Computer Reservation System, also known as Central Reservation System, is a computerized system, used for inventory management by hotels, airlines, and car rental companies. It enables direct access to check availability, make reservations, and print tickets. Moreover, it has become efficient for airlines as airlines can monitor behavior of individual agents. It further helps in designing commissions.
The majority of airlines have outsourced their Central Reservation Systems (CRSs) to Global Distribution System (GDS) companies. These GDS companies also facilitate access for consumers via internet gateways. For many years, GDS dominated the airline industry. To avoid its high fees and other issues, airlines started to sell their seats directly via their websites. Another way is by directly connecting to the travel agencies, like American Airlines does.
History of CRS
Before CRS, travelers had to rely on the information provided by the travel service suppliers through printed brochures, flyers, and other listings in local travel guides. This process was lengthy, promotional materials were costly, and information remained static when the data needed to be changed. In 1946, American Airlines created history by installing the first automated booking system- the electromechanical Reservoir. It proved successful and several other airlines as well as Sheraton hotels started using the machine for inventory control. It became a primary means of travel service distribution.
Key Functions of Computer Reservation System
The implementation of CRS increases overall efficiency. For example, CRS instantly updates the hotel’s ARIs across multiple distribution channels. It speeds up the performance, reduces labor costs, and minimizes errors caused by manual operation. Another benefit of having CRS is it provides better visibility into the booking activity, including the related data, which further allows for more comprehensive planning, forecasting, and marketing.
Its other functions include:
- Keep tracks of booking history in real-time.
- Synchronized the rates through a centralized platform to ensure rate parity.
- Streamlines the booking process, which further helps in focusing on maximizing the revenue.
- It displays travel services with prices and images.
- Inventory and reservation management.
- User-friendly reservation system.
- Online payment gateway integration.
- Customer data management.
- Booking cancellation and refund management.
- Email notification.
Computer Reservation System or CRS is used to configure, store, and distribute travel inventory to the travelers for reservations. It is managed across multiple distribution channels, such as the third party API integration booking websites. In case of hotels, it manages room allotment for single to multi-property chains. CRS enables travel agencies and travel management companies a 24/7 interface to its clients to search and book flights, hotels, sightseeings, transfers, and other travel-related services.