Sabre says these new features, slated to be introduced starting in the first quarter of 2012, would enable leisure and GetThere corporate customers to shop and book travel, access their travel itineraries, contact their travel agents by email or calling with “one-click” functionality from their smartphones, and view messaging from their agency or corporation.
In addition, employees working for GetThere corporate customers would be able to make air and hotel bookings within corporate policy, and access expense reporting and trip eInvoices, Sabre says.
From a travel agency standpoint, TripCase would recognize trips imported from travel agencies, who would receive booking credits, Sabre says.
Taking a cue from Sabre’s longtime itinerary information and agency marketing service, Sabre Virtually There, clients would receive agency-branded confirmation emails.
“Our global research of all traveler types shows travelers are demanding increasing levels of personalization, convenience and functionality from their mobile devices,” says John Samuel, senior vice president of Sabre Studios, which developed TripCase, and Traveler Solutions. “The data tell us that travelers increasingly mix business and leisure trips. As such, TripCase provides travelers the ability to do so by allowing attractions, business meetings and restaurant reservations in their itineraries.”
Samuel argues that TripCase is “smart” and will help agents anticipate travelers’ needs.
“Agents can also use TripCase to proactively respond to anticipated requests like a flight change from a missed connection, often before the traveler has requested it,” he says.
In a presentation at Sabre headquarters several weeks ago, Samuel sought to differentiate TripCase from its more successful rival¬†TripIt, which is now owned by Concur.
Samuel said TripIt is more dependent on receiving travelers’ emailed confirmations while TripCase can sync updates from agency bookings made in the Sabre GDS.
Au contraire, says a TripIt spokeswoman.
“Concur is capable of automatically synchronizing any trip — booked traditionally through the travel management company or online through Concur Travel — booked in any of the six GDSs we support, including Sabre, with TripIt,” the spokeswoman for TripIt says. “There is no emailing of itineraries required. This was launched in May 2011.”
Meanwhile, Samuel said, TripCase focuses on “anticipating, as much as possible, travelers’ needs” during the trip as opposed to organizing itinerary information up-front.
TripCase intends to message travelers with information about baggage claim and policy reminders, for example, under the assumption that people are more receptive to such information when traveling.
“You’re are a little more of a sponge for travel information” during the trip, Samuel said.
Travelers can expect more messaging from TripCase partners, as well, Samuel said.
Users of the rival TripIt Pro premium service also get “baggage claim updates and flight delays and have for some time,” the TripIt spokeswoman says.