Southwest Airlines has added new capabilities to its Swabiz
corporate booking portal, including international flights, hotels and travel
The ability to book international flights through Swabiz is
a new one, and hotel booking capability is a returning feature, senior director
of sales strategy and B2B channels Rob Brown said. Southwest previously had
hotel bookings through a partnership with Orbitz, but that partnership ended
shortly after Orbitz was acquired by Expedia. The new hotel bookings come
through a partnership with Booking.com, which already provided hotel booking
capabilities through Southwest’s leisure channels, Brown said.
The new features also enable travel buyers to run reports on
what travel funds are available, data that “wasn’t the easiest to track
and manage” previously in Swabiz, VP of corporate sales Dave Harvey said.
In addition, Southwest has been making enhancements across
all its channels to make it easy for travelers to make changes or add
ancillaries, such as early boarding, to bookings made through Swabiz, Harvey
said. They now can do that through Southwest’s website, mobile website and
mobile app, whereas previously they would have had to go back through Swabiz to
make those changes, he said.
The changes are the first major enhancement that will
continue into next year. First up, in January, it will add a duty of care
functionality that makes it easier to track travelers who book through Swabiz,
Harvey said. Other changes next year will focus on improving its user interface
and usability, he said.
“We’ve really been on a mission in the last year and a
half to listen to customers and their biggest pain points and
opportunities,” Harvey said. “We launched it 18 years ago, and it
hasn’t had a ton of investment, so we’re looking at better ways to move about