Case Studies: Correcting mistakes on ticket pricing

When Delta Airlines found out it was losing money on ticket sales due to system errors, Datamatics found a way to quickly and efficiently solve their problem: an audit system that would process any missed and inaccurate prices.

  The Need

Delta Air Lines suspected that complicated fare construction rules were not always coded correctly in ticket sales systems known as "Computerized Reservation Systems" (CRS) run by third parties such as Sabre, Apollo, and AMADEUS. This resulted in many tickets being sold at less that the intended price. Delta contractually could recover the amount of each pricing mistake but had no way to identify the many thousands of pricing mistakes in a cost-effective and systematic way. Several million dollars were being flushed down the drain monthly and the CRS operators had no incentive to change.

  The Solution

A powerful audit system was constructed using an Oracle database, Cognos PowerPlay--a query and data analysis tool, and custom C++ functions. This system produced debit memos monthly that were sent to the CRS Operators by a senior Delta Executive.

  The Result

The first monthly check received by Delta was from the biggest CRS operator and was in the amount of $450,000. Total checks received quickly totaled in millions of dollars. CRS operators implemented changes that improved the pricing behavior, resulting in ongoing improvements to Delta's bottom line.


  • Data mining and analysis to find patterned problem areas
  • System errors corrected
  • Oracle DB, Cognos Powerplay, C++ functions