ISeatz lands Southwest Airlines deal
CityBusiness Staff Report
ISeatz, a New Orleans-based company that helps internet travel sites organize client’s vacations, has reached a deal with Southwest Airlines to provide technology enabling their customers to reserve ground transportation online while booking airline tickets.ISeatz represents the type of tenacious entrepreneurial spirit that the region’s IT sector is founded on, said Pam Meyer, Greater New Orleans Inc. Information Technology Cluster director. The partnership represents the company’s first alliance with a branded airline.The determination of our new partner, iSeatz, to meet Southwest’s needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is testimony to the strength of character of the employees who stand behind the company name. In fact, it tells us that they have a culture much like ours at Southwest – one of innovation and making things happen, said Sally Harbeson, Southwest’s manager of business development. The result of their tenacity is that Southwest customers are going to enjoy the flexibility and convenience offered by the opportunity to book their ground travel needs at the same time they are booking their flights on southwest.com. ISeatz does business on a global basis and our clients expected us to perform business as usual about two weeks following the storm, said CEO Kenneth Purcell. Business can’t just stop due to a hurricane. We had to make some tough decisions to temporarily relocate everyone in order to manage our growing operations.Now temporarily relocated to New York, iSeatz will return to New Orleans Jan. 1, 2006. ISeatz, a company originally formed to accept restaurant reservations online, has been working since 2001 with some of the largest Internet-based travel portals such as Orbitz, Priceline and Travelocity. GNO Inc. is a public-private partnership formed to spearhead economic development for the 10-parish greater New Orleans region.
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