British Airways has teamed up with GetThere.com to launch a new on-line business travel management system for small and medium sized companies in the UK.
GetThere.com is the leading supplier of internet based business-to-business travel systems in the US. The-easy-to-use system allows the company’s employees to book flights, hotels and cars on their corporate intranet.
The airline will be offering the “private access website” both to travel agents for their small to medium sized corporate clients and also to customers who wish to book directly.
Simon Parks-Smith, who manages the airline’s Business-to-Business e-commerce said: “Our internet strategy is about making it easier for our customers to do business with us. GetThere.com’s system gives us the opportunity to provide a quick and effective solution to the travel needs of small to medium sized businesses.”
“Our research shows that most small businesses want to combine on-line booking for some itineraries with the chance to telephone a travel-consultant for more complex journeys. This is a significant market for British Airways and we believe that the BA/GetThere.com product will quickly become the market leader in online business travel management.”
The system, which will produce management information, can be personalised with corporate travel policy and travellers’ preferences to speed up subsequent bookings.
Agents who set the system up as their own business travel management system can tailor it, co-brand it, or link it to their home web site. This would allow them to issue all tickets, be they paper or e-ticket based. The new business travel management system offers travel agents the opportunity to avoid the excessive costs of investing in new systems, whilst providing a low cost travel management service for their customers.