Teletext, if you haven’t heard of it, was a way of displaying text and basic graphics on television sets back in the day. You could get all sorts of information on it, if you had the service.
I personally never used it, but I’ve certainly heard of it and seen it in action. Airlines and airports used the service to deliver information in the pre-Internet age.
Aer Lingus and Heathrow Teletext
According to The Teletext Museum, the service launched in Ireland in July 1987. Aer Lingus were on board, offering information such as flight scheduled and booking information.
You could also find things such as flight arrival and departures information offered by airports. The example from London Heathrow below looks very similar to the flight information screens you see in airports.
No doubt this was handy for subscribers to the service who might be collecting friends. You could do all of this from the comfort of your own home and it looks very much like a precursor to today’s Internet.
These days Teletext has been supplanted by the Internet, but it still exists in some places. Its heyday was really the 1980s and 1990s, before the widespread adoption of the world wide web from the late 1990s onwards.
I’m sure at the time it was seen as something very cutting edge, though it does appear rather dated today. It is a remarkable little piece of history that is largely forgotten today.
Did you subscribe to use or even know that Teletext was a thing? What kind of things did you use it for? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.