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Pricing substitutable flights in airline revenue management

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  • Zhang, Dan
  • Cooper, William L.

Abstract

We develop a Markov decision process formulation of a dynamic pricing problem for multiple substitutable flights between the same origin and destination, taking into account customer choice among the flights. The model is rendered computationally intractable for exact solution by its multi-dimensional state and action spaces, so we develop and analyze various bounds and heuristics. We first describe three related models, each based on some form of pooling, and introduce heuristics suggested by these models. We also develop separable bounds for the value function which are used to construct value- and policy-approximation heuristics. Extensive numerical experiments show the value- and policy-approximation approaches to work well across a wide range of problem parameters, and to outperform the pooling-based heuristics in most cases. The methods are applicable even for large problems, and are potentially useful for practical applications.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Dan & Cooper, William L., 2009. "Pricing substitutable flights in airline revenue management," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 197(3), pages 848-861, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:197:y:2009:i:3:p:848-861
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766555, November.
    2. Guillermo Gallego & Garrett van Ryzin, 1994. "Optimal Dynamic Pricing of Inventories with Stochastic Demand over Finite Horizons," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(8), pages 999-1020, August.
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    5. Kalyan Talluri & Garrett van Ryzin, 2004. "Revenue Management Under a General Discrete Choice Model of Consumer Behavior," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(1), pages 15-33, January.
    6. Constantinos Maglaras & Joern Meissner, 2006. "Dynamic Pricing Strategies for Multiproduct Revenue Management Problems," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, pages 136-148.
    7. Gabriel Bitran & René Caldentey, 2003. "An Overview of Pricing Models for Revenue Management," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 5(3), pages 203-229, August.
    8. Wedad Elmaghraby & P{i}nar Keskinocak, 2003. "Dynamic Pricing in the Presence of Inventory Considerations: Research Overview, Current Practices, and Future Directions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(10), pages 1287-1309, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dan Zhang, 2011. "An Improved Dynamic Programming Decomposition Approach for Network Revenue Management," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 13(1), pages 35-52, April.
    2. Meissner, Joern & Strauss, Arne, 2012. "Network revenue management with inventory-sensitive bid prices and customer choice," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 216(2), pages 459-468.
    3. Meissner, Joern & Strauss, Arne, 2012. "Improved bid prices for choice-based network revenue management," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 217(2), pages 417-427.
    4. Yalç{i}n Akçay & Harihara Prasad Natarajan & Susan H. Xu, 2010. "Joint Dynamic Pricing of Multiple Perishable Products Under Consumer Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(8), pages 1345-1361, August.
    5. Weaver, Robert D. & Moon, Yongma, 2011. "Pricing Perishables," 2011 International European Forum, February 14-18, 2011, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 122007, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
    6. Ødegaard, Fredrik & Wilson, John G., 2016. "Dynamic pricing of primary products and ancillary services," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 251(2), pages 586-599.
    7. Chen, Jing & Wang, Jian & Bell, Peter C., 2014. "Lease expiration management for a single lease term in the apartment industry," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 238(1), pages 233-244.

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