Airline Ticket PricesPrices for airline tickets
Outward and return travel costs $2,350, also in Business School. Few and a half miles later I flew all the way to Japan and back, halfway around the world, for only $795 in the business. Of course, the fare for an air ticket has nothing to do with the duration of the travel.
Airline companies use some complex computer programmes to achieve a number of objectives, the two most important of which are to prevent empty -seat travel and to maximise the airline's overall net turnover. The third objective is to win clients from other carriers and the third is to retain clients among frequent travellers.
It is these objectives that are behind all these advertising bundles and reward programmes such as United's Militage Plus or American Airlines' AA Advantage. What's more, they are the ones who are responsible for the success of all of these programmes. Those programmes add complexity to the system of prices. As a member of United's Militage Plus, for example, as 100,000+ mph I could buy a round-trip ticket from San Francisco to Milan for later in the year for a low cellar rate of $1000 and upgraded it to BusiClass free of charge for 100,000+ mph, but a fellow traveling with me who purchased the same ticket at the same point and is only a member of Militage Plus could not update.
In addition, many carriers provide an incentive for customers to make their own reservations over the net. The experienced traveller, who can remain up late enough after 12 p.m. to make an online reservation, will sometimes come across so-called "internet specials", great value offers that vanish when the whole country awakes and begins to book their flight.
Another complex issue is the selling of benches by airline companies to third party companies, often referred to as'bucket shops', which then offer them at discounted prices (or 'consolidated fares'). With all this mess, with machines continuously tracking your ticket purchases and adapting your rates up to tenfold daily, the only true choice for the fare-conscious passenger is to use a web based services to try and find the best offer.
This service roams the Internet looking for the best rate for a particular trip and date. Airlines' fares have become so complicated that it is virtually impractical today to develop an algorithms that finds the best fares. Mathematically, the (idealized) issue of locating the least expensive fares between two given places is actually insoluble, and even if you specify the real itinerary or the flight, the (idealized) issue of locating the least expensive fares is NP tough, which means that the quickest computer could take billion of years to do it.
History began a few years ago when Jeremy Wertheimer, then a PhD candidate in Computer Sciences at MIT, and a group of classmates started developing an airline price warder. As the work, which seemed like a few month's work, did not produce the results anticipated, the group began to investigate the type of airline price system.
Her research led her to the development of a high-performance rate discovery system that ITA founded and marketed to both Orbitz (a rate discovery engine held by five of the largest U.S. airlines) and Delta Airways, which use it to control their rate discovery programs. It was a big issue that all the different prices regulations work together in such a way that not even those who created the prices could begin to fully comprehend them.
This made the (idealized) issue of locating an optimum ticket price between two given places indecidable, which means that it is not possible to create a computer programme to resolve the issue. By the same token, the more peculiar (idealized) issue of locating an optimum ticket price for a particular distance, although theoretical solveable, turns out to be very similar to a classic math issue known as Boolean Fulfillability, which has long been known as NP-in its entirety - meaning that it could take the quickest computer longer than the life of the universes to find the workaround.
In order to investigate the issue of air fares in mathematical terms and to obtain these results, however, de Marcken had to make some simplistic hypotheses that do not hold true for actual air traffic, such as accepting an infinite number of targets, flying for an infinite length or rule list of any length. However, the impact on airlines' actual prices is inevitable.
One can imagine how complex the actual scenario is when one considers that an airline that offers several thousand different tariffs, with different regulations for the different stages of each journey, when two persons make a round journey together, with three trips in each destination, can have up to 1,00012 or about 1036 tariff combination.
When you print a ticket for any ticket price, the stack would extend four lighting years to the next planet, Proxima Centauri.