FOR MOST OF ITS HISTORY, the passenger airline industry did not require a distribution strategy. In the beginning, passengers simply walked up to the airline's desk at the airport. Then the carriers added call centers and city ticket offices. Travel agencies began selling tickets in the 1930s and the airlines were, for the most part, content to use them as an ad hoc sales force. Distribution strategy in the 1950s and 1960s largely consisted of keeping travel agents' hands off corporate ...

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