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Airline Reservation Systems (ARS) used to be standalone systems. Each airline had its own system, disconnected from other airlines or ticket agents, and usable only by a designated number of airline employees. Travel agents in the 1970s pushed for access to the airlines' systems. Today, air travel information is linked, stored, and retrieved by a network of Computer Reservations Systems (CRS), accessible by multiple airlines and travel agents.
This report is a summary of the study that was undertaken to design and implement an airline reservation system. The airline reservation system designed in this project was developed using php, java script and html as the programming languages and MySQL as the database Management system. The researcher reviewed the literature of reservation systems in chapter two and explored the advantages and limitations of reservation system in real life situations.
The researcher used interviews and questionnaire methods during the data collection phase, these data collection methods helped the researcher to better understand the existing system in use. Case tools and data flow diagram were used during the development process to simulate the process of airline reservation and ticket booking. The outcome of the study was an online airline reservation system tested and implemented in the case study Rwenzori Airlines to book, schedule and reserve flights.
1.1 Background of the Study
In science and technology, the desire for improvement is a constant subject which triggers advancements. This is visible in every ramification and the airline industry is not an exemption. Airline reservation systems were first introduced in the late 1950s as relatively simple standalone systems to control flight inventory, maintain flight schedules, seat assignments and aircraft loading. Today modern airline reservation systems are comprehensive suites of products to provide systems that assist with a variety of airline management tasks and service customer needs from the time of initial reservation through completion of the flight.
The World Wide Web has become tremendously popular over the last four years, and currently most of the airlines have made provision for online reservation of their flights. The Internet has become a major resource for people looking for making reservations online without the hassle of meeting travel agents by implementing an online reservation system this ensures that reservation are not only generated by the airline own staff but also by any travel agent using a Global Distribution system or other airlines that have a multilateral Interline Traffic Agreement with the airline.
A Computer Reservations System is a computerized system used to store and retrieve information and conduct transactions related to travel. Computer reservation systems are classified as Passenger Service Systems (PSS) which handles a series of critical functions for the airline. For an Airline, the reservation system is a mission critical system that should use the latest state of the art technology to provide for all flight reservations on a robust platform, which is flexible and can be adapted to any style of airline. Secure and stable systems are vital to the airline industry which is why companies spend many years designing an architecture specifically suited to the nature of the airline industry which often requires tens of thousands of users to access and use the system simultaneously.
Rwenzori Airlines started as a small airline carrier in 1989 to facilitate air travel between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This airline was to facilitate transportation of cargo between the two countries. The airline was originally designed to handle small number of customers. In 1999 Rwenzori Airline was transformed into an International Airline facilitating travel of tens of thousands of passengers on a daily basis. Today Rwenzori Airlines still use a manual system of flight booking, flight management and scheduling. Flight booking is done through travel agents across major towns, flight data and customer details are kept in manual files. This system is slow and results into booking conflicts, vacant seats in some planes and it is hard to quickly obtain customer information in case of emergency. It’s for this reason, the researcher set out to design an online airline reservation system to provides a modern, flexible reservation and inventory management solutions including call Centre, travel agency, internet engine, global distribution systems and interlines booking with case study of Rwenzori Airlines
1.2 Problem statement
The current system is manual, this system is slow, time consuming and it is very difficult for each person to book through office agents. Users inquire about the tickets through phones and it is very difficult for the user to remember all the details that they received through phones. It is very difficult to calculate how many peoples registered and how many seats on a particular plane are vacant. This requires quite a lot of time and wastage of money as it requires quite lot of manpower to do.
1.3.1 General Objective
To automate the process of airline ticket reservation, booking and airline management hence minimize errors resulting from manual system operations
1.3.2 Specific Objectives
• To study the current system identifying its inefficiencies
• To determine the requirements for the new system
• To design an online airline reservation information system to facilitate online booking and flight scheduling
• To implement the developed web based airline information system
• To test and validate the developed system by use of case study
1.4 Scope of the Study
The developed system will facilitate online booking; keep customer records, provides an online menu on flight schedules, flight destinations and their prices, show alternative links to other partner airlines and will have page dedicated to customer queries and replies. The system excludes catering for calculating staff salary and other management issues.
1.5 Significance of the Study
From the viewpoint of the airline; the system will provide among other things the following;
Minimize repetitive work done by the system administrator and reservation clerks. Maintain consistency among different access modes, e.g. by phone, by web, at the information desk and across different physical locations. Maintain customer information in case of emergency, e.g. flight cancellation due to inclement weather. Minimize the number of vacant seats on a flight and maximize flight capacity utilization
Reduce effort and frustration for travelers in scheduling a trip, especially by reducing the search effort for the flight they need to take. In addition, the outcome of this study will provide a basis for developing the appropriate approach to the problems associated with air traveling operations in relation to Airline Reservation Systems
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