New customers inundate travel intelligence firm

September 30, 2001|By Andrea K. Walker

iJET Travel Intelligence got nearly 1 million hits on its Web site in the two weeks after the attacks. About 200,000 would have been typical.

The Annapolis company calls itself an intelligence service for the travel industry and gives clients hour-by-hour updates on problems worldwide that can delay travel plans.

One day last week, the site warned travelers of a subway disruption in London, a train derailment in India and political unrest in Pakistan. Security fears have created a surge in demand.

"It's hugely helped business," said its chief operating officer and founder, Bruce McIndoe. "Before, companies were cost-cutting, and we couldn't convince them to buy the product. Now, they're realizing the status quo isn't working, and they want to try something new."

iJET waived the fee to access its Web site after the attacks, to help people stranded overseas.

The company posted information on major airline and security Web sites, attracting dozens of new customers. Company officials say they've had numerous people sign up for customized service, checking for problems along specific travel routes.

The increased demand also caused them to form partnerships with other companies, which will set up the service on their Web sites in exchange for a commission.

"There's a huge interest in what we're doing now," McIndoe said. "We've become more relevant."

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