Travel Services Via Cell Phone

SAN MATEO (06/13/2000) - Galileo International Inc., one of four leading computer reservation system (CSR) suppliers, with revenues exceeding $1.5 billion, will announce on Tuesday Galileo Wireless, a suite of cell phone services for airline, hotel, and rental car reservations.

The first version of the service will be marketed to corporate travel departments, travel agents, and consumers through its trip.com Web site, and it will give travelers the ability to cancel and rebook airline reservations from any mobile device.

The ability to rebook car and hotel reservations will be offered in a second version later this year, according to James Lubinski, executive vice president of operations at Galileo, in Englewood, Colorado.

One industry analyst believes corporate agents will jump on the service as a way to keep track of changes made by its employees.

"Travelers tend to be cowboys who change their trips while they are traveling.

The Galileo system updates the corporate agency of any changes the traveler makes and can be used to steer employees to preferred carriers," said Kate Rice, director of information services at PhocusWright Inc., in Sherman, Connecticut.

In addition, tracking employee or department travel expenditures is helpful during budget negotiations, Rice said.

Galileo Wireless also will notify users of flight delays and cancellations four hours before departure, offer airline flight schedules between cities, and display in-flight status, including location, speed, altitude, and equipment based on FAA information.

Later this year the service will operate on GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) phones with the Galileo service to launch in Canada and the United Kingdom.

The service will be offered free for a limited time on Galileo's trip.com Web site.

Sabre demonstrated a similar technology back in November but according to Rice Galileo is the first to be ready to market a full reservation system for wireless devices.

Two leading CRS companies Amadeus and WorldSpan are expected to announce similar offerings soon.

Galileo International, in Rosemont, Illinois, is at www.galileo.com.

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