting back a pre-printed ticket, probably incorporating a boarding card, with a passenger seat number printed on it."
And here we are, 30 years on...

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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Paul Goodison said...

Prophetic. And with train companies allowing customers to use mobile phones to pay and having technology to allow them through entry barriers, it makes you wonder where we could end up. Maybe they could actually make using an airport a plesant experience?

Paul Goodison said...

And put spell checkers in comment boxes? :)