Surface-to-Air Missives
A travel service for military personnel uses SMS and live chat to ensure its customers can communicate
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Editor's Note: Lauren McKay interviewed Andrew Appleton, president of AnMarc Travel Technology.

Tell us about your company.

AnMarc Travel Technology is a Kansas City, Mo.–based company that serves a primarily military-based clientele. AnMarc was formed a few years ago, when I discovered that there really wasn’t an efficient way to publish and access military airfares for traveling while in the military—whether it’s for leisure travel or active duty, for the military or their families.

From there, I invested time in developing the online technology, and through the years developed more technology to make the purchase process more efficient. AnMarc essentially competes with the Expedias and Orbitzes in the travel industry, companies that dominate the market purely by volume and marketing.

From 2006 to 2007, I made AnMarc Travel the travel-technology component of my business. I’d create certain processes that made travelers more at ease in the customer service arena, made sure they were getting good fares, and made sure they could contact someone after the fact. We’ve all read the horror stories with people buying a ticket on “XYZ Web site” and were never able to
make a flight change. With the military, being able to contact someone about travel arrangements is a huge priority because they are so often mobile and on the move. They’re deployed, they’re coming back, and they’ve got dependents coming to see them. Customer service is key. Sometimes, even though the monetary part is important, they are just as happy with a good
ticket price as they are with good customer service.

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