17 May 2010

Do Airlines or GDSs Cheat on Displays?

I love finding things that don't work or fail to work as billed. I have been recently working on a project with regards to competition and compliance. I went back and had a good look at the current European Union CRS Regulations.

I was working with one of my team - Professor Sonja - and she noticed that some airlines fail to comply with the letter of the regulations. But as to whether they are technically in default or manipulating the system - I will let you be the judge.

So here is the rule:

Point 10 from the Regulations Annex states:

Where air carriers operate under code-share arrangements, each of the air carriers concerned — not more than two —
shall be allowed to have a separate display using its individual carrier-designator code. Where more than two air carriers
are involved, the designation of the two carriers shall be a matter for the carrier actually operating the flight.

if you look at the 2 examples above you will see that in fact in the display (from Sabre) that indeed there are three instances of the same physical flights shown. However on one of the combinations a specific flight does not show any classes of service. OK so is that within the law? Now look carefully at the two different sets. In set one (yellow) you will see that the flight times are off by 5 mins. So the first flight on the combo might not be the actual same flight. Actually we checked with both the airline res and the airport and they are. In the second option (green) the equipment is different (777 vs 332).

This was a specific case we stumbled upon by accident but I firmly believe there are a large number of these instances where the GDS displays show more than the designated 2 options. It would seem that someone needs to go and check the correct compliance with the pertaining regulations.



PS before anyone starts on at me about the schedules being out of sync and this is an isolated example - I can show many more from different dates and times. Some airlines are worse than others.


Mark said...

Those are not standard displays from Sabre availability. Are you sure your screen shots are from Sabre and not another GDS? If they are from Sabre, there are displays using direct access requests to the airline reservation sytems availability displays - not Sabre host availability. If the data is incorrect, it is because is it incorrect in the airline reservation systems that the data was requested from. As code share flights are involved, that is likely the reason for the discrepencies.

Professor Sabena said...

Mark, thanks for your comment.

These displays were generated from the Sabre XML feed and then the data was presented onto an Excel spreadsheet for easy viewing. The data was from neutral display request using a single specific parameter which was the connecting city, as opposed to a direct connect type display where the logic is controlled from the airline side.