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Flying the Connected Skies

United Airline’s innovative IT puts travel managers, business travelers in control of journey
In this age of instant gratification and do-anything information technology, corporate travel managers haven’t always been the first beneficiaries. While travel management companies and business travelers tasted the first fruits of the latest apps, travel managers have often had to queue up and wait their turn.

United Airlines understands. “We’ve never had a kind of self-service website for corporate,” says Belinda McCormack, the carrier’s sales strategy and projects manager. “Even though we were able to provide some reporting capability on the site,” she said it wasn’t good enough.

In the spring of 2017, the answer was ready to roll out. It’s called “Jetstream” and the aim is to provide comprehensive, on-demand information to business travel executives. Jetstream allows “corporations themselves to use the website to process waivers and favors. They’re able to self serve,” says McCormack. The system provides fine-tuned, hands-on insight into their contract performance with United and the ability to game plan what things would look like should market conditions shift. “You can get the data and play around with it,” she says.

Say you’re working late and need hard data right now. You no longer have to wait for the United sales manager to respond. Travel managers simply log on and retrieve their reports in PDF or Excel. Such is the big picture – served up in weekly, monthly or yearly slices. This critical information includes total spend, both discounted and non-discounted, Premier level breakdowns of business travelers and a Savings Estimator feature by which corporate travel managers can manipulate market share to project potential incremental savings to take full advantage of their relationship with United.

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