United Airlines is offering a fantastic new program that is designed to benefit the mid-sized business with a travel budget of under $ 1 million. What makes this program unique is not only that it is aimed at the lower end of the market, but that it is so simple to implement and provides a discount off of every airfare your company purchases on United, as well as several partner airlines, including Lufthansa and Air Canada.
The importance of the discount off of the lowest coach class fares can not be overstated. Even Fortune 500 companies which have high-end corporate agreements with United do not get a discount on the cheapest coach class seats.
The overview details are these: United will discount your airfare by 2% across the board for all of your corporate volume on United in exchange for a revenue commitment to United of $ 150,000 per year in airfare. Your company will have to provide reports that indicate your can give United the revenue that they are asking for, but this is easily done, and this financial information can come from your agency partner (s) or internally. The initial contract agreement is for two years, which is also a nice feature, as many corporate agreements with major airlines are one year rolling programs. So this gives you the opportunity to lock in savings for a longer period of time. Additionally, the fares will generally have to come through your booking with an agency partner as United's reps will not have access to your contract, and there will be no way to include this discount on United's corporate online or on some of the larger online travel bookings sites you may have worked with or are currently using. In addition to the 2% discount, your company will also receive some additional flexibility in the form of a "service fund" that can come in handy when your organization needs a "favor" from the airline in the future. These funds can be applied to exchange fees, missed ticketing deadlines, etc.
If you are currently working with an agency, and your company fits in to the criteria outlined above, you should certainly inquire about this program. It is the best opportunity I've seen for savings with a major carrier in recent years. Your agency should have information on the program, and their United representative can take it from there.
I wish you the best of luck in taking advantage of what I feel is a truly unique offering in the airline industry. Let's hope that other airlines follow United's lead in bringing value to loyal corporate clients.