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Title:
AUTOMATED TOUR LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT METHOD AND SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/129834
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A computer-implemented method for assigning tour travelers to flights, ground transportation, and sleeping quarters in a tour package in compliance with preferences and relationship rules having the steps of: identifying travelers with preferred links, mandatory links, and barred links with other travelers; assigning travelers to flights in a way that obeys the mandatory and barred links while minimizing the number of flights; assigning travelers to ground transportation in the same way; and assigning travelers to sleeping quarters in a similar way taking gender rules and room occupancy preferences into account. The method is especially relevant to tour operators who create Hajj and Umrah pilgrimate packages to Mecca, although the method is not limited to that.

Inventors:
RAMADAN SAMER (LB)
Application Number:
US2010/031323
Publication Date:
October 20, 2011
Filing Date:
April 15, 2010
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
RAMADAN SAMER (LB)
PIOUS CAPITAL HOLDING S A (LB)
International Classes:
G06Q10/04; G06Q50/12; G06Q50/14
Foreign References:
KR20090093653A2009-09-02
KR20010087962A2001-09-26
JP2000076335A2000-03-14
US20060206363A12006-09-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DECKER, Phillip (Eliot, Maine, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A computer-implemented method for assigning tour travelers to flights, ground transportation, and sleeping quarters in a tour package in compliance with preferences and relationship rules comprising the steps of:

identifying travelers with preferred links, mandatory links, and barred links with other travelers;

assigning travelers to flights comprising the steps of:

counting the number of flights assigned for a tour package and counting the seats available on each flight assigned to the tour package; placing travelers who have reserved together into single reservation

groups and counting the travelers within each single reservation group;

combining multiple single reservation groups with identified traveler links between them into a linked reservations group and counting the travelers within each linked reservations group; and

placing each linked reservations group and any non-linked single

reservation groups into a tour package bin, and counting a grand total number of all travelers in the combined linked reservation groups and single reservation groups to obtain the total number of travelers in a tour package bin;

calculating under/over booking by comparing the total number of travelers in the tour package bin to the seats available on each flight assigned to the tour package;

sorting the linked reservation groups and single reservation groups by traveler count in descending order, thereby creating a traveler group list;

sorting flight seat counts in ascending order, thereby creating a flight list; and

assigning groups to flights counts by:

combining linked reservation groups and single reservation groups to fill the smallest flight count;

repeating the above combining step with the next smallest flight count in ascending order until one flight count is left; and assigning any remaining linked reservation groups and single

reservation group into the last flight count; assigning travelers to ground transportation; and

assigning travelers to sleeping quarters.

2. The method of claim 1, the step of assigning travelers to ground transportation comprising the same steps as for assigning flights above and substituting busses for flights.

3. The method of claim 1, the step of assigning travelers to sleeping quarters comprising the steps of:

counting the number of rooms available and persons-per-room occupancy of the rooms, and sorting the rooms in descending order, thereby creating an occupancy room list;

placing travelers who have reserved together into single reservation groups and counting the travelers within each single reservation group; combining multiple single reservation groups with identified traveler links

between them into a linked reservations group and counting the travelers within each linked reservations group;

placing each linked reservations group and any non-linked single reservation groups into a tour package bin, and counting a grand total number of all travelers in the combined linked reservation groups and single reservation groups to obtain the total number of travelers in a tour package bin; if sleeping quarters ARE segregated by gender, sorting travelers by gender, and within gender, by persons-per-room occupancy choice, then order of preference link, then by relationships, then by single reservation group, thereby creating an occupancy traveler list for each gender; and assigning rooms in order started with linked travelers, then those with defined relationships, then within the same single reservation group by gender.

4. The method of claim 1, the step of assigning travelers to sleeping quarters comprising the steps of:

counting the number of rooms available and persons-per-room occupancy of the rooms, and sorting the rooms in descending order, thereby creating an occupancy room list;

placing travelers who have reserved together into single reservation groups and counting the travelers within each single reservation group; combining multiple single reservation groups with identified traveler links

between them into a linked reservations group and counting the travelers within each linked reservations group; placing each linked reservations group and any non-linked single reservation groups into a tour package bin, and counting a grand total number of all travelers in the combined linked reservation groups and single reservation groups to obtain the total number of travelers in a tour package bin; and if sleeping quarters are NOT segregated by gender,

sorting the occupancy traveler list by persons-per-room occupancy

preference, then rooming order of preference link, then by relationships, then by single reservation group;

assigning the rooms first by common preferred links while satisfying

mandatory link and barred link relationships.

Description:
AUTOMATED TOUR LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT METHOD AND SYSTEM

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention.

The invention relates to methods and processes to properly document and automatically assign tour travelers to hotel rooms, flights, and ground transportation, particularly for travelers on pilgrimages with travel restrictions.

2. Description of the Related Art.

when travel tour operators create tour packages, different staff members are involved from sales, to reservation, to logistics. Human errors and the inability to properly store, track and assign travelers to hotel rooms, flights and ground

transportation creates unwanted traveler-dissatisfaction issues to travel agents. This problem, although not limited to, is largely echoed with tour operators who create Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage packages to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, especially when tour operators receive sub-group reservations of two or more travelers, with all travelers subjected to accommodation and travel restrictions, with tour operators managing as little as 25 and as high as 5,000 or more pilgrims with multiple packages at the same time.

Typically a salesperson receives the call from a person requesting reservation for either one or a group of travelers to join the tour, the person placing the reservation provides the names of the travelers personal information including gender, and only lists Mehram relationships such as Husband-Wife or Father-Daughter or Brother-Sister, etc. Later, in a follow-up call, a person placing another reservation requests from the salesperson that Traveler Y, from a previous reservation, is a friend of Traveler X in the current reservation, and that those two request to be in the same room, next to each other on the flight, and on the same bus. With some small tour packages, this problem is easy to solve, but with large tour packages, where large travel agents acting as consolidators to smaller tour operators, this problem turns into a nightmare for group tour leaders. For tens of years, travelers who wish to be linked together for rooming, flight, and ground transportation preferences prior to traveling are often faced with disappointing news that a friend or a loved one is on another flight, or they find themselves rooming with complete strangers when they arrive at the hotel, and the group tour leader becomes overwhelmed with trying to apologize, while wasting time adjusting and changing rooms at a time where travelers are eager to enjoy their tour.

While it is recognized that the above mentioned issues are not limited to a specific Tour Package worldwide, those issues are magnified by manifolds when traveling involves religious tourism and most specifically Islamic Tourism, such as, but not limited to, traveling to Madinah or Mecca in Saudi Arabia. One example of such problems: seven individuals (five of them related, and two non-related) decide to travel together on a tour package of 50 travelers, but they apply separately. A tour operator salesperson, receives a request for the seven to be together on the flight, but that three wish to be in one room while four others in another larger room. For the same package, the travelers must be split by the tour operator into two because the travel agent could only book enough seats to fit them all on one flight. Normally, the person assigning seats has no idea how to divide the groups and separate members of the same reservation group; often he/she makes numerous flight and room assignment mistakes, for flights customers become angry and there usually is very little to fix the problem, but for rooms, re-assignments are done, and redone, and sometimes, after most travelers are already settled in their rooms, disgruntled travelers are told by the Tour Operator when it has become too late to change, until a traveler makes a scene, then the tour operator is forced to remove a traveler from a room that he/she has already settled in, and move him/her into another room and risk having a new disgruntled traveler.

In some occasions where people from different ethnic backgrounds with different languages, or different age groups travel together, tour operators have found it difficult to room people together and make everyone happy. But common repeating

observations note that sometimes the best way is to room people of same age groups together and those who speak a common language together. Ideally it would be better for the tour operator to let travelers decide who wants to be with whom. This methods and system specification address all these issues.

SUMMARY

According to one embodiment, the invention is a computer-implemented method for assigning tour travelers to flights, ground transportation, and sleeping quarters in a tour package in compliance with preferences and relationship rules having the steps of: identifying travelers with preferred links, mandatory links, and barred links with other travelers; assigning travelers to flights in a way that obeys the mandatory and barred links while minimizing the number of flights; assigning travelers to ground transportation in the same way; and assigning travelers to sleeping quarters in a similar way taking gender rules and room occupancy preferences into account. The method is especially relevant to tour operators who create Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage packages to Mecca, although the method is not limited to that. These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following drawings, description, and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Diagram 1 is a process flow chart of one embodiment of the method of the present invention. Figure 1 shows a computer screen of a document generation feature.

Figure 2 is another computer screen of a document generation feature.

Figure 3 is a computer screen showing flight details and seats available.

Figure 4 is a computer screen showing hotel details.

Figure 5 is a computer screen showing room availability and persons-per-room occupancy.

Figure 6 is a computer screen showing bus details.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

As used in the specification and the claims, the following terms have the following meanings.

Single-Reservation-Group (SRG) consists of travelers who call-in, email, fax, or use the web to create a single reservation or booking request for either an individual traveler or a group of travelers. Each traveler within an SRG will be distinctly color coded with a unique color for every SRG so that travelers with the same SRG may be quickly identified visually.

Linked-Reservations-Group (LRG) consists of travelers or groups of travelers who may have reserved or booked a tour package separately but are linked together with either a single or multiple link requests.

Tour-Package-Bin (TPB) consists of all the travelers who have reserved a single tour package.

Traveler Group List (TGL) consists of a an ordered list in descending order of all SRGs and LRGs

Flight List (FLL) consists of an ordered list in ascending order by allocated seat- count of all the assigned flights to a tour package.

Link consists of a desired connection between one or more travelers based on choice of preferences

Order of Preference Link is the order of the desired link between two individuals, for example Jim is traveling with Peter, Bob and Joe; Jim decides to have a Link as a mutual 1 st order of preference with Joe and then a mutual 2 nd order of preference with Jim, but does not desire a mutual link with Bob. Bob has a mutual 1 st order of preference link with Joe.

Absolute Link is a must link, an absolute link is a link between a traveling mother and her child or infant, with Muslims it could be between a Muslim Woman and her Mehram (the man she is allowed-to and must accompany her in air and long-distance ground transportation travel at all times). Barred Link is a disallowed link between any two travelers, this could be for any given reason, one example is in Islam where woman are disallowed to be roommates with non-Mehram men.

Mehram is the man allowed to be with a woman without the presence of others in accordance to the Qur'An teachings of Allah.

Pink Rooms are rooms designated for the female gender only.

Blue Rooms are rooms designated for the male gender only.

Grey Rooms are rooms designated as unisex allowing females and males to room together on the condition that there exists no barred links between them.

Relationship defines the type of connection between two travelers, a father, son, a spouse, a friend, etc. It uniquely defines this connection. A relationship between two individuals may not constitute a required link; a link must be stated by the travelers even between travelers with stated relationships.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Turning now to the figures, the detailed description of the methods and systems are described in an outline format.

The Methods and Processes Patent (Diagram 1 ):

1. Method to generate document(s) and define a tour package(s) [ 101]

2. Method to generate document(s) of a tour package(s)' flights and seats availability [ 101-1]

3. Method to generate document(s) of a tour package(s)' rooms and persons-per-room- occupancies [101-2]

4. Method to generate document(s) of a tour package(s) ground transportation options [ 101-3]

5. Method to generate document(s) of travelers' reservation and personal data for any given tour package, including spoken languages [ 102]

6. Method to generate document(s) of travelers' choices of persons-per-room occupancy for any given tour package [103]

7. Method to generate document(s) of relationships and links between travelers within any tour package. [ 104]

7.1 Relationship are documented between travelers such as specific family relationship(s) Like: Brother, Father, Sister, Uncle, Spouse, friend, or other)

7.2 When documenting links, a link between two travelers with a pre-designated barred-link will not be allowed. 7.3 For Islamic Tourism Compliance, when cross-gender links are requested as a preference for rooms, such preferred cross-gender links are not allowed inside a requested room unless the total linked occupants in the room completely fill the room and all occupants can satisfy the Mehram requirements. If the above condition is not satisfied, then the Males will need to be Split from the Females and be designated to Male-Only rooms and Female-Only rooms.

7.4 Preferred Links are designated per flight and per Hotel/Residence :

7.4.1 On Flights, travelers may link with any other traveler(s) within the tour package or the reservation group

7.4.2 In Rooms, travelers will link based on the Hotel/Residence and room-occupancy requirements, for example a traveler who selected a double in Mecca, cannot create a link with another traveler who selected a Triple in Mecca, but can create a link with a third traveler who did select a Double in Mecca.

8. Method to generate confirmation of traveler(s)' link requests [105]

9. Method to generate document of absolute and/or order of preference links for rooming or sleeping quarters assignments, flights, and ground transportation potentially based on a pre-defined set of rules and restrictions [106]

10. Method to generate confirmation of traveler(s) links' order of preferences for rooming or sleeping quarters assignments, flights, and ground transportation [ 107]

11. Method to generate document of actual room numbers, locations, and proximities for any given tour package [ 108]

12. Process to insure the optimum splitting of travelers into separate flights and minimize potential conflicts and traveler dissatisfaction by:

12.1 Document the number of flights assigned for a tour package (N of FL1, FL2, ...), and the count of seats available on each flight assigned to that tour package (FLlc, FL2c, ...,FLNc)

12.2 Place travelers who have reserved together into SRGs (SRG1, SRG2,...) and note the count of travelers within each SRG (SRGlc, SRG2c,...)

12.3 Combine multiple SRGs with documented traveler links between them into a single larger LRG (linked-reservations-group) and note the count of travelers within each LRG (LRGlc, LRG2c,...)

12.4 Place into a TPB (tour-package-bin) all the LRGs and any remaining non- linked SRGs (eg. LRG1, LRG2..., SRG1, SRG4, ...) and count the grand total number of all travelers in the combined LRGs and SRGs, this constitutes the total number of travelers within this particular tour package (TPBc).

12.5 Method to document Travelers over-under booking

12.5.1 Case 1 : when the TPBc is equal to the sum of all FLcs assigned to a single tour package (FLlc+FL2c+FL3c+... + FLNc) then proceed to Process 12.6. 12.5.2 Case 2 : when the TPBc is larger than the sum of all FLcs assigned to a single tour package (FLlc+FL2c+... + FLNc) then document overbooking and request from Tour Operator to take action to find additional seats on existing or new flight(s), once the additional seats are confirmed, document them into the appropriate flight, update the FL#cs and proceed to 12.6. If the Tour Operator cannot find new seats on new flights, Tour Operator will need to take action to reduce the traveler count, re-adjust the SRG counts then proceed to 12.6.

12.5.3 Case 3 : when the TPBc is smaller than the sum of all FLcs assigned to a single tour package (FLlc+FL2c+... + FLNc), note the under-booked seats, then for every under-booked seat create an SRG' for every remaining access seat note that such new "virtual" SRGs are for would-be travelers, and make sure that every one of those SRGs includes a single would-be traveler. Add these new SRGs into the TPB and proceed to 12.6, after 12.6 is completed, document to which flights these "virtual" SRGs (non-booked seats) have been assigned to, then notify Tour Operator to take action.

12.6 Process to Auto Assign Travelers into Flights

12.6.1 Sort LRGs and SRGs traveler count in a descending and place into an ordered list: TGL (Traveler Group List)

12.6.2 Now sort the flight counts (FL#cs) in ascending order and place in a flights list: FLL (Flight List)

12.6.3 Start by assigning the smallest FL#c, first calculate the different combinations of LRGs and SRGs that wholly adds-up to that smallest FL#c, group all possible combinations into a unique combination matrix, once completed, then begin by the next FL#C in ascending order, until only one FL#c remains and then place the remaining LRGs and SRGs into that FL#c.

12.6.3.1 Case 1 : if there is only one whole combination, then select this combination and assign it to the smallest FL#c, and remove the selected FLs in the combination from the FLL (creating a new smaller FLL)

2.6.3.2 Case 2 : if there is more than one combination that adds up to the smallest FL#c, then compare the lowest denominator LRG or SRG within any given combination with the lowest denominator LRG or SRG within other combinations and select the combination with the largest lowest denominator LRG or SRG. If the largest lowest denominator (SRG or LRG count within a group) happens to be equal in more than one combination, then we proceed with the next up to the lowest denominator within the combinations, then we proceed to select the largest, until a unique combination is found. Example 1 illustrates how it works. 12.6.3.3 Case 3 : if it is not possible to create a single combination unless an LRG or SRG is SPLIT apart, then to insure minimal discomfort, the following rules and procedures must be followed for splitting : First: Select the largest SRG or LRG count, then try to split the group based on the following rules:

12.6.3.3.1. Absolute links must never be broken (Ex:

Primary Mahram/Spouse Link or Infants/Children Link)

12.6.3.3.2. Keep high order of preference links together - only split as last resort.

12.6.3.3.3. Separate groups of linked travelers within the larger SRG or LRG into sub-groups of linked travelers, or if no links are documented of groups of travelers with designated

relationships between them.

12.6.3.3.4. Search for the median size linked traveler group within the larger SRG or LRG and spilt out to create two sub-groups ex: SRG' and SRG" or LRG' and LRG" then place the new sub-groups into Tour Package Bin in place of the larger whole group that included them and proceed back to 12.6. But add a rule to select non-linked travelers last (or select the group with the least number of non-linked travelers). Example 2 Illustrates this situation.

13. Process to insure the optimum splitting of travelers into separate ground

transportations such as busses and minimize potential conflicts and traveler dissatisfaction - this process uses exactly the same process as flights assignments.

14. Process to insure proper rooming or sleeping-quarters assignments.

14.1 Document the number of rooms available and the persons-per-room occupancy such as singles, doubles, triples, etc... order them in descending order and place into an Occupancy Room List (ORL)

14.2 Place travelers into SRGs and LRGs as in 12.2 to 12.4 above.

14.1. Separate travelers based on their choices of persons-per-room

occupancies, into single, double, triple, etc...

14.2 Note the gender of each traveler and designate it by "F" or color pink for females and "M" or color blue for males for quick recognition.

14.3 If rooming is segregated by Gender, sort Travelers by Gender, then within the Gender, sort by persons-per-room occupancy choice, then sort by order of preference Link, then by relationships, then by SRG, place into an ordered list in descending order by choice of persons-per-room Occupancy Traveler List (OTL) and proceed to 14.5.

14.4 If rooming is not segregated by Gender then : 14.4.1.1 Sort the OTL first by persons-per-room occupancy choice, then by rooming order of preference link, then by relationships, then by SRG - note the gender of each traveler, place back into an ordered list in descending order by choice of persons-per-room occupancy traveler list (OTL) choice. For Muslim travelers: In a case when a Female traveler has a smaller number of allowed links that can fill-up a full occupancy of choice room, and when no other "mehram" relationships exist that can satisfy the conditions to fill a room in accordance with Islamic shari'a, then this situation forces the creation of a "Female-Only" room with the desired occupancy, (see Example 3)

14.4.1.2 for each room occupancy, start filling the rooms by travelers by first assigning travelers with common preferred links to their rooms. For example, a Traveler T-N l if Linked to T-N2 then they both are supposed to be in the same room.

14.4.1.3 Once linked travelers are assigned, then remove from the OTL list as move into the ORL list (rooming list) and note the SRG groups for each assigned room. At all times, in cross-gender rooming, Mehram relationships must be satisfied; if not then males will need to be split from females into separate rooms.

14.4.1.4 By now the ORL list could have some rooms that have been completely filled by linked travelers with cross-gender relationships that satisfy Mehram requirements, the remaining rooms would have to be either full males or full females rooms. Within the remaining list we would split the remaining travelers into two separate groups, one for males and one for females.

14.4.2 Then we would begin by assigning all the male rooms, then the female rooms as per any relationship requirements, then as per belonging to the same SRG.

14.4.3 The remaining travelers will then be allocated based on one of two preferences: 1 st preference for same language speaking individuals, 2 nd preference by age group proximity. For example if 10 individuals remain without any links or relationships and do not belong to the same SRG, then we would first note their spoken language, and try to room travelers together based on their common spoken language. Within the common spoken language groups, we would then try to room travelers with closest age groups together. For example if we have 4 travelers aged 24, 48, 32, and 52 we would sort their ages such as: 24, 32, 48, and 52 and would room ages 24 & 32 together and 48 & 52 together.

14.4.4 If the number of females and males corresponds exactly as divided to match the exact number of rooms by satisfying the Mehram rules, then room assignment would be completed. However, if at the end one or more rooms remain where we cannot place the remaining travelers into those rooms because of Mehram conflict, then the system will need to alarm the tour operator to solve this problem, which could be done by manually adding new rooms and upgrading travelers, or by mixing same gender travelers from other packages.

14.5. Process for assigning rooms by Gender, and if chosen, by-floor.

14.5.1 Split females and males into several Gender Specific Occupancy Traveler Lists OTL-M for Males, and OTL-F for Females.

4.5.2 Sort and group the travelers in each gender list by order of preference of first Links, then Relationships, then SRG, then begin to assign linked travelers first to rooms, then travelers with defined relationships, then travelers within the same SRG, basically repeating the steps from 14.4.1 to 14.4.7 but this time it will be restricted to gender, females together and males together.

Example 1 :

Tour Package Al = 50 travelers

Exl. l) List of the different SRG counts of a tour package :

Initial Flights Sort of Flight Seat Counts in Ascending Order

FLlc = 17

FL2c = 13

FL3c = 20

Initial TPB

SRGOlc = 3

SRG02C = 1

SRG03C = 1

SRG04C = 4

SRG05C = 7

SRG06C = 5

SRG07C = 6

SRG08C = 2

SRG09C = 2

SRGlOc = 8

SRGl lc = 11 Exl.2) Documented links:

There is a link between travelers in SRG05 and SRG02, and another link between travelers in SRG06c and SRG09c

The resulting links provide for the following combined LRGs and SRGs

LRGO lc (SRG05C + SRG02c) = 7 + 1 = 8

LRG02C (SRGl lc + SRG06c) = 11 + 5 = 16

Remaining SRGs are

SRGOlc = 3

SRG03C = 1

SRG04c = 4

SRG07c = 6

SRG08C = 2

SRG09C = 2

SRGlOc = 8

Exl.3)

Combined resulting LRGs and SRGs within TPB sorted in a descending order, plus FLs sorted in ascending order:

Final TPB FLs

Total in TPB = 50 Total FLs count = 50

LRG02C = 16 FL2c = 13

SRGlOc = 8 FLlc = 17

LRGOlc = 8 FL3c = 20

SRG07C = 6

SRG04C = 4

SRGOlc = 3

SRG08C = 2

SRG09C = 2

SRG03C = 1 Exl.4) Fill-in flights based on algorithm in process 12.6 above

As mentioned in the process of 12.6, we need to first assign LRGs and SRGs to FL2c (as it is the first flight on the ascending flight list). FL2c contains 13 travelers. Now we need to evaluate the LRGs and SRGs to find a total combination of 13 travelers. We note that the following combinations are possible:

FL2-Combl : [SRGlOc (8) or LRGOlc (8)] + SRGOlc (3) + [SRG08c (2) or SRG09c (2)] = 13

Or

FL2-Comb2 : [SRGlOc (8) or LRGOlc (8)] + SRG08c (2) + SRG09c (2) + + SRG03c ( 1) = 13

Or

FL2-Comb3 : SRG07c (6) + SRGOlc (3) + SRG08c (2) + SRG09c (2) = 13

Or

FL2-Comb4: SRG07c (6) + SRG04c (4) + SRGOlc (3) = 13

We happen to have 4 combinations, Now we compare the smallest LRG or SRG count within each combination : In Combl it is 2, in Comb2 it is 1, in Comb3 it is 2 and in Comb4 it is 3, so the single largest lowest denominator is 3 in Comb4, so we select Comb4 for FL2c.

FL2-Comb4: SRG07c (6) + SRG04c (4) + SRGOlc (3) = 13

Now that we have Assigned FL2, we proceed with the remaining flights:

Final TPB FLs

Total in TPB = 50 Total FLs count = 50

SRG07c = 6 Are Assigned to FL2c = 13

SRG04c = 4

SRGOlc = 3

Remaining :

LRG02c = 16 FLlc = 17 LRG01c = 8 FL3c = 20

SRGlOc = 8

SRG08C = 2

SRG09C = 2

SRG03C = 1

Now we try to assign FLlc = 17

The possible combinations for FLlc = 17 are :

FLl-Combl : LRG02c (16) + SRG03c (1) = 17

Or

FLl-Comb2 : LRGOlc (8) + SRGlOc (8) + SRG03c ( 1) = 17

In this case the lowest common denominator in both combinations happens to be 1, then we proceed to the next up to the lowest denominator and we note that in Combl of 16 is larger that Comb2 of 8, since we need to select the largest, then our choice is uniquely Combl :

FLl-Combl : LRG02c (16) + SRG03c (1) = 17

Here's how the picture looks like:

Final TPB FLs

Total in TPB = 50 Total FLs count = 50

SRG07c = 6 Are assigned to FL2c = 13

SRG04c = 4

SRGOlc = 3

LRG02c = 16 Are assigned to FLlc = 17

SRG03C = 1

Remaining :

LRGO lc FL3c = 20

SRGlOc SRG08C = 2

SRG09C = 2

Since we only have one flight remaining to be assigned and Since the total count of the combined LRGs and SRGs is LESS or EQUAL to the total counts of seats available on all flights, then the remaining SRGs and LRGs will naturally fit into the remaining flight, now we assign :

FL3 = LRGOlc (8) + SRGlOc (8) + SRG08 (2) + SRG09 (2) = 20

FLIGHT ASSIGNEMT IS COMPLETED. Example 2 :

Tour Package A2 = 50 travelers

Ex2.1) List of the different SRG counts of a tour package :

Initial Flights Sort of Flight Seat Counts in Ascending Order

FLlc = 14

FL2c = 11

FL3c = 15

FL4c = 10

Initial TPB

SRGOlc = 17

SRG02c = 13

SRG03C = 20

Ex2.2) Documented links:

Within SRGOlc there are 9 travelers linked together, plus another 6 travelers are also linked, leaving 2 non-linked travelers.

Within SRG02c there are 5 travelers linked together, plus another 5 travelers are also linked, leaving 3 non-linked travelers. Within SRG03c there are 14 travelers linked together, plus another 6 are linked together.

Now we compare the SRG counts and note that two of them SRGOlc and SRG03c do not fit into one single flight, therefore we know that these two groups need to be split into two smaller sub-groups but in ways to minimize the number of splits required to complete the flight assignments.

The new SRGs and sub SRGs are as follows:

SRGOlc = 17 > > SRGOlcL' [9] + SRGOlcL" [6] + SRGOlc'" [2 non-linked]

SRG02c = 13 > > SRG02cL' [5] + SRG02cL" [5] + SRG02c"' [3 non-linked travelers] SRG03C = 20 > > SRG03C' [14] + SRG03cL" [6]

We now separate linked-groups from non-linked travelers and then sort the subgroups in the TPB, and flights are as follows:

FLlc = 14

FL2c = 11

FL3c = 15

FL4c = 10

Linked Subgroups (descending) : Flights:

SRG03CL' = 14 FL4c = 10

SRGOlcL' = 9 FL2c = 11

SRG03CL" = 6 FLlc = 14

SRGOlcL" = 6 FL3c = 15

SRG02CL' = 5

SRG02CL" = 5

Non-Linked Travelers

SRG02CL'" = 3

SRGOlcL'" = 2

Ex2.3) Fill-in flights based on algorithm in process 12.6 above As mentioned in the process of 12.6, we need to first assign LRGs and SRGs to FL2c (as it is the first flight on the ascending flight list). FL4c contains 10 travelers. Now we need to evaluate the LRGs and SRGs to find a total combination of 10 travelers. We note that the following combinations are possible:

FL4-Combl : SRG02cL' (5) + SRG02cL" (5) = 10

Now here's how things look like:

SRG02cL' = 5 Are assigned to FL4c

SRG02cL" = 5

Remaining :

Linked Subgroups (descending) : Flights:

SRG03CL' = 14 FL2c = 11

SRGOlcL' = 9 FLlc = 14

SRGOlcL" = 6 FL3c = 15

SRG03CL" = 6

Non-Linked Travelers

SRG02CL'" = 3

SRGOlcL'" = 2

Now we try to assign FL2c = 11

The possible combinations for FL2c = 11 are :

FL2c-Combl : SRGOlcL' (9) + SRG01cL"'(2) = 11

Or

FL2c-Comb2 : SRGOlcL" (6) + SRG02cL"' (3) + SRGOlcL'" (2) = 11

Combl uses 2 non-linked travelers, while Comb2 uses 5 non-linked travelers; in this situation we always select the Combination with the lowest number of non-linked travelers. We select Combl .

Our updated assignment now looks like this: SRG02cL' = 5 Are assigned to FL4c

SRG02cL" = 5

SRGOlcL' = 9 Are assigned to FL2c

SRGOlcL'" = 2

Remaining:

Linked Subgroups (descending): Flights:

SRG03CL' = 14 FLlc = 14

SRGOlcL" = 6 FL3c = 15

SRG03CL" = 6

Non-Linked Travelers

SRG02CL'" = 3

Now we try to assign FLlc = 14

The possible combinations for FLlc = 14 are:

FLlc-Combl: SRG03cL'(14) = 14

Or

FL2c-Comb2: SRGOlcL" (6) + SRG03cL" (6) + Two from SRG02cL"'(3) = 14

Again we note that Combl has 0 non-linked travelers and Comb2 has 2 non-linked travelers, so we select the Combl because it contains the least non-linked travelers.

FLlc-Combl: SRG03cL'(14) = 14

Our updated assignment now looks like this:

SRG02cL' = 5 Are assigned to FL4c = 10

SRG02cL" = 5

SRGOlcL' = 9 Are assigned to FL2c = 11

SRGOlcL'" = 2

SRG03cL' = 14 is assigned to FLlc Remaining :

Linked Subgroups (descending) : Flights:

SRGOlcL" = 6 FL3c = 15

SRG03CL" = 6

Non-Linked Travelers

SRG02CL'" = 3

Since we only have one flight remaining to be assigned and Since the total count of the combined LRGs and SRGs is LESS or EQUAL to the total counts of seats available on all flights, then the remaining SRGs and LRGs will naturally fit into the remaining flight, now we assign :

FL3 = SRGOlcL" (6) + SRG03cL" (6) + SRG02cL"' (3) = 15

FLIGHT ASSIGNEMT IS COMPLETED.

Example 3

Total Travelers are 30

Occupancy Room List (ORL) assigned to the package

RM2-1 : Double (contains two beds)

RM2-2 : Double (contains two beds)

RM2-3 : Double (contains two beds)

RM2-4: Double (contains two beds)

Total Doubles: 4, Total Travelers requesting Doubles: 8

RM3-1 : Triple (contains three beds)

RM3-2 : Triple (contains three beds)

Total Triples: 2, Total Travelers requesting Triples: 6

RM4-1 : Quad (contains 4 beds)

RM4-2 : Quad (contains 4 beds) RM4-3 : Quad (conta ins 4 beds)

RM4-4 : Quad (conta ins 4 beds)

Total Quads : 4, Tota l Travelers requesting Quads

Occu pancy Traveler List (OTL) with 30 tota l travelers

Traveler Gender Roo Choice Link order to Relationship-to Mehram*

SRG1 (4)

T-01 F Double (RM2) 1 » T-02 Spouse of T-02 T-02, T-03,

T-02 M Double (RM2) Spouse of T-01

T-03 M Quad (RM4) Brother of T-04, T-01

T-04 M Quad (RM4) Brother of T-01 , T03

SRG2 (7)

T-05 F Double (RM2) 1 » T-06 Mother of T-06 T-07

T-06 F Double (RM2) Daughter of T05 T-07

T-07 M Triple (RM3) 1 » T-10 Brother of T-10, Spouse of T-05

T-08 M Triple (RM3) Uncle of T-06

T-09 M Double (RM2)

T-10 F Triple (RM3) T-08, T-1 1

T-1 1 M Triple (RM3) Uncle of T-10

SRG3 (3)

T-12 F Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-13 T-13

T-13 M Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-12

T-14 F Quad (RM4) Sister of T-13

SRG4 (3)

T-15 F Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-17 T-17

T-16 F Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-17 T-17

T-17 M Quad (RM4)

SRG5 (1 1 )

T-18 F Double (RM2) 1 » T-23 Daughter of T-23 T-23

T-19 F Quad (RM4) 1 » T-20, 2 » T-21 Friends w/ T-20, T-23 T-24

T-20 F Quad (RM4) T-25

T-21 F Quad (RM4) Niece of T-26 T-26

T-22 F Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-26 T-26

T-23 M Double (RM2) Father of T-18 T-24 M Quad (RM4) 1 » T-25 Friend of T-25

T-25 M Quad (RM4)

Τ-26 M Quad (RM4)

Τ-27 M Quad (RM4)

Τ-28 M Double (R 2)

SRG6 (2)

Τ-29 M Triple (RM3) 1 » T-30 Friend of T-13

Τ-30 M Triple (RM3)

Sort Travelers into Occupancy room type:

DOUBLES -

SRG1

Traveler Gender Roo Choice Link order to Relationship-to Mehram*

T-01 F Double (RM2) 1 » T-02 Spouse of T-02 T-02, T-03, T-04

T-02 M Double (RM2) Spouse of T-01

SRG2

T-05 F Double (RM2) 1 » T-06 Mother of T-06 T-09

T-06 F Double (RM2)

T-09 M Double (R 2) Uncle of T-09, Brother of T-06

SRG5

T-18 F Double (RM2) 1 » T-23 Daughter of T-23 T-23

T-23 M Double (RM2) Father of T-18

T-28 M Double (RM2)

TRIPLES i■

SRG2

T-07 M Triple (RM3) 1 » T-10 Brother of T-10, Spouse of T-05

T-10 F Triple (RM3) T-07, T-1 1

T-1 1 M Triple (RM3) Uncle of T-10

T-08 M Triple (RM3) Uncle of T-06

SRG6

T-29 M Triple (RM3) 1 » T-30 Friend of T-13

T-30 Triple (R 3)

QUADS - SRG1 T-03 Μ Quad (RM4) 1 » T-04 Brother of T-04, T-01

T-04 Μ Quad (RM4) 1 » T-03 Brother of T-01 , T03

SRG3

Τ-12 F Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-13 T-13

Τ-13 Μ Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-12

Τ-14 F Quad (RM4) Sister of T-13

SRG4

Τ-15 F Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-17 T-17

Τ-16 F Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-17 T-17

Τ-17 Μ Quad (RM4)

SRG5

Τ-19 F Quad (RM4) 1 » T-20, 2 » T-21 Friends w/ T-20, T-23 T-24

Τ-20 F Quad (RM4) T-25

Τ-21 F Quad (RM4) Niece of T-26 T-26

Τ-22 F Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-26 T-26

Τ-24 Μ Quad (RM4) 1 » T-25 Friend of T-25

Τ-25 Μ Quad (RM4)

Τ-26 Μ Quad (RM4)

Τ-27 Μ Quad (RM4)

Now group travelers into occupancy type sub-groups based on their "primary" link preference - Order of Preference = 1.

DOUBLES - SRG1

Traveler Gender Roo Choice Link order to Relationship-to Mehram*

T-01 F Double (RM2) 1 » T-02 Spouse of T-02 T-02, T-03, T-04 T-02 M Double (RM2) Spouse of T-01

SRG2

T-05 F Double (RM2) 1 » T-06 Mother of T-06 T-09

T-06 M Double (RM2) Uncle of T-09

T-09 Double (RM2)

SRG5

T-18 F Double (RM2) 1 » T-23 Daughter of T-23 T-23

T-23 M Double (RM2) Father of T-18 T-28 M Double (RM2)

TRIPLES

SRG2

T-07 M Triple (RM3) 1 » T-10 Brother of T-10, Spouse of T-05 T-10 F Triple (RM3) 1 » T-10 T-07, T-11 T-1 1 M Triple (RM3) Uncle of T-10

T-08 Triple (RM3) Uncle of T-06

SRG6

T-29 M Triple (RM3) 1 » T-30 Friend of T-13

T-30 M Triple (RM3) 1 » T-29

QUADS - SRG1

T-03 Quad (RM4) 1 » T-04 Brother of T-04, T-01

T-04 Quad (RM4) 1 » T-03 Brother of T-01 , T03

SRG3

T-12 F Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-13 T-13 T-13 M Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-12

T-14 Quad (RM4) Sister of T-13

SRG4

T-15 F Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-17 T-17 T-16 F Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-17 T-17 T-17 M Quad (RM4)

SRG5

T-19 Quad (RM4) 1 » T-20, 2 » T-21 Friends w/ T-20, T-23 T-24 T-20 Quad (RM4) 1 » T-19 T-25 T-21 Quad (RM4) Niece of T-26 T-26

T-22 Quad (RM4) Spouse of T-26 T-26

T-24 Quad (RM4) 1 » T-25 Friend of T-25 T-25 M Quad (RM4)

T-26 M Quad (RM4)

T-27 M Quad (RM4)

As a first step, room assignment is first completed based on the actual purchased rooms and occupancies regardless of where the rooms are situated. Once all room-occupancy assignments are completed, then, when they become available, room numbers will be assigned based on traveler links, relationships and proximities of rooms.

First: We begin by assigning individuals in smaller rooms with complete preferred link-chains, example for a double room one-preferred link satisfies the requirement, for a triple room two preferred link chains are required, for a quad room, three link-chains are required and so on. Second: Once all the full link chains are assigned, then we proceed to fill rooms with travelers of lesser links or no links, but with relationships. Third: Once all travelers with preferred-links and relationships are assigned, then we begin by assigning travelers that do not have links or relationships.

Since at this stage we may know the number of rooms available for this package and their occupancy, we first assign virtual numbers (not actual hotel room numbers) to the rooms in the package, for example if we have N numbers of Double rooms, then our new Numbers will be called RM2-1 , RM2-2, RM2-3,...,RM2-N, we do the same for Triples, Quads, etc....

In our example, we have the following virtual room numbers:

RM2-1. RM2-2, RM2-3, RM2-4

RM3-1 , RM3-2

RM4-1. RM4-2, RM4-3, RM4-4 We first fill RM2s

Based on Links:

T-01 + T-02 » RM2-1 2 from SRG1

T-05 + T-06 » RM2-2 2 from SRG2

T-18 + T-23 » RM2-3 2 from SRG5

There is one Double Room Left, and T-09 and T-28 are still not assigned, although they are not related and they do not have a link, since they are of the same Gender, the system will assign them into the remaining Double-Room RM2-4 T-09 + T-28 » RM2-4

Double rooms assignment is completed.

Now the system proceeds to fill TRIPLE Rooms (RM3s) assignments and it selects in Order:

Preferred Links First (with Cross-Gender Links satisfied first): T-07 + T-10 + T-1 1 » RM3-1 (Cross-Gender Link with Mehram requirement fulfilled)

T-08 is not linked so it will need to be added to a remaining spot in another Triple

T-29 + T-30 + » RM3-2 (only Two spots are filled because of the Links)

Thus the remaining spot is filled with the remaining traveler T-08 and we get

T-29 + T-30 + T-08 » RM3-2,

now the system places a virtual room-link between RM3-2 and RM2-2 because T-08 in RM2-2 has an Uncle relationship with T-06 in RM2-2. (this plays into room number proximity assignments, for when assigning a room number to RM2-2 and RM3-2, the system will attempt to place these rooms the closest possible to each other. Final assignments are:

T-07 + T-10 + T-1 1 » RM3-1 3 from SRG2

T-29 + T-30 + T-08 » RM3-2 2 from SRG6 & 1 from SRG2

Triple rooms assignment is completed.

Now we Fill RM4s

First-Order of Preference Links first (in order of cross-gender, then single-gender):

We notice that T-13 is a cross-gender preferred link with T-12 (having a Mehram relationship) however, there are no additional 2 travelers within the tour package that can be in the same room and satisfy the Mehram relationship, therefore this preferred link will be disregarded for this room occupancy of choice - had other travelers that have ordered same room- occupancy criteria existed and satisfy the Mehram conditions, further more, because T-12 is a Female, then this forces the creation of a Quad room with all Females, T-14 is also a female that cannot be with T-13 her Mehram brother for the same reasons.

First Round Room Links:

T-03 + T-04 + + » RM4-1 (males - linked) SRG1

T-15 + T-16 + + » RM4-2 (females - Linked) SRG4

T-19 + T-20 + T-21 + » RM4-3 (females - Linked) SRG5

T-24 + T-25 + + » RM4-4 (males - Linked) SRG5

Remaining Travelers are: Females Males Reservation Group

T-12 & T-14 T-13 SRG3

T-17 SRG4

T-22 SRG5

T-26 & T-27 SRG5

In total we have 3 females and 3 males left to assign.

First we assign the Males, we note that RM4-3 has 2 males from SRG5 and that 2 other Males from SRG-5 remain so we assign the 2 remaining beds to RM4-3

T-24 + T-25 + T-26 + T-27 » RM4-4 COMPLETED 4 from SRG5

Now RM4-2 which is designated females requires ONE more traveler to be filled and we note that also T-22 is a lone non- linked traveler left from SRG5, so we assign T-22 to RM4-3, as we try to keep T-12 and T-14 together as they are form the same reservation group SRG3

T-19 + T-20 + T-21 + T-22 » RM4-3 COMPLETED 4 from SRG5

For RM4-2, we need 2 more females to fill the room, we search for 2 females from the same reservation group first before we select single females. We find that T-12 and T-14 satisfy this criteria, so RM4-2 is now filled

T-15 + T-16 + T-12 + T-13 » RM4-2 2 from SRG4 and 2 from SRG3

RM4-4 has 2 males filled and 2 males remaining to fill, we search for the next 2 males, and we note that there only is left 2 males ONE from SRG3 and ONE from SRG4 - so we use them to fill the final room

T-03 + T-04 + T-13 + T-17 » RM4-1 2 from SRG1 , 1 fom SRG3 and 1 from SRG4

The final Room Distributions to all QUADs is now like this:

T-24 + T-25 + T-26 + T-27 » RM4-4 4 from SRG5

T-19 + T-20 + T-21 + T-22 » RM4-3 4 from SRG5

T-15 + T-16 + T-12 + T-13 » RM4-2 2 from SRG4 and 2 from SRG3

T-03 + T-04 + T-13 + T-17 » RM4-1 2 from SRG1 , 1 from SRG3 and 1 from SRG4 Now the system creates virtual links between various rooms and when room numbers are assigned it works to assign room numbers by keeping rooms with travelers having links and relationships be closest, then within he same reservation group and so on.

RM4-4 should be in closest proximity to RM4-3 & RM2-3

RM4-2 should be in closest proximity to RM4-1

RM4-1 should be in closest proximity to RM2-1

RM3-2 should be in closest proximity with RM3-1 and RM2-2

The above rules will be applied to the actual room numbers assignments, in doing so, the system must input the room numbers, floor numbers and tower numbers in order to decide room proximities and assign rooms properly.

Notes: in the case we end up with an odd situation where there is only 1 QUAD room left and the remaining 4 travelers are of mixed Gender where they cannot fit into a single room, then

15. Process to communicate with travelers and deliver the documented flights assignments, rooming or sleeping quarter assignments, and ground transportation assignments as soon as they are assigned [110]

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described herein, the above description is merely illustrative. Further modification of the invention herein disclosed will occur to those skilled in the respective arts and all such modifications are deemed to be within the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.