I love this game, but I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t admit there are real problems with how ORS works and how the game favors high luxury/low capacity (with high cost) carriers over more realistic low frills, low cost, high capacity carriers.
I understand that limited slots per 5 minutes helps the game maintain realism. That would be fine if passengers buying tickets on ORS also maintained realism. The realistic air traveler goes on Kayak and books the lowest fair possible with the fewest connections. As such, our airlines reflect that with packed seating and 30" seat pitches with nickel and diming along the way.
The problem with the game’s ORS is we assume passengers are willing to pay significantly higher fees if they get luxuries with it. This forces players to reduce capacity and thus a player needs to use 8 flights (meaning 8 slots are taken) to fulfill demand that realistically should be filled with 4 flights taking 4 slots at realistic capacity.
This game will continue to be broken and long term servers will continue to die until this problem is fixed as slot availability becomes constrained by the fact that smaller passenger loads are taken on each slot. We have 737s carrying 90 pax max when in reality they should be loaded with 170 seats. Either slots need to be increased beyond realistic levels (only fair because our passenger loads per flight are not at realistic levels) or the game needs to be structured sot that passengers don’t pay higher fees for luxuries and players are given incentive to put more seats on their planes and lower prices to gain customers.
Until slot availability is opened up, it is impossible to launch a start-up and compete on a long term server. However, slot availability will always be constrained so long as players are encouraged to use them with passenger loads that are inherently inefficient.