In keeping with the Trend of “throwback Thursdays” we have a look at what it was like to work in travel in the 70’s.


Most of still remember paper tickets and revalidation stickers but not many of us experienced working in travel even before Computers!


iGO Travel’s very own Leslie Hart gives us a glimpse. Thank goodness for email, online reservation systems and all modern day technology!


“I started my career in 1975 – doing accounts where I had to write entries onto ledger cards file them and pray the auditors could follow what was where. Then I moved into reservations where we would have to look up flights using the HUGE ABC guide that would cost a fortune – write out the itinerary then PHONE the airline on a landline and ask for the flights to be booked. No written confirmations could be received.

The itinerary was then typed out on a typewriter, with a piece of carbon on the second page so we had a copy. Ticket stock was kept in the safe- and only 4 flight segments could be written on one ticket. So a round the world ticket took up to 3 to 4 tickets and then you had a family of 4. Air fares were calculated by ourselves using another HUGE book adding up mileages and checking there were no Higher fares to places in on the itinerary or used more mileage than you were allowed.

Hotels were booked overseas by using a TELEX machine. You had to pre type the message so that machine produced a tape with holes in it to save money when you connected the call – you would then run the tape and the machine would self type your message. It took DAYS if not weeks to get replies. Vouchers where typed out (again with a carbon copy).

All paper documents then had to be delivered to the client in good time for them to check everything. Heaven help them if they lost the tickets – or as often happened at the airport the desk clerk took out the wrong coupon on the ticket. NO CELL PHONE FOR AFTER HOURS….

In 1980 – the first reservation system SAAFARI (SAA fare and reservation system) saw the light – tickets still had to done manually and airlines faxed for fare quotes. Fax paper faded after 6 months so Photostats of everything had to be kept. Extra buildings had to be rented to store all the papers”

Les at 22

Les at 22

-Leslie Hart