|About 400M People Now Book Flights Online
GENEVA (AP) - About 400 million passengers around the world are now booking their flights over the Internet each year, a decade after the technology was first inaugurated, a technology firm owned by airlines said Monday.
The airline industry is now saving an estimated $1.2 billion a year by not having to pay flight reservation fees for the tickets sold online, said SITA Information Networking Computing.
The company said British Midland Airways, now known as bmi, started using its first online booking engine in December 1995. The system allowed passengers to search for low fares across a date range, book two-for-one companion fares and pay online.
But usage was limited because only 16 million people had any experience of using the Internet at the time.
"The first booking was made by a passenger traveling from Paris to London," a company statement said, but it didn't identify the individual.
SITA noted that the technology had extended beyond airlines. Among non-airline users is Amtrak, the U.S. passenger train service, "which recorded a new Internet booking record in the run-up to Thanksgiving," it said.
Amtrak receive 17,269 bookings on Nov. 21, the first time in the history of Amtrak.com that daily bookings exceeded the 17,000 mark.