|As noted by Theis et al. (2006), "Network airlines traditionally attempt to minimize passenger connecting times at hub airports, assuming that passengers prefer minimum scheduled elapsed time for their trips. However, minimizing connecting times creates schedule peaks at hub airports. These peaks are extremely cost-intensive in terms of additional personnel, resources, runway capacity, and schedule recovery. Consequently, passenger connecting times should be minimized only if the anticipated revenue gain of minimizing passenger connection times is larger than the increase."
Prior work has used (small) stated preference surveys to estimate customers' connection time preferences, and explicitly whether this function is nonlinear with connection time (i.e., customers avoid very short connections and very long connections). However, little is known as to how these connection time preferences vary as a function of other characteristics, including flight frequency (or schedule delay), length of haul, whether the flight is the last flight of the day, prior on-time performance of flight legs.
As part of this project, the student will estimate airline itinerary choice models using a large ticketing database provided by the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). The student will build off of prior MNL models that have been estimated which have corrected for price endogeneity and focus explicitly on refining the utility function related to connection time preferences.|