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Type or paste Alabama Airlines opened its doors in December 2001 as a commuter service with its headquarters and hub located in Birmingham The airline was started and managed by two former pilots

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Alabama Airlines opened its doors in December 2001 as a commuter service with its headquarters and hub located in Birmingham. The airline was started and managed by two former pilots, David Douglas and George Devenney. It acquired a fleet of 12 used prop-jet planes and the airport gates vacated by Delta Airline’s 2001 downsizing due to the September 11 terrorist attacks. With business growing quickly, Douglas turned his attention to Alabama Air’s “0800” reservations system. Between midnight and 06:00 a.m., only one telephone reservations agent had been on duty. The time between incoming calls during this period is distributed as shown in Table 3. Carefully observing and timing the agent, Douglas estimated that the time required to process passenger inquiries is distributed as shown in Table 4.

Table 3: Incoming Call Distribution

Time Between Calls (Minutes)

Probability

1

0.11

2

0.21

3

0.22

4

0.2

5

0.16

6

0.1

Table 4: Service Time Distribution

Time to Process Customer Inquiries (Minutes)

Probability

1

0.2

2

0.19

3

0.18

4

0.17

5

0.13

6

0.1

7

0.03

All customers calling Alabama Air go “on-hold” and are served in order of the calls received unless the reservations agent is available for immediate service. Douglas is deciding whether a second agent should be on duty to cope with customer demand. To maintain customer satisfaction, Alabama Air wants a customer to be “on-hold” for no more than 3 to 4 minutes; it also wants to maintain a “high” operator utilization.

Furthermore, the airline is planning a new TV advertising campaign. As a result, it expects an increase in “0800” line phone inquiries. Based on similar campaigns in the past the incoming call distribution from midnight to 06:00 a.m. is expected to be shown in Table 5. (The same service-time distribution will apply.)

Table 5: Incoming Call Distribution

Time Between Calls (Minutes)

Probability

1

0.22

2

0.25

3

0.19

4

0.15

5

0.12

6

0.07

4

1. Given the original call distribution, what would you advise Alabama Air to do for the current reservation system? Create a simulation model to investigate the scenario. Describe the model carefully and justify the assumptions and measures of performance. Simulate 30 runs of 360 Minutes and compare the characteristics for the two designs with one or two operators using appropriate statistical summaries. Start each run with an empty system and only consider customers that are served by the end of the 360 Minutes simulation run.

2. What are your recommendations regarding operator utilization and customer satisfaction if the airline proceeds with the advertising campaign?

Aug 27 2020 View more View Less

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