Our story - Paolo Tsimbirlis

Once upon a time when plane tickets were handwritten

Paolo Tsimbirlis is another one of Raptim’s golden oldies. At Raptim’s Rome office since 1978, he has a wealth of experience in our business. An astounding 37 years’ worth of stories is stacked away in his memory.

When Paolo started working at Raptim in 1978, there were no computers at the office. All business was done by telex, which was a network of teleprinters – similar to a telephone network – that could send text-based messages. “It was the ancient way of getting in touch and having a chat,” Paolo reminisces.

“We would have to typewrite extra pages and glue them onto the original booklet.”

Paolo Tsimbirlis, general manager Raptim Rome

Tickets were handwritten at the time. “When itineraries were particularly complex, the tickets would sometimes be based on 12 different segments – each of them handwritten separately,” he says. “In some cases, the pages in the booklet wouldn’t suffice, and we would have to typewrite extra pages and glue them onto the original booklet.”

In case of last-minute changes to a passenger's itinerary, the whole booklet would have to be reissued. "This meant rewriting and regluing it," Paolo recounts. "In essence, we would be recreating a whole artwork in itself. After so many years, we are happy to have the electronic ticket that can be changed within seconds."

At the time, every Raptim office employed someone who would be exclusively charged with fare calculations. “Our fare expert would make calculations all day – manually – in order to determine the cost of complex itineraries,” Paolo says. “This type of expertise was so rare that even airlines themselves would consult with Raptim, because they wouldn’t know how to come up with the right fare calculations themselves.”

Paolo is proud to have been with Raptim all this time. "At Raptim, we have a different perception of the value of life. Even in the worst situations, when our clients are under a lot of pressure, we invest all of our energy in maintaining a perfect relationship with them, so that we can truly help them to make a difference in the world."

It’s precisely this spirit that kept him committed to stay with Raptim all this time. “I’m absolutely proud and happy to be here.”