I was catching up on my holiday shopping tonight, and while sitting at a stoplight, noticed a UA ticket office, in a strip mall in Rockville, Maryland (a suburb of DC, about 15 miles from DC, and at least 30 minutes' drive from BWI, DCA, IAD).
This got me to wondering: why do airlines have ticket offices that aren't at the airport? What purpose do they serve? The only reason I could think of is to pick up a ticket (that wasn't an e-ticket), but FedEx can deliver the ticket the next morning to anywhere, so why not just use them?
On top of that, this ticket office was in a suburb of DC, not even in the city itself. UA used to (I assume it still does) have a ticket office in downtown DC. So why the duplication? What are these offices for?