Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Experiences with airline ticket offices

Experiences with airline ticket offices

Old Jan 2, 18, 10:27 pm
  #1  
Used to be 'roachjl'
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: DL Platinum, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 320
Experiences with airline City Ticket Offices (CTO)

I saw an article today about the death of the airline ticket office. I am too young to have actually used one of these (I am old enough to have heard of them, though), but I enjoyed the article as it harkens back to the golden age of aviation and a time that it was fun to fly. Interested to hear others’ experiences with the ticket offices. They seemed pretty cool.

https://www.cntraveler.com/story/the...-ticket-office

Last edited by BlueStreak17; Jan 4, 18 at 9:33 am Reason: Using proper term.
BlueStreak17 is offline  
Old Jan 2, 18, 10:53 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,090
I remember a Delta office at a mall in Atlanta that was there through the early 2000's.
spades097 is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 12:37 am
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
2020 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Back home in the REAL Washington (SEA); still working occasionally in the other Washington (DCA area)
Programs: DL PM 1.3MM; AS MVPG 75K
Posts: 13,740
I spent my teenage years in the suburban DC area ... during the summer, and on school holidays, I’d frequently hit up the ticket offices — domestic and international, mainly along K St NW by Farragut Square — for timetables

when I started traveling for Boeing (late 1982) I’d request the company to book me on pretty much any airline other than United, and would exchange the tix to the UA flights I actually wanted at the downtown Seattle office ... UA was the only airline that would actually return the original passenger coupon, which I needed to staple to my expense report
jrl767 is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 5:54 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: UA AA MR HH B6
Posts: 1,353
I believe AA still has a ticket office in NYC that I have visited. I used to travel so long ago that not only did I have to go to ticket offices, they used to write the tickets by hand while the ticket office talked to the central office by phone.
closetasfan is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 1:53 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: K+K
Programs: *G
Posts: 4,355
Used one recently with Turkish airlines to redeem a companion award. Knowing their customer service, doing it remotely would be more difficult than impossible.

Was lucky to have actual TK office locally (in europe). Nice ladies there, but even they had difficulties figuring it out. I had to do most of the legwork.

Don't anticipate I'll need to use a ticket office ever again
deniah is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 7:26 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Loveland, CO
Programs: MileagePlus Gold, Hilton Diamond, Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 66
From 1985 until 1999 I was a United FF out of Denver--consistently Platinum and occasionally 1K. At the time (before the capabilities of the Internet that we now take for granted) there was a United ticket office at the Southwest Plaza in Littleton, Colorado that I regularly used. Like so many other things from the past (thinkthe "Cheers" bar), you got to know everyone there on a first-name basis and they greeted me the same way on every visit. At the time there was a stand-alone software tool, "United Connections," that used modem "dial-up" access to book reservations. Its major limitation was that you could not ticket the reservation you just made. To do that, I had to go to the "city ticket office" or go to the airport. The staff there was truly wonderful--calling them customer-focused would be an gross understatement. When I needed an award ticket I received truly personal service. I'm sure that because of the frequency with which I visited the office, more than a few unwritten rules were bent--if not outright broken. I miss the both service and the convenience.

The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end that's all there is. — Mr. Carson (Downton Abbey)
rabilancia is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 9:43 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, AMEX Platinum (US)
Posts: 18,197
I remember British Airways having a ticket office on Piccadilly in the early 2000s. I went in there shortly after making Silver status for the first time in 2004 and they even had a replica of sorts to their Terraces lounge at the back where they had mini fridges of drinks and what not where they let me hang out and grab a drink whilst sheltering from the rain
Fraser is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 10:44 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: New York, NY
Programs: AA Gold. UA Silver, Marriott Gold, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt (Lifetime Diamond downgraded to Explorist)
Posts: 6,622
I remember going as a little kid to Tower Air & ElAl offices. I went to the QR office in Cape Town little over a year ago.
Yoshi212 is online now  
Old Jan 4, 18, 8:50 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 306
The CTOs were great. The agents knew all the ins-and-outs and would move mountains to help frequent fliers. Sadly, technology made them irrelevant. There was something exciting, even glamorous, about the CTOs with their airplane models and exotic travel posters. Here in Washington DC, I think there's only one left (ANA), and I wonder what they still do. AA still has a couple CTOs which I understand exist to mainly process cash sales for flights to Haiti.
CurbedEnthusiasm is offline  
Old Jan 4, 18, 1:53 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: ORD
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 16,104
United used to have a ticket office in Oak Park, IL of all places. I could never quite figure out why. My one experience was a Singapore CTO in Chicago (this was when they did an ORD-AMS tag on to a SIN-ORD flight, IIRC.) I'd booked award tickets using United Miles and need to change the itinerary which turned out to be complex since the rules I'd booked under had expired and no one could find a copy. This was still in the era of paper tickets, and the resolution involved going to the Singapore CTO on an upper floor of some building on Wabash. Just a room with a couple people. They looked everything over and reissued the ticket, stamping it with a special endorsing machine. Those were indeed the days.
milepig is offline  
Old Jan 5, 18, 6:10 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,427
Originally Posted by rabilancia View Post
From 1985 until 1999 I was a United FF out of Denver--consistently Platinum and occasionally 1K. At the time (before the capabilities of the Internet that we now take for granted) there was a United ticket office at the Southwest Plaza in Littleton, Colorado that I regularly used. Like so many other things from the past (thinkthe "Cheers" bar), you got to know everyone there on a first-name basis and they greeted me the same way on every visit.
I have nearly identical memories of United just in a different city ticket office. Same story though - could pop in over lunch hour and walk out with mileage award business tickets to Australia in hand. Not much fuss about the dates and service was always gracious, like the agents were proud to be there. It might not be economical to staff those ticket offices anymore, but oh what a pleasure it was to have them.
VivoPerLei is offline  
Old Jan 5, 18, 8:10 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: YYC
Programs: UA Plat, IHG Plat, AMEX Plat, Nat EE
Posts: 880
I remember when Air Canada used to have a ticket office here in YYC............that's got to be 20 years ago though. Don't know that air travel was golden back then either.......more like kerosene scented in a DC-9.

AMEX used to have a storefront office that was located right downtown.

Last edited by KDS777; Jan 5, 18 at 9:16 am
KDS777 is offline  
Old Jan 5, 18, 8:51 am
  #13  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 47,160
I used to work across the street from a huge mall in Schaumburg, Illinois where they had an AA ticket office. This was mid-1990s. By then I knew how to look up what I wanted in Sabre, and then I'd walk over to the CTO to book it. I was often handing over paper VDB vouchers (that's how I funded all of my personal travel back then), and the agents there were always fantastic and knew how to do everything right the first time.

Those were my favorite years to be an AA flier. Flying so much ex-ORD I could have switched to United at any time, but that CTO was a big reason I never wanted to leave AA.
pinniped is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 5:13 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: LHR
Programs: AA PLT
Posts: 231
The TWA office in the Waldorf Astoria in NYC. Beyond glamorous.
DIRECT MERIT is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 7:13 am
  #15  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,159
Originally Posted by closetasfan View Post
I believe AA still has a ticket office in NYC that I have visited.
It is at 360 Lexington Ave currently. Useful if you want to book using a voucher and not mail the papers in. It used to be around the corner in a shared space with a dozen or so airlines but that went away a decade ago.
sbm12 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: