Welcome to The Art of Flying, our expressionistic take on the "art of the aviation experience." This is the seventh in a weekly series of commercial aviation commentaries in the form of poetry by Kambr Inc.'s Martin Kaduc. Read Martin's first poem in the series, Kleenex, here, his second work, Redmond, here, his third entry, Spinners, here, his fourth poem, Coordinates, here, and his following item, Breathe, here, and his most recent, Non-Rev, here.
Let’s talk about airline revenue management, this could be a challenge to turn into a rhyme,
It's the practice of selling the right product to the right customer for the right price at the right time.
Okay, so maybe got lucky with that one and this poem won’t be a chore,
on we go to explain the practice without too much of a bore.
Revenue managers try to predict the demand for a flight by analyzing things like how many people at a flight will look,
And use some fancy algorithms to determine by how many seats to overbook.
Constantly answering the question of “what is the demand for an existing fight or one that is new?”
And how to offer the right price to the customer in order to maximize revenue.
It may sound simple which it is or maybe it’s not?
But it comes down to figuring out the correct tactics for weak flights or the ones that are hot.
Most systems being used to support this effort only offer one view,
On how calculate the demand to manage future flight revenue.
They look historically for the same time of day and flight,
And use some heuristics to produce a number that kind of, just maybe, might seem right.
But if the historical data varies greatly and is anything but stable,
The models’ inaccuracies leave the analysts guessing how much to trust, or whether they are even able.