Ever had to change a complex literary or rebook a flight via the phone? If you have, then you can relate to how painful that is. If you don’t already have status with the airline, then the process is even more painful with a longer wait prior to interacting with the reservation agent.

When you tell a reservations agent where and when you’d like to visit a location, and how you’d like to end the trip, they have a very complex task to perform. They must put together an itinerary that fits your requests - and is available. After finding that information, they then must read it back to you over the phone. Each literary includes a lot of details - times and information about the flights [connection time, class, connection location, etc.]. Most of the time, you are only told the first flight that fits the parameters, which is rarely ever the best flight available. You’re rarely ever told your other options [unless you request the specific flight numbers and know the availability], because the agent is not motivated to give you all of the available options at once.

I believe the way that one could solve this problem is to convert this conversation from just auditory into a visual and audio experience. I believe that the creation of a small website that represents the session between the customer and the reservations agent, similar to a WebEx meeting, would solve the issue. The page would display all of the options available. It would make users a lot happier about their experience with airlines, and give the flyer more information on how tight or open the availability may be [alleviating much of the pain of irregular operations].

How would this work? The user could open up a web page, and use a short code that is shared between the agent and themselves to access the information being described, the page would be updated based on the agent’s action. This may even work at customer service desks where their reservation desks have to read itineraries to passengers.

How does this differ from the current procedure of online flight changes? The functionality of the flight changes aren’t always allowed or functional on the site. Try changing a round trip ticket to a different date and different location. When the, allowed, functionality of the reservation change site is exceeded, the user is prompted to make the changes over the phone.