Chapter 3 Resources and reservations.
LEARNING OUTCOMES At the end of this chapter, the student should be able to: 1. Read and interpret flight schedules from the OAG Desktop Guide-North America resource. 2. Interpret the relevant data contained in the OAG Travel Planner series as they relate to airline travel. 3. Read and interpret flight availability displays from a major airline computer reservations system (CRS). 4. Describe how the Internet serves as an important resource for air travel information for the traveling public and travel professionals. 5. List the common questions to ask a client in order to find the most suitable flight schedule. 6. Make an airline reservation by telephone. 7. Interpret the automated passenger name record (PNR).
* city pair availability (CPA)
* computer reservations
* OAG Desktop Guide-North
* OAG Desktop Guide-Worldwide
* OAG Travel Planner
* passenger name record
* search engine
* service provider
* World Wide Web (WWW)
FROM PAPER TO ELECTRONICS
What makes a travel agent successful and a powerful force to reckon with in the tourism industry? What's even more important than what you know and who you know? It is knowing where to go to find the answers. You cannot possibly memorize everything you are expected to know as a travel professional-there is too much information and too many changes. The key is to know where to go to find the answers quickly and efficiently to service your clients.
OAG Desktop Guide-North America A trade resource that contains more than 220,000 flight schedules and related information between cities in North America.
Travel professionals use three major types of resources when researching and booking airline flights and related services: (1) the agency's computer reservations system (CRS), (2) printed flight schedule resources, and (3) the Internet. All three are used in conjunction with each other in the busy travel office.
The resource used the most frequently is the airline CRS. An agent's CRS can display flight schedules from Beijing, China, to Calcutta, India, just as easily as it can from Kansas City to Pittsburgh. The agency's computer is probably the number one resource used by travel professionals for airline schedules, airfares, and related information.
OAG Desktop Guide-Worldwide A trade resource that contains more than 600,000 flight schedules and related information between cities worldwide, including those in North America.
Another type of resource is the "paper" version of the CRS. The three major printed resources used in conjunction with the agency's CRS are the OAG Desktop Guide-North America, OAG Desktop Guide-Worldwide, and the OAG Travel Planner series. Both the CRS and these printed resources provide similar types of flight information, but there is one striking difference. The CRS shows both flight schedules and seat availability data for specific flights, whereas the OAG publications contain only flight schedule data such as flight numbers and departure and arrival times.
OAG Travel Planner A trade resource that is published in three editions and contains a variety of airline-related information, including destination facts, hotels, and general travel data.
The third important resource is the Internet. Unlike the agency's CRS, which is used only by travel professionals, the information contained on the Internet is there for anyone to view--travel professionals and their clients alike. To keep up with their computer-savvy clients, travel professionals use the Internet as a major resource and, in many cases, a marketing tool for the company.
First we will study these major reference guides: the OAG Desktop Guides and the Travel Planners.
OAG DESKTOP GUIDES
The OAG Desktop Guides consist of a series of air-travel-related publications for both industry professionals and the traveling public. The two major OAG resources used by agents are the OAG Desktop Guide-North America and the OAG Desktop Guide-Worldwide.
The OAG Desktop Guide-North America contains more than 220,000 flights throughout North America. This edition publishes flight schedules between points in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the West Indies (flights to and from Central America, which is considered to be part of North America, are not included in this edition). The North American edition is printed bimonthly and is issued on the first and fifteenth day of each month.
The OAG Desktop Guide-Worldwide contains more than 600,000 flights from a database of more than 800 airlines. The OAG Desktop Guide-Worldwide publishes flight schedules throughout the world, including North America (many schedules found in the North American edition are duplicated in the worldwide edition). This resource is printed monthly and is issued on the first day of each month.
[FIGURE 3-1 OMITTED]
In addition to the two OAG Desktop Guides, the publishers also offer a Pocket Flight Guide, a portable and smaller version, and an electronic OAG flight disk for the traveling public.
Flight schedule data comprise the largest section in the OAG. However, there are other useful types of air-related information contained in this resource such as airport diagrams, frequent-flier program details, airline route maps, airline clubs, baggage allowance policies, and credit-card acceptance for ticket purchase. Figure 3-1 shows a sample page from the OAG Desktop Guide-North America's table of contents.
Reading Flight Schedules
To look up flight schedules between two cities, first locate the destination (To) city. It is found in alphabetical order along the top of the pages. This city is called the headline city and is printed in large, boldface type.
Next, find the origin (From) city. It is also found in alphabetical order under the destination city. This is called the sideline city, and it is printed in smaller type. Here is an example: To find flights to Chicago, Illinois, from Richmond, Virginia, first locate the destination, Chicago, as the headline city. Next, locate the origin, Richmond, as the sideline city under Chicago.
The OAG schedule for flights to Chicago from Richmond is duplicated in Figure 3-2.
In the flight schedule sample shown in Figure 3-2, special codes and abbreviations are used to describe flight data. Similar codes are used when displaying flight schedules in the computer reservations systems. These codes are defined in the OAG section called "Airline Codes and Reference Marks," reprinted in Appendix B of this workbook. Refer to this section when necessary.
[FIGURE 3-2 OMITTED]
Breakdown of OAG Flight Schedule
1 Headline (destination) city data
To CHICAGO, ILLINOIS CST CHI O-ORD (O'HARE INTERNATIONAL) M-MDW (CHICAGO MIDWAY AIRPORT) C-CGX (MEIGS FIELD)
The first few lines provide information about the destination city. On the first line to the right, the time zone (CST for central standard time) and the city code (CHI) are shown for Chicago, Illinois.
2 Ground transportation data
CGX 1.0 MI E MDW 11.0 MI SW 45 MIN L $9.75 RA ORD 18.0 MI NW 60 MIN L $13.75 RA
The airports that serve the destination city are listed. Each airport is identified by a single-letter code that is used in the flight schedules. For example, the letter O is used to identify the airport code ORD, which is O'Hare International.
This provides useful information regarding ground transportation facilities at each airport in the destination city of Chicago. For each the distance, direction, and approximate travel time from the airport to downtown are shown. In the preceding example, MDW, Midway Airport, is located 11 miles southwest (SW) of the city of Chicago. It takes approximately 45 minutes to travel from Chicago to the airport.
This same line also shows the type of ground transportation available and the approximate cost from the airport to the destination city. Ground transportation codes are listed in the "Airline Codes & Reference Marks" section (Appendix B). The four codes used frequently are L = limousine, T = taxi, A = air taxi, and R = rental car. In the example, limousine (L) transportation is available and it costs approximately $9.75. Other types of ground transportation services available from the airport are rental cars and taxi service (RA).
3 Sideline (origin) city data
From RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 627 MI EST RIC
This section shows the origin (From) city in addition to air mileage between the origin and destination, the time zone of the origin city, and the origin city code. For example, there are 627 air miles between Richmond and Chicago, Richmond is located in the eastern standard time zone (EST), and the city code is RIC. (Time zone codes are shown this way: E = eastern, C = central, M = mountain, P = Pacific plus ST for standard time and DT for daylight savings time.)
4 Direct and nonstop schedules
Direct and nonstop flights are listed first. They are listed in chronological order (from the earliest to the latest departure). Each flight is described across one line of information. As you can see, there are nine columns of information provided for each flight. Let's take a look at the first flight departing at 7:00 A.M. It is duplicated below for your convenience.
Frequency Departure Arrival Airport Carrier Flight (days of Time Time Identifier Number operation) X56 7:00a 7:58a O DL 791 Frequency Classes of Type of Meal No. of (days of Service Aircraft Service Stops operation) X56 FYBMK 757 B/S 0 DL 791 DISCONTINUED AFTER 15 OCT
* Frequency: Shows the day(s) of the week the flight operates. Each day of the week is coded with a number: 1 = Monday, 2 = Tuesday, 3 = Wednesday, 4 = Thursday, 5 = Friday, 6 = Saturday, and 7 = Sunday. An X denotes the day(s) of the week the flight does not operate. Codes shown without an X indicate the day(s) the flight operates. No code shown in this column means the flight operates every day. For example, the frequency code for this first flight is X56, which means the flight operates every day except Friday and Saturday.
* Departure time: Shown in local time of the departure city. For example, this flight departs 7:00 A.M. Richmond local time.
* Arrival time: Shown in local time of the arrival city. For example, this flight arrives 7:58 A.M. Chicago local time.
* Airport identifier: Indicates into which airport the flight arrives. For example, this flight arrives into Chicago O'Hare International, which was identified by the letter "O".
* Carrier: Two-letter code of operating airline. For example, this flight is operated by Delta Air Lines. Note that a star symbol (*) that follows a carrier code indicates a code-sharing airline (the flight is operated by a different airline than the airline whose code is shown in the schedule). This is shown for United Airlines 5996.
* Flight number: Operating flight number. For example, the flight number is 791.
* Classes of service: Classes of service or reservation booking codes for the flight. For example, this flight has first class (F), standard coach class (Y), and three types of controlled-inventory or discounted classes: B, M, and K.
* Type of aircraft: Type of equipment operated. For example, this flight is operating a Boeing 757 jet aircraft.
* Meal service: Meal(s) served during the flight. Examples of meal codes are: B = breakfast, S = snack, L = lunch, R = brunch, D = dinner. If no slash is shown, meal service applies to all classes of service shown. A slash symbol (/) means a split meal service. Usually, service to the left of the slash is applicable to upper class such as first and business class; service to the right is applicable to coach class, including discounted classes. For example, on this Delta flight, breakfast is served in first-class cabin and snack is served in coach cabin.
* Number of stops: Indicates the number of intermediate stops the flight makes between the origin and destination city. For example, this flight makes no intermediate stops and is considered nonstop service.
Any additional information regarding a particular flight appears on the line directly below the listing. For example, Delta flight 791 is discontinued after October 15.
CHECK POINT 3-1
Refer to Figure 3-3 to answer fill-in questions 1 through 10.
1. Chicago O'Hare International is located -- miles from downtown.
2. The airport is located -- (show direction) from the city.
3. It takes approximately -- minutes by ground transportation to get from the city to O'Hare Airport and costs approximately $-- by limousine service.
4. The airport called -- is located the closest to the city of Chicago. Answer the following from the direct and nonstop flight schedule from Figure 3-3.
5. What time does Delta 366 depart Richmond? -- What time does this flight arrive into Chicago? --
6. Into which airport does Delta 366 arrive (write out full name)? -- On what day(s) of the week does Delta 366 operate? --
7. Your client wants the latest arrival into Chicago Midway Airport next Monday. What airline and flight number would you recommend from the schedule shown? --
8. Your client is traveling in coach class on the 5:08 P.M. arrival. What is the first date this flight starts operating? --
9. Your client is traveling coach on the 7:58 A.M. arrival. What meal will she be served during this flight? --
10. Which flight number is being operated under a code-share agreement? --. Briefly explain your answer: --
[FIGURE 3-3 OMITTED]
5 Connecting schedules
Connecting flights are listed separately after direct and nonstop services. Standard connections or single connections are composed of two flights through a connecting city. Therefore, the flight data concerning a connection are printed on two lines of information.
It should be noted here that there are double connections, which are composed of three flights through two connecting cities. Double connections are sometimes found on some international routes.
A connection is easy to spot because the departure time from the origin city is in boldface print. The arrival time into the final destination city appears on the second line in the same boldface print.
Figure 3-4 is the connecting flight section from the same schedule-Richmond to Chicago.
There are four connections from Richmond to Chicago in our example. The same columns of information appear and the only difference is that the connecting service appears on two lines of information rather than only one.
[FIGURE 3-4 OMITTED]
The first connection departs Richmond at 7:20 A.M. and arrives at the connecting city of PIT (Pittsburgh) at 8:35 A.M. The first flight of the connection is US Airways flight number 938. As you can see, the five classes of service on this first flight have the codes of F, Y, B, M, H. The type of aircraft is an M80. Meal service on the Richmond to Pittsburgh leg is snack in first class only. This flight is also nonstop.
The passenger deplanes in Pittsburgh and boards the second flight of the connection. The second flight departs Pittsburgh at what time? (Right, 9:30 A.M.). What time does this flight arrive at the final destination of Chicago? (Right, 10:04 A.M.). The letter identifier of O means that the flight arrives into Chicago O'Hare Airport. What is the airline and flight number for this second segment? (Right, US 336)
Notice that the frequency code appears under the left column, in front of the first flight of the connection. The frequency code of X67 means that this entire connection operates every day except Saturday and Sunday.
Now, take a look at the next connection departing Richmond at 9:55 A.M. This flight arrives at the final destination of Chicago at 12:10 P.M. If a connection either is discontinued or goes into effect on a certain date this information is always noted under the first column on the second line of the connection. The D-30OCT means that this connection is discontinued after October 30. If a connection goes into effect on a certain date, this would be indicated by an "E" followed by the date.
CHECK POINT 3-2
Refer to Figure 3-5 (connecting flight section of the Richmond to Chicago flight schedule) to answer fill-in questions 1 through 8.
Your client, who is departing Richmond next Wednesday, wants the latest departure shown on this schedule. Fill in questions 1 through 4:
1. She is departing Richmond at -- and arriving in the connecting city of -- (full name) at -- (time). The first flight of this connection is on -- Airlines flight number -- . The five classes of service operated on this flight are -- , -- , -- , and -- (show codes). This is a -- (nonstop or direct) flight to the connection city.
2. The second flight of this connection departs the connecting city at -- and arrives into Chicago at -- . The airport of arrival is -- (full name). The second flight of this connection is on -- Airlines flight number -- . The same classes of service are available on this flight, and it is also a -- flight.
3. This connection operates every day except for -- .
4. This connection will first operate (or will go into effect) on -- . Your client is traveling November 12 (Thursday) on the earliest connection departing Richmond. Answer questions 5 through 8.
5. What time is she departing Richmond? --
6. What time will she arrive into her final destination of Chicago? --
7. Through which city is she connecting? --
8. If she travels in first class, will she receive an in-flight meal (yes or no)? -- If yes, what type of meal? -- On which airline and flight number is she served a meal? -- Refer to Figure 3-6, OAG schedule from Denver to Washington, D.C., to answer questions 9 through 20.
9. Name the airport that is located the closest to downtown Washington, D.C. -- How many miles is it from the city? -- miles
10. Approximately how long does it take to drive from Dulles International Airport to Washington, D.C.? -- minutes
11. How many air miles does a passenger fly from Denver, Colorado, to Washington, D.C., if he travels nonstop? -- air miles
12. Your client wants to fly from Denver to Baltimore Airport on July 22, which is a Tuesday. What is the earliest departure time on either a nonstop or direct flight? -- Name the airline and flight number that operates this flight.--
13. What airline and flight number operates a daily direct flight during August? --
14. What time does the direct lunch flight arrive into Washington, D.C.? --
15. Your client is traveling coach class on Northwest Airline's direct flight. What meal(s) is/are served in her cabin? --
16. Your client is on a Trans World Airlines connection. Name the city where she changes planes: --
17. Your client is on the US Airways connection through Pittsburgh. Fill in the information regarding this flight.
a. This flight departs Denver at -- (time) and arrives into Pittsburgh at -- (time).
b. The first flight number is -- .
c. The connecting flight is on US Airways number -- .
d. The connecting flight departs Pittsburgh at -- (time) and arrives into -- (name the airport in Washington) at -- (time).
e. A -- meal is served on US flight number -- between the cities of -- and --.
18. What is the last date the TWA connection operates? --
19. What is the first date the US Airways connection through Charlotte operates? --
20. Your client wants to arrive into Ronald Reagan National Airport between 2:00 P.M. and 3:00 P.M. Write the airline and flight number(s) you would suggest from this schedule. --
[FIGURE 3-5 OMITTED]
[FIGURE 3-6 OMITTED]
OAG TRAVEL PLANNER
Picture this: Your client just called you to plan her next trip. To where? To a small town called Lakeville, Connecticut. Needless to say, this town doesn't have its own airport. You can't find it in the OAG or even in your computer. Where do you go for more information?
Another client calls. A couple wants you to plan a trip to visit colleges for their son next fall. They want to visit Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky. You check; there is no airport in Wilmore. How do you get them there?
One solution is to drag out a very detailed atlas, try to locate these places, and judge where the closest airports may be. This would take a lot of time, and you may not come up with the most accurate answer.
The best resource to answer these types of questions and more is the OAG Travel Planner. The same company that issues the Official Airline Guides publishes the Travel Planner. The Travel Planner is published in three volumes: North America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific.
Travel agencies subscribe to one or more volumes of the Travel Planner, which are issued four times per year or on a seasonal basis. The Travel Planner series is one of the most useful and handy resource tools that a travel agent can use because of the variety of information contained in the volumes.
Each Travel Planner is divided into three main sections:
1. Destination Facts: This section is categorized into three parts: City Basics, Air and Ground Transportation, and Maps and Airport Diagrams.
2. Hotel Listings: Hotel listings are organized by area: city; airport; and, for major destinations, by suburban location. For many hotels listed, the following data are provided: property name, address, location (city, airport, suburban), rate range, guest facilities, hotel representatives and reservation numbers, and agency commission policy.
3. General Travel: The Travel Planner contains a variety of air-related information such as city maps; hotel locator maps; frequent-flier programs; passport and visa information; nearest airport services for colleges, universities, and military installations; and toll-free numbers for a variety of travel suppliers.
Figure 3-7 shows a sample page from the table of contents. Let's look at a few examples from the Business Travel Planner.
Section 1: Destination Facts
This is the main section of the Travel Planner. It contains listings for the following areas, in this order: United States, Canada, Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, Mexico. There are limited data regarding Central and South America destinations. Cities and towns are listed alphabetically under each geographical area. Practically all cities and towns-large and small--are represented in the Travel Planner, those that are served by an airport and even those that are not.
The amount of information varies. Major cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, New York, or Washington, D.C., contain more detail with airport diagrams and city and hotel locator maps. Smaller cities and towns will have basic information.
Figure 3-8 is the destination listing for Lakeville, Connecticut. As you can see, it provides useful information.
Notice the following:
* Area code for the town (860)
* Time zone (eastern time)
* Nearest airport(s) with airport codes, names, mileage, and direction from the airport to the city/town
[FIGURE 3-7 OMITTED]
[FIGURE 3-8 OMITTED]
By looking at the sample listing for Lakeville, Connecticut, what is the nearest airport that serves this town? (Right, Poughkeepsie, New York, is located 30 miles southwest of Lakeville.) Alternative airports are also provided. What is the next closest airport? (Right, Newburgh, New York, is located 45 miles from Lakeville.) How about one of the major airports? How far is La Guardia Airport in New York? (Right, it is 95 miles south of Lakeville.)
Accommodations are also listed. What are the names of the three properties listed? Which one is the most expensive? (Right, Interlaken Inn has an approximate room rate range from $109 to $175.)
Now, let's take a look at a listing for a larger city in the "Destination Facts" section. Figure 3-9 is a sample page for Nashville, Tennessee. Refer to this page as we guide you through the following description.
Quick-at-a-glance data. The first few lines of the Nashville listing show the total number of hotels listed in the Travel Planner for the destination. It also shows the average minimum room rate for each category or classification. The American Automobile Association (AAA), which rates accommodations, uses crown symbols. One crown denotes a budget property with basic amenities; five crowns, the best rating, denotes the most luxurious property.
General locator map. Each major destination has an easy-to-read map showing general locations of major suburban/resort areas and airport(s) in the general area. It also shows major highway and expressway routes in and out of the city.
Airport data. This section provides the name of the airport(s) with distance in miles and direction from the city. This section also lists the airlines that serve the airport plus the car rental companies and air charters available.
Climate. The climate chart is an easy way to find answers to typical questions about the weather and what clothes to pack. The chart provides average high and low temperatures throughout the year and amount of rainfall.
Ground transportation. This section tells you what types of public and private ground transportation are available between the airport and downtown/suburban areas. It also provides approximate travel time and costs for each type of service.
Convention facilities and major events. If you are planning a convention or other type of meeting event for your clients, this section provides a list of convention centers along with addresses and phone contacts. Telephone contacts for the area's Chambers of Commerce or Convention and Visitors Bureau are listed. These organizations are helpful in providing general travel brochures, posters, or media presentations such as slides or videos regarding the destination. Also in this section is a list of some major events that are scheduled for the season.
Hotel listing. In addition to being a useful resource for air-travel-related information, the Travel Planner is also used as an accommodation guide. Hotels are listed by location; city hotels are listed first followed by airport and suburban locations.
In addition to the standard hotel data that you need to book a hotel (rates, addresses, phone contacts, and so on), this section also lists the hotel reservation service or representative that you would contact to make the reservation. Each reservation company has a two- or three-letter reference code. A list of these reservation companies with toll-free numbers is located in a separate section of the Travel Planner.
[FIGURE 3-9 OMITTED]
[FIGURE 3-10 OMITTED]
City/hotel locator map. A useful feature in the Travel Planner is city maps that identify major streets, attractions, and selected hotels. A reference number identifies each hotel on the map. These reference numbers are listed directly below the map for easy reference. This type of detailed map is provided for major cities.
Airport diagram. Diagrams of major airports feature ticketing and gate locations, passenger facilities, airline club locations, and an overview of the airport area. Figure 3-10 is a diagram of Nashville International Airport that is included in the city and hotel listing section. Use these diagrams to let connecting passengers know how far they have to walk from one departure gate to another. Airport diagrams also locate and identify passenger service areas such as parking facilities, restaurants, currency exchange centers, duty-free shops, and baggage claim areas.
CHECK POINT 3-3
Refer to the Travel Planner sample sections for Nashville, Tennessee, provided in Figures 3-9 and 3-10, to answer the following questions:
1. How many hotels in Nashville are listed in the Travel Planner? --
2. What is the average minimum room rate for a hotel rated with four crowns (superior or excellent accommodations)? --
3. What is the area code for Nashville? --
4. In what time zone is Nashville located? --
5. Nashville is located in the -- (northern, southern, eastern, or western) part of the state.
6. Name the major suburban area located directly south of the city. --
7. Circle the airlines from these listed that serve Nashville: UA CO AA HP US JI TW CP
8. Which of the following car rental companies is not located at the Nashville Airport? Thrifty Alamo Budget Allstate Car Rental Rent-A-Wreck
9. Your corporate client wants to charter a plane from a company called Corp. America Aviation. What number would you call for more information? --
10. What month of the year has the most rainfall? --
11. Your client wants to vacation in Nashville when it is the warmest and the least likely to rain. Which one of the following months would you recommend? September April August May
12. Your client will be taking a taxi from the airport to his meeting in downtown Nashville. What is the approximate driving time? -- What is the approximate cost for a cab? $ --
13. There is also a city or metro bus available on a schedule basis. How long does it take by bus? -- Approximately how much does it cost? $ --
14. If your clients want to be met by private limousine or van, there are several private transportation companies from which to choose. What number would you call to obtain rates for Carey Limos/Nashville? --
15. You are planning a convention for 200 participants that will take place in Nashville. You want to find out availability and rates at the Opryland Hotel for this event. What is the local phone number that you would call? --
16. Your client is attending the Home Decorating & Remodeling Consumer Show in Nashville. In which month and on what dates does this event take place? --
17. Your clients are planning a vacation to Nashville next year. Your office is out of general travel brochures and posters of the area. What number would you call for more information? --
18. Your client wants to stay in downtown Nashville at the Courtyard by Marriott. What is the room rate range for this hotel? -- How many rooms does this property have? --
19. Which hotel below is located near the airport?
a. Hallmark Inn V
b. Crowne Plaza
c. Fiddlers Inn-North
d. Days Inn Opryland South
20. Your client is staying at the Doubletree Hotel, and you need to contact her at the hotel. What number would you call? --
21. Name the hotel with reference code number 8 on the map. --
22. Which hotel is located the closest and within easy walking distance of the state Capitol?
a. Shoney's Inn
b. Econo Lodge Central
c. Crowne Plaza
d. Renaissance Nashville Hotel
23. The Union Station Hotel is on the corner of 10th Avenue North and -- .
24. Name the river that flows through downtown Nashville. --
25. Nashville International Airport has four arrival/departure gate areas or concourses. Which of the following connections would require the greatest amount of walking between flights for a connecting passenger?
a. CO to NW
b. US to TW
c. DL to NW
d. AA to UA
26. Your client will be parking at the airport for three days. Approximately how much will it cost her in the long-term parking area? $ --
COMPUTER RESERVATIONS SYSTEM (CRS)
computer reservations system (CRS) An electronic system that links travel agencies with airlines and other suppliers to a centralized storehouse or database of information.
More than 96 percent of all travel agencies are automated with at least one airline computer reservations system (CRS). A computer reservations system is an electronic system that links travel agencies with airlines and other suppliers to a centralized storehouse or database of information. Most computer reservations systems that are used by travel agencies are owned and operated by airlines.
city pair availability (CPA) An electronic display of a flight schedule for a given travel date, city pair, and desired time of departure or arrival.
Travel agents use the CRS to book flights and other types of services such as hotels and car rentals. When booking flights on the CRS, travel agents first request flight availability for a given travel date, city pair, and desired time of departure or arrival. We call this process requesting city pair availability (CPA).
Let's look at an example of city pair availability. Your client wants schedules and seat availability on flights departing April 21 from Boston to Denver, departing at about 9:00 A.M. To request CPA on the Sabre system, you would enter 121APRBOSDEN9A. The "1" in the entry identifies this as an availability request, followed by the travel date (21APR), city pair in code (BOSDEN), and desired time of departure (9A). A city pair availability is then displayed on the screen.
The display shows what airlines and flight numbers operate between Boston and Denver on April 21. Important information such as departure/arrival times, type of equipment, and meal service is also displayed. This is similar to the listing in the OAG. However, there is one major difference: the computer displays the number of seats available in each class of service. This number represents the number of seats the travel agency can sell through the computer at one time.
Figure 3-11 shows a sample CPA for our request for flights on April 21, from Boston to Denver, departing around 9:00 A.M.:
Breakdown of Sample CPA:
1 The first header line shows a repeat of the availability request made by the agent: 121APRBOSDEN9A.
2 The second header line displays the date requested and the day of the week (Thursday). It also displays the origin city and time zone. For example, BOS/EST means that Boston (the origin) is located in the eastern standard time zone. In addition, the destination city and time zone are also displayed. For example, DEN/MST-2 means that Denver is located in the mountain standard time zone and is two time zones earlier than the origin city.
3 The next section displays up to six lines of flight availability. The agent can display additional schedules with a simple entry. The computer displays the "best" flights first based on the time requested. Unlike in the OAG, direct, nonstop, and connecting services are not necessarily separated and can be displayed together on one screen. In our example, the direct and nonstop flights happen to be listed first, followed by two connections.
[FIGURE 3.11 OMITTED]
Let's take a look at the first flight departing at 8:55 A.M.
1CO 65 F3 Y7 B1 M7 Q7 BOSDEN 5 855A 1121A AB3 B 0 XJ 1 Line display number CO Airline code 65 Flight number F3 Y7 B1 M7 Q7 Classes of service and number of seats available to sell in each BOSDEN From/to cities 5 Percent of on-time service (5 means that the flight arrives/departs within fifteen minutes of the published schedule between 50 to 59 percent of the time) 855A 1121A Departure and arrival times AB3 Type of aircraft B Meal service; a slash in this column means split meal service 0 Number of intermediate stops XJ Days of operation (this CRS uses these codes to identify the days of the week codes: M = Monday, T = Tuesday, W = Wednesday, Q = Thursday, F = Friday, J = Saturday, S = Sunday)
CHECK POINT 3-4
Refer to the CPA display (Figure 3-12) to answer the following questions:
1. You are requesting flight availability from Boston to Denver on April 21. What day of the week is this? --
2. Continental Airlines flight number 65 departs 8:55 A.M. Boston local time. What time would it be in Denver at the same time? --
3. Your client is booked on United 161. What time does it depart Boston? -- What time does it arrive into Denver? --
4. What day(s) of the week does UA 161 operate? --
5. Which flight has a better on-time performance record: Northwest 723 or United 161? --
6. How many first class seats are available to sell on the 11:00 A.M. arrival? -- How many seats are available to sell in the discounted class of service Q? --
7. You have a party of four people traveling together from Boston to Denver next Sunday in first class. They want the earliest departure from Boston that shows available. Select the flight service (either nonstop, direct, or connection) you would book them on.
What time does this flight depart Boston? -- What time does it arrive into Denver? --
Your client is on the American Airlines connection (shown in Figure 3-12). Answer fill-in questions 8 through 12 regarding this flight.
8. The first flight segment is flown on American Airlines flight number -- . This flight departs Boston at -- and arrives into the connecting city of -- (write out full name) at -- .
9. The second flight segment departs the connecting city at -- and arrives into Denver at -- .
10. Which of the two flights is operating a wide-body aircraft? (write the aircraft code for the flight) --
11. Your client is traveling in coach class. What meal is served on the first flight segment? __________________ What meal is served on the second flight segment? --
12. This connection operates every day except -- .
[FIGURE 3-12 OMITTED]
THE INTERNET: GOLD RUSH IN CYBERSPACE
Picture the Gold Rush of 1849 in progress and you will get an idea of the Wild West momentum of travel agencies and suppliers taking their products and services on-line. Less than a decade ago, finding travel-related web sites was a real challenge; they were few and far between. Today, there are thousands, and more pop up every day on the Internet. The Internet is a vast communication network that links computers worldwide. This global network is becoming a major force in the travel industry.
Internet A vast communication network that links computers worldwide.
A recent survey conducted for the travel industry that was reported in Travel & Interactive Technology indicates an enormous increase in travel revenue generated on the Internet. In 1996 only about $300 million of sales was generated over the Internet; three years later in 1999, cyber-sales jumped to $3.2 billion; and in 2002 this will increase to more than $9 billion. Every indication is that this trend will continue at an even faster pace.
Today, anyone with a telephone line and a modem can buy just about anything they want directly from the suppliers. Everyone has web sites: airlines, cruise lines, hotel chains, and tour companies are advertising their products and offering to deal directly with their customers on-line. Does this prospect pose a threat to travel agencies? Some may think so, but those that do are probably not linked up and using the Internet to their advantage.
Travel agents need to be as computer-savvy as their clients. If a client calls his agent with news of a really great airfare he saw on the Internet over the weekend, the travel agent must be aware of it too, or know how to retrieve the same information.
Most travel agencies are on-line, and every day more join the ranks in using cyberspace to their advantage. Travel agents use this technology in a variety of ways. The four major reasons and benefits for travel professionals to access the Internet are communications, marketing, informational services, and product sales.
Communications allows travel agents to send and receive messages to suppliers and their clients instantaneously around the world. The two methods of communication that are possible between any on-line computers are electronic mail (E-mail) and fax transmissions.
Marketing allows travel agents to advertise and communicate with prospects who live around the corner in town or who reside halfway around the world. This instant communication makes marketing a company's products more convenient and effective and, most important, less expensive.
Informational services provide one of the best tools for research. It is like having a low-cost 800-number system to anyone, or any database, located anywhere in the world. Agents can get just about anything on the Internet, from descriptions and maps of destinations to taking a virtual tour inside a cruise ship.
Product sales in cyberspace provide a growing number of travel agencies and other service companies the power of reaching customers anywhere in the world and reaping immediate sales through direct bookings. A growing number of travel agencies have their own web sites and offer direct bookings for their customers.
Following are some ways the Internet is affecting travel agencies and how they do business:
1. Corporations are installing systems to create their own corporate travel sites--places where employees can complete their own bookings, which are queued or sent electronically to the company's travel agency for ticketing and related services.
2. The number of intranets (not Internet) between agencies and their corporate clients is growing. An intranet is an internal, private communication link within a company or other organization that uses Internet and web technologies. Think of an intranet as being a closed or private Internet link between selected individuals or companies.
Intranet An internal, private communication link within a company or other organization that uses internet and web technologies. Companies offer their traveling employees reservation capabilities on their office computers or notebooks (laptops) via an intranet link directly to their travel agency. Reservations are electronically sent to the travel agency for ticket completion, delivery, and follow-up.
Airlines on the Internet
Hundreds of travel companies, tourist boards, and publications have taken their products and services on-line. In comparison to other travel suppliers, the airlines probably have the largest number of web sites. They are using the Internet to display a huge quantity of information such as flight schedules, prices and discounts, and other related services.
A CRASH COURSE: TEST YOUR CYBERSPACE IQ Here are some basic questions and answers that can serve as a brief "Internet 101" course for soon-to-be travel professionals. Q: What is the Internet anyway? The Internet is the world's largest network of computers. It can also be said that it is the worldwide "network of networks" through which all computers with a telephone line and a modem can communicate almost instantaneously with each other anywhere in the world. One expert likened the Internet to a library of information over which no one has control because it is not operated by any one entity. service provider Company that provides access to the Internet for a fee. Examples include America Online, CompuServe, Prodigy, or Microsoft Net. Q: How can I access the Internet? One way is to subscribe to a commercial online service provider such as America Online, CompuServe, Prodigy, or Microsoft Net, which provide Internet access. These services are controlled by corporations that charge monthly fees for a specified amount of time. Other ways to access the Internet are through national Internet access providers, such as AT&T and Netcom, and local service providers. Q: What is the World Wide Web? The World Wide Web (WWW) is the informational heart of the Internet. It is the means by which information, including graphics and other images, is accessed on the Internet. The Web uses highlighted text and graphics called hyperlinks. When you click on a hyperlink, you are transported to another web site or page that provides additional information about the topic. For example, click on the highlighted word Rome and it takes you to maps, restaurants, and attractions of the city. World Wide Web (WWW) Part of the Internet that provides the means to access information on the Internet through graphics and other images. Q: How do I get on-line? hyperlink Highlighted text and graphics on the World Wide Web that when clicked, transport the user to related web sites and additional information. You need three basic things: 1. You will need either a stand-alone computer and modem, independent of an agency's computer reservations system terminal, or a CRS terminal that supports web technology. At the time of this text publication, the majority of computer reservations systems do not have the necessary hardware or software to support web technology. However, it is expected that most all of the major airline computer reservations systems will also offer direct Internet access through the same agency terminal within a few years. 2. An on-line service provider or access company is also needed. 3. You will need to learn how to use "browser" software, which is generally provided free from access providers. browser Type of software or computer program that allows you to move around or navigate the World Wide Web. Q: What is browser software? A browser is a type of software or computer program that allows you to access information stored on the World Wide Web. Browsers allow you to move around, or navigate, the Web. Microsoft Explorer, Netscape, and Netcruiser are three common browsers. search engine A type of index for web sites that helps users find sites by typing keywords or subjects. Examples include AltaVista, Dogpile, HotBot, Snap, and Excite. Q: What is a search engine? A search engine is a type of index for web sites. Think of how you use an index at the back of a textbook; a search engine does the same thing. It helps you find web sites when you type in "keywords," just as you would look up a topic in a book using an index of keywords. Some recommended search engines for travel information include AltaVista, Atevo, Northern Light, Dogpile, Excite, HotBot, and Snap. They all vary in how they index the information. Try them out!
Keeping up with this vast resource is a challenge to everyone, both home users and travel professionals alike. Travel agents frequently get calls from their clients about airfares lower than what shows on the agency's computer system or other travel-related information found on the Internet.
This doesn't leave travel agents off the hook. They must be as computer-savvy as their clients. Agents must be able to search the Web and pull out useful information. Because many travelers are surfing on their own, their travel agents must know what their clients are looking at and how to find it themselves.
Airline Web Sites
Almost every major airline has its own web site. Not only are these web pages a form of advertising but they also include information for travel agents and their clients. Most airlines allow the general public to book flight reservations and related services from their web sites. The good news is that a minority of users are actually booking on-line; they are checking information out on the Internet but they want a travel professional to buy it for them, complete documents, and perform other services in preparation of a trip. In fact, current figures indicate that less than 2 percent of airline bookings are being made via the Internet. What users are doing is finding information about flights and airfares, then contacting their travel agents for more information and to book trips for them.
The airline web sites offer information related to airline bookings in addition to related services such as car rental and hotel information. These sites are "user-friendly," with users typing in their "from-to" cities and dates of travel in text boxes. Other prompts such as number of people traveling and preferred class of service are also displayed.
Figure 3-13 is an example of a typical airline web page. It prompts users to fill in their departure and arrival cities either by entering the full name or by code. The departure and return dates are also entered in the boxes provided. With a simple click, the full flight schedule information is displayed on the screen.
Figure 3-14 is an example of a typical flight schedule display that might appear on an airline web page.
To reserve a specific flight from this display, the user clicks the select button on the same line as the flight appears. The data displayed for each flight is the flight number; departure and arrival times; seat availability in first, business, and coach classes; and the type of aircraft operated.
[FIGURE 3-13 OMITTED]
[FIGURE 3-14 OMITTED]
What is the major difference between looking up flights in the OAG publication or through the agency's CRS and the airline's web site? The OAG and CRS provide flight schedules for all airlines operating the route. The airline's web site will be more biased; it will display the nonstop, direct, and on-line connecting flights it operates. It may display other airlines only when combined in off-line or interline connecting flights.
Travel Booking Sites
Many travel agencies, like airlines and other suppliers, have web sites. Some agency web sites are more comprehensive and sophisticated than others. Agency web sites range from the very basic, containing information only, to highly sophisticated and elaborate sites with direct booking options.
Most travel agencies have information-only web sites. These sites are designed to promote the agency's products and services, and the consumer is urged to contact or visit the agency to book. These are the traditional "brick-and-mortar" travel agencies-they maintain physical offices where most business is conducted.
The Web has spawned a new type of travel company-the full-service on-line travel agency. Some examples of popular online agencies include Preview Travel, Expedia, and Biztravel. These are not traditional brick-and-mortar travel agencies because they do not conduct their business in buildings; they are found only on the Internet. They are full-service because they offer practically all products that the traditional agency offers its clients such as airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and tours. Some track frequentflier mileage, provide destination guides, and create maps. Figure 3-15 is an example of a typical display from an on-line travel site.
This display shows the results of a user requesting flight reservations, in the order of least to most expensive, from New Orleans to St. Louis.
[FIGURE 3-15 OMITTED]
CHECK POINT 3-5
Circle the best answer.
1. Travel agents use the Internet to
a. communicate with clients and each other.
b. market their products and services.
c. research products and destinations.
d. All of the above.
2. An internal or private web communication link between users within a company or between designated users is called an
a. internal web. c. external net.
b. intranet. d. internet.
3. What is the major difference between looking up flights in the OAG publication or the agency's CRS and an airline's web site?
a. An airline's web site is easier to read.
b. An airline's web site will present its own flights almost to the exclusion of others.
c. An airline's web site shows only direct and nonstop flights.
d. Fares are more expensive when booking on the Web.
4. Preview Travel, Expedia, and Biztravel are examples of
a. on-line travel companies. c. on-line service providers.
b. web sites operated by airlines. d. search engines.
5. Browser software allows you to
a. send a fax transmission. c. navigate the Internet.
b. make purchases on the Internet. d. send E-mail without a modem.
6. America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy are examples of
a. search engines. c. booking engines.
b. on-line service providers. d. intranets.
7. This helps you find web sites by typing in one or more keywords or phrases.
a. Browser c. Table of contents
b. Index link d. Search engine
8. The World Wide Web allows users to click on these to be transported to additional web sites or pages of information related to a highlighted word or phrase.
a. Hyperlinks c. Jump links
b. Chain links d. Page links
RESERVATIONS AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
The key to selling just about anything in travel is the ability to size up your clients' needs and matching them with the right product. This is called qualifying the client. To qualify the client, you must know the right questions to ask to determine those needs and make a successful match.
To search for the right flight schedule, you should know the following about the who, what, where, and how of your client's trip plans before booking the reservation. Be prepared to find out the following before making the airline reservation either through telephone handling or through the agency's computer reservations service:
Personal data. This is the who of the qualifying process: who is traveling and other pertinent data.
Passenger names and titles. Obtain the accurate spelling of each passenger's name. The full first name of the passenger is preferred for domestic ticketing and required for international; your best bet is to stick with getting full first names of all passengers in all cases.
Ages of children. Find out the ages of any children traveling. This may have significance when you determine the lowest possible airfare. Passenger phone contact. The airline requires at least one phone contact for the passengers; it is preferable to have both home and business.
Address. Obtain the address of one passenger for mailing of tickets and/or invoice.
Form of payment. Will the passenger be paying by cash, check, or credit card? If payment is by credit card, obtain the following information: (1) type of card, (2) account number, (3) expiration date, and (4) cardholder's name.
Contact person. Obtain the name of the person who contacted the agency. This person is the one you would contact with any confirmations, updates, or changes to the booking. The contact may be one of the passengers or a secretary from one of the agency's commercial accounts.
Flight data. This is the what, where, when, and how of the qualifying process.
Desired routing. Find out where your client wants to go. This may sound quite obvious, but there are some pitfalls. Beware of cities with the same name. If your client wants to go to Portland, don't assume Oregon when he really wanted to go to Maine!
Also, find out the desired airport. If the city is served by more than one major airport, this can be a very important factor. For example, if your client has a business meeting in Oak Lawn, a small suburb south of Chicago, booking a flight into Midway Airport, and not O'Hare, would be the better choice.
Date of each flight segment. Obtain accurate information from the client about dates and times of travel. Learn to convert conversational information into verifiable information. For example, the client says, "I would like a flight to Des Moines next Thursday. I will be in Des Moines for a three-day meeting and returning home." Why is this vague? Your client's "next Thursday" may not be the same as yours. Your response is to verify with a date: "Okay, I will get a flight for you on Thursday, October 11." Also don't assume that the client's "three days" means a three-night stay. Again, verify with a date: "Okay, we have you departing on Thursday, October 11, spending three nights in Des Moines, and returning on Sunday, October 14. Is that correct?"
Desired class of service. Don't always assume every client wants to travel the cheapest way possible. Many agents make the mistake of selling "down" to a client by first offering the least expensive product. The best way to handle this is to ask, "Will that be first, business, or coach class?" Some business travelers prefer to fly business or first class on long-distance trips and may have the financial ability to do so. Or the couple on a honeymoon or special anniversary trip may want to splurge a little.
Special requests. It is not true that flying on "Brand A" is just like "Brand B" and so on. Many travelers have personal preferences regarding the airline, type of aircraft, and special in-flight services.
Airline preference. This preference may be based on personal or financial reasons. If personal, the choice of which airline to fly may be based on the same reasons you choose one brand of ice cream over another at the grocery store: personal experience and taste. Airline preference for business travelers is often determined by membership in a particular airline's frequent-flier program. The preference may be a requirement mandated by the company. Some companies have special discount fares that they have negotiated with their preferred airlines. Business travelers are often required to book their travel on these preferred carriers.
Type of aircraft preference. This may be a question of personal preference or comfort. When given a choice, some travelers prefer to fly on large wide-body aircraft such as the 747, 767, 777, D10, L10, or M11, which can provide more room.
In addition, some passengers are concerned about flying on commuter or small regional airlines that operate small turboprop or propeller aircraft. Be especially careful when booking a connection between two code-sharing airlines. For example, the flight schedule may read US Airways from Charlotte, North Carolina, all the way to Portland, Maine. However, the connecting flight from Boston to Portland is operated by US Airways' code-share partner called Business Express, which operates small turboprops carrying less than twenty passengers.
In-flight services. Special requests such as seat assignments and special meals are also other items you can suggest. Ask whether your client has a seating preference; normally everyone does. If the seating is three across, select the window or aisle seat (no one really requests a middle seat). If your client is traveling on a full meal flight, ask for any special meal requests. Airlines offer a variety of meals that must be requested in advance: infant/baby food, meals for diabetics and children, and low-calorie, vegetarian, and seafood meals, for example.
CHECK POINT 3-6
CASE STUDY: Your client, Mrs. Bradley, is contacting you for travel plans. Based on the following typical request, list all the questions you would ask to qualify this client.
Mrs Bradley: "Hi, we are planning a trip to New York next Friday. Can you get the earliest flight departure? We want to spend four days in New York before returning to Chicago on a late afternoon flight. So what do you have available and how much will it cost?"
List at least eight questions you would ask Mrs. Bradley to qualify her for the best travel arrangements:
AIRLINE RESERVATIONS: TELEPHONE HANDLING
Most airline reservations are booked through the CRS or by telephone. The majority of airline bookings are completed on the agency computer reservations system. However, there are situations when the agent uses the telephone. A good example is when the computer is experiencing "downtime," which means it is not operating temporarily due to a variety of reasons.
In this section we will study how to contact an airline and book a reservation through telephone handling. All major airlines have toll-free numbers for reservations. In most cases, travel agencies use special numbers to contact reservation centers; as a rule they do not use the same reservation numbers that are used by the general public. The airline reservation agents who answer calls on the travel agency lines are specially trained to respond to the questions and needs of travel professionals. That means that as a travel agent, you should provide the airline with passenger information, flight data, and special requests in a concise and professional manner.
It is a well-known fact that airline reservation agents are evaluated on the amount of time they spend on each call. The standard time it takes to complete one reservation is three minutes. That means there is no time for idle chitchat; you have to be ready to provide passenger and flight information necessary to complete the booking.
Who to Contact?
The first question is which airline to contact? If your client is traveling on-line or on the same airline throughout the journey, then you do not have a choice.
However, if the client is traveling on two or more different airlines,
who do you call? Do you call each airline individually? The answer is no; you should contact one airline to book all the segments of the trip. The general rule is to contact the first airline participating in the itinerary. If you have a client traveling on Trans World Airlines from New York to Las Vegas and returning on American, you should book with TWA. Almost all airlines are electronically linked and are able to reserve seats on other carriers' flights.
The exception to the "first airline" rule is when the first carrier is a small commuter airline that is not allied with a major carrier. In most cases these smaller airlines do not have the advanced computer technology that the major carriers have. You would contact the first major carrier on the itinerary. Here's an example:
Flight 1: From Rochester to Syracuse, New York, on Mall Airways
Flight 2: From Syracuse to Chicago, Illinois, on American Airlines
Flight 3: From Chicago to Los Angeles, California, on United Airlines
Because the first carrier, Mall Airways, is a small commuter airline, it would be more efficient to contact the first major carrier, American Airlines. American Airlines reservations can contact Mall Airways and United Airlines through its computers, and book all flights for you.
Flight Data Sequence
When you are booking flights, the airline reservation agent is entering the data into the computer terminal while you are speaking. Flight data such as the flight number and class of service must be entered in a specific sequence. Be prepared to provide the following data in exactly this sequence:
2. Flight number
3. Class of service
4. Date of travel
5. From and to cities
6. Number of passengers
This same sequence is followed when travel agents book flights through the agency's CRS.
Here is a typical telephone conversation between a travel agent (TA) and a US Airways reservation agent (US). The agent is making the following booking:
* Passenger names: Robert and Susan Burton (Mr. and Mrs.)
* Flight segment 1: Columbus, Ohio, to New York La Guardia on US 920, March 9, coach class
* Flight segment 2: from New York La Guardia to Columbus on US 691, March 12, first class
Greeting and state purpose of call:
US: Hello, this is Jerry at US Airways. How can I help you?
TA: Hi Jerry, this is Elsa at Vision Travel in Columbus. I would like to make a reservation.
Provide flight data (in sequence):
US: What flight would you like?
TA: US Airways flight number 920, coach class, on the "oh-nine" March, from Columbus to New York La Guardia, for a party of two.
US: Let me check availability (pause). Yes, I can confirm two coach seats on our flight 920 for March 9. Will this be one way or do you need continuing or return flights?
TA: Yes, returning on US Airways flight number 691, first class, on the "one-two" March, from New York La Guardia to Columbus.
Provide passenger information:
US: Let me check availability (pause). Yes, I can confirm two first-class seats on our flight 691 on March 12. Can I have the passengers' names?
TA: Same last name-Burton, Robert and Susan.
US: Can I have a home or business contact for the passengers?
TA: Business phone is 614-555-0677; home phone is 614-555-8922.
US: Thank you. Elsa, can I have the name, location, and phone number of your agency?
TA: Vision Travel in Columbus, Ohio. Our number is 614-555-9211.
US: Thank you. To recap, I have confirmed two coach seats on US Airways 920, on March 9, departing Columbus at 7:05 A.M. and arriving in New York La Guardia at 8:30 A.M. On the return I have confirmed two first-class seats on US Airways flight 691, on March 12, departing New York La Guardia at 6:50 P.M. and arriving in Columbus at 8:38 P.M. Is there anything else I can do for you today?
TA: No, thank you, that's it for now.
US: Thank you for calling US Airways. Good-by.
Here are some key points to keep in mind about booking airline reservations (refer to telephone script):
* When booking flights from or to a multiairport city (like New York City), it is not necessary to verbalize the airport by name. The reservation agent can enter the city code--NYC--in the request. The airport code--LGA--is displayed in availability. However, it makes sense to provide the airport name just for confirmation.
* When providing travel dates over the telephone, it is a good idea to "spell out" the numbers for clarity. For example, rather than saying "March nine" (which the reservation agent might hear as "March nineteen"), spell it out: "oh-nine" March. You can also do this with flight numbers if you feel that there may be a problem.
* When booking continuing or return space, you do not need to repeat the number of passengers; when you make one booking, all passengers must travel together on all flights. If you had a situation in which two passengers were traveling out together but each was returning on a different flight, you would need to create two separate reservations.
* Always have the airline reservation agent read back all the flight data, especially departure and arrival times because they change frequently.
* Before hanging up, make sure you have recorded the reservation agent's name or sign code (computer code) and date of reservation in the client's record for future reference.
CHECK POINT 3-7
1. What are the two methods that travel agents use to make airline reservations on behalf of their clients? --
2. Your client is flying on United Airlines from Denver to St. Louis and returning on American Airlines. Which airline( s) would you contact to make the reservation by telephone? Explain your answer. --
3. Your client wants you to book her on the following flight: from Tampa to Kansas City on Delta flight 101; she is traveling on May 12 and wants to travel first class. She is traveling with her husband. List the flight data in the correct sequence you would provide when making the reservation (the first is listed for you):
a. Delta Air Lines
4. Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin are traveling together from San Francisco to Seattle on United Airlines 101. They will be departing on September 22. Mr. Baldwin will be staying in Seattle two extra days for a business meeting and will be returning on September 28. Mrs. Baldwin will be returning on September 26. How many reservations do you need to make? Explain your answer. --
5. Before ending your telephone call, when making a flight reservation, what two data items should you remember to get for future reference? --
AIRLINE RESERVATIONS: AUTOMATED
Travel agents can display flight availability, book flights, and generate airline tickets through the agency's CRS. When making flight reservations in the computer, the travel agent enters the following required data:
* Flight itinerary (same sequence as shown in the telephone script)
* Passenger data: names and telephone contacts
* Received-from information (who contacted the agency to make the reservation)
* Ticketing information (when and how the ticket is to be issued)
All this information must be entered into the computer to complete a booking. If any piece is missing (i.e., telephone contact or received-from), the computer will display an error message and will not finalize the booking.
Additional information that is helpful to the travel agent may also be entered:
* Form of payment
* Client's mailing address
* Special requests such as seating and/or special meals
passenger name record (PNR) An automated record of a client's reservation that is created and stored in a computer reservations system.
The travel agent enters all the required and optional information into the computer terminal. All the information that pertains to the client's booking is called the passenger name record (PNR). The PNR is the automated record of a client's reservation. PNRs are completed and stored in the computer and can be redisplayed by the travel agent at any time for review, itinerary changes, or cancellations.
Figure 3-16 is an example of a client's PNR as it appears in a computer reservations system. These are the same clients we used in the telephone script. If their reservation was handled through the agency's CRS, this is what their booking would look like:
Each informational section of a PNR is called a field. The fields for this PNR are as follows:
1 Passenger name field 1.2BURTON/ROBERT/SUSAN MRS
1.2 means the first passenger last name (surname), and number of passengers with surname. Each first name is separated with a slash.
2 Itinerary field
Each flight segment is numbered. Segment number 1 is described below:
1US 920Y 09MAR Q CMHLGA HK2 705A 830A 2US 691F 12MAR S LGACMH HK2 605P 838P
[FIGURE 3-16 OMITTED]
1 Segment number US Airline 920 Flight number Y Class of service 09 MAR Date of departure Q Day of the week (M = Monday, T = Tuesday, W = Wednesday, Q = Thursday, F = Friday, J = Saturday, and S = Sunday) CMH-LGA City pair (specific airport code is shown for multiairport cities) HK2 Holding confirmed two seats 705a Departure time (in local time of departure city) 830a Arrival time (in local time of arrival city) TKT/TIME LIMIT 1.TAW02MAR/
3 Ticketing field
This field indicates when the ticket will be issued. TAW means the ticketing arrangement will be on March 2.
PHONES 1. CMH614-555-9211-A VISION TRAVEL ELSA 2. CMH614-555-0677-B 3. CMH614-555-8922-H AFTER 5PM
4 Phone field
At least one phone number must be entered in the phone field. It is preferable to have all three: agency, passenger business, and home contacts. Each phone number is followed by a phone letter identifier (A = agency, B = passenger's business, H = passenger's home) and additional information if necessary.
REMARKS 1. *AX0000123456789#10/05 2. CARDHOLDER SUSAN BURTON 3. /MRS. SUSAN BURTON 4. /1445 NORTH MAIN STREET 5. /COLUMBUS OHIO 34588
This field contains information or reminders for the travel agency. Line 1 shows the form of payment with credit-card information; line 2 indicates the cardholder's name; and lines 3, 4, and 5 show mailing address of passenger, which can be used for mailings of invoice and documents.
RECEIVED FROM--SUSAN BURTON
This field contains the name of the passenger or person who contacted the agency.
CHECK POINT 3-8
1. The correct sequence when booking a flight.
a. Delta 101, June 22, from Miami to Charlotte, for two passengers in first class
b. Miami to Charlotte, June 22, on Delta 101 in first class, for two passengers
c. Delta 101, first class, June 22, from Miami to Charlotte, for two passengers
d. First class on Delta 101, Miami to Charlotte, for two passengers on June 22
2. This information is not a required entry to complete a passenger's airline booking in the agency's CRS.
a. Phone contact c. Form of payment
b. Who contacted the agency d. Ticketing date
3. An automated record of a client's booking in the agency CRS is called a(n)
a. NPR. c. NRP.
b. PRN. d. PNR.
4. The code HK3 that is displayed for a flight segment booked in the agency's computer means
a. passenger is booked on three flights.
b. the flight is the third itinerary segment.
c. three seats are confirmed.
d. three seats have been canceled.
5. A typical entry in the optional Remarks field of a PNR is
a. form of payment.
b. passenger's mailing address.
c. passenger's credit card information.
d. all of the above.
Chapter 3 Test
NAME: -- DATE: --
1. In addition to printed resource books, travel agents can use two types of automated resources when researching and booking air transportation. Name them: -- --
Answer questions 2 through 15 by referring to the flight schedule from the OAG Desktop Guide-North America resource in Figure 3-17.
2. What is the city code for Phoenix? --
3. In which time zone is New York City located? -- In which time zone is Phoenix located? -- (write out full name for each)
[FIGURE 3-17 OMITTED]
4. Which airport is closest to downtown New York City (write out full name)? -- How many miles is this airport from New York City? --
5. Approximately how long does it take to drive from Kennedy International Airport to downtown New York City? --
6. Your client is a member of the United Airlines frequent-flier program. She wants to know how many air miles there are one way between Phoenix and New York City. --
7. What time is the earliest departure on a nonstop or direct flight into Newark Airport on Monday, July 1? -- What time does it arrive into Newark? --
8. Your client is traveling on the earliest departure on a direct flight on Tuesday, July 23. What time does this flight depart? -- What time does this flight arrive? -- Into which airport does it arrive (full name)? --
9. Your client prefers flying direct on a wide-body aircraft. Which airline and flight number would you recommend? --
10. Your client is traveling first class on the earliest direct flight departure, Thursday, July 11. What time does this flight arrive into Washington, D.C.? -- What meal(s) is/are served on this flight? --
11. Your client's ticket shows that she is flying on Delta Airlines from Phoenix to New York City, but she is really flying on a small aircraft called Comair, Inc. What flight number shows on her ticket for this flight? --
12. Your client is booked on the connection through St. Louis. Fill in the information regarding this flight service.
a. The first segment of this connection is on -- Airlines flight number -- .
b. This flight departs Phoenix at -- and arrives into St. Louis at -- .
c. A -- meal is served in -- class, and a -- is served in coach class.
d. The second or connecting flight departs St. Louis at -- and arrives into New York City at -- . This flight arrives into -- Airport (write out full name).
e. Both flights are being operated on a -- aircraft (show code), which is a -- (narrow- or wide-body?).
f. This connection operates on what day(s) of the week? --
g. The last day that this connection operates is on --.
13. Your client is flying on the earliest arrival into New York City on July 24, Wednesday. What type of flight service is this (nonstop, direct, or connection)? -- What is the arrival time into New York City? -- Into which airport does this flight arrive? --
14. Your client is flying on the connection through Cincinnati. How long is the connecting time at this airport? --
[FIGURE 3-18 OMITTED]
15. Your client is traveling on the connection through Chicago. On which airline and flight number is a wide-body aircraft operated? --
Answer questions 16 through 22 regarding Figure 3-18, city pair availability from a CRS.
16. This display is for flights from Cleveland to Miami departing on -- .
17. What time does American flight 1439 depart Cleveland? -- What time does it arrive into Miami? --
18. CO 1817 operates on what day(s) of the week? --
Your clients are booked on the Delta connection through Atlanta. Fill in the following answers:
19. a. The first flight is on Delta flight number -- , which departs Cleveland at -- and arrives in Atlanta at -- .
b. The second or connecting flight is on Delta flight number -- , which departs Atlanta at -- and arrives into Miami at -- .
c. Your client is traveling coach class on the Delta connection. What meal(s) is/are served? _________________
20. What is the connecting city on the US Airways connection? -- How long is the connecting time? --
21. How many first-class seats are available to sell on the nonstop that operates every day? ____________
22. You have four clients who you are booking in standard coach class. Which departure shows available from Cleveland to Miami? --
23. What are the four major benefits for travel professionals who use the Internet?
24. What are the two methods of communicating on-line? -- and --
25. When making a flight reservation on the telephone, you present flight data in a specific sequence. List the six flight data elements in the correct sequence you would use to make this reservation:
From Seattle to San Francisco, coach class, June 21, for Mr. and Mrs. Johnson and Mr. and Mrs. Lane, flight number 2021 on United Airlines
How travel agents use the Internet (Source: Data from Travel Agent Magazine, April 7, 1997). Agency has Web site 43% Listed on other Web site 31% Research travel for clients 75% Accept bookings 52% E-mail promos to clients 40% E-mail trip details to clients 63% Use travel chat groups 20% Note: Table made from bar graph.
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|Publication:||A Practical Guide to Fares and Ticketing, 3rd ed.|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2001|
|Previous Article:||Chapter 2 Airline geography and terms.|
|Next Article:||Chapter 4 Fares and pricing.|