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11 posts from June 2009

June 20, 2009

WorldMate for iPhone - The First Update is Out

It's been less than three weeks since the release of WorldMate for iPhone, and already we have the first upgrade out. The new version fixes some sign-up issues encountered by users before, and improves the free Flight Schedules search (you can now manually enter airport codes to search for flights) and automates some other functions - like one-click e-mails to someone you have a meeting with, and automatic home city setup if you're an existing WorldMate Live user.

We've upgraded both WorldMate and WorldMate Gold, so be sure to use the latest version!

June 18, 2009

Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Norwegian and Travel Inc. added to WorldMate Itinerary Generator

This week, we've added three European airlines - Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle, as well as a top-25 US travel management company. Itineraries booked directly with these companies  are now supported by WorldMate's itinerary generator. Users can simply forward their confirmation emails to trips@worldmate.com to have all details added to their WorldMate itineraries.

Austrian-logo

 Austrian Airlines, Austria's flag carrier operates out of Vienna and is a Star Alliance member. It has recently been acquired by Lufthansa.


250px-Brussels_Airlines_logo.svg

Brussels Airlines, another Star Alliance member is Belgium's largest carrier.

300px-Norwegian_Air_Shuttle_logo.svg

Norwegian Air Shuttle is one of Europe's largest low-cost carriers and the second largest carrier in Scandinavia. As you've guessed, it's headquartered in Oslo and serves many Scandinavian WorldMate users.

Travel Inc. is a mid-size travel management company operating out of Atlanta GA and serving Fortune 500s as well as smaller customers.

All four of these are now part of the hundreds of companies already supported by WorldMate's itinerary generator. WorldMate users can have itineraries created automatically for them from the confirmation emails and then synchronized with their BlackBerries or iPhones.

WorldMate Gold Users - Switching to iPhone

A couple of weeks ago, when we announced WorldMate for the iPhone, we started getting questions from existing WorldMate Gold subscribers - for instance on BlackBerry, who said they've switched to iPhone and want to carry their subscription over. However, we cannot facilitate that due to Apple's iTunes App Store policies. The App Store is a pay-before-you-download type of store, that does not currently allow trial software or selling the subscription off the store. We've had several discussions with Apple about that and they were pretty adamant - if we don't play by their rules, WorldMate Gold will not be allowed on the store.

Now frankly this is not within our best interests. We'd like to stick to the system we use on BlackBerry and Windows Mobile -  on the iPhone as well, for many reasons. And one of the reasons is that it allows us to let our customers switch from phone to phone freely. Why shouldn't they? But as mentioned above - we can't.

So if you're a customer in this situation, we'd like to be fair to you. Specifically the problem is if you've already paid us a yearly subscription fee awhile back and now you're charged again for downloading WorldMate Gold on the App Store. We cannot refund a subscription sold more than 30-days ago - and that's usually what we're talking about.

So there's one thing we can do - and that's what we're offering. You can switch over the remainder of your paid subscription to another non-iPhone account when you purchase WorldMate Gold on the iPhone. So you can give this subscription to someone else - your colleague, spouse, friend etc.

So if you want to switch and your yearly subscription is still in tact, simply:

  • Purchase WorldMate Gold for your iPhone
  • Have your friend download WorldMate to his/her BlackBerry / Windows Mobile phone and sign up for free (e.g. through www.worldmate.com)
  • Sign in to the WorldMate website (in your account)
  • Click "Help" (top right) then "Contact Customer Support" (left-side bar)
  • Select Ticket Type - "Upgrade Problem" and explain you are switching your subscription to an iPhone. Also put in the account name (email address) of the person you wish to transfer your subscription to in the ticket.


...our great customer care team will take it from there. 

Thank you for your continued support. If / when we find an even better solution - we'll let you know.

June 11, 2009

Latest Addition to WorldMate Itinerary Generator: MagnaTech

WorldMate's Itinerary Generator is the piece that takes confirmation emails from travel agents, airlines etc., and builds itineraries from them, as explained in this article. Yesterday, we taught it to read itineraries from the MagnaTech system. This is a major upgrade, as apparently hundreds of organizations worldwide use MagnaTech to generate travel itineraries, including:

    and many others...

So - get cracking on sending these itineraries into trips@worldmate.com and let WorldMate build your itinerary and put it on your phone!

June 09, 2009

How Executive Assistants Save Time and Improve Travel

Many of our users are aided by an executive assistant who helps arrange their trips. In the past, these assistants used to edit and print out paper itineraries for their bosses, as well as manually input the flight and hotel information into Outlook for the travelers to be able to use it on their BlackBerry. This is of course a rather tedious process, that breaks down very easily - whether it is because plans have changed, in which case those paper itineraries become useless and even misleading, or because every tiny mistake - wrong flight time, terminal number or address - could lead to travel crises.

Using WorldMate, personal assistants can now significantly improve on this - save time and effort, reduce errors and improve their communications with the traveler. Isn't that what technology is for?

If you want to understand the whole process and all the benefits - read this. If you're convinced already and just want to know how to use it - just scroll down...

Step I: WorldMate Automatically Gets The Travel Details From Bookings

First - WorldMate automates the process of itinerary creation. What it does is capture the travel details directly off the travel booking confirmation emails. It uses these to auto-create a comprehensive itinerary. And it organizes the items by time - regardless of the timezones. Like this:

WebItinHeader

Step II: WorldMate Adds the Meetings and Fixes the Times

Next - WorldMate adds the meetings that the traveler has while traveling to the itinerary. What it does this, it fixes the time-zone issues - so everything is presented according to the destination time-line. What you get is a sort of travel calendar where you can see your travel timeline - first you take the flight, then you pick up the rental car, then you go to your meeting etc. All of these are presented as one, conclusive travel itinerary. You can have the meetings added automatically - if you already put them in the scheduling system (e.g. Outlook), or add them manually on the www.worldmate.com website. The entire itinerary is available there automatically. It is easily editable, automatically appears on the travelers' BlackBerry or iPhone (see below), and you can easily print it out on the www.worldmate.com website. Here's an itinerary with meetings added automatically:

Itin_w_meetings


Step III: WorldMate Checks All the Addresses And Creates a Map

When you travel, having the right address is crucial. If you don't have it - you're lost. Furthermore it is so convenient if you can see in advance where you're going and how to get from place to place. Well, this is exactly what WorldMate does for you. You - or your traveler - can then click the Map in the www.worldmate.com website to see everything on one map - the airport, the hotel, the meetings - they're all there. Here's how an itinerary looks like on the map - you can see the airport, hotel and meeting (and even the rental car office is hiding there...):

Itin-map-partial

Step IV: WorldMate Puts the Itinerary On The Traveler's Phone!

As soon as there's an itinerary in the system, it is automatically synchronized with the traveler's BlackBerry or iPhone - the same way Outlook is automatically synchronized with the calendar on the phone. So your traveler has all the details - without you having to do anything. If you add or change something, or if they do - it gets to their phone automatically, just like it does from Outlook (or Lotus Notes if you're using that). No hassle, no work!

DaylyPlan01   

Step V: WorldMate Puts the Flights and Hotels in Outlook Too!

Most PA's are used to putting the traveler's information into Outlook / Lotus. This is a tedious process - whether you need to copy and paste the flight and hotel information, or whether you get a file you need to save into Outlook (and then check it made it there OK) - it's just a hassle. With WorldMate and the BlackBerry - the whole process is automated. You just forward those confirmation emails to the WorldMate system - and the info gets to the calendar automatically. You don't need to do anything (the traveler needs to enable this on his BlackBerry when asked to). So WorldMate just saved you a whole lot of typing - that you'd have had to do again and again if schedules changed.

 Trips

Step VI: WorldMate Helps You find The Right Hotel

How do you find a hotel that meets your traveler's preference AND is near the meetings he's attending? Easy. WorldMate lets you search for hotels on a map, and finds the hotels that meet your travelers preference - budget, star quality, brand etc. You can even select a meeting that was (automatically) entered in the system, and it will search for a hotel near that meeting. And once you book it - it's immediately added to the itinerary. No fuss! Learn all about WorldMate's hotel booking facilities here.

So - how should an executive assistant use WorldMate?

The way WorldMate works is that every traveler has an account. So your boss either has an account, or should open one at www.worldmate.com (and download the mobile app to his phone). His / her account name is his email address - say john.smith@acme.com . To get his travel bookings into the system, he can forward the confirmation emails from that address. But it's easy to expect that he'd want you to do it. How is that done? There's two ways to do it.

One way, is to add your email address to his account. This way, when the system gets an email from you, it understands it should go into his account. To do this:

  • Sign into the travelers' account on www.worldmate.com - you can just click here. You'd need his/her email address and password.
  • Click "My Account" on the top right
  • Click the blue "Email Addresses" button
  • Put your own email address in the "Add Email Address" box and click "Add"

From now on - you can just forward the confirmation emails you get to trips@worldmate.com . The system will recognize the emails coming from you and put them in your traveler's itinerary.

You can make this even easier by using the WorldMate Outlook Add-in. This will enable you to send emails and even meetings into WorldMate with one click.

You'd need to download and install the Outlook Add-in on your PC, which you can do here - WorldMate Outlook Add-in Download. Download, open the file and run it (close Outlook first).

Once you re-open Outlook, you'll have a new toolbar:

Outlook_bar

To prepare it for action, you need to configure it with your traveler's WorldMate ID. All you need to do is:

  • Sign into the travelers' account on www.worldmate.com - you can just click here. You'd need his/her email address and password.
  • Click "My Account" on the top right
  • Click the blue "Email Addresses" button
  • Look at the "Your WorldMate Live email address". It contains an address that looks like this 1234567890@worldmatelive.com . Just copy this address or write it on a piece of paper.
  • Then - in your Outlook, click the "Menu" button on the WorldMate toolbar (shown above - left-most button). You'll see this screen:
Settings
  • Put the email address you copied below in the white box, and click "Save"


That's all. From now on, whenever you get a booking confirmation email - all you need to do is click the "Export Item" button and it will go directly into your traveler's WorldMate itinerary. And if you want to log into the website to do more - simply click the "WorldMate Live" button.

Questions? Suggestions? Just comment below!

June 08, 2009

InToMobile Gives WorldMate on the iPhone a Thumbs-Up!

Just in time for WWDC 2009, IntoMobile.com reviews our iPhone app. Simon Sage states WorldMate is one of his favorite applications, and likes the WorldMate Max iPhone Video too!   Thanks, Simon!

June 06, 2009

WorldMate Itinerary Generator: LateRooms.com and CarRentals.com Now Supported

In our spirit of non-stop progress on the itinerary generation front, we just added two more suppliers to the list of supported itineraries. Our system can now read itineraries from  LateRooms.com and CarRentals.com. What this means is that if you booked a hotel with LateRooms.com or a car with CarRentals.com , all you need to do to get the info for those into your WorldMate itinerary is to forward the confirmation email you got to trips@worldmate.com. The booking info will automatically be extracted from the email. We'd even geo-locate the hotel / rental car office so it's easy for you to navigate to them. From there - the information will flow directly into your BlackBerry, iPhone or Windows Mobile phone, where it will be instantly available for you while travelling.


Crlogo        Laterooms_logo
Learn more about how we automatically build itineraries in our article named Email Us Your Travel Plans.

June 05, 2009

WorldMate for iPhone - Press Coverage and App Store Success

Another day went by, and some more coverage for the WorldMate for iPhone app just released!
TheNextWeb.com states "WorldMate is the only service to that can help [travelers]... further distinguishes itself in that it can take this information and turn it into solutions...". The article, also published in SocialMedia.biz , goes as far as stating "In many ways this is a huge validation of the iPhone platform."

And at the same time - within 60 hours of launch - WorldMate is the #10 most downloaded Free travel app in the App Store, while WorldMate Gold is the #18 most downloaded Paid travel app. Huge achievements for this short period.

WorldMate Max and the World Crisis: iPhone Apps Come of Age

Just wanted to share this cool video with y'all. We believe it's a great entertainer - LOL!

CNET Reviews WorldMate for iPhone

CNET

Less than 24 hours from launch - and Josh Lowenstein of CNET has already noticed WorldMate. Thanks, Josh and CNET for the favorable review - "polished...the Swiss army knife equivalent...". Well this Swiss Army Knife is going to get a few more blades in the near future, so keep watching!