Business travellers using the GetThere
online corporate travel reservation system can now make bookings on European ‘no frills’ carriers entirely within the system. The latest version of GetThere, launched this week, integrates the booking process for easyJet and Ryanair and lets business travellers around the world book no frill flights within Europe to 102 regional destinations.
The two new European carriers join a range of North American no frills carriers and all the major carriers that are already bookable in the GetThere system.
When a traveller requests a flight, GetThere will search the no frills Web sites as well as the global distribution systems (GDSs) that travel agents use. It will show all available fares and itineraries in the same display, including any discounted fares that the traveller’s company may have negotiated with particular airlines. If the traveller selects a no frills option the flight can be booked entirely within the system.
“To date, most technology in this area has simply dropped travellers at no frill airline Web sites to fend for themselves,” explains Tod Lockard, GetThere’s director of sales and marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “This creates confusion and difficulty for the traveller and raises many questions about policies for employee privacy and security. It also means that these bookings are being made outside of the company’s managed travel programme, making it difficult for the corporate travel manger to maintain control over the programme.”
In addition to the no frills booking capabilities, the new version of GetThere is designed to guide travellers clearly from the beginning to the end of a trip reservation, covering all elements of lodging and transportation, without requiring users to re-trace their steps or start a new booking.
The product has been re-designed to simplify complex corporate bookings, such as those requiring multiple modes of transportation. It now lets travellers compare fares from many different places - key to maximising usage in European markets.
“I welcome these new enhancements, which will strengthen GetThere’s position as the leading online booking tools provider,” said Alan Dean, e-enabling programme manager at KPMG. “Enhanced usability, combined with additional content from no frills carriers and rail operators, truly makes the system a complete solution for our corporate travel needs, and appeals to us greatly.”
While booking options from the Web often present short-term savings opportunities, it is important to effectively manage overall travel activity to gain the greatest cost savings over the long term. With GetThere’s comprehensive supplier preference controls, corporations can show travellers all lower priced options from the Web, or only display them for certain flights that won’t interfere with the company’s ability to meet specified volumes with preferred airlines. The net result is that corporations take the greatest advantage of preferred suppliers and capture additional savings opportunities from the Web.