Setting the Record Straight in the Collegiate Athletic Air Charter Market

PRESS RELEASE July 23rd, 2019

STM Charters to have seventeen exclusively contracted jet aircraft dedicated to NCAA travel, including more 50 and 70-seat regional jets than any other company

Waterloo, Iowa – For the last several months, an athletic association has been marketing a “strategic sourcing” air charter proposal to universities across the country, promising to provide aircraft that will fix the perceived availability issues in the regional jet marketplace.  In a recent email, the association claimed that “30-seat and 50-seat operator options have dwindled down to four.”  The truth is that there are at least ten 30-seat and 50-seat air charter operators in the marketplace today.  While 50-seat and 70-seat options are limited, the association’s recent announcement of a new carrier in the marketplace provides no solution to the shortage of the larger aircraft.  Indeed, the association’s claim that its new airline will have two Embraer 145s that can be configured in a 30-seat or 50-seat configuration is misleading, as the aircraft—by law—will have to remain in the 30-seat configuration for the foreseeable future.  For the carrier to operate 50-seat aircraft, an FAA Part 121 certificate must first be obtained, a process that can take years to complete.  In fact, the athletic association’s new carrier, which is owned by the consultancy administering the program, does not yet have the Embraer 145 ready for operations on its current FAA Part 135 certificate—meaning when they do offer service this fall, they will be doing so on a fleet type that is entirely new to the operator.

STM Charters, a division of Short’s Travel Management, will again this season offer the largest, exclusively contracted, FAA-approved Part 121 and Part 135 air carrier network in the collegiate athletic marketplace.  Across its network of three exclusively contracted air carriers, STM Charters will offer the collegiate athletic community access to seventeen 30, 50 and 70-seat regional jet aircraft, several of which feature complimentary wi-fi and in-seat power ports.  Among the seventeen aircraft are nine 50-seat and 70-seat regional aircraft operated by two already certificated FAA Part 121 air carriers.  STM Charters offers access to more 50-seat and 70-seat regional aircraft than any other charter management consultancy.  This year, STM Charters intends to further enhance the travel experience of its customers by directly managing and integrating the scheduling of all seventeen aircraft*.

In addition to the unparalleled fleet access afforded to STM Charters’ customers, STM clients also benefit from having the industry’s most experienced staff overseeing their travel journey.  The STM Charters’ staff is comprised of veteran aviation professionals with more than 100 years of “real world” FAA Part 121 commercial air carrier and Part 135 charter operator experience.

“For us, it is very simple.  STM Charters is the best.  There is no better partner for RVR Aviation and our fleet of Embraer 135 aircraft than the team at STM Charters.  They know the market, and more importantly, they know aviation.  That is hard to find in today’s fragmented market, and we are proud to partner with them again this season,” says Ron Whitehead, President and Director of Operations for RVR Aviation, LLC.    

Now in its eleventh year, STM Charters has developed the most transparent and cost-effective collegiate charter program in the country, serving the travel needs of close to 100 colleges and universities and over 300 teams each year.  Year-after-year, STM Charters is entrusted by multiple air carriers with close to one billion dollars’ worth of aviation assets to manage the sales and marketing, contracting, and operational coordination of more than 2,500 flight segments in the collegiate travel market.

*While STM will provide comprehensive scheduling support, each carrier will maintain operational control of its aircraft at all times.

“There’s no machine that could do it,” Short’s Travel’s Kris Fratzke said of the scheduling challenges. “I had a carrier partner tell me, ‘It’s a very finely woven sweater. Don’t pull a thread out of it because it will unravel the whole thing.’”

Short’s will schedule about 300 flights for college teams during the month of March, sometimes using the same plane as many as four times in a span of 24 hours. A plane ferrying a women’s team to a first-round game at Stanford might later load a first-round loser from one of Friday’s men’s games in San Jose…read more

WATERLOO — Brackets are being set up and 68 college teams are prepping for the “March Madness” that is the spring NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament. At Short’s Travel Management, the NCAA championship division of travel agents are running their own drills and girding themselves for the onslaught of complex travel arrangements that must be made to get teams from point A to point B for games… Read More.

Caroline Strachan On The Move To Attribute-Based Online Travel Shopping


Festive Road managing partner Caroline Strachan explains the challenges faced by corporate booking tools, how some products excel and why 2019 will be a year of change…full article

Excerpt: Short’s Travel has an online booking tool allowing the user to attribute-shop hotels. If having a gym is the most important factor to you personally, you get to check a box and immediately your results are updated

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Radius Travel Agency Spotlight- November

This November STM’s own David LeCompte, CEO, sat down with Radius to discuss our process for securing large multinational clients and why we joined forces with Radius Travel. Learn More


Short's Travel named Official Travel Partner

October 1, 2018


Charlotte, NC – Short's Travel has been named the Official Travel Partner of the NJCAA, the association's most recent agreement with a premier organization.

"STM is delighted to be partnering with the NJCAA," said David LeCompte, CEO of Short's Travel Management. "As leaders in athletic travel, we look forward to managing travel for their staff and their member schools during championships, giving them more time to focus on what they do best."

Ranked as one of the top 20 travel management companies in the industry, Short's specializes in corporate, government, university and sports travel, groups and meetings, and air charters. Short's offers customized solutions to enhance the travel experience for its clients. Each client is assigned with a Strategic Account Manager to ensure the most successful experience.

"Scheduling and transportation are two of the biggest responsibilities NJCAA coaches and administrators experience," stated NJCAA President and Executive Director Dr. Christopher Parker. "With Short's Travel Management on our side, we have taken that burden away from them with the top-of-the-line service Short's provides. We are excited to team up with such a prominent company in the travel industry."

Short’s Travel Management Partners With Lyft Business To Give Travelers More Options In Ground Transportation

March 28, 2018

PRESS RELEASE - Short’s Travel Management (STM) is pleased to announce a partnership with Lyft, the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S. By leveraging select Lyft ride data, STM will provide relevant comparison data to travelers at the point of sale within Short’s Travel Online (STO), STM’s proprietary corporate booking tool, allowing them to make well-informed and resourceful choices.NJCAA


“STM is excited to get Lyft data to our customers through STO,” says David LeCompte, CEO of Short’s Travel Management. “Our goal is to provide more pertinent information at point of purchase so travelers can make good decisions based on their needs.”

At a glance, traveling customers can view estimated Lyft costs in destination cities and make savvy decisions on whether they wish to proceed with a rental car or opt to use Lyft. STM is also evaluating other ways of leveraging Lyft data to enhance the value of its travel program and will respond quickly as the landscape evolves.

“By providing STM with access to select Lyft ride data, we’re creating an unprecedented level of transparency for business travelers, equipping them with the information and tools they need to make the most educated decision possible,” says Amit Patel, Director of Business Development for Lyft Business. “Together, we’re also providing travel managers with better insights to traveler behavior with ground transportation - information that was previously difficult or impossible to access - ultimately enabling organizations to increase spending efficiencies.”

Travel managers will receive access to post-travel reports and be able to see where and when Lyft is saving them money. However, beyond savings, the real driving force continues to be price and travel program value for STM’s customers.

About Short’s Travel Management
Established in 1946, Short’s Travel Management is a family-owned, woman-owned private Iowa corporation. Today, STM is ranked as one of the top 20 travel management companies and named “the most innovative TMC” by a top consultant in the industry. Experts in specialized segments including Corporate, Government, University and Sports Travel, Groups and Meetings, and Air Charters, STM has developed unique and innovative technology solutions, including its own proprietary corporate booking tool, for even the most complex travel programs. Learn more about STM at

About Lyft
Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S. and is available to 95 percent of the U.S. population and Toronto, Canada. Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, and its commitment to effecting positive change for the future of our cities.

Lyft Business offers travel, commute, event, and courtesy ride programs that provide customers with the tools they need to reduce cost, save time, and streamline their transportation programs. We partner with thousands of organizations to create unique solutions to move their people, from employees and customers to patients and students. Learn more about Lyft Business at


March 12, 2018

Memphis athletics turns profit despite combined $2.5M drop in donations, football revenue

Sabin noted travel costs vary significantly depending on game contracts and conference scheduling, but that the savings were the result of “fewer away games by charter aircraft for football, as well as savings from men’s basketball on reduced hotel, bus and meal expenses.”

Sabin also noted the athletic department contracted with Short’s Travel Management to provide travel services, discounted hotel, air and bus rates, and brokered charter flights, “resulting in a large savings by all athletic teams, coaches and staff.”

August 30, 2017

Concur Compleat Links Up with CSI GlobalVCard for Virtual Cards

The Concur Compleat mid-office system now can generate CSI GlobalVCard virtual cards for hotel bookings automatically, after Concur enabled Conferma virtual cards earlier this year. CSI GlobalVCard VP Juliann Pless told BTN the partnership is implementing with three travel management companies: Short's Travel, Tower and Vision Travel. 


August 23, 2017

Branded Fare Push In Booking Tool Refresh

Short's Travel Management has invested in its system this year.

It plans to bring on branded fares, making use of GDS content, and more in-flight amenity information this year. "Whatever the airlines are selling on their dot-com site, we need to make sure we have that same content," said Short's Travel Management CEO David LeCompte.

Short's Travel recently incorporated QPX airline-shopping technology from Google-owned ITA Software in order to expand flight options and add speed to search times. It also has incorporated hotel content and launched a mobile Web version of its booking system.


August 14, 2017

Dycom's Jennifer Steinke Serves on-the-Move Travelers with Mobile Travel Program

I wanted a TMC that was going to let me be flexible and create the program that I needed to serve this company. With Short's Travel, I knew I would be a bigger fish in their pond but also that they have a great track record of innovation.


August 8, 2017

The Next Big Mobile Thing

Short’s Travel Management this month announced a mobile-friendly version of its online booking tool, citing user frustration with “app overload.”


July 19, 2017

Jennifer Steinke Named BTN Best Practitioner

At the Global Business Travel Association conference in Boston, Business Travel News presented the Best Practitioner award last night to Jennifer Steinke, Manager, Corporate Travel at Dycom Industries, a client of Short's Travel. BTN editor-in-chief Elizabeth West announced the winner, chosen by BTN from nominations submitted by the industry.


June 26, 2017

2017 Power List


April 19, 2017

Deem Is Taking On Concur & the Industry's Expense-First Mind-Set

 "Concur is a great tool and they dominate the marketplace, but not often do you get some of the flexibility and innovation that I feel my travelers are yearning for," said Dycom Industries corporate travel manager Jennifer Steinke.

When it came time to choose a booking tool for Dycom, Steinke had the option to use Concur Travel or Short's Travel Online from Short's Travel Management. She opted for STO in order to mirror the customizable experience she had achieved with Certify. "I hear all the time that Concur Travel is just not in that user-friendly, happy place."


April 19, 2017

Flight Disruption Startup Freebird Brings In More TMC Partners | The Beat

Mobile flight disruption and rebooking tech startup Freebird is bringing more travel management companies into the fold, announcing reseller deals with Altour, Options Travel, Safe Harbors Business Travel, Short’s Travel Management and Travel and Transport. 


April 19, 2017

Freebird flies with $5 million as it eyes expansion in corporate travel | tnooz

The company recently signed partnerships with a number of travel management companies including Altour, Short’s Travel Management and Travel and Transport.


March 28, 2017

Corporate Agency Adds Priceline Hotel Rates

Short's Travel Management (No. 39 on Travel Weekly's 2016 Power List) has become a Priceline affiliate, enabling the travel agency to sell customers Priceline and hotel inventory.


October 13, 2016

Teleconference: Inside TMC Economics

Jan. 12, 2017, at 12 pm EST

The Company Dime and experts guests examine the changing revenue streams, expense lines and pricing models for business travel agencies or travel management companies. Insight from Short's Travel Management CEO David LeCompte {and other industry experts}.


September 18, 2016

Teri Goins joins Short's Travel Management Inc. as Director of Client Services

Goins has more than 28 years of experience, most recently as travel manager at Iowa State University.


June 27, 2016

2016 Power List


March 17, 2016

Waterloo company books flights for NCAA men's basketball teams

Imagine having to book the flights for almost all of the Division One Men's basketball teams during March Madness.

There's one Waterloo company that does this, and they do it in a pretty short period of time.

On Selection Sunday, the travel company finds out where every team is headed. Then they first put out bids to different companies. 

Some of the teams leave on Monday, so the company only has 12 hours to book those flights.


December 16, 2015

Short's Travel Beefs Up FindIt System For Hotel Shopping

This week, Short's Travel Management went live with new features for searching and transacting hotels via its FindIt system.


November 16, 2015

It's A Mobile World: Buyers Being Innovative

BTN gathered five mini case studies of travel buyers thinking outside the box.


When a tired traveler comes face-to-face with a weather-related travel mishap, change fees and expensive last-minute tickets rack up trip costs. That’s leaving money on the table, considering rebooking fees related to weather events often are accounted for in the original ticket. ACT corporate travel senior manager Jennifer Steinke is working with Short’s Travel Management to avoid such excesses.


September 3, 2015

3 Questions: Short's Travel Management's New President

David Hughes now wears another hat at Short's Travel Management Inc.— president.

Hughes joined the full-service travel agency in 2009 as CFO and will continue in that role. Before joining Short's, he was director of product finance for CUNA Mutual Group.

"I really love the mission that Short's has had for many years, which is to enhance the experience of getting there, being there and coming home," he said.


August 13, 2015

Short's Travel Appoints President

Short’s Travel Management (No. 38 on Travel Weekly’s 2015 Power List) has named David Hughes as president. 

Hughes will maintain his previous responsibilities as CFO.

David LeCompte, CEO of the Waterloo, Iowa-based company, said that Hughes has been acting as president for more than a year. “I’m excited to give him the title he has earned,” LeCompte said.

Hughes joined Short’s in 2008. 


June 2015

2015 Power List


June 14, 2015

CABMA Announces 2015 Award Winners

Associate Member Service Award | Associate Members are individuals who, in the opinion of the Executive Committee, have a strong interest in the objectives and programs of CABMA, but who do not meet the criteria for Regular Members.

Winner: Ryan Dohmen and David LeCompte, Short's Travel Management


May 14, 2015

DHL Cites Tech, Speed And Service For Picking Short’s In Agency Consolidation

Overwhelmed by trying to manage the use of 30 travel agencies in the Americas, logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group a year ago started a consolidation project. The HRG affiliates network and Latin America’s L’alianXa Travel Network were the two winning bidders. In the United States, where DHL fields more than 20,000 travelers, Short’s Travel Management beat out other HRG affiliates. 


April 4, 2015

Mapping the Madness | An NCAA Champion Feature

When teams and their travel parties trek hundreds of thousands of miles on their Road to the Final Four, their every move is charted by travel experts in Waterloo, Iowa, who get the job done using customized software, a color-coded dry-erase board and, always, a large dose of patience.


March 16, 2015

March Madness: Crazy time for local company arranging travel for college teams

WATERLOO | If Selection Sunday is all about learning where your favorite college basketball team will play for postseason NCAA glory, the day after is devoted to figuring out how to get them there.

Each year, that job falls on the shoulders of a Waterloo company, Short’s Travel Management.


September 30, 2014

Short's Travel Management, Inc. Wins 2014 Agresso Innovation Award

UNIT4 Presents Award for Short’s “Innovative Use of Solutions”

WATERLOO, Iowa, Oct. 2, 2014 - Short’s Travel Management, Inc.. won the 2014 Agresso Innovation Award, presented by UNIT4 Business Software in Las Vegas September 17. Short’s Travel was recognized for developing their hotel invoicing and collection process and bringing it in-house in 2013, eliminating outsourcing costs and improving collection rate.


June 23, 2014

2014 Power List


August 20, 2013

Short's Travel acquires FindIt tool

Short’s Travel Management, No. 35 on Travel Weekly's 2013 Power List, has purchased exclusive rights to the FindIt application.

FindIt, originally called BookIt, allows corporate travelers to search for trips on consumer websites such as Kayak or a supplier's site, and then filter that itinerary through their travel management company. 

The TMC looks at the itinerary through the filter of the traveler’s profile, the corporation's travel policy and negotiated discounts for better alternative flights and fares.


December 24, 2012

Short's Travel Management Leader Wins National Recognition

David LeCompte is flying high these days, along with his Waterloo-based company, Short’s Travel Management.

Business Travel News punctuated that point recently, including Waterloo-born LeCompte, Short’s Chief Executive Officer, on its new list of the 25 most influential travel executives.


December 2, 2011

Short’s Book It: A Brilliant Booking Breakthrough

Short’s Travel, arguably the most innovative TMC in North America, has done it again.

Book It* allows a corporate traveler to search for airfares on any site, then e-mail the selected flight info to Short’s for booking and en-route servicing. Completely automated. Fast results.  Pure genius.

*Short's Travel has since changed the name of Book It to FindIt.


December 15, 2009

Short's Travel employees compensated for enduring budget cuts

WATERLOO - Short's Travel Management, like other companies, saw revenues diving and decided it had to do something.

The Waterloo-based travel agency, which books a lot of business trips, said dramatic cuts in its clients' business travel had hit the company hard, and it had to find a way to make ends meet.