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Modernizing flight operations technology at United Airlines – Couchbase Connect 2016

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Speaker: Tejal Patel, Program Delivery Lead, United Airlines


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Modernizing flight operations technology at United Airlines – Couchbase Connect 2016

  1. 1. Modernizing flight operations technology
  2. 2. 2 Continuously earning the trust of our employees & customers
  3. 3. 3 About United  4,500+ flights a day serving over 330 destinations worldwide  Transporting over 140 million passengers in 2015  700+ aircrafts  87,000+ employees  10,000+ Pilot and 25,000+ Flight Attendants  6000+ airport agents
  4. 4. Enabling new tools for pilots4
  5. 5. 5 Investing in our flight attendants
  6. 6. 6 Stuck with this in the back-office...
  7. 7. 7 Look for “uncovered” flights Eight-step process across 4-5 systems to find and assign a pilot to the flight* The life of a “crew scheduler”... *Remember to key in up to eight different 3-letter codes in exactly the right sequence. From a list of 400.
  8. 8. Crew Modernization Program  Build a foundational crew management platform to streamline and improve the process and tools for crew scheduling  Address end user priorities • Deliver reliable, accurate real-time data • Enhance the tools for schedulers • Streamline and improve processes 8
  9. 9. Not an easy problem to solve 9 Complex rules embedded in COBOL – are difficult to change & test. Small number of functional system experts. Emphasis on end-user expertise to search and apply solutions to time- sensitive operational issues. Switching between multiple tools to solve a single issue with limited decision support data available on demand.
  10. 10. And we had our own technical requirements...  Don’t just slap a web app on the mainframe – rethink the stack  Externalize business rules off the mainframe  Enable a single version of the “truth” across pilots, flight attendants & crew schedulers  Engineer performance, high availability and disaster recovery  Accelerate mobile application development 10
  11. 11. 11 Mainframe-based crew system Other operational systems Complex Event Processing Business Rules Management messaging api Sync Gateway web apps mobile apps CB Lite One stack for pilots, flight attendants & crew schedulers NoSQL DB storage & high availability cache
  12. 12. 12 uCrew is our new platform for crew schedulers
  13. 13. Support for highly mobile workforce Multiple nodes preventing loss of data or outage to support critical Operations systems Cross data center replication provide out of the box DR capabilities Can be run in AWS and Azure 13 Mobile Enablement Highly Available Resilience Cloud Support Why Couchbase for United?
  14. 14. Observations/Learnings  Adapting NoSQL  Maximize Key value access  Data Model design  Easy to upgrade  Multi-Dimension Scaling/Configuration 14
  15. 15. Part of our stack in Commercial and Operations space  Customer applications – synchronize personalized customer details (boarding passes, reservation details, flight information) between United systems and United Mobile application  Airport Agent UI – real time flight information changes/updates  Gate Displays – real time updates of flight information and advertising content 15
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