Craig Fichtelberg, President of AmTrav – ITP USA, is a firm advocate of hassle free travel. He defines that as making things as easy as possible for his travelling clients.
It is, he says, what his customers said they wanted when he polled them and it is what his company, AmTrav, tries to deliver.
AmTrav, based in Chicago, is ITP’s partner in the USA. The company joined in March 2014 and is one of eight new partners to join the Network since the end of 2013. Fichtelberg, also co-founder of the company, said his arrival in business travel was a “natural progression” from his early days running a company selling cheap air fares.
After leaving the University of Michigan in the early 1990s, he and a friend, an expert on technology, set up 1-800 CheapAir, a string of call centres in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York selling air tickets.
“It was easy to make money then as airlines were still paying commission,” he said. The company thrived, mainly through leisure business and when the Internet arrived, it moved into selling online with a new company, CheapAir.com.
“But we found that companies were also using us and that a lot were coming back so we started to experiment in business travel with a new company, AmTrav. We then separated the two businesses. AmTrav leveraged our technical platform and we eventually made Chicago the HQ while Cheapair was based in LA,” he said.
Fichtelberg said he found B2B business very different from B2C. So he took an MBA and when he finished that he began to drive the corporate travel side of his business.
From the start, a major part of his philosophy was that travel should be as easy as possible for the Client. “We polled our customers and asked what was important to them. What we took away from this was that they wanted travel to be hassle free, to be simple, easy.
“So every decision we make is about making sure travel is simple. The reaction of our customers is that we have got it right. What we do even resonates with the Industry’s experts.”
Fichtelberg said they have made AmTrav really easy to use by offering free trials and self-enrolment. At the same time, there are no long, complicated contracts and no set up fees. “It is really easy to come aboard,” he said.
– Stanley Slaughter, December 2014
About ITP- International Travel Partnership
ITP is one of the world’s fastest growing networked alliances of independent travel management companies with a strong portfolio of multinational corporate clients. It is a consortium in which most travel management companies are locally owned and managed and each is a market leader. Each ITP partner is able to combine the care and attentive service required on a local basis with a full travel management service for multinational clients. For more information about ITP please visit the ITP website: www.itptravel.com or call +44 (0) 1753 832033
AmTrav is a U.S. based business travel agency singularly focused on eliminating the hassle of business travel for companies of all sizes. AmTrav was created to mitigate these hassles through the combination of a proprietary web-based booking tool and 24/7 access to a highly experienced in-house support team of experts. All AmTrav agents are employees, based in the U.S. AmTrav, along with its sister company, Cheapair, has helped over three million people travel with confidence over the past 20 years.
For more information please contact:
ITP-International Travel Partnership