HAVE DATA, WILL TRAVEL

The American Airlines 727 that lands each morning at Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados carries not only vacationers but also an impressive load of paperwork. In order to cut costs on the processing of passenger ticket-coupons collected at its boarding gates, American flies daily an average of 1,100 lbs. of documents to the balmy island. In Barbados, some 500 computer keypunch operators employed by Caribbean Data Services, a subsidiary of the airline, transfer the ticket information to magnetic tape. The electronic data are then beamed by satellite to American's central computer in Tulsa. Despite extra expenses like the cost of...

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