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MONDAY, 18 JULY 2016

Delta makes industry-first move linking corporate meetings with business travel

Innovative program adds value to support ever important face-to-face meetings


Meetings and event coordinators at corporations must prove that event costs do not outweigh the meaningful value of face-to-face conversation. That's exactly why Delta Air Lines is launching Delta Edge Meetings – to save companies money and time, while providing detailed reports on the program's value.

"Our corporate partners see the value of face-to-face meetings but they're not pleased with the cost and complicated experience that all too often comes along with corporate event planning," said Bob Somers, Senior Vice President – Global Sales. "This is an issue that corporate travel managers and event planners have had to deal with for years. They asked for a solution and we listened, collaborating with key customers to design the newest benefit in your Delta Edge suite of services."

Available Aug. 1, Delta Edge Meetings is designed specifically for Delta corporate accounts to integrate with their existing corporate sales agreements, allowing corporate travel managers to easily manage meetings with full visibility to travel spend on Delta.

"Delta Meetings simplifies the process for the travel manager and provides benefits to manage meetings," said customer Jan Shoemaker, Manager – Global Travel Services at Land O' Lakes. "Extending corporate priority to the meeting travelers enhances their travel experience."

Jennie Ho, Managing Director – Specialty and Canada Sales, led the team that implemented this innovative program, the first of its kind at the intersection of the meetings group and corporate travel management. Companies participating in Delta Edge, a tailored suite of beyond-contract services, will see the same benefits they currently enjoy under their corporate sales agreements linked to their meeting travel, including Priority Boarding.

Ho explained, "We wanted to make sure that every meeting attendee flying on Delta would receive the same benefits as their company's business travelers, like complimentary access to Preferred Seats. This program ensures that the benefits of each company's relationship with Delta are reaching all meeting participants."

The program also automatically provides corporate travel managers with Delta's best available pricing by comparing Delta Edge Meetings discounts and their company's corporate sales agreement discounts. And meetings travel counts toward fulfillment of the targets under a customer's corporate sales agreement, integrating both transient and meeting travel for corporations.

After meetings are registered with Delta, corporate travelers can book their meeting travel using the same channels they leverage for corporate travel today. Travel managers then have the option to receive reporting and additional financial incentives.

Norma Dean, Director – Specialty Sales, did her homework as this program progressed through development. She said, "We held numerous focus groups, all with the goal of partnering with corporate travel managers and meeting professionals to develop a program that best meets their needs. Over 200 customers have helped us fine tune and develop this program and it won't stop there, once the program is live our first priority will be continuous improvement by sourcing customer feedback."

Delta Edge Meetings offers outstanding flexibility, desired simplicity and valuable benefits with the goal of creating maximum value for corporate customers.

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