Kansas City, MO—Vanguard Airlines, Inc. (NasdaqSC: VNGD) today announced a partnership with SideStep (www.sidestep.com), a new online travel service, that will enable Vanguard to expand its online distribution, reduce its costs, and bring lower fares to customers shopping for travel online.
Through this new partnership, Vanguard will be able to reduce costs by driving increased bookings to its Web site, its lowest cost sales channel. Currently, Vanguard’s Web site accounts for about one third of the Airline’s revenues. SideStep will take travel buyers directly to the low everyday fares offered on Vanguard’s Web site, bringing them to the point of purchase. SideStep is available for free from Vanguard`s Web site at www.flyvanguard.com or through the SideStep Web site at www.sidestep.com.
SideStep’s unique technology will make Vanguard’s tickets available to a wider audience via the SideStep browser plug-in. The SideStep service offers a rich selection of flights, hotel rooms and rental cars—including hard-to-find Web specials—all in one place. With SideStep, travel buyers also have the opportunity to receive valuable special offers, such as additional bonus miles or flight credits, with most every purchase.
“Vanguard Airlines has invested in a state-of-the-art booking engine on our recently redesigned Web site that continues Vanguard’s tradition of making online booking and travel extremely quick and convenient for our customers,” said Greg Aretakis, Vice President of Market Planning for Vanguard Airlines. “By partnering with an innovator like SideStep, we will be able to showcase our low fares to a wider online audience, then bring those customers to our Web site where purchasing travel has never been easier. Customers will save time and money, and Vanguard should lower its costs of distribution.”
“Vanguard understands how to use technology to improve the traveler’s experience - whether that be online or in the air,” said Brian Barth, CEO of SideStep. “SideStep complements Vanguard’s strategy in providing consumers with the most extensive travel options available through one source, and connecting the airline directly to consumers to save them time and money.”
Based in Santa Clara, CA, SideStep provides companies within target industries with technology and services to expand their distribution, improve their margins, and establish better links to their customers. The company’s initial market is the Internet’s largest commerce sector - online travel. SideStep enables travel suppliers to substantially reduce distribution costs and provides consumers with a rich selection of flights, hotel rooms and rental cars—including hard-to-find Web specials—all in one place. SideStep is a privately held company. For more information, visit www.sidestep.com.
Kansas City-based Vanguard Airlines, which began service in December 1994, is a value-priced, ticketless passenger airline. The airline provides convenient, scheduled jet service to twelve cities: Atlanta, Buffalo/Niagara Falls, Chicago-Midway, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Myrtle Beach, New York-LaGuardia, New Orleans and Pittsburgh. Vanguard employs approximately 950 full-time equivalent employees and currently operates a fleet of 13 Boeing 737s. For more information about Vanguard or to book a reservation online, visit Vanguard’s Web site at www.flyvanguard.com.