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Low-cost U.K. carrier EasyJet has intensified its drive for
corporate business by signing soft-benefit deals with customers and preparing
to introduce a flexible fare for exclusive distribution through global
distribution systems, a carrier executive told BTN last month.
At present, EasyJet offers only one fare type, but for a
premium the flexible fares will allow unlimited changes before the day of
departure, although cancellations will not be permitted, said head of corporate
sales Claire Haigh.
"Business travelers are different from leisure
travelers because they often change their plans," she said. "Some may
have been put off using EasyJet because they didn't want to waste their ticket.
We are looking at a number of ways of enticing business travelers."
The fare type EasyJet offers allows changes for a fee plus
payment of the difference between the original ticket price and the price at
time of amendment.
"We are getting attention from organizations with
public ownership or said publicly that they are going to save money on travel,"
said Haigh. "The buyers get it. It can be the business travelers who are
EasyJet's attitude toward buyers has shifted 180 degrees
from a decade ago, when it ran national newspaper advertisements denouncing
travel managers whose policies included rival airlines as preferred suppliers.
This report originally
appeared in the Sept. 6, 2010, issue of Business Travel News.