Can you imagine how airline travellers used to book their tickets in the past before the advent of internet? I worked as a clerk in Sime Darby Travel, Penang in 1988 and I can still remember those days when only travel agents registered with International Air Transport Association (IATA) were permitted to issue airline tickets.
Airlines must give the ticket stocks to travel agents to make the reservation, mostly using Abacus ticketing system. Tickets issued were handwritten and not long thereafter, travel agents were able to print the tickets. Passengers had to either collect the tickets from the travel agent or the agent will personally deliver it to the passengers.
“DAPO” the Seat
The word “DAPO” is an abbreviation used in the airline industry to mean “Do All Possible”. During peak season, it was difficult to get return tickets. So some tour companies would send their tour leaders to the airport daily to “DAPO” and use all kinds of persuasive skills to get the seats. Call it funny, such routine no longer happen today.
Having tickets in hand can also be a hassle. For passengers with multi stop flights, the tickets could even end up as thick as a booklet! And tour leaders had to endure holding stack of flight tickets of his tour group at the airport.
Those were the days of airline ticketing. Today, everyone can book their flights from the internet. They just need to log in, pay online and print out their e-ticket for boarding. So has this changing landscape affect the travel agents?