United Airlines today unveiled a new online booking and information service called the College Travel NetworkSM that is the first offering of its kind specifically designed to serve the needs of college students.
Located at www.collegetravelnetwork.com, the service enables students to search airline schedules and fares for over 500 airlines, purchase tickets online, take advantage of exclusive student travel discounts, enroll in a special United Airlines student frequent flyer program, and store travel information in an online “travel planner” that can be shared with family or friends. Students who register before November 30 are eligible to enter a sweepstakes contest offering a two-night trip to New York City plus tickets to attend a live broadcast of “Saturday Night Live.” The winner and one guest will receive round-trip United Economy tickets to New York City, two nights in a hotel, and tickets to the show, which are courtesy of NBC.
“United is the first and only airline to offer an online service tailored from the ground up to address the particular travel requirements of college students,” said Rick Collins, director of new business development for United Airlines. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s businesspeople, and this is our way of cultivating their travel business as well as an important component in our broader strategy to build our brand online.”
Open to full-time students at any accredited four-year U.S. college or university, United’s College Travel Network lets users shop for and purchase air travel on over 500 carriers worldwide, and request special meals and other accommodations directly from their desktop. In addition, the service includes: á United College FaresSM, special discounted fares that will be available on a periodic basis only on this site and only for college students. á
Travel Planner, an interactive notebook that can be used to save travel schedules, bookmark relevant information, and e-mail itineraries to traveling companions or family members for comment. Users can organize information into separate sections titled “My Fares,” “My Notes” and “My Links” for easy retrieval. E-mail lists can be created directly within the planner, and itineraries can be sent to anyone on the list simply by placing a check mark next to the appropriate name. Users can include remarks in the notes section when they send an itinerary, and recipients can add their own comments to expedite planning.
College PlusSM, a frequent flyer program with special student incentives. Members earn Mileage Plus® miles toward free air travel on United, United Express®, United Shuttle® or any of the airline’s Star AllianceSM member carriers simply for flying those carriers. They also receive a 2,500-mile bonus when they take their first United flight, 1,000 bonus miles each time they fly on a United ticket purchased online through the College Travel Network or www.ual.com, and additional mileage for referring a friend, using the United College Plus FirstCard® Visa®, or making a call with the United College Plus MCI WorldCom Calling Card. Members can also earn bonus miles by volunteering with participating charities ranging from Special Olympics to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America.
Students can enroll in College Plus directly from the College Travel Network site. á Travel Resource Center, an extensive series of links to websites containing information ranging from hostel, park and campground listings to city guides, maps, exchange rates, weather, seasonal events, and bus and train transportation. One section on adventure travel points users to sites covering topics such as biking, hiking, climbing, skiing and snowboarding. Others address passports and visas, embassies around the world, immunizations and other health information for travelers, and study and work abroad.
The College Travel Network is the latest in a series of e-commerce initiatives launched by United Airlines. The carrier’s website, www.ual.com, offers online ticketing, weekly “E-Fares®” for last-minute discount travel, and periodic Internet sales for holidays and special destinations. The website also gives the airline’s frequent flyers the ability to track Mileage Plus account information, request upgrades and redeem miles for award travel online. In addition, United recently announced plans to create a comprehensive online travel store in cooperation with BUY.COM, a leading e-commerce portal site. The new site, BuyTravel.com, will offer the ability to book and purchase tickets on all major airline carriers as well as hotel rooms, car rentals and cruises. The site will also offer deeply discounted excess inventory air fares on select United flights.