Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 376–396 | Cite as

Personalization in airline revenue management – Heuristics for real-time adjustment of availability and fares

  • Michael D. WittmanEmail author
  • Peter P. Belobaba
Research Article


Through improvements in information technology and distribution, airlines are increasingly gaining access to detailed information about potential passengers at the time of booking. Airlines could use this passenger information to provide availability or a fare quote that is tailored specifically toward the passenger that is making the request. For instance, IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) will allow airlines to offer passengers a personalized fare offer that could include a customized price. By strategically targeting personalized offers toward the right customers, airlines could gain new bookings from price-sensitive passengers while encouraging more price-inelastic travelers to buy-up to higher price points. This paper, the second in a series on dynamic availability in airline revenue management, proposes two heuristics that could be used to provide targeted availability or fare offers to specific customers or segments of customers after making a simple estimate of the passenger’s willingness-to-pay (WTP). Tests in the Passenger Origin–Destination Simulator (PODS) show that the heuristics are generally revenue-positive for airlines and are stable in a competitive revenue management environment. Of particular interest is “dynamic discounting,” which increases both yields and load factors by offering targeted discounts to leisure passengers in specific situations. The results improve on past work on dynamic availability and introduce new possibilities for personalization in airline revenue management.


new distribution capability dynamic availability airline distribution personalized pricing behavior-based price discrimination dynamic pricing 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyInternational Center for Air TransportationCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyInternational Center for Air TransportationCambridgeUSA

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