NEW: Hipmunk Business Class

As you know, we love hearing from you, and often we’ve incorporated your suggestions. The last several months, we’ve spent time with executive assistants, office managers, and the folks who get stuck booking their families’ vacations. And in every case, we’ve heard the same thing: booking travel for others is far more agonizing than booking it for yourself.

Today, that changes. We’re rolling out our first subscription service, Hipmunk Business Class, which takes the agony out of planning, booking, and managing other people’s travel.

So as a travel booker, what does this mean for you? Well, there’s a complete how-to guide below and here, but at a high level, Hipmunk Business Class:

  • Reduces communication back and forth with automatic emails
  • Simplifies decision making, the approval process, and travel booking
  • Integrates calendars to help schedule flights at convenient times and find hotels in convenient locations
  • Saves different users’ preferences, and makes it easy to switch between them
  • Includes executives’ preferred travel options, including trains and private planes

And what does this all mean for Hipmunk? With Hipmunk Business Class, we’re now helping a new group of travelers (travel planners at companies of all sizes) with a unique product tailored specifically for them. If you’re at a small- or medium-sized business, spend a lot of your time planning travel for others, and don’t want the costs of a traditional corporate travel agency, then this is definitely for you. And if you know people at those companies, please share the Hipmunk love with them!

Whatever kind of travel planner you are, we hope you’ll give Hipmunk Business Class a try. It’s free for your first 60 days, and you don’t need to put a credit card down to try it out. Once the trial period ends, it’ll cost only $9.99/month for users who sign up during the next year.

Be sure to keep an eye out for new features—both on Hipmunk and Hipmunk Business Class—over the next few months!

— Adam

Here are some of the highlights of Hipmunk Business Class:

See all your travelers’ calendars
Hipmunk Business Class makes it easy to see your travelers’ calendars directly in your search results. When you search for flights, you can see which flights fit best with your travelers’ existing appointments. And when you search for hotels, you can see which hotels (or even apartment rentals) are closest to your travelers’ meetings.

When you’ve found and booked the right flight, we also make it easy to add it back to your traveler’s calendar.
Best of all, these features works with the two most popular calendar systems in business: Outlook and Google Calendar.

Plan travel for one or more users
When you sign up for Hipmunk Business Class, you can create profiles for as many travelers as you want—and you can store separate calendars and airline and hotel preferences for each one. Then we make it simple to select which traveler you’re searching for at the moment, and see only the most relevant results for that traveler.

Coordinate travel over email
One of the complaints we heard over and over about current travel planning is the painstaking process of coordinating travel over email. Typically, a travel planner manually types out a list of proposed flights and hotels, sends it to the traveler, and then has to go back and re-do the searches from scratch to actually book the chosen flight or hotel.

With Hipmunk Business Class, we’ve taken the agony out of travel coordination. When searching for flights or hotels, you can add options to a list of decisions for your traveler to make.
From right within Hipmunk, you can then send a simple email with the options directly to your traveler.
Your traveler will get an email with the flight or hotel options you’ve picked for them. The traveler just clicks “Approve” for his or her preferred option.
You’ll get an email back with your traveler’s choice. You can then proceed to book directly from the email, or else re-do the search.

Stick it to your boss
Normally, when you search for flights on Hipmunk, we sort by “Agony,” showing the flights with the best combination of price, duration, and number of stops at the top of the results.

But we know that travel planners have an under-appreciated job, and that everyone has bad days. For those occasions where it’s just too much to handle, we’ve built a feature to sort flights by “Spite” instead. It shows you the most agonizing flights first. Use it with care.

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