Ortharize is a small travel agency focused on “business travel, better”. Its commercial model is a self-service booking platform (powered by Travelport+), plus a team of 10 travel experts who take a more hands-on approach, helping customers personally with complex trips. Fun fact: Ortharize is also working on the gamification of business travel expenditure, through points earned by staying within a daily budget.
A TRICKY TIME TO TRAVEL
Summer 2021 was a bumpy time for the travel industry in Europe. The world had finally reopened, and millions of people were raring to get on the move again. But this long-awaited reopening and surge in demand for travel was hampered by understaffing — creating disruption for airports, airlines, and agencies.
Chris Flynn, Head of Operations at Ortharize, told us “Over 20,000 flights were being cut or changed per day, which made booking and planning trips, as well as supporting customers, unusually complex.”
Ortharize had just onboarded a big new customer, a large multinational law firm with offices in five countries. It wanted to bring 100+ of its people together for an important company event in London, to introduce new staff, to boost morale, and to have a bit of fun. But the event planning was last minute, leaving less than one month to book flights and accommodation.
Timing, the number of travelers, and the flight disruption already made this a complex booking, but Wimbledon made the prospect of finding one single hotel for everyone nigh impossible. Hotel prices in London can go up by 50% or more during Wimbledon, and usually agents would need to book in February or March to secure the space.
GAME, SET, AND MATCH
The Ortharize team could see how important this event was to the customer. So, its agents got to work, and did what they do best. They scoured the breadth of Travelport content relentlessly, searching and comparing suitable solutions. The additional challenge of travel disruption throughout Europe put their agility to the test — but these agents love a challenge. Chris told us “We thought to ourselves: this is a chance to do something really special. It’s going to be fun.”
The great success of this mission was, against all odds, getting all 100+ people to the event, and finding accommodation for everyone in one single hotel.
Choice is inextricably linked to agility. And Travelport absolutely gives us that choice.
Gary Wardrope, CEO, Ortharize
WORKING WITH TRAVELPORT
People are Ortharize’s greatest asset. They’re the heroes of this story. But the agency says this request also wouldn’t have been possible without the range of content that Travelport provides. The API gave access to hundreds of flights and thousands of properties, with all the choice and support needed to make the impossible happen. Elevated hotel prices (driven by Wimbledon) were another factor, and Travelport technology provided a simple solution for keeping costs down too.
THE PERFECT SERVE
When it comes to business travel, Ortharize says there are two types of companies: those who recognize the value of TMCs and those who try to book direct. But with complex trips like this, the value of TMCs is even clearer.
And the feedback the business got says it all — “we couldn’t have pulled this off without you”. Their success solidified the relationship with the new customer and proved that they really can make complex trips possible.
Could we have achieved this result with another platform? No.
Chris Flynn, Head of Operations, Ortharize