Do You Have Screen Shots or Videos of Expedia Seat Maps from 1997 or 1998?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by gleff, Sep 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    Strange title, and a bit of a roundabout story. I have no dog in this fight except for my memory which I'm trying to vindicate.

    Apparently a company filed for and got a patent for interactive customer seat maps. At first I thought, "hey, that's kinda weird, they claimed to invent the thing in 1999 but I remember that United Connection software had seat selection via interactive seat map way back in the day."

    But it turns out that the patent is pretty specific to something happening when you mouse over a seat, not just clicking on the seat. And I don't think United Connection did that.

    Anyway, I think that Expedia did circa 1997. And I'm curious if I'm right. If I'm not, no big deal (though I suppose this is something that's a big deal -- to Expedia, to the airlines, etc if someone else patented something that's now become pretty commonplace...).

    So I'm wondering if anyone remembers and can demonstrate whether I'm right that Expedia in 1997 or 1998 had interactive seat maps where something happened on-screen when you would mouse over a seat. It's not like now, where it'll offer popups of Seat Guru commentary. But I think it did show the seat # (eg mouse over 7C and the screen would say '7C').

    Am I insane?
    Kalboz and JohnDeere19 like this.
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    No, but the patent system sure is.

    Tooltips (as these hover-over popups are also called) are much older than 1999, and if all they did is put together the concept of a seat map with the concept of a tooltip, I really don't see that as worthy of a patent.
    travelinmike33 and SC Flier like this.

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