September 2022 Newsletter

The Future Belongs to PSS

Over the last couple of months, there were various discussions about PSS (passenger service system) and if they are a thing of the past. I know, I’m pretty late in joining the discussion, but let me give you my opinion.

In order to do that, I will elaborate on what a PSS is. Because that will help us understand, what the future will bring and if PSS will be around in the years to come.

As I already mentioned, PSS stands for passenger service system – a system to service passengers. The term represents the core business process of an airline, moving, or servicing, passengers from the origin to the destination.

No matter what will happen, as long as there are airlines, the main business is to service passengers and guess what, we do need systems to support the process.

In the past, and oh well, in the future, these systems are a combination of various system domains. Traditional PSS, and the majority of airlines are still using those, consist of schedule management, inventory management (including availability), fares management (including fare quote), reservation management, and booking management – that’s why we sometimes refer to a PSS as a booking system or reservation system – which is actually not correct. DCS (departure control system) is not part of a PSS – interestingly – but that’s another topic I might elaborate in a future blog.

In the new world we no longer have bookings (PNR – passenger name record), but orders. So let’s replace the booking management with order management (OMS). We no longer have availability and fare quotes, but offer management (consisting of checking the inventory and making sure we quote the best price).

We still manage schedules and inventories – and we still have flights and ancillaries. Unfortunately, we didn’t make the step to name these things products, limiting ourselves in the way how, and what we offer and shop.

Fulfillment is managed by the departure control or airport systems, ideally also on-board with a mobile crew application for servicing passengers throughout the journey.

It clearly shows that we do not replace the PSS, but improve the underlying functional domains. We will continue to serve passengers, but offer a better shopping experience, keep the information in orders instead of passenger name records and tickets and use more modern data interface options (Web APIs, XML, JSON, etc.). But as long as airlines continue flying, we will service passengers and as such we will have PSS. We will say goodbye to legacy technology and processes, migrate functional domains to open and decentralized cloud platforms and welcome new distribution (or shall I say “sales” – coz we no longer distribute) channels.

The PSS is dead – long live the PSS.

Yours truly,

Sawitree Kaewsangjai

Sales & Marketing Manager