WATERLOO, Iowa — Short’s Travel Management CEO David LeCompte
knows his customers are using online consumer travel websites to
sniff out deals.
Instead of fighting those companies, Short’s Travel has unveiled
plans for new online airfare shopping services that will combine
the speed of those sites with Short’s Travel own resources and
The new online tool, Bookit, lets travelers use those sites to
search for flights and book through Short’s Travel. Short’s then
manages the travel behind the scenes by keeping track of unused
tickets, miles accumulated, multiple travelers from one company or
finding a lower price flight through a corporate search.
“With those sites, you’re not getting the corporate options,”
The service will let the customer search one site once and
either send an email of the results to Short’s Travel or, as the
system gets upgraded, a screen capture of the results. Short’s then
takes that information and replies via email to the original
request and other options. The flight can then be booked through
Bookit with just a couple of mouse clicks.
A survey of Short’s Travel customers showed about 65 percent of
them researched their travel options on meta-search sites such as
Orbitz or Kayak.
“People are searching those consumer sites already and then
coming to us saying, ‘Hey, can I get this flight?’” said LeCompte.
“We’re eliminating that extra step.”
Instead of fighting the online resources, Short’s Travel is
using them as a tool of their own.
“That’s basically what the customers are doing now,” LeCompte
said. “I think we’ve actually done something pretty special that
has got some national attention.”
The service will be available to Short’s Travel online customers
Thursday and to all other customer by the end of the year.