Man vs machine on the battlefield of airline revenue management

Tom Bacon does not dispute the value of analysts but argues that there is definitely a central role for machine learning in RM Great revenue management analysts are invaluable. The 5+% increase in revenue attributed to a sophisticated RM system cannot be achieved without well-trained, highly experienced analysts who can properly maintain the system and intervene when appropriate. This means that, potentially, groups of 50 individuals could be responsible for $1-$2 billion in incremental earnings a year at each of the larger airlines – $20-$40 million per analyst. Give these guys a raise! Some airlines are experimenting with machine learning. Can the computer ‘learn’ from experienced analysts and replicate their interventions? At an Eyefortravel conference, easyJet, for example, explained how machine learning reverses the normal modelling process. So the normal…

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