www.LowAirfare.com Enhanced Website Now Combines Automated Travel Booking With Integrated Live Assistance 800 Travel Announces Higher Look To Book and Productivity Levels
800 TRAVEL SYSTEMS, INC. (Nasdaq: IFLY IFLYW), d/b/a www.LowAirfare.com, Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE: TSG) and e-Business Interactive Solutions, Inc. today implemented a new instant messaging product jointly developed by the three companies.
800 Travel Systems, operator of www.LowAirfare.com, e-Business Interactive Solutions (EIS), developer of IRIS!(TM), and Sabre, the leading provider of IT solutions for the travel and transportation industries, have integrated new technology to give travel customers the flexibility to book air travel online by themselves or with the assistance of an online travel agent. 800 Travel’s web site, featuring IRIS!(TM) and Sabre Web Reservations, enables 800 Travel’s sales agents to answer any question online that may arise during the process of booking an airline ticket.
“One of our goals when we started www.LowAirfare.com in January 1999 was to achieve higher ‘look to book’ ratios than the travel industry had been experiencing by offering human interaction over the Internet,” said Mark D. Mastrini, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of 800 Travel Systems. “As a result of our web site’s instant messaging capabilities initiated in early 1999, we’ve experienced close ratios of approximately 18%, which we believe compares favorably to the e-commerce industry average of 2%. Once an online customer begins the purchase process, approximately 92% of our sales are completed versus the industry average of 33%. In addition, our Internet sales agents are able to handle up to eight customers at once as each online customer progresses through the online booking process.” Mr. Mastrini concluded, “In 1999 approximately 2.6% of our gross reservations were booked online, and this percentage has grown to approximately 15% today. Now that we have added the convenience of a fully automated booking system, we believe our percentage of online reservations will continue to grow in the future.”
“Sabre is the first to integrate online customer support with an e- commerce booking tool through our computer reservations system,” noted Klaus Schonewald, Managing Director Online Travel Solutions for Sabre. “By offering online self-service with a human touch when people need it, www.LowAirfare.com has significantly strengthened its ability to fulfill online air travel ticket orders in a cost-effective manner.”
“Our enhanced web site works on a foundation of new technologies that provides the Company with entirely new and more efficient ways to service both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) markets,” added Peter M. Sontag, President of 800 Travel Systems. “With this foundation of technologies in place, we can begin moving towards our next stage of growth. We are truly excited about having Sabre and EIS as our technology partners as we enter the 21st century.”
Reporters interested in receiving an audio or visual recap of the 800 Travel Systems Tele and press conference activities should call 800.793.2380 (available through April 28) and request the 800 Travel Systems conference call, passcode: lowairfare. For a video recap visit www.lowairfare.com .
About 800 Travel Systems
800 Travel Systems is a leading provider of a full range of travel-related products and services in the United States. 800 Travel Systems is headquartered at 4802 Gunn Highway, Tampa, Florida, and employs more than 350 people, combined, in the Company’s 33,000 square-foot data communications center in Tampa and a similar center in San Diego, California. The Company provides low-priced travel products and services through the on-line reservation system located at http://www.LowAirfare.com in addition to its easy-to-remember toll-free numbers “800-LOW-AIR FARE” (800-569-2473) and “800-FLY-4-LESS” (800-359-4537).
Sabre is a global leader in applying information technology to meet the needs of the travel and transportation industries with advanced and innovative technology skills to deliver progressive solutions. Headquartered in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, the company has more than 10,000 employees in 45 countries. More information on Sabre is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.sabre.com . Sabre and the Sabre logo are registered trademarks of an affiliate of Sabre, Inc.