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It has already seen that there has been a rapid growth in the demand for E-Ticketing systems in a widespread range of applications like cinemas and theatres. The usage of an Electronic ticketing system has become a huge convenience in the Airline industry as well. Most airlines currently prefer that the bulk of their reservations and booking be done online. As it is a no-paper system, there are huge savings to be made when using the electronic system. This section of the research paper is where the research methods to develop this mobile ticketing are discussed. Upon completion of the literature review, the existing systems have been thoroughly studied. The advantages and disadvantages of the existing systems have been pointed out. The target now is to produce a new idea that has the advantages of the existing systems but does not have its disadvantages. The system has to be new and improved. To accomplish this, the literature review is not enough. Further research needs to be done to assess if it is even possible to create this system, whether the people will approve of it and find it useful, how feasible is production of this system, what measures need to be taken to make this system and other factors. How this further research will be carried out will be explained here. The planning and schedule of the research method is also stated.
Introducing: Mobile Ticketing System for Airlines.
A mobile ticketing system is yet to be utilized by most airlines. It is intended to produce such a system where people can finally use their cell phones or mobiles throughout their flights. The use of mobile ticketing has been seen in cinemas and other areas but NOT for airlines. This has not been introduced for flights anywhere in the world, but it has an excellent future. There are many reasons why this is so. There has been an increase in the usage of mobile payment schemes. This has streamlined the process of payment for various products and services. The various schemes include - Direct Operator billing, Premium SMS transactions or even linking the application to external payment methods like credit cards or PayPal. This is one of the key features that make this new system very usable. Over all the usage of mobile phones now a days are a must. Almost everyone has a mobile phone with them. So there will be many mobile phone users who will find this system very useful. Mobile Ticketing will still include benefits to service providers like travel agencies to access new opportunities through smartphones, by bringing value added services, such as traveller guides and tips. It will reduce the amount of paper work and also use of paper itself. Passengers will not have to worry about losing their tickets any more. The system will be the first system that will implement the scanning of mobile QR codes or a quick response code for flights. As the name suggests this code will be apt for the system because it is read very fast and it can store a large amount of data, which is perfect for storing the ticket information. A simple scan of the code and the passenger will be ready for the flight. This new system is Mobile Ticketing System for Airlines.
Aims and Scope:
The first step in producing any system is to figure out exactly what the system needs to be able to execute, that is to say, its functions. The Mobile Ticketing System is required to fulfil all the business processes of an airline booking system. It will inherit the basic flow of processes of current E-Ticketing systems. Below are the basic functions of this system.
Creating Reservations - The passenger must login to the airline booking system on the application. The destination, departure and/or return date will be input. Once a flight is booked, the passenger will be prompted for payment. Once the payment clears, the system will generate a unique QR code for the passenger.
Checking in - Upon arrival at the check-in counter, the passenger allows the scanner to scan the QR code in the phone. The system then validates the ticket and the passenger is checked in.
Boarding - Once the passenger arrives at the respective boarding gate, another scan is done and the passenger is let on board.
Boundaries - Boundaries of a system is the boundary that separates the external entities of the system from its internal entities. Knowing the system boundaries assists in reaching the project development goals. The mobile application to be developed is web based and will interact with the current booking system of the airline. As a result, a booking system itself will not be required to be made. The users themselves will interact only with the mobile application.
When managing a project, the deliverables of the system need to be well defined. Deliverables are the objects that need to be produced in order for this system to function properly and execute what it is designed to.
External Deliverables: The external deliverables of this research project will include an overall report of the system and an appendix including screen layouts, charts and questionnaires.
Internal Deliverables: The internal deliverables include a Gantt chart showing the development timeframe and a description of the Methodology of developing the system.
Please refer to the Appendices for the Gantt chart that displays the overall tasks and timeframe for the development of the system.
The system must be able to provide the user with up-to-date flight information along with the various prices for a ticket.
Must allow the purchasing of a ticket.
The system must be able to generate a QR code containing the information regarding the ticket purchased and also information required for validation.
The system must include mobile payment methods including Direct Operator billing and Premium SMS transactions. To do this, the system must be registered with the various telecom operators of the country of use.
In the case where a passenger does not wish to use mobile payment, the application must allow the user to pat using other methods like credit card or PayPal.
In the checking in and boarding process, the system must be able to validate the passenger using scanners.
The user must be able to access flight information at any time.
Advantages of the system:
Ease of use - The application itself is very simple to use. The purchasing of tickets is fast and less time consuming.
Reduces the requirement of waiting in lines, thus saving the user valuable time.
Tickets can be purchased from any location, whether it be at home or at the airport itself. All that is required is an internet connection.
Avoids the requirement of carrying cash or credit cards during ticket purchase.
Significantly reduces the number of free-riders. This is a term given to those travellers who arrive late for a flight and do not have the time to purchase a ticket using the regular method.
Mobile Ticketing can increase the consumer experience with the use of Value-added services. For example, in the case of a traveller visiting an unfamiliar location, the application can use the ticket information to generate useful advice and guidelines to the traveller.
Ecosystem advantages -
Savings in cost due to no printing required. There is also a reduction in marketing costs.
The system reduces the impact on the environment caused by printed tickets, especially those using magnetic stripes, which are not recyclable. Less paper is used, which saves trees.
Solutions to limitations:
The descriptions of the limitations of the current systems used are detailed in the literature review. From the limitations mentioned there, the main ones concerning the mobile ticketing system were:
Payment methods may not work with foreign subscription phones
Tickets can be forged easily
Phone can get lost or turn off due to lack of battery charge.
Last minute flight cancellations will pose a problem when trying to book a different flight.
The solutions to the above problems are elaborated below:
In the case in which certain Premium SMS transactions are blocked by some operators, registering the foreign operator providing the Premium SMS with the local operators may solve the problem. In the case where it is not possible at all, other payment methods like credit cards or PayPal must be used.
Another problem for E-ticketing systems is ticket forgery. With the use of Mobile-ticketing, various encryption methods can be used to prevent forgery. Also, the smartphones used by the passengers can be registered into the system, so that alerts can be made if a phone is stolen. Prior notice will be given to go to the airport with the phone battery fully charged.
In the case of a flight cancellation, the system will look for an alternative flight. If there is a difference in pricing, a refund process will be initiated or extra charges will be added to the passengers account.