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Questions About Airline Comparisons
Through a real-time link to a leading centralized reservation system (CRS) available via the Internet (TCP/IP connection). All flight information and fare data is obtained at the moment you run the trip and is completely current as of that time. This requires a free account on the Travelocity™ reservation system from SABRE Interactive. Accounts from the system used by Travel$ense through Release 3.1 will automatically be converted by Travel$ense. The id and password will remain the same. New users will need to use their browser to signup. A jump link is provided on the settings screen (http://www.travelocity.com).
The airline data include schedule and fare information for approximately 930 airlines which are usable on Travel$ense trips containing up to twelve legs. This data is real-time, not stored. Flight information obtained includes seats available. If a flight isn’t presented, it’s because there are no seats available for purchase at the time of the query. Real-world conditions like this drive all of the analysis that Travel$ense performs.
Like most passengers aboard business aircraft, Travel$ense is highly sensitive to the efficient use of time. It is acutely oriented and designed to schedule minimally equivalent time on site within each of the two to four travel option schedules, one to three of which are user-defined business aircraft with the fourth via the airlines.
It keys off time on site as defined by the passengers. Consequently, by choosing arrival and departure times, time on site also is passively defined by the passengers as how much time they need in any one place to get their work done. Once airport/site arrival and departure times are defined by the passengers, Travel$ense provides the nearest practical equivalent trip schedules, calculating alternate schedules which allow the mission to be accomplished - matching minimal time on site goals - within any of the two to four travel options.
Its first effort is to accurately approximate an airline trip already defined by the business aircraft’s schedule. For trips between airline hubs, with many airline flight options, this often is easy to do. For trips between small, infrequently served airports, the scheduling of an airline trip which provides time on site at least equal to that stipulated in the business aircraft trip can trigger overnight stays, either the night before, the night after, or both. As a consequence, the time on site via the airlines can greatly exceed that which is needed. It is simply a consequence of being bound to preexisting schedules vs. management control of efficient scheduling using business aircraft (i.e. your schedule, not that of someone else). Some practical flexibility is built into the program; the user defines that flexibility, allowing time on site to be limited if the airline schedules allow nearly as much time on site as that available via the business aircraft schedule. The shipping default is 90 percent, which is user definable to any value your company decides upon.
Many companies wisely and aggressively research airline schedules to find airlines, schedules and airports which result in the lowest possible employee travel costs. In some circumstances, however, this can prove a false economy. Airports which require onerous drive times to reach a business site may cost more in employee travel time than they save in airfares.
Most of the time. Reservation systems have a limit of three connecting flights per leg. If you are traveling between obscure cities without daily airline flights, the system may not be able to define a comparable airline trip within this three connecting flight limit. Consequently, you may not be able to obtain scheduling or pricing information for the trip and will get a message to that effect from Travel$ense. Reselecting a larger commercial airport from the list of nearby airports usually will solve this problem. From the Comparable Airline Trip tab (#2), click on Clear, then Cancel. Select alternate airports from Tab 1 by clicking on airports and then click on Get Fares again.
Some unaffiliated commuter carriers not included in the CRS listings obviously will not be reported as a travel alternative. More than 450 airlines can be priced on the reservation system. Users may manually input an airline flight not in the CRS, or use hypothetical airline data, if they wish.
Although Travel$ense automatically gets full fare coach, first class and the lowest available fares for airline flights comparable to flights on business aircraft, many companies have discounted or group rates with the airlines. These rates can change or be limited to certain city pairs, or the best airline options ordinarily can include two or more different airlines. Consequently, the determination of an actual airline ticket fare often is difficult to accomplish automatically and the pricing can become relatively complex. Travel$ense includes the ability to price an airline itinerary manually, thereby allowing users to price a trip using contract pricing structures unique to their company. Simply click on the Edit Fare button on the Comparable Airline Trip tab to edit faresat any time, before or after the trip.