Gone are the days when people who wanted to travel by air had to make long queues in order to book a flight. The invention of computers and the internet has made things simple because one can book a flight at the touch of a button. This paper explains the path that the automated reservations have followed to get to where they are today and also the challenges that have been met.
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Initially in the 1950s airlines had designated airlines that were limited to some employees perhaps due to security reasons. An American airline was the first organization to implement computerized flight reservations. In the years that followed travel agents demanded to be allowed to use the system and since then the systems of various airlines have been integrated thus the customers can choose their preferred airline. This integration has been enhanced by the establishment of commercial internet portals.
The business portals store information of individual airlines by displaying the available flights and their respective schedules thus the systems provide convenience for both the travelers and the employees of the airlines. Since man is prone to errors computers are capable of repeating a given process as many times as possible with minimal errors and hence computerized systems are efficient when handling multiple requests, unlike humans who get tired easily.
People who are extremely busy can book and schedule their flights at the comfort of their offices or premises. The systems have improved the productivity of many airlines because they can handle many customers at the same time without creating congestion that would result from the formation of long queues. The systems are very intelligent because once a flight is full it can no longer be booked again and when passengers attempt to book it they are referred to other available flights hence the chances of missing a flight can only be caused by the passenger not planning his time well.
Since the automated systems operate 24 hours and on every day of the week, customers of airlines can make reservations at their own time compared to previous decades where reservations were made during normal working hours. Nowadays the systems have been advanced further because customers of airlines can use their credit cards to pay for their flights hence they don’t have to carry cash.
Once a passenger inserts his/her credit card into the provided slot the system reads the bank account information and the organization will deduct the money for the travel ticket from that specific account. Once that is done, the customer is notified about the transaction. These reservation systems work well when the targeted customers are computer literate and that’s why some countries still use counter reservations.
The reservation systems also allow passengers to cancel their flights or alternatively reschedule their flights. The emergence of these systems has accorded the passengers with the necessary authority over their flights which was not possible in the past. It is not only the travelers who use reservation systems but travel agents and hotels to rely on these systems to book flights for their clients. The internet has created the platform for these systems because if the internet was not present the systems would only be limited to certain geographical locations.
The advantage of these systems is that even when the physical offices are closed the airlines are still operational because the offices are still available virtually. In essence, more airlines are adopting computerized reservation systems since information technology is dynamic. Better and complex technologies are on the way hence airlines should be prepared to embrace them.