How did people book flights before the internet era? What used to happen if a paper ticket got lost? How has the experience of travelling by air changed in the last 60 years? Please check in for a brief journey through time…


Booking a flight then – telexes and time (lots of time)


It was far from easy taking a flight 60 years ago, and the process of booking your trip was also anything but straightforward. You needed to make several phone calls, as well as send what were known as ‘telexes’, before you could get hold of a ticket. And while you were doing so, it was important not to lose your ticket or leave it at home by accident on your day of departure. Because if you didn’t have your ticket, you weren’t going!


And the OSCAR goes to… The first steps towards booking online


Austrian Airlines started using the computer-assisted reservations system OSCAR in 1975. This system was gradually expanded and refined over the years, and in 1999 it became possible to book flights at for the first time. This meant flight enthusiasts were able to search flights and special offers, as well as design their journeys, themselves – a huge step towards creating an individualised flight experience.



Booking flights on the go


These days, a process that once required a number of phone calls, involved a series of complicated steps and most importantly of all took lots of time, takes no more than a few minutes, and can be completed from absolutely anywhere. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on your PC at the office, sitting comfortably with your tablet on the couch at home, or using your smartphone while already on the road. Prices, routes and destinations are available and can be booked,  around the clock.


Flight tickets, red paper tickets and eTickets


If you were already flying more than half-a-century ago, you may still remember the red paper ticket booklets. These consisted of four tickets, made of soft, thin carbon paper. Back then, our colleagues at the Station would often go home with bright red fingers after doing check-in duty, because the ink from the tickets would stain so much!




These ticket booklets were eventually phased out at the end of the nineties, and replaced by machine-readable tickets made of card with magnetic strips. These could be slid into readers quickly and easily at boarding to record passengers’ names electronically.


And today? Maybe you like to print off your tickets from home, download them onto your smartphone as a QR code, or wait to get to the airport to check in. All the data are stored, of course, so there’s never any need to worry about losing or forgetting your ticket. Leaving you free to take off completely calm and free of stress.


Onboard entertainment – then and now


“Presse, Kurier, Krone, Standard – or a copy of Profil, perhaps? What can I get you to read?” Our passengers waited with bated breath for their entertainment in paper form on longer flights.


Nowadays, you can choose from a great variety of different daily papers, periodicals and magazines, simply downloading these onto your smartphone or tablet before the flight takes off. Those who prefer watching films or TV series can find out about video entertainment before the flight and catch the trailers. If you want to stay in touch with loved ones (and colleagues) down on the ground, you can also surf away to your heart’s delight with one of three attractive internet packages in FlyNet. The groundbreaking new platform means anything’s possible, from just sending messages right through to streaming.


And after that journey back in time, it’s a safe bet you’ll be looking forward to your next real trip! To find the right flight for your next trip, just click here: