Performance and control problems in airline ticketing and reservation

The area of Airline ticketing has undergone a sea change since the day the concept evolved.

The most recent development in the Airline Ticketing is the legislative move of going paperless from 1 June'08. 240 Airlines of International Air Transport Association have switched to electronic mode of ticketing, debarring any travel agent from selling paper tickets now onwards. This act would save around 50,000 trees and $6.5 billion annually. However, like every industry this too has its own set of woes. Some of them can be diluted by employing KPIs, the financial and Non-Financial metrics to judge and guide the performance of the organizations.

KPIs can be formulated in different directions to have a means of assessment for the organization. For the financial perspective, these can be Percentage of domestic ticketing revenue, Percentage refunded due to Cancelled Tickets and Compensation to Ticket Agent. Customer Perspective can be had from Time taken for refunding, Reservation changing charges and charges for seat preferences. Tickets sold can be known from Tickets sold on Airline's official website, through travel agents and over telephone. Internal perspective can be had from ticketing errors, customer care services, etc.

One of the primary challenges the Airline Ticketing Companies have to deal with relates to the customized solutions one is required to provide to the end-users. The budget given by the customer sets the upper and lower limit on the amount he/she is ready to spend. Taking care of such specifications, most suitable and appropriate tailored solutions are given. Another pertains to the updation of the database the organizations maintain to ensure that the outdated information is replaced by the latest one. Failure on the technology front may be yet another source of the challenge these companies have to confront. Back-up plans have to be in place to avert the chaos that would occur in their absence. Besides these, security concerns, promptness of providing services are the issues they have to deal with on a constant basis.

KPIs do the task of framing the evaluative parameters in quantitative, specific, actionable and relevant terms to enable assigning of values to them. This can be taken a step further by comparing the magnitudes obtained to some standard and pre-set values to have the deviations and correcting them. For instance, if the no. of tickets getting cancelled on an annual basis is increasing, it is definitely not a favorable indication. The area of problem is to be investigated for and problem should be fixed as soon as possible. This way KPIs help the organizations in arriving at the root cause of the problems.

Industries use various KPIs to have some quantitative ways for tracking the path they are moving on to know whether their acts would help in achieving the organizational objectives or not. Significant diversion from the desired values can be traced to have the problematic areas to improve them.