Since the deregulation of the airline industry, fierce competition
has forced Global Airlines to reexamine their operations for efficiency
and economy. As part of their campaign to improve customer service, they
have focused on passenger check-in operations at the terminal. Global
operates a common check-in system wherein passengers for all Global’s
flights line up in a single “snake line.” The arrival rate is estimated
to be 52 passengers per hour. The check-in process takes an average of
three minutes. Agents are paid $20 an hour. The customer relations
department estimates that every minute a customer spends waiting in line
to be checked in, it costs Global $1 due to missed flights, customers’
dissatisfaction, and loss of future business.
Assume that interarrival and service times are exponentially distributed.
a. How many agents should Global staff?
b. What is the average waiting time in line?
c. What is the average number of customers in the system?
d. What is the average number of customers that are in service?