This case study examines the impact of online reservation systems and e-commerce on the travel industry. Two questions are examined: 1. How can competitive advantage be obtained from the exploitation of new information technologies—in particular, e-commerce technologies? 2. How has the role of travel agents changed because of the new information technologies being used to achieve competitive advantage in the air travel industry? Initial discussion concerns the impact of the American Airlines SABRE system, as this has often been touted as giving American Airlines first-mover advantage in the industry. The wider impact of remote-access, computerized reservation systems, or Global Distribution Systems, and e-commerce access to online reservations in the travel industry is analyzed, using Porter’s five-force model of industry competitive forces, to understand how the travel industry has shaped and has been shaped by information systems. The case study concludes with a comparison of the impact of information technologies between the U.S. and European travel industries. It concludes that technology alone does not affect the roles of industry players, but the development of winning technologies exploits structural factors in the environment. Constant evolution of strategic information systems is critical to producing competitive advantage, but opportunism also plays a strong role.
Use the following questions/prompts to help you write your report. (Each question/prompt may not apply to every case):
Situation analysis (30%)
You are the primary decision maker in the case. You are not a consumer.
Indicate what role you are taking. What are your objectives? What are the relevant facts from the case?
Solution analysis (30%)
What are the decisions/problems/opportunities? How do feel about actions taken? Why? What would you have done? What are the major technological differences today? What would you do today?
Case Review and Reflection (30%)
What you have learned from this case? How does this relate to your own experiences?
In other classes? Your personal life? At your job?
Organization and Grammar (10%+)
Spelling errors. Grammar errors. Section headings. Organization.
Your report should use the above three section headings.
It should be 4 to 5 pages (double-spaced, 12 pt.). This should be typed, and use proper business
English. You will be graded on depth of analysis, organization, and thoroughness
(see rubric on following page).