SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 3, 2005–Sabre Travel
Network today saluted travel agents for their unparalleled efforts in
customer service and providing a personal connection for travelers
during the recent Gulf Coast hurricanes. When an emergency strikes —
when travelers need special time, attention and human care —
traditional travel agents are only a phone call away — even when
they’ve been impacted by the crisis themselves.
Scott Evans, president of TravelCorp International, a World Travel
Partners (WTP) affiliate, and his staff of 18 evacuated their New
Orleans office on Friday night, August 26.
Even as the TravelCorp staff left their homes and listened to the
news of levees breaking, flooding and widespread destruction, they
made plans and took steps to continue serving their customers and
running their business.
Melissa Deffet, director of administration and finance at
TravelCorp, was in New Orleans at the time and evacuated to Houston
with the team. Deffet immediately became the TravelCorp ground
coordinator in charge of technology connectivity, communications and
administration. Customers received emails that the agency was
up-and-running, and the company Website was updated with new contact
information. When customers asked what they could do to help, they
were asked to keep booking travel and doing business with TravelCorp.
And they responded. Business is brisk, and clients have made
assurances they’ll be working with the agency for the long term as a
result of the personal connection they received during their time of
“We’re an eight-cylinder car working on seven cylinders today,”
said Evans, one week after the storm made landfall. “But we intend to
not only maintain our business, but look for new growth opportunities
in upcoming days and weeks. This wouldn’t have been possible without
the support of WTP and other external partners and friends like Sabre,
and the great spirit and efforts of our entire staff.”
As Hurricane Rita approached, some TravelCorp employees evacuated
Houston while others remained in the city to ride out the storm. In
the end, Houston was spared as Rita made landfall farther up the Gulf
Coast than originally expected.
TQ3Navigant — Marine and Oilfield Services Division
Before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, TQ3Navigant’s Marine and
Oilfield Services division began action on previously developed
contingency plans, moving thousands of petroleum workers from rigs and
refineries in the Gulf of Mexico to safer locations.
“When you are used to hearing a voice, and knowing a person,
there’s no replacement for that when you need it most,” said Judy
(“JP”) Peplinski, director of TQ3Navigant’s Marine and Oilfield
Services division. “That’s part of the value we bring. Our clients
know that if a hurricane is bearing down on their location, we’re on
the job, and we’re on it for them.”
But when Katrina hit, it did more than throw off the clients’
operations – it destroyed TQ3Navigant offices in New Orleans. Without
offices, and some agents homeless, it was more challenging than ever
to provide clients with a personal touch. Some of the displaced agents
evacuated to the Houston office and relatives’ homes where they were
able to serve their customers remotely. And when some agents landed in
locations with no computer at all, the agency shipped laptops
overnight loaded with Sabre software.
“Our dedicated teams and personal interaction make it possible,”
Peplinski said. “As Katrina approached, we worked directly with
clients to evacuate the rigs Saturday. Monday and Tuesday, we were
already moving teams back out to rigs and ensuring accommodations for
those displaced by the storm. Personal touch was extremely important
during this operation. To be able to pick up the phone and call
someone who is personally involved in your travel, that’s just
invaluable. You don’t get that without a travel agent.”
Before Hurricane Rita veered from its projected course, which was
directly at Houston and TQ3Navigant’s offices there, Peplinski and a
team of 11 evacuated to TQ3Navigant’s Chicago office. There they
operated a specialized 24/7 support desk to manage global oil and gas
clients remotely during the evacuation and storm period to provide
seamless service, support and reporting until threats from Rita had
Chris Kroeger, senior vice president of Sabre Travel Network,
North America, said, “We at Sabre Travel Network would like to salute
these customers for their outstanding service in the midst of
challenging circumstances. Travel agents provide a value that goes
beyond booking and information sharing. When anticipating and dealing
with a natural disaster that affects so many people and so many
travelers, like a hurricane, travel agents are an invaluable teammate.
Whether corporate or leisure, air or cruise travel, the traveler has
another human being in their corner, and that’s a powerful force.”
About Sabre Travel Network
Sabre Travel Network, a Sabre Holdings company, provides access to
the world’s leading global distribution system (GDS) enabling agents
at more than 50,000 agency locations worldwide to be travel experts.
The Sabre GDS, the first system to connect the buyers and sellers of
travel, today includes more than 400 airlines, approximately 60,000
hotels, 37 car rental companies, nine cruise lines, 35 railroads and
220 tour operators. Key brands of Sabre Travel Network include
GetThere, the leading Web-based corporate travel reservation
technology, and Jurni Network, the unique leisure travel agency
consortium that enables members to sell more products from preferred
travel suppliers using sophisticated market intelligence.
Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE:TSG) is a world leader in travel
commerce, retailing travel products and providing distribution and
technology solutions for the travel industry. More information about
Sabre Holdings is available at http://www.sabre-holdings.com.
Sabre Travel Network, the Sabre Travel Network logo, Jurni Network
and GetThere are trademarks and/or service marks of an affiliate of
Sabre Holdings Corporation. All other trademarks, service marks, and
trade names are the property of their respective owners.
CONTACT: Sabre Holdings Corporation, Southlake Media Contact: Nanci Williams, 682-605-2271 firstname.lastname@example.org SOURCE: Sabre Holdings Corporation