The computer systems that DL
has purchased is arguably the best system in the industry. AA
's SABRE has been able to become a freestanding enterprise that generates revenue for AMR, but no longer holds the mantle for finest in the industry. Here's my case:
The platform on which the DL
system is built enables the use of periferals without largescale system overhauls. Broadband can be implemented tomorrow if necessary without having to change out computer systems. Web access is available at every set for imformation purposes.
When the system is used properly, here are the advantages relative to other systems. The use of barcodes on passenger boading cards enables passengers who have misconnected proceed directly to the next flight, use their old boarding card, or FF
cards to obtain their seats. If a seat has not been given, the computer automatically does so and a new boarding pass is issued. NO NEED TO
LINE. Same procedure occurs for equipment substitutions.
Gate connections are automatically uplinked to a/c within range of hub airport. These gates are displayed on the TV
monitors on the plane on a/c equiped with moving map technology. All 737-800, 777's, 767-400's, 767-300ER's (International), MD
-11's are so equiped.
The next step for DL
Technology is to market this system to other carriers much like AA
has done with SABRE. The appeal for SABRE was that it was in virtual all travel agencies, but the diminishing role of travle professionals in vacation planning has mitigated the importance of new carriers having SABRE. The DL
system has been paid for and is the most advanced system in the airports today. Look at other carriers gates like NWA, some AA
stations, CAL and they are using plastic signs. A DL
gate has several wide screen displays with top questions that passnegrs frequently ask such as flight duration, a/c information, weather at destinaiton city, standby lists and boarding times.
The design end game for this system is to mitigate the human element at the airport. The airlines are seeking to do what the banking industry did with ATM's 10 years ago. When was the last time you went to a bank and saw a teller. How many banking transactions did you execute last year online, or through an ATM? As scores of Check In Kiosks come in to airport lobbies, you will begin to see them in concourses.
The Check In Kiosks still have some programming that needs to be done. Seat selection, future ticket purchase, and ticketing issues to name just a few. Within the next 2 years these issues will be solved and newer web based applications will be added (Obtaining hotels, rental cars, general info, etc..)
system is positioned for the next step in self service technology. Fewer employees in customer service for a smaller employee headcount. The DL
comuter system was built on profits derived from the tech heydays of the 90's. Remember when DL
got all of those warrents for priceline.com? Then they cashed them in one year and made more money off of it than they did running the airline for a year. That's where the money for this system comae from.