Improved Access

Boosting tools for agents, the travel insurance provider Access America has launched a newly redesigned Web site, AccessAmerica.com, that includes features to compare products, illustrate benefits and explain covered reasons for trip cancellation.

By: By J.L. Erickson

Boosting tools for agents, the travel insurance provider Access America has launched a newly redesigned Web site, AccessAmerica.com, that includes features to compare products, illustrate benefits and explain covered reasons for trip cancellation.

The launch coincides with the debut of a new marketing campaign, Solutions for the Way You Work, that highlights tools that more easily allow agents to integrate travel insurance into their daily operations.

“The new Web site is & so easy to navigate that the time to sell a policy is cut in half. There’s lots of good information, and it’s easy to find what is needed,” said Claudia Tracy, CTC, of Corporate Vacations.

AccessAmerica.com features a Web portal for agents called myACCESS that allows agents to research and order insurance for clients, modify policies, file and track claims.

“A major improvement to the Web site is related to product information,” said Mark Cipolletti, vice president of marketing communications. “Our analysis of travel insurance Web sites showed that no provider was doing a good job of presenting all the product details that are needed to make an informed purchase.”

AccessAmerica.com also now features product pages that include available add-ons, covered reasons for trip cancellation, exclusions, pre-existing conditions coverage information, plus roll-over definitions for benefits and covered reasons. Agents can take a virtual tour of the site at www.accessamerica.com.


Sidestep Steps Up

SideStep Inc. has completed its acquisition of TripUp Inc., teaming TripUp’s social networking site with SideStep’s real-time access to online travel information. Building on TripUp’s user-generated travel blogs, photos, videos, maps and reviews, the company will have approximately 6 million monthly visitors to its sites.

“The sheer number of people using community and social networks demonstrates that these sites are becoming a more important part of today’s digital lifestyle,” said Rob Solomon, president and CEO of SideStep.

Approximately 20 percent of adults are members of a social networking Web site, and more than 60 percent of youth visit a social networking site weekly, according to a recent study from Forrester Research.

SideStep
www.sidestep.com

TripUp
www.tripup.com


Pets On the Go

Purina is sponsoring a new mobile Web site aimed at U.S. travelers with pets. Go2Pets.com lets travelers use their cell phones to get information ranging from pet-friendly outdoor restaurants, dog beaches and hotels to off-leash parks, airline policies and emergency phone numbers. The service is free, although carrier charges may apply.

Go2Pets
www.go2pets.com


Virgin Signs with Galileo

Virgin America, the new U.S. start-up airline, reached a deal to sell tickets through Travelport’s aiRES next-generation passenger services system. In a separate deal, Galileo announced a multi-year full-content agreement with Virgin America as the carrier’s exclusive GDS for ticket sales at launch time. The carrier will start flights in August.

“AiRES is a key part of Virgin America’s strategy to utilize the world’s most advanced technologies to provide customers with best-in-class service,” said Brian Clark, vice president of planning and sales at Virgin America. “The open architecture and configurability will allow us the flexibility to compete and succeed in an evolving market.”

All of Virgin America’s published fares and inventory will be available for booking to all Galileo-connected travel agencies and corporations globally beginning July 19.

Galileo
www.galileo.com

Virgin America
www.virgin.com

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