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Our Policy on Wikipedia

Our policy is:
  • to offer our Subscribers links to content that provides additional information and context. We find the Wikipedia entries on airlines and acronym definitions especially useful;
  • to update those links on our site available to our Subscribers where we believe this is necessary and;
  • to support Wikipedia in its efforts whilst providing our Subscribers with value they expect from a web-based independent research and advisory service provider.

We base this on the following rationale:

Wikipedia is, in the main, an excellent resource and very useful to millions of readers. However we do not rely on it as a primary source of information for our Subscribers.

We do link to it for specific information, for example definitions, or for background information about airlines. We review the information that we link and we check that it makes sense and is representative of the subject matter to the best of our knowledge.

It definitely saves us time and cost and we pass this benefit to our subscribers by making use of it where we deem it to be useful.

We check the links on a regular basis and review the content, annually when we update airline passenger volumes or when our Subscribers alert us to errors.

We understand that Wikipedia's open nature lends itself to factual errors or even deliberate manipulation for commercial purposes.

This is illustrated by an example as of November 28, 2009.

The entry is for Computer Reservation Systems. The link is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Reservations_System

The article presents a somewhat confused view of the systems scene. In particular it does not effectively distinguish the internal reservations systems of airlines from the distribution systems more commonly referred to as GDSs.

There are factual errors in the section "Major systems".

Sabre was not created by All Nippon Airlines, Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines. It was created by American Airlines and IBM.

The statement "Over 20 individual airlines" is also misleading, especially in the context of the preceding statement for Amadeus that it is used by over 500 airlines. Sabre has many customers for its computerized reservation services. It appears that the article is not comparing like with like. The 500 airlines mentioned in the context of Amadeus must be those bookable in the Amadeus GDS while the "over 20" for Sabre presumably refers to those airlines using Sabre as their internal reservations system. The Sabre GDS has as many airlines bookable as does Amadeus.

The definition of CRS becomes important in this context, so we do not use CRS as a wiki link.

fig.1 Wikipedia entry


Further down the page an entry has the following:

fig.2 Wikipedia entry


Patheo was not created by Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa or VA, whoever VA may be. (We assume it is intended to represent Virgin Atlantic - airline code VS. This is reinforced by the fact that the link from the name leads to a Wikipedia article on virginity). It also implies that Patheo is a major CRS. In our opinion and based on our data and expertise this is misleading to the readers.

Taking KIU as a further example. We would not place KIU as a major CRS system in the league of Amadeus or Sabre. KIU would be considered as a regional provider of technology solutions by Travel Technology Research Ltd.

Overall we consider Wikipedia to be a useful resource but one that must be treated with reasonable caution and we would encourage our Subscribers to regard it in the same way.

 
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