Design And Implementation Of An Online Airline Reservation Information System 

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Design And Implementation Of An Online Airline Reservation Information System


Abstract


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.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • List Of Tables
  • List Of Figures
  • List Of Abbreviations
  • Abstract

Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Problem statement
  • 1.3 Objectives
  • 1.3.1 General Objective
  • 1.3.2 Specific Objectives
  • 1.4 Scope of the Study
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • 2.1 History of Airline Reservation Information System
  • 2.2 Reservation Information Systems
  • 2.3 Components of Reservation Information Systems
  • 2.3.1 Hardware
  • 2.3.2 Software
  • 2.3.3 Data
  • 2.3.4 People
  • 2.3.5 Procedures
  • 2.3.6 Database
  • 2.4 Types of Reservations in Reservation System
  • 2.5 Types of Information System
  • 2.5.1 Transaction Processing System (TPS)
  • 2.5.3 Management Information System (MIS)
  • 2.5.4 Decision-support systems (DSS)
  • 2.5.5 Executive Support System (ESS)
  • 2.6 Application of Reservation Systems
  • 2.7 Advantages of Reservation Information Systems
  • 2.8 Limitations of Reservation Information System

Chapter Three

Methodology

  • 3.1 Overview
  • 3.1.1 System Study and Analysis
  • 3.1.2 Interviews
  • 3.2.2 Questionnaire
  • 3.3 Requirements Determination
  • 3.3.1 Requirements Analysis
  • 3.4 Output Design
  • 3.5 System Implementation
  • 3.6 System Testing
  • 3.7 Database Structure

Chapter Four

System Design, Analysis And Implementation

  • 4.1 System Design Objectives
  • 4.2 System Design
  • 4.2.1 Logical design
  • 4.2.2 Conceptual design
  • 4.2.3 Physical design
  • 4.3 Functional Requirements
  • 4.4 Non-functional requirements
  • 4.5 Data Flow Diagrams
  • 4.5.1 Context Diagram for Airline Reservation System
  • 4.5.3 Level One Data Flow Diagram for Reservation Process
  • 4.6 System Component Interactions
  • 4.7 Database design
  • 4.7.1 Entities
  • 4.7.3 An Entity Relationship Diagram for Airline Reservation
  • 4.7.4 Database Conceptual Design
  • 4.7.5 Table Attribute Description (Physical Design)
  • 4.8 System Implementation
  • 4.8.1 System Users
  • 4.8.2 Hardware Platform
  • 4.8.3 Hardware Platform
  • 4.8.4 System Execution Sequence

Chapter Five

Findings, Conclusion And Recommendations

  • 5.1 Findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Conversion
  • 5.4 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendices
  • Appendix 1; Terminology
  • Appendix 2; Programming Listing
  • Appendix 3; Sample Data
  • Appendix 4; Flow Chart

List Of Tables


  • Table 1; Showing Customer’s details  27
  • Table 2; Showing Flight details  27
  • Table 3; Showing Journey details 28
  • Table 4; Showing User details  28

List Of Figures


  • Figure 2.1; Showing a global distribution system
  • Figure 2.2; Five Stages of Transaction Processing System
  • Figure 3.1; The system study and design model
  • Figure 4.1; Showing a context diagram for a reservation system
  • Figure 4.2; Level one data flow diagram for the reservation process
  • Figure 4.3; Showing interconnectivity of the different system components
  • Figure 4.4; Showing an entity relationship diagram for airline reservation system
  • Figure 4.5; Showing the data base logical design for an airline reservation system
  • Figure 4.6; Administrator use case diagram
  • Figure 4.7; Customer use case diagram
  • Figure 4.8; Showing the Welcome Interface
  • Figure 4.9; Showing Customer Registration Form
  • Figure 4.10; Showing the Customer Search Interface
  • Figure 4.11; Showing a Full Customer Record Interface
  • Figure 4.12; Showing Journey details Interface
  • Figure 4.13; Showing Rwenzori Airlines Schedules
  • Figure 4.14; Showing flight Reservations, Ticket Reservation Interface
  • Figure 4.15; Showing a Flight Booking Form
  • Figure 4.16; Showing Ticket Booking Form
  • Figure 4.17; Showing Ticket detail interface
  • Figure 4.18; Showing ticket Cancelation Interface
  • Figure 4.19; Showing Customer Contact Us Page/Interface
  • Figure 4.20; Showing Administrators‟ Password Interface
  • Figure 4.21; Showing Administrators Home Interface
  • Figure 4.22; Showing change password change interface
  • Figure 4.23; Showing database interface
  • Figure 4.24; Showing flight schedule interface
  • Figure 4.25; Showing journey entry form
  • Figure 4.26; Showing add ticket interface
  • Figure 4.27; Showing flight information interface

List Of Abbreviations


  • ARS; Air Reservation System
  • CASE; Computer-Aided Software Engineering
  • CRS; Computer Reservation System
  • DB; Data Base
  • DBMS; Database Management System
  • DDL; Data Definition Language
  • DFD; Data Flow Diagram
  • DML; Data Manipulation Language
  • DSS; Decision Support Systems
  • EG; Example Given
  • ERD; Entity Relationship Diagram
  • FK; Foreign Key
  • GB; Giga Byte
  • GDS; Global Distribution System
  • GUI; Graphical User Interface
  • HTML; Hypertext Markup Language
  • MB; Mega Byte
  • MHz; Mega Hertz
  • MIS; Management Information Systems
  • PHP; Hypertext Preprocessor
  • PK; Primary Key
  • PSS; Passenger Service System
  • RAM; Random Access Memory
  • TCP/IP; Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol
  • TPS; Transaction Processing Systems

Chapter One


Introduction

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 Objectives

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
  1. To study the current system identifying its inefficiencies
  2. To determine the requirements for the new system
  3. To design an online airline reservation information system to facilitate online booking and flight scheduling
  4. To implement the developed web based airline information system
  5. 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


Chapter Five


Findings, Conclusion And Recommendations

This chapter summaries the researcher’s findings, conclusion and recommendations for the new developed system

5.1 Findings

The researcher’s findings are summarized in the following paragraphs below;

Today Airlines are under unprecedented pressure to produce economic results or perish as fuel, labor, and asset costs escalate and demand declines. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports that the airline industry lost more than US$9 billion in 2009. In fact, with the exception of a few years and a few airlines, much of the industry has not produced a return on investment that exceeded capital costs and this is as a result of use of traditional flight management methods still used by most airlines today

As the researcher found out with the industry poised for recovery, competition is expected to intensify as low-cost carriers continue to gain market share from full-service carriers by attracting both leisure and business segments. Reduction in business-class travel outpaces that of leisure travel by four to one and is a direct result of corporate belt-tightening and the emergence of travel substitution technologies, such as collaboration applications, high-definition video conferencing, and telepresence.

Adding to these challenges, new operating models, innovative entrants, and further airline consolidation will create new difficulties and intense competitive pressure for legacy carriers. In response, airlines are employing a narrowly focused near-term strategy including reductions in seat capacity and product unbundling (for example, paying extra for a window or aisle seat, or for more exit-row legroom) that could potentially have serious long-term consequences on customer loyalty, experience, and profitability from core products.

The researcher also found out that as global economies begin to show a sign of recovery, so, too, is the aviation industry. Industry wide opinion, however, is that business will not immediately return to pre-crisis levels.

Notwithstanding anticipation of an economic rebound, some airlines are beginning to shift their strategies. Rather than fixate on saving the “sinking ship,” airlines are repositioning their organizations to compete in the age of “the new normal” by seeking innovative, new service opportunities and business models. The future success of an airline will be decided, in part, by its ability to harness emerging technologies to deliver superior customer experience and engender loyalty while empowering employees and improving operational efficiencies. The timing could not be better: new products and innovations in mobility are emerging as one of the most promising areas for airlines to transform their business models and operations.


5.2 Conclusion

Before modern computing, the reservation system was done using manual means. This meant that a person about to travel had to spend a lot of unnecessary time waiting in queues in order to book their tickets. The manual process of reservation was also prone to human errors, which lead to a lot of dissatisfaction amongst travelers. Nowadays competition is so fierce between airlines that there are lot of discounts and a lot of luxuries given to customers that will give an edge to that particular airline.

The online airline reservation automates these processes of booking airline tickets online, thus reducing the time wasted as well as the errors that are involved in the manual process. People will argue that online airline reservation system are expensive, and create unfair competition between other airlines that don’t have them. From the researchers view, online airline reservation is one the best innovation that has taken place in the airline industry and those companies that have not yet embraced airline reservation system ought to lose out, they may sight, additional costs, maintenance cost and the cost of development as their drawbacks but as Henry R. Luce, put it “Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight” World Wide Web and the Internet is here and airline companies for the future will seize this opportunity develop airline reservation systems and prosper.


5.3 Conversion

The method of conversion will be parallel conversion where the developed system will be run in parallel to the current system. Those customers who can book on line can start doing so and those who can come to the airline offices can still book their ticket using the manual system. This will be done for a period of six months after which all the operation of the airline will be shifted to the online system


5.4 Recommendations

The researcher recommends the following about the system:

  1. The researcher recommends that the administrators and staff of Rwenzori Airlines be trained on how to use the system, thus enabling them to understand the functionality of the entire system.
  2. More research on this system is required to fully identify and eliminate some of the weaknesses and integrate it with banks to enable online payment
  3. There is need for the system upgrade as user’s requirements change. User requirements differ with time, therefore, it is of great help for the system to be flexible enough.
  4. Other researchers can use this project report as a basis during future study of reservation system say in train reservation systems
  5. Owing to the ease and comfort of Airline Reservation Systems, local flights which are not on the system should be encouraged to compensate the system.
  6. The system should be made affordable so as to encourage consumers and travel agents on patronizing the system
  7. However much system access is protected by a username and a password, the entire computer system should be protected from unauthorized people to avoid misuse and damage of the system components.
  8. The users should carefully choose usernames and passwords so as to avoid security breach of the system hence they shouldn’t have short passwords, using their friends or relative’s names as passwords.
  9. Backups should be done frequently to avoid data loss in case of hardware or software malfunction.

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