Travel Weekly's Technology E-letter: Nov. 1, 2007

SOUTHWEST plans to make its fares and schedules available through the Worldspan GDS, part  of a heightened effort to court business travelers. For years Sabre was the airline's exclusive GDS outlet, but Southwest plans to be in Galileo in November and eventually in Worldspan, which like Galileo, is owned by Travelport. "We're going to go after the business traveler in a big way and it will be obvious to all," Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said to analysts in the company's third quarter conference call in October. The airline will continue to offer the Swabiz self-booking tool for corporations, and has tripled its corporate sales force to 15 people since the summer.

AMERICAN EXPRESS BUSINESS TRAVEL plans to introduce AX HotelHub, an online interface that offers hotel inventory from GDSs, third-party Web sites, consolidators and direct-connects from hotel properties. Replete with data reporting and integration features, AX HotelHub is geared to provide a more efficient means for travel managers to manage their hotel spend and programs, and offers access to some 120,000 hotel properties, officials stated. The new product is slated to be introduced in the U.K. and France in November.  

THE TRAVEL AD NETWORK (TAN) became the exclusive ad rep for U.S.-accessed inventory on the U.K.-based social networking site WAYN (Where Are You Now?). TAN will deliver targeted ads to some of WAYN's 9 million users when they share their travel experiences. Meanwhile, on Oct. 10 the ad network signed a similar deal with mapping service, RandMcNally.com. TAN claims to be the largest ad network in travel with 10.5 million unique visitors.

HILTON is highlighting some of the benefits of its guest-rewards program, HHonors, noting in an e-mail to members that they can exchange points for airline miles with about 36 airline partners. HHonors members can execute the exchange by e-mailing [email protected]. However, Hilton informs guests that they should allow "up to 60 days for the exchange to be processed." Of course, these exchange requests can be expedited for a fee, Hilton states, although the expedited request still takes "a minimum of 10 business days for most express requests."

CLEAR opened its expedited security lanes at San Francisco's international terminal, meaning travelers that sign up for the program can use Clear lanes at all of the airport's terminals. Clear lanes at the airport's domestic terminals opened in September.

Technology Editor: Dennis Schaal

Phone: (201) 902-1904

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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