DownRoute Wants to Make Hotel Booking Easier for the Business Jet Industry
Business Jet pilots, crew and passengers see almost as many hotel rooms as they do airport runways. In fact, industry experts say that on an average night as many as 30,000 business jet pilots and crew members are staying in hotel rooms, and that doesn’t even count the aircrafts passengers.
Many operators managing these aircraft state that making these bookings are a huge hassle. And the team at DownRoute says that they know how to fix it.
Andy Hudson, founder of DownRoute, encountered this issue while working for an operator. Noting that the issue was a main focus particularly in the summer, when prices for hotels were higher, but business margins were not very large.
He stated that most operators initially book hotels online, but eventually move towards using a travel agent. Both options are extremely time consuming, especially if you’re changing things every time a charter reservation changes. Hudson states that operators often get fed up having to pay commission for travel agents. In fact, the entire process can be very frustrating and time consuming.
A few years ago, Hudson attended a meeting with a large online travel company and suggested that they create a product targeted specifically at business aviation crews. The company did not like the idea for their own brand, but they did empower Hudson to approach the challenge himself.
And with that, Hudson launched DownRoute! He approached several operators about his new app, and the majority of them were interested but did not commit to it fully. So, they kept approaching them and talking to them and found that the main point of duress was managing expenses – including booking hotels.
The company launched a beta version at the NBAA convention in October of 2017. They were able to sign up140 operators who are currently being introduced to the system. Several FBOs have also joined the application. Hudson believes that since a lot of smaller operators rely on FBOs to book hotels, many other companies – maintenance providers, finance companies and others could even benefit from DownRoute.
140 operators might seem like a huge number, especially since these signups took place over less than a year.
But Hudson was quick to point out that DounRoute is totally free (however, it does get paid a commission for hotel bookings). Competing expense systems can be pretty costly – one of the operatirs who switched to DownRoute stated that he could save $50,000 a year just by eliminating expense software.
This groundbreaking app allows anyone to record and share expenses, which is a hassle for any crew. Companies are also able to set hotel limits, giving the crew a choice but limiting the cost of the hotel.
It is exciting to see the Business Aviation industry growing and changing. We’re so excited to be part of this amazing industry. Miami Jet is your one-stop-shop for both buying and selling a business jet. Our full-time sales team is here to help you every step of the way, from the initial showing, to closing the deal! Call us today at 305-894-9344 to see what we can do for you!