A trip down memory lane
When I joined Amadeus for the launch in Scandinavia, I didn’t expect to be still here 28 years later. But, the launch of our system just never finished!
After my military service in Sweden finished, purely by accident, I landed a job in a travel agency. Those were the days when travel agents took bookings by fax and company secretaries received airline tickets by post. And, there was no way to compare airlines and prices.
In the Eighties, things became more automated and I liked to be the expert on every system. In 1984, our agency became one of the first in Europe to implement Sabre.
In 1990, Amadeus opened an office in Scandinavia and I joined their team. My first job was a very technical one – I had to read the system’s specifications, prepare for quality test assurance, write down use cases, test them and see if the system worked as it was supposed to. But, as I am the kind of person who loves reading user manuals to really understand how things work, it was the perfect job for me.
I relocated to our Oslo office in 1991 and in 1992, we convinced a small Norwegian travel agency to be the first to implement our system. It wasn’t easy back then to get people to change their system, but everyone else followed before the end of the year!
APIs for online travel agencies and other milestones
I’ve been with Amadeus for 27 years of its 30-year-history. It’s a completely different travel world – and system – compared to back then.
Of course, there have been many milestones and bumps along the way. Moving from paper tickets to electronic ticketing was a major change. As was the arrival of the Internet in 1995. But the biggest change for me was in 2001/2002 when some of the Scandinavian online travel agencies (OTAs) began using Amadeus’ APIs. This was a game-changer … customers could now build their own system using our technology instead of using one standard system for everyone. Then, in 2007, we launched Amadeus Web Services which is the Amadeus system that travel agents know today.
Who put the e-mail field in the reservation?
Personally, an unforgettable experience for me was when I wrote a change proposal in 1996 asking Amadeus’ central development team to include a field for email addresses in the reservation. The change was accepted even though previously nobody thought this information was very important.
I’m often asked why I have stayed in this industry for so long. It’s because I really like the industry and the people working in it - they’re easy going and have fun when they work. Also, because my work is challenging but fun … I never needed to apply for a new job because my job changes all the time.
I remember one of my first managers at Amadeus said to me: ‘Now you are doing this testing for the launch but what would you like to do after the launch’. Well, the launch is never finished! But when you have been there since the start, the system is like your baby; you can’t just throw it away!
About the author
Anders Bernström is our Senior Solutions Expert for Online Travel. He joined Amadeus in 1990 and has been based at our Oslo office for 27 years. Known fondly within Amadeus as ‘Mr. Master Pricer’ – Master Pricer is Amadeus low fare search product - Anders is the kind of guy who always reads user manuals as he likes to understand how things work!