Improved Amtrak Online Access From e-Travel.

With more people taking to trains in America, e-Travel, Inc has announced immediate availability of its direct link with Amtrak, the U.S`s intercity passenger rail system.
Through this link, e-Travel`s corporate customers are able to book rail service to more than 500 communities in 45 states served by Amtrak. Via a direct link from the e-Traveler online service, participating corporate employees may now book complete travel itineraries, including air, car, hotel and rail, all within company policy, establishing significant momentum toward greater travel industry efficiency. The direct link increases Amtrak`s distribution channels and provides both the railroad and its corporate customers with considerable time and cost savings opportunities. e-Travel is the first online corporate travel technology service to establish an operational direct link with Amtrak.

“The direct link comes at a high-demand time for business travelers, especially in the Northeast as we are increasing service on Acela Express, America`s first high-speed rail service,” said Barbara Richardson, Amtrak`s executive vice-president. “As America begins to recover from our recent tragedy, we want our customers to have the best and most direct access to our services as possible.”

In its first 10 months of service, Acela Express has attracted more than 280,000 guests. Since the tragedies of September 11, the service has seen a 40% increase in reservations, making it a vital link between Washington, D.C., New York and Boston. Recent additions in Acela Express frequencies mean business travelers may now choose from eighteen weekday roundtrip Acela Express and Metroliner departures between New York and Washington and eight Acela Express departures between New York and Boston. By the end of the year, Amtrak will offer 19 Acela Express roundtrips between New York and Washington and ten between New York and Boston. Amtrak also offers frequent service for business travelers between San Diego-Los Angeles-Santa Barbara on the Pacific Surfliner, San Jose-Oakland-Sacramento on the Capitols and Portland-Seattle on the Cascades that are also available for booking through e-Traveler. Amtrak Guest Rewards members will also earn points when booking Amtrak travel via e-Traveler.

According to e-Travel customer Donna Muhlhausen, manager, travel services operations, at Philip Morris, “We have been anxiously awaiting the Amtrak link as we have seen a dramatic increase in Amtrak bookings in light of recent events. This link will be a real service to our travelers and is a great option to air travel.” The Amtrak direct link extends e-Travel`s technology leadership and creates a key capability, particularly for customers that travel frequently in the Northeast, for the e-Travel Enterprise Travel Management (ETM) suite of online services. Other e-Travel direct links currently in operation include The Hertz Corporation and Pegasus Solutions.

“The recent tragedies have caused business travelers to turn more and more to rail transportation options - we felt it was vital to provide our corporate customers with direct access to Amtrak inventory as soon as possible”, said Scott Gutz, CEO of e-Travel. “This direct link demonstrates e-Travel`s commitment to expand service options available to corporate travelers.”