Airline Ticketing and Management Systems used to be a standalone system. Each airline had its own system, disconnected from other airlines or ticket agents, and usable only by a designated number of airline employees. An Airline Reservation Information System is a computerized system used to store and retrieve information and conduct transactions related to travel. Computer Manifest Information is 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.
As a prelude to other parts of this study, this chapter will discuss the background upon which this study was initiated, the statement of problems that led to this study, the Aim and Objectives of the study. Others are Significance of the study, Scope of work, Limitation of the study and Definition of technical terms.
1.2 Background of 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.
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.
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.
1.3 Statement of Problem
The existing system is manual, this system is slow, time consuming and it is very difficult for each person to assess the Airline Reservation Information to verify an individual's airline transport ticket 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 people 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.
Finally, inability of the computer scientist to observe appropriate procedure in connection during installation poses treat to them, which however may lead to damage of the computer and cards
1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study is to Design and Implement an Online Airline Reservation Information System. In achieving this aim, the following specific objectives were laid out as follows to design and develop an application software that will:
- Keep records of all immigrants and for processing visa with view of modifying it into a full computerized system
- Verify and give accurate passenger airline seat reservation information through the use of a internet accessible device.
- Minimize cost of maintenance instead of spending more money in purchasing of new equipment, the money can be used in the maintenance of the faulty equipment.
- Reduce the number of manpower (staff) with the introduction of the computer network (computerized).
- Increase output of passenger manifest with the interconnection more than one computer system over network.
1.5 Significance of Study
From the viewpoint of the Online Airline Reservation Information System; 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.
- Reduce effort and frustration for travelers in scheduling a trip, especially by reducing the search effort for the flight they need to take.
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.
1.6 Scope of Study
The study focuses on the Design and Implementation of an Online Airline Reservation Information System using Rwenzori Airlines as a case study.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
During the course of this study, many things militated against its completion, some of which are:
- Time Constraint: The time frame given to accomplish this project was very short due to school academic calendar and it was carried out under pressure which made the researcher not to implement some necessary features.
- Establishment Policies: Establishment policies posed a serious limitation as most staffs are not ready to release information needed for this project work. There were lots of information needed from the staffs of this institution to enhance the study which took them time to release or they did not release at all for security purposes, hence the scope was reduced.
- Research material: availability of research material is a major setback to the scope of the study.
- Frequent power failure: This made the researcher append more money on fuel to ensure sustainable power.
- Financial Constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet).
1.8 Definition of Terms
Computer Network: This is the process whereby two or more computers are connected so that they can communicate with each other at the same time. Share resources, file and other peripherals devices like scanner and printer.
Expert system: Is a computer program which solves problems from a specific knowledge base that is a body of knowledge in a specialized field.
Installation: Installation is the process whereby a device, apparatus, or piece is fixed or fitted in a place to perform some specific functions.
Knowledge: It can be define as information and skills or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.