Easy travel booking: AmEx and Microsoft team up on a new corporate travel service.
Quick: What's your company's preferred hotel, airline and car rental agency? If you don't know, you're probably costing your company a bundle when you make reservations. American Express and Microsoft have put an end to the question with a new online travel reservations system called AXI (American Express Interactive). It's different from consumer travel Web sites in that it incorporates company-negotiated rates--which can be 10%-35% lower than those published--and flags the reservations when preferred suppliers are not chosen. A low-fare search tool automatically compares published and negotiated fares to ensure that you are offered the best deal.
The site features access to hotel, destination and weather information, and allows you to check the on-time status of your flight. If you have a dinner meeting and want to know how close it is to your hotel, the system's 'hotel finder" will map it out for you onscreen. Use "flight finder" to view an airline seat map and select a seat--just like travel agents do--and car finder" to choose your preferred vehicle. What's more, .AXI lets you create and save your itinerary and expense report, all through the convenience of your laptop or desktop PC.
In order to use the system, a company must use American Express as its business travel agency. Midsize companies (those with 10 or more traveling employees) are also eligible: AmEx customizes the program for each client. AXI can operate within multiple system environments, and offers an Internet, intranet or extranet connection. Transaction fees are expected to be up to 40% less than traditional telephone booking.
RELATED ARTICLE: Resource Guide
Survival tools for business travelers
1. Berlitz Business Cassette Packs This book/audio combination pock provides today's travelers with essential business terms and phrases necessary to communicate in a foreign country. Learn how to make appointments, presentations and more. Cost is $19.95. To order, call Globe Pequot Press at 800 243-0495.
2. Travelers' Tales/Gutsy Women: Travel Tips and Wisdom for the Road (Travelers' Tales Inc.) This 121 page book serves as an indespensable pocket guide with travel tips, such as 'Be conscious of your posture in the prone seat, a small pillow placed at the lower back helps give support," and "Walk around the prone, stretch as much as possible." Cost is $7.95 To order, call O' Reilly and Associates at 800 889-8969.
3. The Adventure of Working Abroad (Jossey-Bass Publishers) Joyce Sutters Osland, aveteron with 14 years of experience abroad, and 35 other experienced expatriates discuss the unexpected perils enormous opportunities, turmoil and triumphs of life and work in a new wood. Cost is $25. To order, call Jossey-Bass Publishers at 800-956-7739.
4. Preview Travel Preview Travel, the largest full service online travel site, offers one-stop shopping for airline tickets, vacation packages, car rentals and hotels. For more information, browse their Web site at www.previewtravel.com.
5. Biz travel bizReservations 2.0 is a new reservation service designed to help travelers maximize their frequent flyer benefits and achieve personal travel goats. For more information, top into their Web site at www.biztravel.com. --Kenneth Terry Miles
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|Title Annotation:||Executive Travel Guide; includes a resource guide for business travel|
|Author:||Miles, Kenneth Terry|
|Date:||Oct 1, 1997|
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