A novel passenger recovery approach for the integrated airline recovery problem

Stephen J. Maher

Schedule disruptions require airlines to intervene through the process of recovery; this involves modifications to the planned schedule, aircraft routings, crew pairings and passenger itineraries. Passenger recovery is generally considered as the final stage in this process, and hence passengers experience unnecessarily large impacts resulting from flight delays and cancellations. Most recovery approaches considering passengers involve a separately defined module within the problem formulation. However, this approach may be overly complex for recovery in many aviation and general transportation applications. This paper presents a unique description of the cancellation variables that models passenger recovery by prescribing the alternative travel arrangements for passengers in the event of flight cancellations. The results will demonstrate that this simple, but effective, passenger recovery approach significantly reduces the operational costs of the airline and increases passenger flow through the network. The integrated airline recovery problem with passenger reallocation is solved using column-and-row generation to achieve high quality solutions in short runtimes. An analysis of the column-and-row generation solution approach is performed, identifying a number of enhancement techniques to further improve the solution runtimes.

Computers & Operations Research, 57:123 – 137, 2015.

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