Single-leg revenue management with downsell and delayed decision-making

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In this paper, we study the impact of downsell in leg revenue management. Downsell happens when a customer purchases a lower fare than she was looking for. We aim to minimize the losses in revenue that arise from this situation. We reformulate the traditional DP formulation to account for this behavior, and show revenue gains of up to 48% compared to the traditional DP formulation. Next, we aim to improve customer booking simulation by assuming customers may postpone their decision to book. Using a surprisingly easy reformulation of our DP strategy we ensure that cheaper classes will never open after they get closed, guaranteeing customers booking now is better than doing so in the future. Our results also show that when more than one eighth of passengers postpone their bookings, revenue gains are reported. While this paper is specific to airline revenue management, this practice can also be applied for other industries that practice revenue management, such as the hospitality or car rental industries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-606
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Revenue and Pricing Management
Issue number6
Early online date6 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


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