American Airlines has joined United Airlines in GetThere’s business-to-business travel shop, selling travel direct to corporations.

GetThere allows airlines, hotels and car-rental agencies to bypass computer reservations systems and avoid extra charges from companies who process bookings and provide information.

Distribution costs can be cut by up to 80% through direct selling, according to Gadi Maier, president and chief executive of GetThere.

Corporate customers will be able to deal direct with their preferred suppliers in return for discounts. GetThere also deals with Hertz, Marriott International, Northwest Airlines and Trans World Airlines.

Last month GetThere agreed to be taken over by Sabre Holdings, one of the traditional computer reservations firms. The move is seen as recognition by Sabre of the industry shift towards direct selling.

News source: Wall Street Journal