The world’s largest 'bookie joint', as PSA reservations has been called, will be transformed into a television center next February when operations are moved to the new administration and hangar facility on Harbor Drive.
An IBM 360 computer, utilizing the model 2260 Cathode Ray Tube, will replace the present NCR computer system that has been affectionately known as 'Horace'.
"This is an almost infinite system, for it can book multi-leg flights, expand to handle intermediate stops, and work in conjuction with systems currently operated by other carriers," said PSA Prez, J. F.A.
Instead of sharing a yes-and-no response machine, each reservationist will operate her own typewriter-like keyboard to evoke and receive responses from her individual Cathode Ray Tube television screen.
Automatically, 'Cathy' -- as the Cathode Ray Tube system is called until reservations chooses a name -- will book and show a pax’s name, flight number, connecting flights, boarding number, and auxiliary information such as reservations for rent-a-car and hotel.
Gone will be the necessity for a mammoth flight board, reservations cards, conveyor belt system, card files and instant ticket teletypers.
If a pax requests a flight that is full, alternate open flights appear on the screen, added sections automatically are registered, and itinerary changes can be made instantly. A pax’s full program is handled in one section, compete with a boarding number for each flight.
If an Instant Ticket is requested by a pax who holds a PSA credit card, 'Cathy' automatically confirms that it is a current account and issues the ticket by activating the teletype with remote control.
'Cathy' can be programmed to issue and type out the tickets several hours prior to flight time. However, she has the ability to issue last minute ticketing, if necessary.
The Control phase of reservations will take on a new importance, for 'Cathy' will make it possible for Control to monitor all reservations transactions.
Another aspect is that space on the aircraft figures will remain in the computer until flight time. This shifts the check-in responsibility to the Control room. Exceptions and problems can be handled instantly through Control, for they will be able to keep a constant 'finger-on-the-pulse'.
PSA’s new computer system will do today what other airlines are worried about being capable of doing tomorrow.