Southwest to woo business fliers with new Travelport deal
Southwest Airlines has begun taking corporate travel bookings through industry-standard business travel booking systems.
The low-cost carrier has long sold tickets only through its own channels, but will now seek to boost its business travel market with the new integration.
Tickets will be available through the Apollo and Worldpsan global distribution systems offered by Travelport.
In addition, Southwest will settle tickets booked via the new Airport Report Corporation system.
Corporate travel buyers, travel management companies and business travel decision makers can conveniently book travel and modify reservations with just a few clicks.
“Our new GDS capabilities allow business travel managers the ability to book, modify, and cancel Southwest travel without having to pick up the phone, and they can better track and manage their organisation’s travel,” said Andrew Watterson, Southwest executive vice president and chief commercial officer.
“I’m thrilled we delivered these in-demand industry-standard capabilities that our business customers have desired on-time and on budget.
“While we weather the current business climate, today and every day, we’re working as hard as we can to be ready for a rebound and welcome travellers back to the skies with the warmth and hospitality they’ve come to know and love about Southwest.”
Previously, travellers who preferred to manage their travel on Southwest through a global distribution system channel could only book or cancel a reservation.
“Our partnership with Southwest Airlines is one of the most exciting opportunities for us to deliver more value to our travel agencies, extend Southwest’s reach to new customers, and together make managing travel easier as travel restrictions ease,” said Greg Webb, Travelport chief executive.
“This level of access offers agents a single point of sale for shopping, pricing, booking, and after-sale support, providing for an unprecedented level of superior customer service.”
The carrier has additional plans to add similar capability to Amadeus’ systems by the end of 2020.