New demand engine


#1

It was stated in the General forum that the demand system is about to be overhauled.

I have a suggestion in mind while you do that that would (IMO) bring more realism to the game.

In real life, when people book their trips they most of the time want to come back too. In AS however all trips are booked one way. Not many people would do that in real life, for example fly Albany-Chicago-Las Vegas on American Airlines and then book the return trip Las Vegas - Minneapolis - Albany on Delta. No, they would do the round trip either with AA or DL for a multitude of reasons (Frequent Flyer programs, Image, Pricing etc).

So in the new demand system, please consider to change that so that the pax would only book A to B via C on airline X (and its IL partners) if the same airline (together with it's IL partners) can also provide the return trip B to A via C or D at least some days of the week.

Or alternatively at least inflict a severe ORS penalty if that is not the case.

Why would that matter ? It would force the airlines to make their wave systems work both ways from the beginning. That means that you cannot "cherry pick" routes in the beginning and it would slow down growth. Later in the game most airlines would satisfy that requirement anyway so it does not hurt anyone in the long term.

Another suggestion. At the moment the PAX do not care what time the flight departs. In reality most pax would really try to avoid red eye departures if they can. In reality especially commuter planes do not run nonstop all through the night. They stay at the outstation overnight and leave early in the morning to catch up with their hubs first connection wave. So my suggestion is, that for flights less than say 1000 km in length, inflict an ORS penalty of some sort on all departures between 0000-0500 local time.


#2

Your proposal is quite illogical. People now fly on one-ways the same way as they take public transit to move within cities in Europe. With the degradation of airline loyalty programs, very few people but road wsrriers are any more loyal to a particular airline. Schedule and pricing and stops and travel time and additional fees or not or if you get that free pretzels or have to buy them for 2 bucks is what makes the decision now.

Additionally, only frequent business travellers return within 82 hours and that’s not the case in many of their travels either. Regular people do not travel back within 72 hours. Your proposal makes no sense.

Also sorry but your early departure penalty would wreak chaos, because since ever the departure times made no difference so how come you would now want to penalize players who were able to get slots only in the ungodly hours? So then we would go again that this would be refunded by players on existing servers etc.

People please make suggestions that are feasible and can actually be programmed and implemented so you don’t turn the whole stuff upside down.


#3

As I’ve mentioned in another topic I think being able to charge PAX for onboard items should be implemented into the game (just like many low cost carriers do in real life).

I agree ORS needs overhauling - mainly because I think at the moment it does not rate cheap seating configs combined with cheap prices all that well but the suggestion of incurring penalties for red eye flights and such is just wrong. Take the NAT track system for example, the majority of eastbound flights across the Atlantic are all red eye flights because of how the system works, yet you don’t see people not taking those flights!


#4

As I’ve mentioned in another topic I think being able to charge PAX for onboard items should be implemented into the game (just like many low cost carriers do in real life).

I agree ORS needs overhauling - mainly because I think at the moment it does not rate cheap seating configs combined with cheap prices all that well but the suggestion of incurring penalties for red eye flights and such is just wrong. Take the NAT track system for example, the majority of eastbound flights across the Atlantic are all red eye flights because of how the system works, yet you don’t see people not taking those flights!

But they are all well over 1000 km in length. My suggestion only affected flights that are less than that for that very reason. And even a great majority of TATL flights depart well before midnight.

In real life there is an "ORS" penalty for red eye commuter flights. People only take them if they are cheaper than non-red eye alternatives or there are no other options.


#5

To agree with Rubio as a fairly frequent European traveler, I dont really have loyalty to a specific airline like I do to hotels for example. The thing is that most airlines are the same. You get your tight seat and no frills. Regardless if you fly Lufthansa or Norwegian you mostly get the same things. On a flight lasting a couple of hours taking you from point A to B you dont really care about comfort while I greatly value a hotel chain which I know always offer great service and give me great rewards by flashing my Platinum Card. Also there is barley any discount when booking return tickets so I usually choose the flights that fits best time wise and price. For example, I am going to fly to Vienna with Austrian and return with Laudamotion. I have done the same in the US when flying somewhere with American and returning with Spirit. With the amount of reward programs and fairly bad rewards there is barley any incentive keeping to one. 

In my years of playing AS I have found a couple of routes with great loads one way and not the other. Though most times there was not a problem with the demand but rather with my connections as the return flight did not offer the connections those passengers desired. When fixing the connections the loads both ways where the same. With my thousand routes I have operated I could only recall one route where whatever I did I could not get the same loads both ways. My solution was flying the planes in triangle routes between different places thereby doing A-B-C-A and not A-B-A. With the many crews I have spoken too I know many airlines do these triangle schedules such as Southwest, Wizz, Norwegian, Spirit, etc. Some dont even return to their original base for days.

I know lots of business people preferring Red Eye and usually they are higher priced than midday flights here in Europe. Also huge carriers such as Emirates fly most of their flights during the night. When flying long haul I personally even prefer red eye as I really dislike arriving in the middle of the night or evening. 


#6

To agree with Rubio as a fairly frequent European traveler, I dont really have loyalty to a specific airline like I do to hotels for example. The thing is that most airlines are the same. You get your tight seat and no frills. Regardless if you fly Lufthansa or Norwegian you mostly get the same things. On a flight lasting a couple of hours taking you from point A to B you dont really care about comfort while I greatly value a hotel chain which I know always offer great service and give me great rewards by flashing my Platinum Card. Also there is barley any discount when booking return tickets so I usually choose the flights that fits best time wise and price. For example, I am going to fly to Vienna with Austrian and return with Laudamotion. I have done the same in the US when flying somewhere with American and returning with Spirit. With the amount of reward programs and fairly bad rewards there is barley any incentive keeping to one. 

In my years of playing AS I have found a couple of routes with great loads one way and not the other. Though most times there was not a problem with the demand but rather with my connections as the return flight did not offer the connections those passengers desired. When fixing the connections the loads both ways where the same. With my thousand routes I have operated I could only recall one route where whatever I did I could not get the same loads both ways. My solution was flying the planes in triangle routes between different places thereby doing A-B-C-A and not A-B-A. With the many crews I have spoken too I know many airlines do these triangle schedules such as Southwest, Wizz, Norwegian, Spirit, etc. Some dont even return to their original base for days.

I know lots of business people preferring Red Eye and usually they are higher priced than midday flights here in Europe. Also huge carriers such as Emirates fly most of their flights during the night. When flying long haul I personally even prefer red eye as I really dislike arriving in the middle of the night or evening. 

My red eye suggestion was for commuter flights, so Emirates does not really qualify... If you have a choice of flying from Frankfurt to Vienna at 2 am (ok, there is a curfew at FRA, but just for arguments sake) or at 9 pm after a busy day doing whatever it was that you did at FRA, which one would you prefer if the price is the same ? The 2 am flight does become an option if the price is right, so this "penalty" could be offset  by pricing the red eye commuter flight correctly.

Currently, ORS penalizes us for things like not having jetbridges in the terminal. When you book your flights, which one is more important to you, a good schedule or a jetbridge ?

For those of us who really fly a bit more, the frequent flyer programs are important. When you climb the tier levels, you get things like access to lounges, priority security and check in, free upgrades etc. So yes, they at least tend to book their round trips on their chosen airline, even if it costs a bit more or if the schedules are not quite that convenient.


#7

As a former dispatcher I can tell you that PAX get really angry about not having a jetbrige (even if they did only pay £20 for the ticket) especially if it’s raining, so I’d say that ORS penalty is correct.


#8

As a former dispatcher I can tell you that PAX get really angry about not having a jetbrige (even if they did only pay £20 for the ticket) especially if it’s raining, so I’d say that ORS penalty is correct.

Maybe so, but does that affect their booking process more than the schedule ? Unless the airline always uses airstairs on the particular route, the PAX do not know beforehand that they are going to be using airstairs.

And I was not saying that jetbridges shouldn't matter, I was merely pointing out that there are parameters in the ORS today, that matter way less to people than the schedule.


#9

I do believe that considering return flights would be an important addition to a new booking engine. And I also believe, that time of day is an important factor for many passengers. Does it help game play if these points are added? Probably not that much, as it increases pressure on slots and it makes game play more complex.

For one, to really consider return flights, the flights would have to be booked in at least 7 days ahead to allow for a full week of flights to be available. For short-haul flights, it might be enough to have one or two days, but for long-haul flights two days might not even be enough to complete the full journey. Having more days in the system, puts a huge additional load on the demand calculation, which might make it impossible to start with.

While probably in some areas one way flights have come down in price, many airlines still try to lock in passengers with both legs by not offering cheap one way tickets. And apart from a few aviation afficionados, who is really checking all kinds of one way flights on various airlines and booking systems? Most are too lazy and just go on the website of their home carrier and search for a return flight. Frequent flyer with a certain status do benefit from additional baggage allowance, lounge access, etc. which makes them stay with them. All that speaks in favour of return flights.

Furthermore, it makes game play more complex and realistic (in my opinion) as you really have to plan your long-haul return flights to also arrive in time for your waves, losing out on the maintenance ratio.

Regarding the red-eye fligths. I do believe many business people want to fly out on the first flight in the morning, do their business during the day and return the same day late in the evening. They hardly fly late morning or early afternoon. That's not convenient for them, and that's why those flights are in general cheaper and for tourists. I also believe departures or arrivals between 00:00 - 05:00, especially so for short-haul flights, are disliked and only booked if either the price is attractive enough or there is no other alternative. But then again, this puts further strain on the most scarce resource in this game, the slots. Everybody then wants the 06:00 - 08:00 departure slots, and if you come a bit late, you won't find any and therefore getting penalized multiple times.

It's a very difficult thing, and most likely, however (if ever) it gets implemented, it won't be "right" because different people have different opinions.


#10

I do believe that considering return flights would be an important addition to a new booking engine. And I also believe, that time of day is an important factor for many passengers. Does it help game play if these points are added? Probably not that much, as it increases pressure on slots and it makes game play more complex.

For one, to really consider return flights, the flights would have to be booked in at least 7 days ahead to allow for a full week of flights to be available. For short-haul flights, it might be enough to have one or two days, but for long-haul flights two days might not even be enough to complete the full journey. Having more days in the system, puts a huge additional load on the demand calculation, which might make it impossible to start with.

While probably in some areas one way flights have come down in price, many airlines still try to lock in passengers with both legs by not offering cheap one way tickets. And apart from a few aviation afficionados, who is really checking all kinds of one way flights on various airlines and booking systems? Most are too lazy and just go on the website of their home carrier and search for a return flight. Frequent flyer with a certain status do benefit from additional baggage allowance, lounge access, etc. which makes them stay with them. All that speaks in favour of return flights.

Furthermore, it makes game play more complex and realistic (in my opinion) as you really have to plan your long-haul return flights to also arrive in time for your waves, losing out on the maintenance ratio.

Regarding the red-eye fligths. I do believe many business people want to fly out on the first flight in the morning, do their business during the day and return the same day late in the evening. They hardly fly late morning or early afternoon. That's not convenient for them, and that's why those flights are in general cheaper and for tourists. I also believe departures or arrivals between 00:00 - 05:00, especially so for short-haul flights, are disliked and only booked if either the price is attractive enough or there is no other alternative. But then again, this puts further strain on the most scarce resource in this game, the slots. Everybody then wants the 06:00 - 08:00 departure slots, and if you come a bit late, you won't find any and therefore getting penalized multiple times.

It's a very difficult thing, and most likely, however (if ever) it gets implemented, it won't be "right" because different people have different opinions.

Thank you Matth !

My proposal for return flights was for simplicitys sake to just verify that there is an option to ride home on the same carrier/s, not to actually book them like 7 days in advance. That would already steer PAX to those airlines that can bring them home too.


#11

People please make suggestions that are feasible and can actually be programmed and implemented so you don't turn the whole stuff upside down.

People, please don‘t tell others what they might suggest or not. To develop something it‘s essential to bring all thoughts to the table and to discuss them.

And people, please don‘t deny other reasonable suggestions because it might have an impact on your own airline. Start to manage change instead of sitting around!

See what I mean? :wink:

NB. While the idea for return tickets is a minor thing, I also think that departure times should be taken more into consideration. Again it‘s just real life. The longer the journey, the less importsant departure time gets (that‘s the Emirates case), but demand on shorthaul is biggest in the morning and in the evening hours (that‘s a fact).


#12

Maybe so, but does that affect their booking process more than the schedule ? Unless the airline always uses airstairs on the particular route, the PAX do not know beforehand that they are going to be using airstairs.

 

And I was not saying that jetbridges shouldn’t matter, I was merely pointing out that there are parameters in the ORS today, that matter way less to people than the schedule.

I was merely stating my first hand experience with PAX in real life, the only thing that seemed to piss them off more than that was having their bags tagged at the gate and put in the hold!

Thankfully these days I’m flying the planes instead of dispatching them


#13

i don't really think return flight is that important. You might have some travellers want to fly in and out from the same city, you would also have people fly in and out from different cities simply because of their travel plan or flight availability. It is also important that even if they travel in and out from one city, they can travel from different airports, e.g. Heathrow in and Gatwick out. I don't think you would have any data to reflect all these flexibilities. 

Regarding the same airline point of view, i think this might even depend on the market. All my friends fly back to Europe from US actually with a different airline from a different city. They have fixed coming schedule, but a flexible return schedule which they just seek for a low cost ticket. However, i can also tell you i don't know anyone having a round trip back to Asia is buying two separated tickets from two airlines. I don't think you can just generalise and say people want to have the same airline or not.

All these are disregarding the 72 hrs booking issue. 

About the night flight, i dont think it's a possible solution since you would end up with people started first taking all the good time and leaving new players the night time. I do concern about the relation between scheduling and crew though: currently the crew is all aircraft based, so you can have the plane keep flying or just schedule with a 2 hrs maintenance, while in real life you have max hrs for crews. I don't have scheduling flights in real life, but based on logic, you should end up with using different amount of crews if you schedule with short maintenance break all day long or if you schedule with long flight block with long maintenance time while crews are resting. However, i don't hope this is going to be applied in AS since it would destroy a lot of airlines. 


#14

Additionally, only frequent business travellers return within 82 hours and that's not the case in many of their travels either. Regular people do not travel back within 72 hours. Your proposal makes no sense.

Ever heard of a weekend break? 

It is cheaper for me to fly from LTN to MAD(and back) for the weekend than it is to drive to Manchester!


#15

Yeah nice try. Would call it smartie but I won’t. Don’t want to have to delete again … so seriously… And the rest of the week what? So you go with 3 day return demand on weekends. And then during the week, like what? Haven’t thought this through, have you?


#16

I think a lot of people missed my point about the return flight.

I did not suggest that the return flight is booked at the same time as the outbound flight. That would introduce a multitude of problems as far as the development effort is concerned.

What I did suggest, was that if the carrier is capable of supplying the return flight as well, it would get a better ORS rating. That would then steer the demand towards those carriers that supply both directions of the route.

And the return would not have to be exact same route, if outbound is A-X-B, then return route B-Y-A would be perfectly OK.


#17

Yeah nice try. Would call it smartie but I won't. Don't want to have to delete again .. so seriously... And the rest of the week what? So you go with 3 day return demand on weekends. And then during the week, like what? Haven't thought this through, have you?

Well, there is no thinking to do, I work 4 on 4 off, so a small break is actually ideal for me, as it is with many other people as they(and I) do not need to use annual leave for a small break.


#18

Well, there is no thinking to do, I work 4 on 4 off, so a small break is actually ideal for me, as it is with many other people as they(and I) do not need to use annual leave for a small break.

4 on 4 off? You lucky devil


#19

Well, there is no thinking to do, I work 4 on 4 off, so a small break is actually ideal for me, as it is with many other people as they(and I) do not need to use annual leave for a small break.

4/4 … You must be French


#20

Or maybe he's a pilot.