Southwest Airlines 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.