eRES Departure Control Application


Overview

The eRES Departure Control System (eDCS) is self contained, comprehensive and easy to use.

eDCS can centralize the departure control for your transportation company, it can be used as a DCS for a single station as well as for multiple stations at the same time.

eDCS works as a stand-alone departure control system or it works as an integrated part of our eRES reservation system.

In the stand-alone configration eDCS communicates to the reservation system using the IATA standard PNL, ADL and DEL files as sent by the host reservation systems.

eDCS can work with SITA CUTE or ARINC MUSE if the station uses these products.

For those cases where there is no connection to the passenger database, eDCS supports loading the PNL, ADL and DEL files, generated by the host system, the host system sends a file to eDCS. eDCS then loads the file and places this information into the local database for check-in. At the completion of the check-in operation a file is generated and transmitted, that contains all of the updated check-in information, back to the host system. eDCS automatically updates the host database.

Complete tracking, accounting and reporting of the checked-in bookings are provided. A complete set of utilities complement the accounting process.

Passenger Check-in

Open Check-In

Before the passengers can check-in, the system must be "opened for check-in". This is accomplished by the person designated, this is usually a person in operations or a designated person at the station.

Once the trip is opened for check-in, the trip belongs to check-in. At this point only check-in can make changes or reservations. The on-line booking system is no longer allowed to make reservation or changes to this trip. At this time off-site check-in locations are restricted from checking-in passengers.

Passenger Check-in Counter

The station check-in functions provided are:

  • Check-in
  • Baggage
  • Booking a New Passenger
  • Handling the "Wait Listed" Passengers
  • Cancellations
  • Re-bookings
  • Up-Grades
  • Down-Grades
  • Walk-Ups
  • No Shows
  • Stand-by
  • Infants
  • Lap Children
  • Un-Accompanied Minors
  • Special Needs
    • Wheel Chairs
    • Catering Interface
    • Assistance In Boarding
    • Special Baggage
    • Medical Considerations
    • Animals
  • Special Charges
  • Print eTickets If Required.
  • Print Boarding Passes
  • Automated Baggage Tags
  • Optional RFID Bag Tag Recording
  • Scanning Of eTickets For Check-In
  • Off-Line Or On-Line Operation
  • Acceptance And Recording Of Other Companies eTickets or IATA/ICAO Standard Tickets
  • Baggage Interlining
  • Passenger Internet Check-In
  • Off Site Check-In For Companies Or Agents
  • Security, Agents Only Have Access to Applications That Are Needed For Their Specific Duties
  • Absolute Adherence To IATA/ICAO Standards

To check-in a passenger the check-in agent does the following:

  • Select the passenger being checked-in:
    • by scanning the eTicket.
    • or by manually inputting the ticket information.
  • Select the "Checked-in" option.
  • Select the "Update Link".
  • On trips defined as international the system requires that the passenger's passport information is input, either manually or via a scanner, into the system. Optionally, the passport can be scanned and the image stored in the system.

The check-in system immediately updates the passenger's record (PNR) in the SQL relational database. At this point the manifest report is accurate no matter where it is viewed or printed.

At this point the passenger's baggage, if any, is checked-in.

Baggage Check-in

The passenger, if they have baggage to check-in, must check their baggage with the check-in agent in order to insure that the baggage is routed correctly and that it is labeled. A baggage check-in application is provided that records the bags being check-in as well as automatically calculating any baggage charges due. To activate the baggage check-in application the agent selects the "Baggage" link on the row representing the current passenger. This automatically presents the baggage check-in panel to the agent.

The baggage check-in application provides the following functions:

  • Baggage check-in
  • Baggage check-in for groups of passengers
  • Manager's ability to waive the charges all on some of the baggage charges
  • Return of baggage to the passenger, if required.
  • Payment for overweight, excessive or optional baggage.

The weight and balance program is automatically notified to reflect the passenger's and baggage weight.

IATA/ICAO Baggage Tags

Once the baggage is checked-in, the system automatically prints the correct number of IATA/ICAO baggage tags. The baggage tag contains all of the information necessary to insure that the bags arrive at the proper destination. In addition to the standard bar code label on the bag tag a simple unique identifier or more complex information can be optionally stored on a RFID chip contained on the bag tag if this functionality is supported by the station.

The RFID stored date travels with each bag and is tracked by the system, when read, by the RFID readers. The baggage is tracked until it is loaded onto the vechicle.

The passenger application insures positive baggage identification when the trip manifest is printed. If there is a problem the trip manifest cannot be printed until the problem is resolved. The boarding application checks for all possible errors:

  • Passenger not boarded but baggage loaded.
  • Passenger departing prior to baggage offload.
  • Baggage to passenger identification.

Boarding Passes

A standard IATA/ICAO boarding pass is printed on plain paper stock, at this point the eTicket no longer has any validity as it is replaced by the boarding pass. The passenger is allowed to retain the eTicket for their financial records and also for redemption in the frequent travler program.

IATA BCBP resolution 792 is adhered to for bar coded boarding passes and the standard PDF417 (ISO/IEC 15438) is support for the 2D bar code.

The boarding passes are printed on normal laser printers and on plain paper stock. If your company pulls boarding passes the upper portion of the boarding pass can be separated from the lower half by purchasing perforated paper that allows the two section to be separated at boarding. In this case the passenger retains the lower portion for their records.

The system has the ability to print a special boarding pass for those locations where additional check-in and boarding security is necessary. At the check-in counter a scanner is used to scan either the passengers government identification card or their passport. This information is printed on the left hand side of the boarding pass, including the photograph of the passenger. This allows positive identification of the passengers when they are boarded. When the passenger boards, and the boarding pass scanner is used, it is possible to display the passport information of the boarding passenger on a display. This eliminates all fraud of the wrong passenger boarding.

The data retained in the bar code per resolution 792 are:

  • Number of legs encoded
  • Passenger name
  • Electronic ticket indicator
  • Operating carrier PNR code
  • From city station code
  • To city station code
  • Trip number
  • Date of trip
  • Compartment code
  • Check-in sequence number
  • Passenger Status
  • Passenger description
  • Source of check-in
  • Source of boarding pass issue
  • Date of issue of boarding pass
  • Document type
  • Designator of boarding pass issuer
  • Your companies numeric code
  • Frequent travler designator
  • Frequent travler number
  • ID/AD indicator
  • Free baggage allowance

Additional information, other than the required standard data that is placed on the boarding card is:

  • Number of checked bags
  • Total weight of the checked bags
  • The bag tag numbers of the checked bags
  • The charges, if any, for overweight checked baggage
  • The number and weight of the carry-on luggage
  • The identification number of each carry-on bag tag
  • Any special carry on luggage such as computers, baby strollers, etc.

This information provides positive baggage identification of checked luggage and carry-on luggage. This helps to locate checked baggage once it is loaded and eliminates fraudulent baggage from being carried by the passenger.

Internet Check-In

Passengers, using the on-line booking system, can check-in for their trips anytime and anywhere.

Passengers can check-in on-line anytime between 2 and 48 hours prior to departure. In addition, they can check-in their return trip, if their return trip is less than 48 hours from the arrival of their outbound segment.

When Passengers check-in on-line, all they need to do is arrive at the station no later than 45 minutes before departure to have their boarding pass validate and present their check-in luggage.

To use Internet check-in, the passenger must have a confirmed (paid for) booking made on your on-line system, a travel agent or by one of your reservation centers.

At the station the passengers simply present their government issued photo identification and if the reservation was paid for by credit card, their credit card that was used to pay for the reservation.

Off-Site Check-In

The ability for passengers to check-in for their trips before they reach the station provides a less stressful travel experience. Off-site check-in reduces crowding at the station ticket counter areas and to drastically reduce passenger processing cost.

Hotels, transportation companies, convention centers and other locations have begun to embrace the concept of offering passenger check-in on their proprieties.

Utilizing web check-in applications has made the process of producing a boarding pass off-site a simple affair. However, the inability to produce baggage tags at an off-site location has made handling passengers who wish to check baggage a more complicated process.

Generally, most third-party baggage concierge services has resorted to producing baggage tags in advance before they arrive at the off-site location. Greatly reducing efficiency and adding significant cost to their operations. Additionally, any unused baggage tags need to be deleted from the passenger records to ensure the integrity of passenger and baggage information.

FDM has created an application to simplify the process of producing baggage tags away from the station, greatly increasing passenger service levels at off-site check-in locations. This allows third-party baggage concierge services to print baggage tags at any off-site check-in location no matter how complicated the passenger's route is.

Since the entire system is integrated together it is simple to provide the necessary technology to allow passengers to check-in at any off-site location with checked baggage. The check-in records for specific transportation companies are updated via an Internet based check-in application.

Passenger Boarding

Gate Operation

The boarding function is accomplished from a single eDCS panel. The single panel contains a listing of all passengers booked on the trip being boarded.

The functions provided for the gate agents are the same as the check-in agents with the following additions:

  • Print Pre-Trip Passenger Manifest
  • Print Final Trip Passenger Manifest
  • Calculate and print the Weight and Balance report
  • Update the Trip Following report

The agent, to board a passenger is only required to select the correct passenger and select the "Continue" button,. This function immediately updates the central database so that the manifest report is accurate to the second no matter where it is viewed/printed.

When all passengers have boarded, the agent can then print the manifest for the captain.

When the trip manifest is printed a check is made to insure that any passengers that have check-in and checked baggage are boarded. If all passengers are accounted for the trip manifest is printed. Otherwise the trip manifest cannot be produced until the checked baggage is removed or the passenger accounted for.

Scanner

Fast Passenger Boarding

Fast Boarding allows your agents to positively board passengers at the gate in less than 3 second per passenger.

On the the eTicket and/or boarding pass is a bar code that contains the passenger and trip locator number. If you install a bar code scanner all that has to be done is to scan the eTicket and the passenger will be boarded.

If you choose not to purchase bar code scanners the gate agent can input the passenger and trip locater number using the Personal Computer keyboard.

When you scan or manually input the trip locater number a panel will pop up providing confirmation that the passenger boarding is getting onto the correct vehicle.

The boarding operation produces the computer IATA standard passenger manifest.

At the completion of boarding, the number of passengers boarded and the number of passengers on the passenger manifest, is compared by the captain, with the attendants passenger count. When this count is verified as correct the captain is required to sign the manifest retained in your companies records.

Loading Checked Baggage

The baggage being loaded onto the vehicle can be, optionally, scanned by radio frequency scanners which automatically update the database. Once the vehicle is loaded the system will automatically make a check to insure all cargo that was supposed to be loaded was loaded and that there is no extra cargo loaded. With proper surveillance of this process it is impossible to put bogus baggage onto the vehicle.

The vehicle should not be released until this operation is complete and correct.

Captian's Envelope

The following information can be, optionally, produced and given to the vehicle's Capitan:

  • Official IATA passenger manifest
  • Weight and balance report
  • Captian's NOTOC report
  • Load Sheet

Trip Reconciliation

Trip reconciliation consists of:

  1. Insuring that the trip manifest is updated and correct. This means that all passengers who have checked in and boarded are on board.
  2. Printing two copies of the manifest, one copy for the vehicle and the signed, by the vehicle's captain, copy for the vehicle's records.
  3. All passengers on the boarded list must either be:

    • Boarded
    • No Showed
    • Cancelled
    • Re-booked on a different trip

If any passengers are left in any other state, like paid or checked-in, the trip will resist being closed. If the trip is not closed the IATA Passenger Manifest cannot be produced.

Closing The Trip

The trip can be closed when all passengers are boarded, the vehicle's captain has been give the trip manifest and the trip has been reconciled.

Trip Release

The final step is trip release, trip release occurs automatically when operations updates the Trip Status (Trip Following) to "Released" status.

When the trip is "released" complete control is passed to accounting.