Flexible assignment approach to itinerary seat allocation

Jinn-Tsai Wong*, Frank S. Koppelman, Mark S. Daskin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a new approach to the optimal allocation of airline seats among itineraries in a network under stochastic demand. Current approaches to network seat inventory control are based on either full assignment or bucket control. Under full assignment, all seats on each flight leg are assigned to a specific single- or multi-leg itinerary. Under bucket control seats are assigned to groups of itineraries. The flexible assignment approach proposed in this paper assigns some seats exclusively to each single- or multi-leg itinerary as in fixed assignment and assigns the remaining seats to groups of itineraries as in bucket control. This paper formulates the flexible assignment approach, develops rules for optimal assignment for a single-fare-class network and proves the superiority of this approach to either fixed assignment or bucket control. A numerical simulation is ised to illustrate the differences in expected revenue among these three methods of seat inventory control for four different demand scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-48
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research Part B
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993

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