WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Upside.com, launching today, is the groundbreaking online travel company that is changing the game for buying business travel. Using Upside, travelers at small and medium-sized businesses can save 10-15% over the lowest published air and hotel prices available anywhere.
As a reward for making money-saving travel choices, travelers earn $100-$200 or more in a free gift card on top of the savings for their company. All this is possible because the traveler chooses their flights and hotel on Upside.com, and then buys them together as a bundle for one low price.
Upside provides full domestic and international coverage. Built on $50 million of research and development, Upside offers travelers and their companies a combination of benefits never available before in a single purchase.
- Proprietary Big Data Travel Engine instantly evaluates 20,000+ options to show travelers the "top 6" flight choices and "top 6" hotel choices that, when purchased together, save their company money and meet the needs of the business trip.
- With each trip purchased, Upside customers get a free high-value gift card at Amazon.com or their choice of 50+ other top retailers.
- After the traveler selects their flights and hotel, the Engine automatically shows a series of equally effective but lower-cost options that create even more savings and an even bigger gift card reward for being flexible.
- Gift cards are delivered digitally within 72 hours of trip purchase.
- Travelers still receive all their frequent flyer miles and their credit card points in addition to their free gift card.
- The entire process takes just minutes, often saving 90% off the time of typical travel websites.
- Unlimited 24/7, concierge-level customer service by phone, chat or text when travelers need it – before, during and after every trip.
- Despite the single, bundled price, travelers get the same cancellation and change privileges as if they had bought their flights and hotel separately.
- Best of all, employers save meaningful amounts of money, and employees love making those savings happen.
Jay Walker, Upside.com Chairman and CEO, said, "Upside is the new triple win in business travel. The way travelers at small and medium-sized companies buy travel is long overdue for a complete overhaul. Everyone is unhappy: companies, employees and even suppliers. Companies feel their employees can't easily find the best prices and often spend more than they should. Employees want all the comfort and convenience they are entitled to when on the road, and feel any money they might save isn't worth the time, trouble and quality tradeoffs to find and get those savings. And suppliers can't target discounts to business travelers without undercutting their own published retail prices to everyone else."
"Upside is the first company to solve all three problems," Walker continued. "Companies, employees and travel suppliers are excited about our new way to serve the small and medium-sized business traveler. When our potential customers hear about Upside and understand how easy it is to get these amazing benefits, they enthusiastically embrace it."
A recent survey, conducted by Upside of business travelers who buy their own travel, revealed just how hungry the market is for change:
- 79% of employers would let their employees use a travel service that gives a gift card to employees, provided the company saves money at the same time.
- 78% of business travelers would like a better way to be rewarded for buying their business travel.
- 76% would use a service that rewards them with gift cards.
- 82% of business travelers want to be rewarded when they're flexible with their travel plans.
- Rewards that travelers most want include lower prices (49%); gift cards (45%); and upgrades (56%).
To make sure every small and medium-sized business traveler in America hears about Upside and its benefits, Upside will be one of America's largest radio advertisers in 2017, with a nationwide radio advertising campaign incorporating dozens of trusted radio personalities on the iHeartRadio and ABC/ESPN Radio networks — both on the air and via their large social media followings. Targeted advertising on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and other platforms will also create strong awareness and word of mouth.
Here's how Upside.com works
To purchase a trip on Upside.com, business travelers first enter their departure/arrival cities, dates and other requirements for either international or domestic trips. Based on this customer data, Upside's unique "Flexibility Engine" software analyzes and scores 20,000+ possible round-trip flight and hotel combinations that could work for the traveler.
The Flexibility Engine instantly assembles six customized choices of business quality flights and six choices of hotel rooms that meet the requirements of the traveler's specific business trip. The traveler chooses their flights, and then separately chooses their hotel. The selected flights and hotel room are then bundled together for one money-saving price.
If travelers decide to save their companies even more money with small, voluntary changes to their itineraries, they get a higher-value gift card for themselves.
As of today's launch, Upside.com provides:
- Service to and from all U.S. commercial airports.
- Round-trip travel originating in the U.S.
- More than 60 international destinations.
- Over 1,000 hotels including all business quality brands.
"With Upside.com, everybody wins," said Walker. "Small and medium-sized businesses win because employees who buy their own travel now have a strong incentive to save their company money and a surefire way to do it. Airlines and hotels win because they gain a new tool to generate incremental revenue from a high-value segment. Travelers who work for small and medium-sized companies win because they get a free gift card every time they buy a trip, superior customer service and an easier way to buy travel that meet the specific needs of their business trip."
Upside.com (www.upside.com) is led by Priceline Founder Jay Walker and a team of former senior Priceline executives including former Priceline CTO Scott Case; former President Priceline Europe, Tim Brier; and former Priceline Chief Marketing Officer, Paul Breitenbach. Upside.com is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with facilities in Stamford, CT and New York, NY.
For more information, visit: www.upside.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
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