Corporates get European rail option
GetThere is unveiling continental European rail booking capability through SNCF.
SNCF is available immediately for all GetThere customers in France, the United Kingdom, the Benelux region and other regions in which SNCF subsidiary Rail Europe has distribution agreements.
GetThere also said that its European customers were booking more than 60,000 trips a month towards the end of the third quarter this year - a 65 percent increase from the same period last year.
The company attributes this growth to greater ‘adoption’ (use) of the system among existing corporate customers, white-label deals with travel management companies (TMCs), and greater acceptance of the self-booking concept throughout Europe - particularly in France and Germany.
With the new partnership in place, GetThere users can now book travel on French domestic routes, Eurostar, Thalys and Lyria. Corporations benefit from all associated corporate travel promotional programmes such as European rail discount cards and frequent traveller programmes.
Floyd Widener, vice president of GetThere and corporate travel at Sabre Travel Network, believes the implementation of SNCF will further boost GetThere’s European growth. GetThere is developing a ‘multi-modal’ display for customers. This will put full-service airlines, no-frill carriers and rail operators on the same booking screen for all relevant trips, such as Nice-Strasbourg or London-Paris. GetThere plans to introduce this functionality in 2006.
As with air and accommodation bookings, corporate travel managers can tailor their version of the system to define and enforce company rail travel policy. GetThere’s customised reporting tool integrates rail activity to help monitor online adoption and compliance with corporate travel policy.
“Continental European rail capability was an important piece of the product jig-saw,” said Widener. “The requirement for an ever-growing range of bookable content in corporate SBTs (self-booking tools) points to the remarkable success of these products.”