A STUDY OF ELAPSED FLIGHT TIME: 1985-1990

Since deregulation of the airline industry in 1978, the use and control of computerized reservation systems (CRSs) has been heavily scrutinized by government regulators and consumer groups. Subsequent changes to and regulations of CRSs were intended to reduce bias in favor of the CRS owner/airline and are assumed to have affected the way airlines schedule and price their flights. The particular change that will be discussed and estimated in the paper is the change in airlines' use of "elapsed flight time" - the scheduled flight time - in response to two changes in 1987 and 1988. Prior to this time period, airlines would reduce the scheduled flight time with respect to their competitors, in order to be listed higher on the CRS screen. The first change occurred in August 1987, when the Department of Transportation (DOT), finding this an "unfair and deceptive trade practice", came to an agreement with the CRS vendors to not list flights by elapsed flight time. The second change occurred in November 1987, when the DOT began reporting on-time performance to the public. These results were heavily publicized and appeared in such papers as USA Today. It is assumed that after both changes, the airlines began to use more realistic elapsed time when scheduling flights - in other words, elapsed time increased. The purpose of this paper is to confirm these changes. The results show that elapsed time has changed. Elapsed time grew 3% between the 1985-1986 and 1987-1988 period, and increased even further between 1987-1988 and 1989-1990. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to determine whether the government-airline agreement or the publicity of the performance reports had more of an effect on the changes in elapsed time. Because the computer changes were the result of a voluntary agreement and were not mandated to occur on a particular date, each major CRS system implemented the changes at different periods. The first part of this paper discusses CRSs - in particular, the origin of CRSs, the major regulatory changes that have occurred, and the use of elapsed time. Second, the methodology and data will be explained, followed by a section discussing the results.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 651-667

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00727092
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Volume 2
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 20 1996 12:00AM