Southwest Airlines Co. announced it is now taking corporate travel bookings through industry-standard business travel booking systems. All of Southwest's 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 will be able to book travel and modify reservations with just a few clicks.
Andrew Watterson, Southwest's EVP and chief commercial officer, said in a statement, "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.
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 airline 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, visit www.southwest.com/aboutbusiness