Airline reservation system

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Airline Reservation System

Airline Reservation System

Group Members Awais Ali UmerTaimour GondalIrfan

Important Key Terms in Airline Aircraft: A vehicle capable of air transport, such as an airplane, a helicopter, etc.

Airline: A company that provides air transport services for passengers or freight under license from a recognized public authority. Also known as Carrier in some geographies

Scheduled airline: An airline that operates its flights to a fixed schedule, i.e. flight timings are fixed

Important Key Terms in Airline (continued)

Charter airline: An airline whose flights do not have a fixed schedule

Itinerary: A route of journey proposed to a flight.

Travel agency: A business that attends to the travel needs of an individual or a group of individuals

History of Reservation System

Prior to 1950 all information about reservation was published by airlines in large books, with separate books for each type of informationTravel agents had a really tough time looking through multiple books for booking tickets that covered multiple airlinesIt 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 dayIn order to make a booking, a customer would call up a travel agent, providing them details of their itineraryTravel agent would first look up airlines, flights and schedules matching the customers itinerary then Customer would call up individual airlines to check seat availabilityOnce seat availability was confirmed, travel agent would look up the price appropriate for the flights selected and inform the customerUpon confirmation from customer, travel agent would call the airlines back to reserve the seats

(continued)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

Functions provided by a CRSA CRS typically provides the following functionsFlight schedule information: Days and times for flights operated by the airlineAvailability information: Seat availability on a flight by service class, i.e. Economy, Business or First classFare quotes: A consolidated fare for an itinerary based on flight, day, time, service class and passenger types chosenReservation information: Seat bookingsTicketing information: Generating and storing ticketsRefunds and cancellations: Cancellation of existing reservations and tickets

An availability display screen by Galileo

The birth of Global Distribution SystemsAlthough the CRSs simplified the task of maintaining airline data, they brought in new problemsIn 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 technologyCRSs were airline specific. This required travel agencies who wanted to sell tickets for multiple airlines to have individual connections to each airline separatelyAvailability 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

CRSs recognized the need to host data for more than one airline in order to bring efficiencies to a growing airline industry

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

Life of a travel agent before GDSs

Problems before advent of GDSsTravel 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

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

Life of a travel agent after GDSs


A GDS practically centralizes access to multiple airline CRSs, thereby making the lives of travel agents simpler. A GDS provides a single interface to schedule, availability, fare and reservation databases of multiple airlines.Each GDS has direct connectivity to a fixed number of airlines. These airlines are known as hosted airlines for that GDS. The GDS is usually in real-time sync with its hosted airlines.GDSs synchronize with each other to share information about their hosted airlines.

Advantages of a GDSSimplified access to possibly all airlines, through a single interface

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

How GDSs have evolvedDue to airline CRSs being based on mainframes, GDSs have been based on mainframes as well

Over the last few decades, GDSs have started providing direct connectivity from non-mainframe clients such as PCs

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

How GDSs have evolved (continued)GDSs now provide access to non-air products as well:Car rentalsHotel bookingPackaged holidaysCruises and shipsRailwaysLocal road transport: bus, tram, taxi

Major GDSs in operation todayAmadeusFounded in 1987 by Air France, Iberia, Lufthansa and SASHead-quartered in Madrid, SpainLargest booking share in EuropeThird largest booking share across the globeUsed by, and www.opodo.comGalileoFounded in 1993 by 11 major North American and European airlinesHead-quartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USASecond largest booking share across the globeUsed by,

Major GDSs in operation today (continued)SABREFounded in 1964 by American Airlines and IBMHead-quartered in Southlake, Texas, USALargest booking share across the worldUsed by, www.travelocity.comWorldspanFounded in 1990 by Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines and Transworld AirlinesMerged with Galileo in 2006Used by,,

Galileo Desktop View

Galileo Information System

Booking FileA Galileo Booking File always consists of five mandatory fields. If not all fields are present, the Booking File can not be closed or saved. Mandatory fields: Itinerary Name Field N.Phone Field P.Ticketing Field T. Received Field R. Beside the mandatory fields, optional fields can be applicable. Optional fields: Review Booking File Field RB. Email address from /to MF./MT./MC. Form of Payment Field F. Notepad NP. Mileage Membership Field M. Servicing Request RQ. Service Information SI. Vendor Remarks V. Seats S. Itinerary Remarks RI.


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