Saturday, May 10, 2014

Air Deccan - Online Reservation System

Working with InterGlobe, Air Deccan has developed an Internet-based CRS. All reservations, whether made directly by a customer on the Internet or through an indirect channel, such as the call centre, the airport or a travel agent, are made using this CRS. As a result, Air Deccan has been able to lower its distribution costs while providing multiple ways for customers and potential customers to purchase tickets.

The online reservation engine enables Air Deccan to transact online on a real time basis with an extended community of travel agents, online customers, corporate and third party portals such as yatra.com and ghuom.com. E-tickets are issued by the online engine in lieu of payment via credit or debit card. Air Deccan call centers also utilize the same reservation engine to reserve tickets on Phone (only credit cards are accepted). The airlines own city and airport offices utilize a customized2 interface which allows them to confirm a ticket in lieu of cash.

The CRS has helped Air Deccan to achieve cost reductions by allowing it to avoid costs associated with GDS reservation systems, through which most full service airlines manage their reservations. Air Deccan’s reservations system has also allowed it to streamline personnel needs. Principally because Air Deccan’s CRS is directly administered by Air Deccan and is designed to receive payments to Air Deccan at the time of booking, Air Deccan is able to staff its accounting and finance department with only 13 members.

After the credit card fraud cases came to light in December 2006, Air Deccan improved both its site and call center procedures to implement credit card masking where in the customer enters his/her credit card number directly into the system via the online form. The departing terminal agent only receives the last four digits of the credit card number which is used to authenticate the passenger at the airport. This means that the full credit card number is stored in encrypted format in the database and cannot be misused by any intermediaries.

A. Front end 3



The front end of the online reservation engine utilizes Visual Studio.net and Pramati Studio 3.0 as well as a blended usage of J2EE technologies to generate webpage which are only viewed by Internet Explorer. The online portal enables reservation and cancellation of E-tickets.


Reservation of ticket
The process of reservation of E-ticket online follows the following:
Step 1: Search
Here the user is asked to enter his travel details such as departure day, number of passengers, etc. The user than clicks on next to proceed



Step 2: Availability display
Based on the supplied query the website generates the list of available flights. Air Deccan policy dictates that the lowest possible fare on any flight which has not already been booked is offered. Multiple options may be generated if there are multiple flights such as on Delhi - Mumbai sector. The search engine also gives options for flight +/- 1 days.



Step 3 & 4 Flight Summary
Once the user has selected the flight option given to him he is presented with a summary of the flight which finally presents the actual cost of the ticket.

Step 5: Passenger information details
Here all relevant passenger details are taken from the customer. The phone number and email address are utilized as keys.

Step 6: Payment options
Once the customer feeds in his personal details he is given a Reference Number while the associated PNR number is auto generated in the backend but is not given to the customer. The following payment options are given.
MASTER/ VISA (Choose this option for non-EMI transaction on any credit card)
CITIBANK EMI
[Citibank Credit Cards/ Diners Club Card - 2 EMI Option. Your ticket will be converted into 2 EMIs on your Citibank Credit Card/Diners Club Card at a processing fee of Rs. 2 per Rs. 100.]
DINERS and MASTER / VISA (Any Card non EMI option)
EMI option ICICI Bank Credit Cards only
[Pay back in 6 monthly installments with ICICI Bank Credit Cards only. EMI of Rs.173 per Rs.1000. No processing fee.]
ICICI BANK DIRECT DEBIT
[Please select this option if you have ICICI Bank Account with Internet Banking Facility and you wish to pay directly through your ICICI Bank Account]
CITIBANK DEBIT CARD
[Please select this option if you want to use a Citibank Debit Card with your HPIN (Secure Internet Password) ]
STATE BANK OF INDIA DIRECT DEBIT
[Please select this option if you have a State Bank of India Account with Internet Banking Facility and you wish to pay directly through your State Bank of India Account]
Table 1Actual option chart from airdeccan.com

Depending on the option selected the user is either presented with a form to fill the credit card details or gets redirected to icici.com or sbi.com.
Flaw: The user gets redirected to other websites from where he is supposed to pay and than relog onto airdeccan.com where he must use the reference number search facility (link present on the homepage) to see the status of the ticket.

Step 7: Issue of PNR and E-ticket
Once the payment id is verified the previously generated PNR number is given to the customer, which can be used along with an ID and credit card to get the boarding pass. If the passenger has provided an e-mail address, the passenger also receives an e-mail confirmation. In case the passenger is unable to print out4 the ticket while doing the online purchase, the passenger can use the PNR indicated in the e-mail confirmation to collect the ticket at the Air Deccan Airport counters.

The transaction of issue of an E-ticket is deemed to be complete according to Indian law only when a PNR number of 10 alphanumeric characters is generated and issued to the customer. All airlines and CRS's/ GDS's include an audit-trail feature called the "history" which uses the PNR as the index key. Once a PNR is created, each entry is logged in the PNR "history" with the date, time, place, user ID, and other information of the travel agent, airline staff person, or automated system who made the entry, as well as the name of the traveler or other person, such as a business associate or family member, who requested the entry or change. Each entry in each PNR, even for a solo traveler, thus contains personally identifiable information on at least 2, often 3 or 4, people: the traveler, the travel arranger or requester, the travel agent or airline staff person, and the person paying for the ticket.



Ticket Cancellation System

The website allows cancellation of tickets .The following process is followed

  • Click on” View Booking"
  • type PNR number, date of travel, and passenger name
  • click search button
  • Click on it CANCEL PNR
  • Key in credit card number and then click cancel.  

The same procedure is to be done to check if the PNR is cancelled or not.

Even though the ticket has been cancelled the same PNR is not reissued to another passenger as the booking details of a PNR once issued5 remain in the reservation system. The ticket cost is refunded back to the customer after certain deductions either by debiting back the amount to the credit card or bank account used to book the ticket. Cash is only refunded back at Air Deccan city offices and airport counters.

Unlike full-fare tickets sold by full-service carriers, which are generally fully or mostly refundable, Air Deccan imposes cancellation penalties when tickets are returned. These penalties range from 10% to 100% of the basic price, increasing incrementally as the travel date approaches. These penalties help Air Deccan to recoup the cost of seats not filled due to cancellations.

B. Backend
The front end website provides input for the IIS and SqlServer2000 database server of Air Deccan. This server is in turn linked to the Departure Control System6 (DCS) and the Seat Inventory Management System (S-IMS).

The S-IMS utilizes the DCS and reservation database to manage allotment of the seat price buckets for future flights and also handles current passenger details. At the point of check-in (at the airport) the PRN is further associated with a baggage PNR which ensures that the passengers baggage is associated with his respective PNR and can hence be tracked.

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