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SideStep Announces Partnership With WestJet


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SideStep Announces Partnership With WestJet

Wednesday December 15, 8:05 am ET

Traveler's Search Engine Promotes Direct Relationships Between Consumers and Canada's Leading Low Fare Carrier

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- SideStep, Inc. (www.sidestep.com), the traveler's search engine, today announced a marketing partnership with WestJet, Canada's leading low fare carrier. Through this partnership, SideStep will drive consumers directly to WestJet's Web site, www.westjet.com, to book their travel.


WestJet operates a fleet of 54 aircraft, featuring 36 new Next-Generation Boeing 737-700s equipped with leather seats and ample leg room. The airline flies throughout Canada, as well as to U.S. cities that include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, Orlando and New York. Service to Palm Springs is scheduled to begin in January 2005.

"As the leader in travel search, SideStep offers us distinctive and valuable marketing opportunities," said Don Bell, WestJet's Executive Vice President, Customer Service. "Over the past two years, WestJet has been significantly changing its business, adding features our guests want on both the aircraft and in the booking experience. On our aircraft, we're introducing live satellite television, leather seats, and enhanced leg room. On the booking side, SideStep's more than three million monthly unique users will provide WestJet with a huge base of potential customers."

"SideStep is focused on helping our travel provider partners to promote their brands via direct interaction with consumers," said Mike Smith, SideStep's Executive Vice President, Supplier Relations. "Through this alliance, we will help WestJet reach the millions of consumers who depend on SideStep each month to discover travel values. WestJet has a compelling product," Smith continued, "and as their marketing partner, we will provide WestJet with opportunities to tell their story in ways that will excite and engage the avid travelers SideStep serves."

SideStep will exchange product, pricing and availability information with the WestJet site via SideStepTotalConnect. With TotalConnect, SideStep can efficiently communicate with a partner's site using the travel provider's preferred protocol -- XML, SOAP, HTTP, CORBA or even EDI. TotalConnect's power and flexibility enable new partners to begin working with SideStep immediately -- without making any technical changes.

Winner of the Forbes "Best of the Web" Award, the SideStep travel search toolbar is available at www.sidestep.com. SideStep's new Web-based hotel and rental car search offerings are also available through www.sidestep.com, along with TravelFinds Specials and TravelFinds Spotlight, the company's popular email newsletters. These SideStep services are all free to consumers.

SideStep is actively hiring to support its growth. For job listings, see www.sidestep.com/jobs.

About SideStep

SideStep -- the traveler's search engine -- brings compelling offers from dozens of travel providers to more than three million consumers each month. The company has forged alliances with leading travel marketers such as WestJet, Continental Airlines, Best Western, Orbitz and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. SideStep is privately held and has raised more than $17M in funding from Trident Capital and individual investors. For more information, visit www.sidestep.com.

About WestJet

WestJet serves the 24 Canadian cities of Victoria, Comox, Vancouver, Abbotsford/Fraser Valley, Prince George, Kelowna, Grande Prairie, Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Windsor, London, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Moncton, Halifax, Gander and St. John's, and the eight American cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tampa, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, New York and Palm Springs (beginning January 7, 2005). The airline operates a growing fleet of 54 aircraft featuring 36 new Next-Generation Boeing 737-700 aircraft. WestJet is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol WJA.


Source: SideStep, Inc.

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