Booking

Booking

Members can quickly and easily book either an aircraft or instructor (or usually both). The system keeps track of all the bookings and will of course prevent double-bookings.

Everyone can view a list of their upcoming bookings, both in list form on the site and as a calendar. Calendars are published by the system using the webcal specification and can be viewed in mobile devices, Outlook and so on. They are updated automatically as more bookings are made, so provide a handy way of viewing bookings as they come up. See Upcoming bookings for more details.

iPhone 6 showing bookings as a calendar

Members will typically book time slots in advance, then arrive a short time before the start of the booking. They will then book out the aircraft direct from the booking page. When members return from their flights, the system links everything together, from initial booking through to aircraft technical logs, training log and the member and instructor electronic log books.

Mathew Mon, 18/04/2016 - 11:05

Making a booking

Making a booking

To make a new booking, go to your My account page and click My bookings followed by + Make a booking.

Making your first booking (video)

 

Make a booking button

The booking screen provides a view of which aircraft and instructors are available for bookings. As a member you may book with more than one aircraft of the same type. The system will allow you to select all the aircraft you fly on and which instructors you like to book with. Set up this filter first, it is maintained each time you visit the page but you can change the selections at any time.

Setting up your filter

If the section is not already open, click Show aircraft and instructors... This alternately hides and shows the filter section. If you have no selections in the filter, the filter is shown when you first visit the page.

Select which aircraft and instructors to show on the booking form

Simply select which aircraft you would normally book and which instructor(s). There may be some instructors who are unavailable for your aircraft type, you can leave them deselected.

When you have finished, click Show availability to update the page. The page will reload and show the available booking times. The selections are stored so you will find them already selected the next time you view the booking form.

Booking slots form

 

Change the date by directly typing it, or click the drop down arrow. Then click Show availability to check for availability on that date. The day of week is displayed in the column heading area of the time slots as a check. You can also navigate from one day to the next using the Prev and Next buttons.

If there are times when an aircraft or instructor is unavailable, the list will show "Unavailable" and notes of the times unavailable may be added to the bottom of the table. Slots that are already booked are displayed as links using the member's initials or just "Busy". If these are displayed, you can click on them to view the booking. From there you may be able to contact a member via the site. A typical reason for doing this may be that you are limited to flying one aircraft, while students are able to fly another (available) aircraft of the same time. You may wish to contact them to try to re-arrange their booking.

Note: This feature depends on whether the other member has opted to allow other members to contact them. To make yourself available to be contacted via the booking system, see Contact Settings in your account Settings tab.

To make a new booking, identify the time slots you would like to book for, then add a checkmark in each of them as shown above. In this example, we intend to book G-CDEE and instructor "IJ" from 16:00 for two hours. The flying school uses one hour slots, and students normally book two hours to allow for briefing and de-briefing as well as the hour flying lesson. 

Since the filter has been set with only one aircraft and one instructor, these are selected in the "Make a booking" area already. If you have more than one aircraft or instructor to choose from, just pick which one you want to book from the dropdown lists and click Book selected times.

Note: It is possible to book just an aircraft, just an instructor or a combination.

When a booking is made, the system will send a confirmation message to those involved depending on each user's notification preferences. Emails are delayed by a few minutes to allow for any mistakes to be corrected. Instructors will usually only receive notification for bookings made and cancelled at short notice, typically within the next 24 hours. If the booking is made further in advance, you may also receive a reminder email, again depending on your notification preferences.

The new booking is added to each user's list of upcoming bookings and the Booking details page is displayed.

Mathew Mon, 18/04/2016 - 10:48

Booking details

Booking details

When a new booking is made, you will see this page to confirm the booking has been added to the system. This page is important not only as a confirmation, but also because it provides the options to "book out" a flight. This option is only available during the times of the booking.

Booking summary

Since it is important to be able to reach this page again, you can find it listed in the My bookings tab on your account page. So to reach a particaular booking, click My account followed by My bookings and lastly click the booking times shown in the list.

Your account summary page tries to make it easier to find bookings by showing anything booked that day.

Cancelling a booking

If you need to cancel a booking you can do this from the details page. To cancel a booking, click the link Need to cancel this booking?

Changing a booking

If you need to change a booking, click the link labelled make changes to this booking shown above the booking details. You might use this to change the booked aircraft or instructor. Instructors have additional options, such as changing the booked times. You can also edit many bookings at once by selecting them in the bookings list screen and choosing Make changes.

View existing bookings

Click My account followed by My bookings.

Note: The booking confirmation shows the breadcrumb navigation above the page title. These links provide a quick way to go back to related screens. As an example, you can also view your list of upcoming bookings by clicking Bookings in the breadcrumb navigation area. 

Booking out a flight

As already mentioned, this page is used during the booking time to book out a flight. Booking out is only possible within the booked time (plus some time either side). Within the booked time, the page is changed, recommending members view the aircraft log and displaying the + Book out button at the bottom.

Booking out a flight records the persons on board, fuel added from the store (if applicable) and collects an estimated time of return (ETA Return).

You can book out more than once on a single booking, which is useful when booking an extended period during training, because (for example) an instructor flight and a solo flight can be added to the same booking.

It is also possible to ignore the booking out process and simply add flights to a booking. However, booking out is recommended because it can help other users to see what time the aircraft is due to return, and how much fuel was added (and therefore whether they may need to get fuel ready from the store).

Mathew Mon, 18/04/2016 - 10:58

Upcoming bookings

Upcoming bookings

To view all your upcoming bookings, click My account followed by My bookings.

List of upcoming bookings

 

There is a filter section, which you can click to expand and then filter the list to show just bookings with a particular aircraft or instructor. As a member you should not normally need to filter the list, unless you have a lot of bookings.

Note: All other lists in the booking system order with the most recent item at the top of the list. The booking list orders by soonest at the top of the list.

To view the booking details for a booking, click the time shown under the Booking column. You will notice there are other links in the table. Links to aircraft will display the flight log, showing the most recent flights, notes, airframe and engine servicing as well as information about when the next services are due. Links to instructors will display their contact page (if the instructor chooses), allowing members to email them via the site.

You can view your calendar graphically in any application that supports the webcal URI scheme. Mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads support this in the built-in calendar application. Microsoft Outlook and Apple Calendar also support the format.

iPhone 6 showing bookings as a calendar

To view your calendar, click the link view this information as a calendar shown under the list of bookings.

Each calendar link is specific to a user and is intended to remain private. However, if a link is shared it can be invalidated by clicking create a new link. This invalidates the link and creates a new one. Devices using the old link will not receive updates, but the calendar will not disappear from the device, it will need to be deleted manually. On iOS this is possible under the device's Settings app (go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Subscribed Calendars).

When arriving for a flight, find the booking in the list and click the time. This shows the booking details page. You can then use the option + Book out to book out the flight.

Mathew Mon, 18/04/2016 - 10:53

Removing a calendar

Removing a calendar

Your upcoming bookings are available in a standard calendar format ("webcal" or Intenet Calendar). Adding the calendar is quite straitforward, simply click the link shown in your Upcoming bookings page.

If you change the calendar link, the old one will no longer provide updates to your calendar. You will likely see something similar to the following: "Action required: Please remove this calendar from your device.":

iPad showing events in an expired calendar

Expired calendars notifiy you by adding events to your calendar with a description about what you should do. It could be that this is how you ended up on the page reading this!

The process of removing a calendar differs by device. Here are some suggestions for commonly used  devices:

iPhone / iPad

Go to Settings > Passwords & Accounts > Subscribed Calendars

Tap on the calendar subscription. It will take you to a settings page. At the botton is a red Delete Account button.

Mac

On the Mac calendar app, right-click (Ctrl + click) on the calendar shown in the sidebar and choose Unsubscribe.

You may need to first show the sidebar using the Calendars button in the toolbar.

 

Mathew Wed, 20/04/2016 - 09:15