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机票预售的小秘密 – 译学馆
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机票预售的小秘密

Why do airlines sell too many tickets? - Nina Klietsch

【启点字幕组】
【Light up the world】
你有这样的经历吗 即使预约了医生
Have you ever sat in a doctor’s office for hours
却仍然等了几个小时
despite having an appointment at a specific time?
预订了酒店 却因为客满而无法入住
Has a hotel turned down your reservation because it’s full?
花钱买了机票 却被挤掉了座位
Or have you been bumped off a flight that you paid for?
这些都是超额预售的表现
These are all symptoms of overbooking,
即公司或机构的卖出量
a practice where businesses and institutions
超过实际服务能力
sell or book more than their full capacity.
尽管超额预售常常惹怒顾客
While often infuriating for the customer,
但依然在发生 因为它能提升利润
overbooking happens because it increases profits
并提高资源利用率
while also letting businesses optimize their resources.
卖家知道不是每个人都能准时赴约
They know that not everyone will show up to their appointments,
按时到达酒店
reservations,
或者及时登机
and flights,
所以他们卖出的量往往超过实际供给
so they make more available than they actually have to offer.
航空公司就是最典型的例子 超额售卖时常发生
Airlines are the classical example, partially because it happens so often.
每年 因超额售卖被挤掉座位的顾客约有5万
About 50,000 people get bumped off their flights each year.
航空公司对这个数字并不感到惊讶
That figure comes at little surprise to the airlines themselves,
因为它们就是用这些数据来决定售卖机票的数量
which use statistics to determine exactly how many tickets to sell.
这是一项精细的计算
It’s a delicate operation.
卖票太少就会浪费座位
Sell too few, and they’re wasting seats.
卖票太多就要赔偿———
Sell too many, and they pay penalties –
赔钱 免票 包住宿 还要安抚顾客
money, free flights, hotel stays, and annoyed customers.
简单介绍一下计算方法
So here’s a simplified version of how their calculations work.
航空公司长年收集信息
Airlines have collected years worth of information
比如各航班乘客准时登机的情况
about who does and doesn’t show up for certain flights.
比如 它们知道对于某航线
They know, for example, that on a particular route,
每位乘客的准时登机率为90%
the probability that each individual customer will show up on time is 90%.
简单来看
For the sake of simplicity,
我们假设 每位乘客都是独立出行
we’ll assume that every customer is traveling individually
不考虑家庭或组团出行
rather than as families or groups.
如果飞机有180个座位 公司售出180张机票
Then, if there are 180 seats on the plane and they sell 180 tickets,
最有可能的情况是有162名乘客登机
the most likely result is that 162 passengers will board.
当然 最后实际登机人数也可能
But, of course, you could also end up with more passengers,
大于或小于162
or fewer.
每种情况出现的可能性符合
The probability for each value is given by what’s called
二项分布
a binomial distribution,
峰值代表最可能的情况
which peaks at the most likely outcome.
现在我们来看看收入
Now let’s look at the revenue.
乘客购票 航空公司就赚钱
The airline makes money from each ticket buyer
乘客座位被挤掉 公司就赔钱
and loses money for each person who gets bumped.
假设一张机票250美元 且不可改签
Let’s say a ticket costs $250 and isn’t exchangeable for a later flight.
每位被挤掉的乘客得到800美元赔偿
And the cost of bumping a passenger is $800.
这些数字只是为了举例说明
These numbers are just for the sake of example.
实际的数字存在很大不同
Actual amounts vary considerably.
如果不超额售卖 则收入为45000美元
So here, if you don’t sell any extra tickets, you make $45,000.
如果超额售出15张且至少有15人没登机
If you sell 15 extras and at least 15 people are no shows,
则收入为48750美元
you make $48,750.
这是最好的情况
That’s the best case.
最坏的情况 每个人都登机
In the worst case, everyone shows up.
则15名乘客不幸被挤掉 收入为36750美元
15 unlucky passengers get bumped, and the revenue will only be $36,750,
低于售出180张机票的情况
even less than if you only sold 180 tickets in the first place.
但最重要的不是情况好坏
But what matters isn’t just how good or bad a scenario is financially,
而是各种情况发生的概率
but how likely it is to happen.
每种情况发生的概率是多少呢
So how likely is each scenario?
我们可以通过二项分布找到答案
We can find out by using the binomial distribution.
这个例子中 195名乘客登机的概率
In this example, the probability of exactly 195 passengers boarding
几乎为0
is almost 0%.
184名乘客登机的概率为1.11% 以此类推
The probability of exactly 184 passengers boarding is 1.11%, and so on.
每种情况发生概率乘以对应的收入
Multiply these probabilities by the revenue for each case,
再加总
add them all up,
再从195张机票的总收入中减去上面得出的和
and subtract the sum from the earnings by 195 sold tickets,
就会得出售卖195张机票的预期收入
and you get the expected revenue for selling 195 tickets.
对不同机票销售数均算出预期收入
By repeating this calculation for various numbers of extra tickets,
就能得出收入最高的机票售卖方案
the airline can find the one likely to yield the highest revenue.
此例中 售卖198张机票能实现最高收入
In this example, that’s 198 tickets,
即48774美金
from which the airline will probably make $48,774,
同不超额售卖相比 多赚约4000美金
almost 4,000 more than without overbooking.
而这仅是一个班次
And that’s just for one flight.
将这个数字乘以每年以百万计的班次数
Multiply that by a million flights per airline per year,
则超额售卖带来的利润相当可观
and overbooking adds up fast.
当然 实际的运算肯定更加复杂
Of course, the actual calculation is much more complicated.
航空公司会考虑更多因素 以建立更精准的模型
Airlines apply many factors to create even more accurate models.
但是 航空公司应该超额售卖么
But should they?
一些人认为超额售卖是不道德的
Some argue that overbooking is unethical.
这相当于一份资源收了两份钱
You’re charging two people for the same resource.
当然 航空公司如果有十足把握确定有人不会出现的话
Of course, if you’re 100% sure someone won’t show up,
那么 这样售卖是没问题的
it’s fine to sell their seat.
但是 如果只有95%的把握呢
But what if you’re only 95% sure?
如果只有75%的把握呢
75%?
有没有一个临界值能划分道德性和现实性的界线呢
Is there a number that separates being unethical from being practical?

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