Ever since the first technological breakthrough of computerized system for flight booking by American Airlines has taken place the airline industry has experienced 360 degree change. It replaced rather the lengthy booking process of flights where customer would call up travel agent, who would then look for flights their schedules availability rates etc. upon receiving the confirmation from the customer the travel agent would get the seats reserved. Thus, it was vital for the travel agencies to access the system which provides them with variety of tasks for managing their customer’s needs from the initial time of query till the time they get on the plane. The flight booking system comes with features such as management of ticketing, refunds, cancellations, schedule of flights helping the travel intermediary to minimize cost incurred with distribution.
Nowadays travel technology companies developing advance flight booking system for travel agencies and also regularly updating the system as per user or customer requirement, which is undergoing the constant technological transformation. There is variety of task which helps to keep the system efficient and well-run which involves the even running of an online reservation engine with a user friendly graphical interface. The system comes with great proficiencies of flight inventory management and distribution through multiple sales channels such as B2B, B2C, B2B2B, B2B2C, Call center and Front desk. There are different modules for performing different tasks like managing the administrative functions of the travel agents and other users can also define routes, fares, taxes, schedules etc. under one place. Similarly there is module for travel agents where they can access the reservations for the airlines through internet, display fares at a discount to the passengers. For the passengers there is user friendly passenger module where passengers can see their bookings online, make new reservations and they can also make special requests on service to choose their options on the web.
Normally the functioning of any flight booking system for the travel agencies comprises of database which gives the clients desired information about the any destination at any time. To display such information the system has to be integrated with XML (Extensible Markup Language) or API (Application Programming Interface) through which it fetches the content directly from the central database. The users can get the access to the real time inventory of airlines worldwide through connectivity to GDSs. The reservation starts with inquiry for flight request from the user or the agency which is channeled through GDS to airlines the users can check the availability, fares, schedules etc. for various airlines. The system also comes with the functionalities to automate the distribution and price fluctuation depending upon the market demand and airline inventory can be sold till last minute. The users can book the online ticket from anywhere at any time.
The system is comprised of various modules where each module performs different task. The process starts once the query is fed into the system. Any user can search the available flights according to their preferences such as multi destination, multi sector different journey dates etc. The module displays the availability of the flights according to individual’s search criteria through web services. If there is unavailability the web services prompts the individual to adjust the search criteria. Once the customer is satisfied with the options the next step is booking the ticket which is handled by the separate booking module, in order to proceed with the booking, customer needs to register by entering the personal details as mentioned on web. Upon successful log in the user can now go ahead and book the flight ticket. The payment for the selected flight tickets is under different module once the payment is made customers get the automatic payment ID upon successful transaction. The booking ID is generated once the booking is confirmed the customers receive the online invoice with details of the payment. Since the preferences of the customers to travel is subject to change the system needs to manage the cancellations and the refunds also, in order to cancel or claim the refund of the flight tickets the customer are required to log in on the web service. The tickets can be cancelled in the booking history the data is then deleted from the database and customer receives the cancellation ID upon completion of transaction.
The flight booking system has helped the airlines as well as the travel intermediaries to reach out to the customers in real time. It can be easily integrated with any booking engines enabling greater management and control in the air tickets sales. The fully integrated system helps serving the customers in a better way as it provides access to the same information across all points of sale and service. Thus it helps in growing your travel business.