theAviationGeek
Topic Author
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:11 pm

United Airlines Paper Tickets & Boarding Passes (1990s)

Mon May 13, 2019 5:53 am

I am wondering if anyone has any old United Airlines tickets, boarding passes, or itinerary documents from the late 1980's through the late 1990's.

I grew up flying United frequently during this period; however, it wasn't until 2002 that I began keeping all of my boarding passes. If I recall correctly, a typical United paper ticket would consist of an itinerary on blue ticket stock, followed by the paper flight coupons and receipt all on a grayish and blue magnetic strip ticket stock.

So far online, I have only found one example of a boarding pass from the inaugural United 777-200 flight in 1995 as well as a poster on eBay promoting United's new E-Ticket service circa 1995.

I am hoping there are some others out there who may have kept their old tickets and would be willing to share them here, or possibly offline if that's your preference.

Also, if anyone has any pictures or information regarding United's old airport computer equipment I would be interested to learn more about a typical Apollo workstation setup. I seem to recall their old ticket printers being quite large and noisy.

I appreciate any information on the subject.

Ryan
 
atomicstar
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:10 pm

Re: United Airlines Paper Tickets & Boarding Passes (1990s)

Mon May 13, 2019 11:24 am

That sounds interesting. If you can, can you send a link to the eBay listing for the poster?

And adding on to this, I also am curious about when United began using barcoded tickets for identification and validation purposes. But as for the computer setup pictures, I cannot find any online.
 
theAviationGeek
Topic Author
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:11 pm

Re: United Airlines Paper Tickets & Boarding Passes (1990s)

Wed May 22, 2019 8:17 am

atomicstar wrote:
That sounds interesting. If you can, can you send a link to the eBay listing for the poster?


I'll attach some photos and links to what I have been able to find in my search thus far.

Again, if anyone has any old United Airlines tickets, itineraries, and/or boarding passes (from the late 1980's-mid/late 1990's), I would be very interested in seeing them.

Here is a photo (and a link to) of the eBay listing for the United Airlines E-Ticket Poster:

Image

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1995-print-ad-United-Airlines-with-E-Ticket-theres-no-paper-ticket-to-remember/362608384117?hash=item546d24d875:g:Dc8AAOSwWuNbX4LH

Here is a sample itinerary document which was stapled to the front of a United Airlines paper ticket:

Image

This particular example appears to have been issued by a travel agency; however, those issued directly from United were quite similar.
Those issued by United would also have service icons near the seat assignments:
  • A cup icon for beverage service
  • A plate with silverware icon for meal service
  • A musical note icon for audio/music onboard
  • A movie projector icon for onboard TV/movie service


Here is a article showing a typical United Airlines Terminal used thru the mid-1990s when replaced by the GUI version of Apollo (FastAir):
http://www.vintagecomputing.com/index.php/archives/33/window-to-the-sky-the-incoterm-a103-06

Here is a sample United Airlines boarding pass (from a trip report of United's first 777 flight in 1995):
https://frequentlyflying.boardingarea.com/trip-report-united-airlines-inaugural-777-flight-den-ord-june-7-1995/

Image

Last, here is a training article about United's magnetic ticket readers that were common at hub stations beginning in the 1990s:
http://www.garybrandenburg.com/gatetraining

Image

Thanks in advance to anyone who can add to this,
Ryan
 
Dazed767
Posts: 4991
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

Re: United Airlines Paper Tickets & Boarding Passes (1990s)

Tue May 28, 2019 6:11 pm

Any luck? I wish they still personalized first flight certificates like that. :o
 
blacksoviet
Posts: 1074
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:50 am

Re: United Airlines Paper Tickets & Boarding Passes (1990s)

Tue May 28, 2019 7:40 pm

Does United still sell paper tickets through the mail?
 
theAviationGeek
Topic Author
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:11 pm

Re: United Airlines Paper Tickets & Boarding Passes (1990s)

Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:51 pm

blacksoviet wrote:
Does United still sell paper tickets through the mail?


I am honestly not certain if they still do. I found this article about United's 'goal' to be 100% E-Ticket by 2004.

https://money.cnn.com/2002/07/29/pf/saving/travel/united_etickets/

-Ryan
 
AlnessW
Posts: 667
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:23 pm

Re: United Airlines Paper Tickets & Boarding Passes (1990s)

Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:18 pm

Where did you find all of this!? So glad I stumbled upon your thread...

Ryan - you and I ought to talk more, as I am also of the "grew up flying United in the 1990s and 2000s but didn't keep very many boarding passes." Somewhere or other I have a collection of blue boarding pass stubs that the gate reader you link to above would return to you, kind of like a subway system. My other mystery was what differentiated blue boarding pass stock from gold? I wonder if anyone still has any...

Do you recall when those magnetic ticket/gate readers went in, and when they disappeared in favor of barcodes/scanners? Even after scanners became the norm, I remember UA left those gate readers in place for a little while... Not sure if this whole deal is different from the "Apollo workstation" you mention above?

You and I ought to lead a research team on UA nostalgia from this time period - here's a somewhat-related thread I started in the Hobby forum:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1420835
 
theAviationGeek
Topic Author
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:11 pm

Re: United Airlines Paper Tickets & Boarding Passes (1990s)

Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:40 pm

AlnessW wrote:
My other mystery was what differentiated blue boarding pass stock from gold? I wonder if anyone still has any...


Howdy, I’ll work on trying to get a little more detail and answer some of your questions here soon.

However, I wanted to quickly answer this question for you. The blue boarding passes were for those passengers seated in economy. Whereas the gold boarding passes indicated a premium cabin. I have a few around somewhere that I can try and get scanned. I believe this began in the early 2000s, but hopefully someone can chime in with more detail.

Ryan
 
AlnessW
Posts: 667
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:23 pm

Re: United Airlines Paper Tickets & Boarding Passes (1990s)

Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:43 pm

theAviationGeek wrote:
However, I wanted to quickly answer this question for you. The blue boarding passes were for those passengers seated in economy. Whereas the gold boarding passes indicated a premium cabin. I have a few around somewhere that I can try and get scanned. I believe this began in the early 2000s, but hopefully someone can chime in with more detail.

Thank you so much, Ryan! I'll watch for another response or PM from you, at your convenience. That makes perfect sense on the boarding pass stock - and yes, early-2000s sounds about right to me. The stock (both colors) had the original UA logo and Tulip pre-printed on it. I wonder what happened to any remaining originals? Neat idea on UA's part to color-code them. It's too bad all people care about these days is a boarding pass loaded on their cell phone... :/
 
theAviationGeek
Topic Author
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:11 pm

Re: United Airlines Paper Tickets & Boarding Passes (1990s)

Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:03 am

I was able to speak with a former United Airlines CSR who stated that the magnetic ticket readers were already installed at their station in 1999. I had originally thought that these readers were confined to hubs; but, apparently they were installed at numerous stations across the system. The magnetic ticket readers remained in place until barcode scanners were fully integrated sometime around 2007-2008.

Does anyone else recall these scanners and when/where they were installed?

Also, I was able to find another example of a United E-Ticket circa April 2009. The links below come courtesy of Brett over at Cranky Flier who shared his experience of receiving paper documents using United's Ticket-by-Mail service:

Image

Image

Image

Image
 
AlnessW
Posts: 667
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:23 pm

Re: United Airlines Paper Tickets & Boarding Passes (1990s)

Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:09 am

theAviationGeek wrote:
I was able to speak with a former United Airlines CSR who stated that the magnetic ticket readers were already installed at their station in 1999. I had originally thought that these readers were confined to hubs; but, apparently they were installed at numerous stations across the system. The magnetic ticket readers remained in place until barcode scanners were fully integrated sometime around 2007-2008.

Does anyone else recall these scanners and when/where they were installed?

That timeframe sounds about right - we definitely had them in PDX and other non-hubs like OGG or LIH. I also recall it took a while for them to be fully removed - as in, scanners were installed and in full use while the old magnetic readers sat dormant and out of service.

I'd love to see some sort of gate agent training video that covers all of this stuff - pre-scanners, pre-e-tickets, etc.
 
strfyr51
Posts: 3753
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: United Airlines Paper Tickets & Boarding Passes (1990s)

Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:12 am

theAviationGeek wrote:
I am wondering if anyone has any old United Airlines tickets, boarding passes, or itinerary documents from the late 1980's through the late 1990's.

I grew up flying United frequently during this period; however, it wasn't until 2002 that I began keeping all of my boarding passes. If I recall correctly, a typical United paper ticket would consist of an itinerary on blue ticket stock, followed by the paper flight coupons and receipt all on a grayish and blue magnetic strip ticket stock.

So far online, I have only found one example of a boarding pass from the inaugural United 777-200 flight in 1995 as well as a poster on eBay promoting United's new E-Ticket service circa 1995.

I am hoping there are some others out there who may have kept their old tickets and would be willing to share them here, or possibly offline if that's your preference.

Also, if anyone has any pictures or information regarding United's old airport computer equipment I would be interested to learn more about a typical Apollo workstation setup. I seem to recall their old ticket printers being quite large and noisy.

I appreciate any information on the subject a fRyan
guide?

Apollo and Unimatic ran on the same physical equipment I could access Apollo but couldn't do much with it as I didn't know but a few commands. They gave us pocket guides but unless you memorized the entire Guide? you were not going toi do much and Unimatic and Cosmo were hard enough to learn for Aircraft Maintenance Information and Parts information...

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