Ready To Fly: Southwest Airlines® Makes Business Travel Easier
Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) announced today it now takes corporate travel bookings through industry-standard business travel booking systems. All of Southwest's everyday low fares along with industry-standard booking, ticketing, and functionality with business relevant content are available in Travelport's Apollo and Worldpsan Global Distribution Systems. In addition, Southwest will settle tickets booked via the new GDS processes through Airport Report Corporation (ARC). 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 organization's travel," said Andrew Watterson, Southwest's 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 travelers back to the skies with the warmth and hospitality they've come to know and love about Southwest."
Previously, Corporate Travel Managers who preferred to manage their organization's travel on Southwest through a GDS channel could only book or cancel a reservation. With this level of participation with Travelport, Corporate Travel Managers and business travel decision makers now have more access to Southwest's everyday low fares. The new capabilities add a new level of service that Southwest has not been able to offer for its corporate travelers.
"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's CEO. "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' GDS by the end of 2020.
Last year, Southwest announced several investments dedicated to growing its business travel reach. In addition to expanded content using GDS platforms, the carrier strengthened its direct-connect booking channel, SWABIZ; grew its Sales Team; and built a new Travel Management Company Relationship Team. These enhancements are designed to bring Southwest's fares and flights into the booking channel of choice for the carrier's corporate travel Customers.
To learn more about how Southwest Business can help your business manage its travel program, visit Southwest.com/AboutBusiness
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 49th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 60,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 130 million passengers in 2019. Southwest became the nation's largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. In peak travel seasons during 2019, Southwest operated more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 101 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries.
Southwest coined Transfarency® to describe its purposed philosophy of treating Customers honestly and fairly, and low fares actually staying low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some carriers offer free checked bags on select routes or in qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply.
Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. Learn more about how the carrier gives back to communities across the world by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship.
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