Airline ticket prices are built using diverse individual data components: fares, flight schedules, taxes, and various legal and governance structures. An airline also sets business restrictions, known as rules, to determine under what circumstances a fare may be offered, such as requiring a Saturday-night stay or during pre-determined promotional sale dates. All these elements must be referenced and incorporated into the final price of an airline ticket. The pricing approach covered by this patent enables ATPCO to generate all published prices globally, in real time, independent of availability. This will give carriers and airline channel partners a total view of all prices that make up a market.
ATPCO today announced that it has been awarded Patent #10,032,195 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to cover new technology, developed by its data scientists and technical architects, that enables construction of airline ticket prices using graph database and “functional programming” techniques. This technology permits a unique approach to calculating airfare prices that was not previously available.
“This approach maintains all the links to the original data components that make up a total airline ticket price. Therefore, we can deconstruct a price into all its components once it’s generated, as well as identify all the rule provisions that made the price eligible. This has tremendous advantages for the pricing and audit capabilities that we are pursuing,” said John Murphy, Vice President of Technology at ATPCO.
Unlike traditional pricing engines used today to sell tickets that focus on calculating the lowest or “best” fare in the marketplace, ATPCO’s approach was engineered to support airline revenue management and pricing departments that manage all the various price points an airline wants to offer.
“To support these needs, pricing engines need to calculate prices for all possible fares (not just the lowest) and to keep track of all the components that made up the price without relying on cached results. Cached results can become outdated quickly, which creates problems when an airline pricing analyst wants to make changes or audit how or why a particular price was made available,” said Navid Abbassi, Chief Architect at ATPCO.
Detecting when elements change, testing how scenarios will price, and validating fares before they are distributed are enabled by this technology, which is part of ATPCO’s commitment to lead the airline industry into the next generation of distribution.
Through the speed and scalability of the approach enabled by this work, millions of pricing responses can be processed and generated in real time without losing the context of the data that created those prices in the first place. By making it easier to change elements of a ticket price, ATPCO is giving airlines new and more efficient ways to manage their price points offered in any given market.