Introduction Airline reservation systems

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Introduction Airline reservation systems
Introduction
Airline reservation systems
© Copyright 2009
Agenda
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• Key airline terms
• Introduction to Computerized Reservation
• Overview of Global Distribution Systems
Help
© Copyright 2009
Slide 2
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© Copyright 2009
Slide 3
Key airline terms
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Important terms
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• Aircraft: A vehicle capable of air transport, such
as an airplane, a helicopter, etc.
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• Airline: A company that provides air transport
services for passengers or freight under license
from a recognized public authority.
• Scheduled airline: An airline that operates its
flights to a fixed schedule, i.e. flight timings are
fixed
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Slide 5
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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a trade association
of the world’s airlines. These 250 airlines, primarily major carriers,
carry approximately 84% of total Available Seat Kilometers air traffic.
IATA supports airline activity and helps formulate industry policy and
standards. It is headquartered in Montreal, Canada with Executive
Offices in Geneva, Switzerland
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Slide 6
Important terms
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• Charter airline: An airline whose flights
do not have a fixed schedule
• Cabin: A class of service usually identified
by a unique set of services offered (e.g.
Economy, Business, First, etc.)
• Flight: A trip made by an aircraft between
two geographical locations
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Slide 7
Important terms (continued…)
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• Itinerary: A route of journey proposed by a traveler
• Ercan (Cyprus) Ataturk (Istanbul)Turbat (Pakistan)
• Ercan (Cyprus) Ataturk (Istanbul) Tripoli (Libya)
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• Ticket: (Usually) a printed piece of paper or card
showing that its holder has the right to use services on
one or more specific flights
• Travel agency: A business that attends to the travel
needs of an individual or a group of individuals
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Slide 8
History of Computerized Reservation Systems
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Background
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• Airlines need to maintain multiple types of
information
 Route information: Covers the destinations served by the
airline
 Aircraft information: Information on the aircrafts used by
the airline
 Schedule information: Covers information on days and
times on which the flights operated by the airline are
scheduled to run
 Fare information: Prices for various flights
 Reservation information: Passenger and cargo
reservations, including information on passenger tickets
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Slide 10
Background (continued…)
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• Prior to 1950 all this information was published by
airlines in large books, with separate books for
each type of information
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• Travel agents had a really tough time looking
through multiple books for booking tickets that
covered multiple airlines
• It was impossible to get a real-time view of the
inventory (available seats on a flight) since airlines
could synchronize data from multiple locations only
once a day
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Slide 11
Background (continued…)
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•
In order to make a booking, a customer would call up a travel
agent, providing them details of their itinerary
•
Travel agent would first look up airlines, flights and schedules
matching the customer’s itinerary
•
Customer would then call up individual airlines to check seat
availability
•
Once seat availability was confirmed, travel agent would look up the
price appropriate for the flights selected and inform the customer
•
Upon confirmation from the customer, travel agent would call the
airlines back to reserve the seats
Next
Help
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Slide 12
Background (continued…)
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• In 1950 American Airlines decided to set up a
computerized system that would allow real-time
access to all its data across all its offices and travel
agents
• As a result, Semi-Automated Business Research
Environment, or SABRE was born in 1964. It was
the first computerized airline system (CRS) in the
world
• SABRE was developed as a joint effort between
IBM and American Airlines
Slide 13
Background (continued…)
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• When created, SABRE ran on two IBM 7090
mainframes. The system was upgraded to IBM
S/360 in 1972
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• In the 1970s and 80s multiple CRSs came up in
North America
• The first non-North American CRS was developed
jointly by Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia and SAS in
1987. It was named Amadeus
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Slide 14
Overview of Global Distribution Systems
A global distribution system
(GDS) is a network operated
by a company that enables
automated
transactions
between third parties and
booking agents in order to
provide
travel-related
services
to
the
end
consumers.
© Copyright 2009
GDS Structure
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A GDS can link services, rates and bookings consolidating
products and services across all three travel sectors: i.e.,
airline reservations, hotel reservations, car rentals, and
activities.
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Slide 16
History behind Global Distribution Systems
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• Although the CRSs simplified the task of maintaining airline data,
they brought in new problems
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 In order to handle increasing passenger traffic, large computer
systems were required for CRSs. This created a cost burden for
airlines, especially the smaller ones which did not have enough
money to spend on expensive mainframe technology
Help
 CRSs were airline specific. This required travel agencies who wanted
to sell tickets for multiple airlines to have individual connections to
each airline separately
 Availability and fare searches across airlines was not possible
since each airline had its own CRS. Since most passengers were
interested in purchasing the cheapest fare rather than a specific
airline, travel agents had to spend inordinate amount of time to
determine cheapest fares across airlines
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Slide 17
The birth of Global Distribution Systems
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• CRSs recognized the need to host data for more
than one airline in order to bring efficiencies to a
growing airline industry
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• Thus, CRSs transformed from being single airline
reservation systems to multi airline distribution
systems (GDSs)
• These GDSs also decided to share data among
each other to bring in additional efficiencies
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Slide 18
Life of a travel agent before GDSs
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Airline CRS
Mainframe connectivity
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Mainframe connectivity
Airline CRS
Travel agent
Mainframe connectivity
Airline CRS
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Slide 19
Problems before advent of GDSs
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• Travel agents required individual connections to airlines
• If two or more airlines used different mainframe systems,
travel agents had to use and be trained on different
mainframe clients
Help
• Inability to perform direct searches across airline systems
• Combining airline inventories a tedious process because
inventory searches and reservations had to be performed in
individual airline CRSs separately
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Slide 20
Life of a travel agent after GDSs
Home
Mainframe connectivity
Airline CRS
Previous
Mainframe / TCP-IP connectivity
Mainframe connectivity
Travel agent
Next
GDS
Airline CRS
Mainframe connectivity
Synchronization link
Help
Mainframe connectivity
Airline CRS
Airline CRS
Synchronization link
Mainframe connectivity
Airline CRS
GDS
Mainframe connectivity
Mainframe connectivity
Synchronization link
Airline CRS
Airline CRS
Mainframe connectivity
GDS
Airline CRS
Mainframe connectivity
Airline CRS
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Slide 21
Advantages of a GDS
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• Simplified access to possibly all airlines, through a
single interface
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• Ability to connect to multiple airlines either
through legacy mainframe clients or modern PC
based clients
• Less maintenance and up-keep overhead
• Ability to combine airline inventories
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Slide 22
How GDSs have evolved
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• Due to airline CRSs being based on mainframes, GDSs
have been based on mainframes as well
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• Over the last few decades, GDSs have started providing
direct connectivity from non-mainframe clients such as
PCs
Help
• GDSs have also started leasing hosting space (hardware,
software and connectivity) to airlines which do not want
to create and host their own CRSs
• The advent of Internet has seen GDSs offer innovative
products suited for accessing airline information over
the Internet
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Slide 23
How GDSs have evolved (continued…)
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• GDSs now provide access to non-air
products as well:
 Car rentals
 Hotel booking
Help
 Packaged holidays
 Cruises and ships
 Railways
 Local road transport: bus, tram, taxi
© Copyright 2009
Slide 24
Major GDSs in operation today (continued…)
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• SABRE
 Founded in 1964 by American Airlines and IBM
 Head-quartered in Southlake, Texas, USA
 Largest booking share across the world
 Used by www.expedia.com, www.travelocity.com
Help
• Worldspan
 Founded in 1990 by Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines and
Transworld Airlines
 Merged with Galileo in 2006
 Used by www.orbitz.com, www.hotwire.com,
www.priceline.com
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Slide 25
Major GDSs in operation today
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• Amadeus





Founded in 1987 by Air France, Iberia, Lufthansa and SAS
Head-quartered in Madrid, Spain
Largest booking share in Europe
Third largest booking share across the globe
Used by www.ebookers.com, www.expedia.co.uk and
www.opodo.com
• Galileo
 Founded in 1993 by 11 major North American and European
airlines
 Head-quartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
 Second largest booking share across the globe
 Used by www.cheaptickets.com, www.ebookers.com
© Copyright 2009
Slide 26
Overview of Computerized Reservation Systems
© Copyright 2009
Functions provided by a CRS
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• A CRS typically provides the following functions
 Flight schedule information: Days and times for flights
operated by the airline
Next
 Availability information: Seat availability on a flight by
service class, i.e. Economy, Business or First class
Help
 Fare quotes: A consolidated fare for an itinerary based on
flight, day, time, service class and passenger types chosen
 Reservation information: Seat bookings
 Ticketing information: Generating and storing tickets
 Refunds and cancellations: Cancellation of existing
reservations and tickets
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Slide 28
An availability display screen
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Slide 29
A fare display screen
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Slide 30
Recap and summary
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Summary
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• Airlines need to store multiple types of information
such as routes, schedule, fares and reservations
• Travel agents need access to multiple pieces of
information before making a reservation
• Before 1950 airline information was stored,
distributed and accessed through non-electronic
media
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Slide 32
Summary (continued…)
Home
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• First computerized airline reservation system
(airline CRS), SABRE created in 1964 as a
collaboration between IBM and American Airlines
Next
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• CRSs evolved into GDSs over a period of time
• 4 major GDSs operational today – SABRE,
Worldspan, Galileo and Amadeus
© Copyright 2009
Slide 33
Mid-term Exam
12/03/2015
12:30-13:15
Martials
• Lecture Note: page 1-20
• Current presentation file
• SABER: Bilal
• AMADEUS: Taha
© Copyright 2009

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