Travelocity Commits to ‘Customer Championship’; Sweeping Initiatives Aim to Redefine Relationships with Travelers, Travel Providers; Pro-Active Commitment to Customer Advocacy Backed by Major Investment in Technology and Training

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 2, 2005–Imagine the frustration of checking into a hotel on a hot summer day only to find out that the pool is closed. Or that the room with an ocean view you thought was reserved instead overlooked the parking lot of the fast food restaurant across the street. Or even worse, imagine getting to your hotel and having no room at all.

For the past 18 months, Travelocity(R), in its pursuit to differentiate itself from all travel providers, has carefully considered a new way of working with travelers and travel suppliers to prevent these problems from ever occurring and working to quickly fix them when they do happen. To achieve this goal, Travelocity has invested nearly $20 million in technology and training programs aimed at backing its promise “that everything about a traveler’s booking will be right or we’ll work with our partners to make it right, right away.”

As a result of this intensive work, Travelocity today officially introduces “Customer Championship” in the U.S., a program unlike any other in the travel industry, backed by each of the company’s 2,300+ employees and one that promises to set new expectations for travelers in how they deal with any travel provider.

Customer Championship advances Travelocity’s leadership in working closely with its travel partners in eliminating on-the-road inconveniences while giving travelers relevant information that helps ensure that their expectations are met. Some of the tools that have already been in place include:

    --  Technology connecting directly into hotels' reservation
        systems that helps avoid lost reservations and allows
        customers to select the hotel room best for them;

    --  The total price of a rental car;

    --  More than 40,000 unbiased reviews of hotels and cruises from
        actual travelers;

    --  Alerts built into the advanced Flight Navigator shopping
        engine that show consumers how many seats are still available
        on a flight at a certain price;

    --  Expert advice ranging from airport weather delays to the best
        "Local Secrets" in all 50 states and Canada.

“It was time for us to build on this foundation and take the notion of being the customer’s champion to a whole new level,” said Michelle Peluso, Travelocity president and CEO. “Travelers who use our site deserve the absolute best in customer care, from pre-trip shopping and planning through their entire trip to when they return home and begin sharing memories. We have spent the past 18 months overhauling every aspect of Travelocity to deliver on that promise for our customers.”

Customer Championship is Born in the U.S.

Thousands of hours and millions of dollars have been invested in the technologies, training, processes and policies serving as the foundation for Customer Championship to identify how Travelocity can further excel for customers once the trip has been booked. Some of these areas include:

    --  New technology that routes travelers to the best agent for
        their situation, in order to try to solve customer issues in a
        single call;

    --  Adjusting 20 policies including the ability to change or
        cancel flights within 24 hours of booking for emergency
        situations and follow-up phone calls to hotels to help ensure
        all reservations are being held as originally booked;

    --  Developing a two-day training course for Travelocity's more
        than 1,000 agents that transforms their mindset with customers
        from order takers to empowered problem solvers. Agents now
        have the ability to make more judgment calls immediately,
        further minimizing a customer's time on the phone.

The first set of agents who went through the new training received immediate and positive customer feedback. Measured by Travelocity’s internal customer satisfaction survey, it indicated a 22 percent increase in satisfaction.

“This was very significant for us,” Peluso said. “Customer Championship boils down to customer satisfaction, and this is only the beginning. The bottom line is to show customers that on top of great prices, there is a personal side to Travelocity and that we will stand behind our customers every step of the way.”

Customer Championship has already had a big impact with Travelocity employees. Elizabeth Acuna, an agent in Travelocity’s San Antonio customer care center, said she thinks the Customer Championship training was a good experience.

“I feel the new policies encourage us to show our customers that we are willing to go the extra mile for them,” she said. “We now quickly and efficiently reassure our customers that we will meet their expectations instead of other, often less-efficient, means of resolving the situation.”

Most significantly, the positive vibes of Customer Championship are also being felt by Travelocity’s customers.

“I am so over-the-top, blown-away, impressed with Travelocity,” wrote Sierra Lesjack, a Travelocity customer from San Francisco, in an e-mail to the customer care team in March of this year. “For a recent trip to Hawaii, I felt like a valued customer whom Travelocity was truly concerned with. That experience was invaluable and I have been telling everyone I know about how nice Travelocity was in fixing our problems and providing excellent customer service.”

Being Proactive with Customer Championship – A Real Life Example

In February 2005, a customer accidentally booked a flight with a return date one month to the day later than they had wanted. When the customer alerted Travelocity to the situation, the agent resolved the issue immediately at no additional cost to the customer. And then, in the spirit of Customer Championship, the agent notified supervisors on his team, who ran a query to determine if others might have made a similar error. Travelocity then proactively resolved the same issue for a number of other customers. Had the problem gone unnoticed, the customers would have arrived at the airport for their return flight home one month too early. Since then, Travelocity has continued to research this and notify customers who may have unintentionally booked the wrong return date.

The Fruits of Customer Championship

To reinforce Travelocity U.S.’s long-term commitment to Customer Championship, the company also has introduced the Travelocity Customer Bill of Rights ( and The Travelocity Guarantee (

“The Travelocity Guarantee and Bill of Rights is the direct message to consumers that we are a different kind of company,” Peluso said. “They are not, however, slick marketing copy weighed down in fine print. Rather, together, they firmly cast in stone our renewed focus on delivering the best travel experiences one trip at a time.”

About Travelocity

Travelocity’s industry-leading technology and straight-talking, honest information help travelers take more rewarding and affordable trips. With millions of registered users and booking $4.9 billion of travel in 2004, Travelocity(R) negotiates thousands of low-priced deals with the world’s most reputable travel providers — top airlines, hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines, and other destination attractions and services. Additionally, Travelocity offers deeply-discounted rates for weekend getaways and dynamic packages through its Last Minute Deals and TotalTrip(SM) shopping engines, and provides customer service support over the phone 24 hours a day. Based in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also operates Travelocity Business(SM) for corporate customers, powers international travel Web sites in eight languages, and has been recognized for its consumer advocacy and global leadership in online travel. More information about Travelocity is available at Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE:TSG), a world leader in travel commerce. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at

Cautionary Statement

Statements in this release which are not purely historical facts, including statements about the expected benefits of the Customer Championship program to Travelocity or other statements about anticipations, beliefs, expectations, hopes, intentions or strategies for the future, may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based upon information available to Sabre Holdings Corporation on the date this report was submitted. Sabre Holdings Corporation undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Any forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the events or results described in the forward-looking statements, including risks or uncertainties related to competition from search engine companies and other new competitors entering the online travel marketplace; and Sabre Holdings Corporation’s revenues being highly dependent on the travel and transportation industries. Sabre Holdings Corporation may not succeed in addressing these and other risks. Further information regarding factors that could affect our financial and other results can be found in the risk factors section of Sabre Holdings Corporation’s most recent filing on Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    CONTACT: Vollmer Public Relations
             Judy Haveson, 212-808-6541
             Amanda Borichevsky, 972-488-4790

    SOURCE: Travelocity