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About Airline Reservation System

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    Abstract

    In recent times, Users of airlines have graduated from using a travel agent to book for flights, to logging on directly to the portal of any Airline of their choice that uses the Computer Reservation System (CRS), for bookings of flight, and now in most recent times, the use of mobile devices e. g. ; phones, tablets etc. This project takes us on a journey that depicts the evolution of Airline Reservation System, from the ancient times of the use of Travel Agents for booking, down to the present time of usage of mobile devices.

    We go through the various systems developed, various architectures in view and review of past work on the SMS-based Airline Reservation System by other Journalists. We also view the systems designed available for a modern system. We review the improvement upon the technology previously used and also, we show the various limitations on the system to be built along with the codes

    Chapter One

    Introduction

    Background of Airline Reservation.

    The need of Air-travel in the World cannot be over-emphasized, it is one of the biggest Markets in the World and evolution of technology has brought about changes in processes involved in booking flights. The history of Airline Reservations System dates back to 1950, when America Airline required a system that would allow real-time access to their flight details, and the integration and automation of its booking and ticketing. ( From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Airline reservations system). In 1964, SABRE (Semi-Automated Business Research Environment) was developed and launched, its strengths was in its ability to keep correct record of real time data, accessible to agents around the world.

    Before this manual System that requires a centralized place, with a group of People with physical cards that represented inventory, that is Airline tickets. The deregulation of the airline industry, in the Airline Deregulation Act, meant that airlines, which had previously operated under government-set fares ensuring airlines at least broke even, now needed to improve efficiency to compete in a free market. In this deregulated environment the ARS and its descendants became vital to the travel industry. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Airline reservations system).

    The use of Online Airline reservation has since then been widely spread across the World, where various Airlines employ the use of generic or customized software such as ameliaRES; IFlyRes; avail. The basic functions of Online Airline Reservation system include; i. Inventory Management. ii. Availability display and reservation (PNR). iii. Fare quote and ticketing. The area of SMS-Based Airline reservation system, is relatively new in the Market, but has been developing fast, this sort of system allows the User book a flight from the convenience of his mobile phone.

    This sort of ARS has been bring for good results from the Market, but some areas of study are still left untouched, of the surface of the area is just being scratched. It has been generally observed, that the mobile ARS development is concentrated generally in a customer relationship sort of module and not really on a ver automated system, which is able to show available flights, sits available, and payment procedure. Which is much easier to follow as a sort of main system, making the Customer relation

    model of the SMS-based ARS a sort of back-up in this context, the problem here is then simplifying the total SMS-based model to accommodate flexibility.

    Statement of the Problem

    The airline reservation system, is an advancing system in the technological World today, where in the ARS has left the platform of just online and has gone Mobile, however, an additional functionality has been added where in the SMS-based ARS won’t just be a sort of customer care service, but will also be fully automated service system.

    Hence the following research questions suffice: What are the relevant requirements required for the creation of a fully automated ARS on the mobile platform.

    Aim

    The aim of this project is to investigate the current standing of the SMS-based Airline Reservation System, and to cater to the design and implementation of the necessary additional features needed.

    The Objectives of this project, includes; i. Do a thorough research on the background of Airline reservation system in order to recognize its strengths and weakness, and formulate a project goal from the literature review.

    ii. Do a Questionnaire-based survey to get some user-requirement from the end user. iii. Identify areas of the SMS-based airline reservation system that needs to be implemented, or developed upon from the literature review. iv. To design and implement a SMS-based Airline Reservation System, with application of areas that need to be implemented, as observed from the literature review. v. To do a complete evaluation of the finally completed SMS-based Airline Reservation System, using a preset requirement standards and also perform a usability survey.

    Deploy the system into a test environment, and release the first working version of it. Do a thorough research on the background of Airline reservation system in order to recognize its strengths and weakness, and formulate a project goal from the literature review. Literature Review UML Diagram 2. Do a Questionnaire-based survey to get some user-requirement from the end user. Quetionnaire Papers Documentation Data-minig 3. Identify areas of the SMS-based airline reservation system that needs to be implemented, or developed upon from the literature review Literature review

    Requirement Ellication

    Design and implement a SMS-based Airline Reservation System, with application of areas that need to be implemented, as observed from the literature review.

    Prototyping Case Study

    To do a complete evaluation of the finally completed SMS-based Airline Reservation System, using a preset requirement standards and also perform a usability survey. Usability evaluation. 6. Deploy the system into a test environment, and release the first working version of it

    The methodology of this project will both be theoretical (descriptive) and formulative. The theoretical methodology entails doing a thorough literature review on relevant techniques, methods and technologies. These include; Questionnaires: Distribution of objective-based questionnaires to find out the needs/requirements of Air-travel clients. The formulative method includes using of Software development tool to implement the system. These include; J2ME: Known as java mobile enterprise, used to develop mobile applications Connection to Quickteller. 1. 6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

    The SMS-based system provides an innovative improvement to the Airline Reservation System, and also a model for prospective passengers to book a complete flight with payment also made online, this is because; It reveals the total requirements needed to obtain an effective and efficient SMS-based Airline Reservations System, which has more functionality than already existing Airline Reservation System. Its implementation offers a functional prototype of the SMS-based Airline Reservation System that User to process a complete reservation, inclusive of payment options in Nigeria (as case study) to book a flight conveniently.

    The contribution of this work is that it gives a boost to the Airline Reservation System in the area of completion of payment via SMS. It is also relevant in the sense that, the SMS-based ARS is not common, hence adding valuable researchable information/literature. 1. 7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY The limitations to this study include; The reservation system requires access to the internet. The system is not platform independent. It is a Unilanguage system hence it can only be operated in English speaking Countries

    Dissertation Outline

    The Remainder of this dissertation is arranged as follows: Chapter two

    contains a review of relevant literatures on the history of ARS, existing systems, and existing methods e. tc. Chapter three presents the requirement analysis and designs. Chapter four discusses the implementation of the SMS-based ARS with relevant features that cater for the identified additional requirements. Chapter five presents a report on the evaluation of the SMS-based ARS on the basis of a bench-mark of standards. The summary, conclusion and recommendations for future work are also presented in this chapter. –

    The Review of Relevant Literatures

    In this chapter, an in-depth research on the theoretical background of the Airline reservation System. The Chapter explores the computational foundations of ARS, and also the existing working systems, which include, the SABRE, Worldspan, Galileo, Patheo and Abacus. It also features works by other authors on the SMS-based Airline Reservation System, along with the various methodologies, designs and architectures of previous systems.

    Introduction to Airline Reservation System

    Let’s begin with the definition of each of these terminologies; Aircraft: A vehicle that is capable of Air travel such as an Airplane, Helicopter etc.

    Airline: A Company that provides air transport service for passengers or freight under license from a recognized public authority. Also known as carrier in some geography. Scheduled airline: An airline that operates its flights to a fixed schedule, i. e. Flight timings is fixed. Chartered airline: An airline whose flights do not have a fixed schedule. Flight: A trip made by an aircraft between two geographical locations. Ticket: (Usually) a printed piece of paper or card showing that it’s holder has a right to use services on one or more specified flights.

    Route information: Covers the destination served by the airline. Aircraft Information: Information on the aircrafts used by the airline. Schedule Information: Covers information on days and time on which the flights operated by the airline are scheduled to run. Fare Information: Prices of various flights. Reservation Information: Passenger and cargo reservation, including information on passenger ticket.

    Background Study of Airline Reservation System

    Prior to 1950, all this information was published by airlines in large books, with separate book for each type of information.

    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 in a day.

    Ancient Standard Procedure

    • In order to make a booking, a customer will call up a travel agent, providing them with details of their itinerary( the route of journey proposed by a traveler).
    • Travel agent will look up Airline, flights and schedules matching the customer’s itinerary.
    • Customers will then call individual airlines to check seat availability.
    • Once seat availability is confirmed, the agent will look up the price appropriate for the flight selected and inform the Customer.
    • Upon confirmation from the Customer, travel agents will call the airlines back to reserve the seats. (http://www. slideshare. net/mave_boy/introduction-to-airline-reservation-systems-1237705)

    Introduction of Airline Reservation Systems Definition:

    Airline Reservation system could be define as a computerized system which allows users to store, retrieve, Reserve, information and also conduct business transaction related to air travel. (http://www. scribd. com/doc/80488502/Airline-Reservation-System-Documentation, Nwabrije Ugochukwu Emmanuel; Dec 16 2011) In 1950 American Airline decided to set up a computerized system that will allow real-time (this refers to the actual time during which a process or event occurs) access to all its data across all its offices and travel agents. As a result SABRE (Semi Automated Business Research Environment) was born in 1964.

    It was the first CRS ((computerized Reservation System) in the World. SABRE was developed as joint effort between IBM and American Airline.  In the 1950s, American Airlines was facing a serious challenge in its ability to quickly handle airline reservations in an era that witnessed high growth in passenger volumes in the airline industry. Before the introduction of SABRE, the airline’s system for booking flights was entirely manual, having developed from the techniques originally developed at its Little Rock, Arkansas reservations center in the 1920s.

    In this manual system, a team of eight operators would sort through a rotating file with cards for every flight. When a seat was booked, the operators would place a mark on the side of the card, and knew visually whether it was full. This part of the process was not all that slow, at least when there were not that many planes, but the entire end-to-end task of looking for a flight, reserving a seat and then writing up the ticket could take up to three hours in some cases, and 90 minutes on average.

    The system also had limited room to scale. It was limited to about eight operators because that was the maximum that could fit around the file, so in order to handle more queries the only solution was to add more layers of hierarchy to filter down requests into batches. [citation needed] American Airlines had already attacked the problem to some degree, and was in the process of introducing their new Magnetronic Reservisor, an electromechanical computer, in 1952 to replace the card files.

    This computer consisted of a single magnetic drum, each memory location holding the number of seats left on a particular flight. Using this system, a large number of operators could look up information simultaneously, so the ticket agents could be told over the phone whether a seat was available. On the downside, a staff member was still needed at each end of the phone line, and actually handling the ticket still took considerable effort and filing. Something much more highly automated was needed if American Airlines was going to enter the jet age, booking many times more seats.

    It was during the testing phase of the Reservisor that a high-ranking IBM salesman, Blair Smith, was flying on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles back to IBM in New York in 1953. He found himself sitting next to American Airlines president C. R. Smith. Noting that they shared a family name, they began talking. Just prior to this chance meeting, IBM had been working with the United States Air Force on their Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) project.

    SAGE used a series of large computers to coordinate the message flow from radar sites to interceptors, dramatically reducing the time needed to direct an attack on an incoming bomber. The system used teleprinter machines located all around the world to feed information into the system, which then sent orders back out to teleprinters located at the fighter bases. It was one of the first online systems. [citation needed] It was not lost on either man that the basic idea of the SAGE system was perfectly suited to American Airlines’ booking needs.

    Teleprinters would be placed at American Airlines’ ticketing offices to send in requests and receive responses directly, without the need for anyone on the other end of the phone. The number of available seats on the aircraft could be tracked automatically, and if a seat was available the ticket agent could be notified instantly. Booking simply took one more command, updating the availability and even printing out the ticket for them. Only 30 days later IBM sent a research proposal to American Airlines, suggesting that they really study the problem and see if an “electronic brain” could actually help.

    They set up a team consisting of IBM engineers led by John Siegfried and a large number of American Airlines’ staff led by Malcolm Perry, taken from booking, reservations and ticket sales, calling the effort the theSemi-Automated Business Research Environment, or SABRE. A formal development arrangement was signed in 1957, and the first experimental system went online in 1960, based on two IBM 7090 mainframes in a new data center located in Briarcliff Manor, New York. The system was a success.

    Up until this point it had cost the astonishing sum of $40 million to develop and install (about $350 million in 2000 dollars). The SABRE system by IBM in the 1960s was specified to process a very large number of transactions, such as handling 83,000 daily phone calls. The system took over all booking functions in 1964, at which point the name had changed to the more familiar SABRE. In 1972 the system was migrated to IBM System/360 systems in a new underground location in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Max Hopper joined American Airlines in 1972 as director of Sabre, and pioneered its use.

    Originally used only by American Airlines, the system was expanded to travel agents in 1976. With SABRE up and running, IBM offered its expertise to other airlines, and soon developed Deltamatic for Delta Air Lines on the IBM 7074, and PANAMAC for Pan American World Airwaysusing an IBM 7080. In 1968 they generalized their work into the PARS (Programmed Airline Reservation System), which ran on any member of the IBM System/360 family and thus could support any sized airline. The operating system component of PARS evolved into ACP (Airlines Control Program), and later to TPF (Transaction Processing Facility).

    Application programs were originally written in assembly language, later in SabreTalk, a proprietary dialect of PL/I, and now in C and C++. By the 1980s, SABRE offered airline reservations through the CompuServe Information Service and GEnie under the Eaasy SABRE brand. This service was extended to America Online in the 1990s. American and Sabre separated on March 15, 2000. Sabre had been a publicly traded corporation, Sabre Holdings, stock symbol TSG on the New York Stock Exchange until taken private in March 2007.

    The corporation introduced the new logo and changed from the all-caps acronym “SABRE” to the mixed-case “Sabre Holdings”, when the new corporation was formed. TheTravelocity website, introduced in 1996, is owned by Sabre Holdings, and along with its three other business units, Sabre Travel Network, Sabre Airline Solutions and Sabre Hospitality, today serves as a global travel technology company. The system connects more than 57, 000 travel agents and millions of travelers with more than 400 airlines, 90,000 hotels, 30 car-rental companies, 200 tour operators, and dozens of railways, ferries and cruise lines.

    In this architecture the designed web service that was implemented to follow this architecture would be uploaded to the service registry using UDDI so that client or customer can access the web service from their local operating system. By so doing the customer can access the implemented web service from their various homes, they can reserve flights with ease, search for seats and make payment with ease without going to the airport to do it the old fashioned way.

    Introduction of Airline Reservation Systems Definition: Traditional Software Oriented Architecture:

    This type of architecture is the type of architecture that involves ticketing agent desktop application software that is not connected to the web service and it requires customers to move down to the ticketing reservation place to book or reserve flight. Most undeveloped nations still make use of architecture, but this ticketing reservation architecture requires a lot of time and effort from both the ticketing agent and the customer, while in the service oriented architecture you can reserve flight with just a click away.

    Pros and Cons of Airline Reservation System

    Anything that has an advantage also has a disadvantage, people log into the Airline reservation system based on the pros of the system and most times over looks the cons of the system. Pros of Airline Reservation system. The advantages of Airline Reservation systems are 1. Convenience This advantage simply means that users of the proposed system can book or reserve ticket anytime they want, be it at day or at night, also the proposed Airline reservation system has no geographical boundary.

    1. Easy changes This advantage allows user to change flight any time they want, if they want to postpone the date of their journey. Most existing Airline reservation site allows users to make changes before log in.
    2. Early check in: Airline Reservation system allows users to check in up to 24 hours before their flight, select seat and print boarding passes from home, by doing so users of the Airline reservation system can skip long line at the Airport. Cons of Airline Reservation System. The disadvantages of Airline Reservation are:
    3. Live Help When users of Airline reservation system reserves seat online, and they have any worries or Question, this worries and Question can’t be attend to online, they need an administrative advice to help them solve their problem.
    4. Customization Most Airline Reservation system Advertise cheap Tickets, but add taxes and surcharge to make it expensive.
    5. Special Need: Users of the Airline Reservation system can’t confirm any special need atthe time of their online reservation, such as requesting a wheel chair.

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