Building the Data Warehouse

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An Airline Commission Calculation System

One effective indirect use of data warehouse data occurs in the airline environment. Consider, for example, an airline ticketing transaction. A travel agent has contacted the airline reservation clerk on behalf of a customer. The customer has requested a ticket for a flight and the travel agent wants to know the following:

■■ Is there a seat available?

■■ What is the cost of the seat?

■■ What is the commission paid to the travel agent?

If the airline pays too much of a commission, it will get the agent’s business, but it will lose money. If the airline pays too little commission, the travel agent will “shop” the ticket and the airline will lose it to another airline that pays a larger commission. It is in the airline’s best interest to calculate the commission it pays very carefully because the calculation has a direct effect on its bottom line.

The interchange between the travel agent and the airline clerk must occur in a fairly short amount of time—within two to three minutes. In this two-to-three-minute window the airline clerk must enter and complete several transactions:

■    Are there any seats available?

■    Is seating preference available?

■    What connecting flights are involved?

■    Can the connections be made?

■■ What is the cost of the ticket?

■■ What is the commission?

If the response time of the airline clerk (who is running several transactions while carrying on a conversation with the travel agent) starts to be excessive, the airline will find that it is losing business merely because of the poor response time. It is in the best interest of the airline to ensure brisk response time throughout the dialogue with the travel agent.

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