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Major Airlines Adjust Business Models to Increase Value to Small Business Travelers





Dallas (PRESS RELEASE – January 10, 2011) – Today more than ever, Small Business Travelers are booking travel online and many are utilizing other conveniences offered by airline websites, reported the American Small Business Travelers Alliance (ASBTA). ASBTA is a national alliance focused primarily on the travel needs and interests of Small Business Travelers.

“For the moment, however, our objective is to make small business owners and travelers aware of what they might be missing out on right now and help them make their travel experiences less expensive and more productive.”

ASBTA surveys polled Small Business Travelers on a number of travel-related areas, including their use of airline websites. It revealed 81 percent of Small Business Travelers surveyed indicated they used airline websites to book flights. Southwest Airlines led as the airline of choice for Small Business Travelers. “It’s widely accepted among the small business community that booking directly on a travel provider’s website can save time and money on business travel, but that is often where most Small Business Travelers’ expectations end,” said Chuck Sharp, President. “In reality, the best travel websites also offer a number of other convenience features and services and provide an excellent customer service experience at the traveler’s immediate beck and call.”

For instance, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines work in conjunction with their travel partners to allow customers to book car rentals, vacations, hotel stays and other services directly through their websites.

“Not all travel websites have added these convenience features and services, but those that have, raised the bar significantly on the level of customer service offered in the online travel market. The best part is, this is only the beginning and we should expect to see many more advances in the near future,” said Sharp. “For the moment, however, our objective is to make small business owners and travelers aware of what they might be missing out on right now and help them make their travel experiences less expensive and more productive.”

“Small Business Travelers seeking lower priced tickets are also using methods such as non-commercial blogs, Web-based technologies called meta-search engines, and other travel websites,” said Sharp. Southwest and American still offer lower fares on their websites. The Small Business Traveler should consider also travel agents to help with more complex travel arrangements.

The Small Business Traveler is the benefactor as airline websites evolve and improve.

“The recent changes in ticket distribution should ultimately lead to a more customized solution and a better customer experience for the Small Business Traveler,” according to Sharp.

ASBTA is currently conducting its 2011 Travel Survey. If you would like to participate please send your email address to surveys@asbta.com

About ASBTA

The American Small Business Travelers Alliance (ASBTA) is a national organization serving small business travelers by providing information regarding travel and technology.

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Marie Hernan



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