All The Rage: Rewards

Business travel startups are huge right now. New-entrant corporate booking tool NexTravel is working on its mobile app. Artificial intelligence and text bots are making a go of it. Agents are going virtual. Also hot? Rewards. The notion of the incentive program isn’t new, but it’s rapidly attracting automation. Rocketrip was the first in a club that during… Read More »

Virgin Deal Could Make Alaska More TMC-Friendly

Alaska Airlines has a lot to sort out if its proposed acquisition of Virgin America is approved. It’s already thinking about working more closely with travel management companies. Alaska in the past had account managers for some of the bigger TMCs but more recently focused its business travel sales efforts directly. “As we expand our… Read More »

Hogg Robinson Centers On Payments For SME Growth In North America

With a spate of acquisitions, U.K. travel management leader Hogg Robinson Group entered the United States on its own a decade ago. As its partnership with the predecessor of BCD Travel dismantled, HRG had to rebuild in the largest business travel market. The moves didn’t set the world on fire. Some accounts left. A major… Read More »

Explainer: IATA’s New Distribution Capability

The International Air Transport Association’s New Distribution Capability has been in the making for about five years and many still don’t get it. Depending on your interpretation and where you sit, it’s either a promising or unsettling development for business travel distribution. NDC is neither a new airline reservations system nor a massive database of… Read More »

How Far Is Too Far For Hotel Attachment?

By all accounts, hotel attachment is an important indicator. Roughly speaking, this is the percentage of bookings for trips of more than one day that contain a lodging component. A higher ratio means better data for negotiations and risk management. If the hotel booking is made with the air booking, there may be transaction fee… Read More »

Book Review: Travel Management 101

Former BCD Travel research director Claudia Unger points out that 76 U.K. universities offer a combined 450 tourism-related degrees, none of which focus on corporate travel. If a new program started, her recently published book could fit on the reading list. “Corporate Travel: Hiding in Plain Sight” (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016) is written at… Read More »

Podcast 11: James Filsinger, Tom Botts, Chris Vukelich, Flo Lugli and Mitchell Stern

Join us as we talk to travel management professionals about business travel services, expense management and careers on The Company Dime’s podcast. Music: “Funkorama” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Our eleventh episode features the second installment of a panel discussion recorded last month on hotel pricing and the lodging request… Read More »

Hyatt Makes U-Turn On Member Rates In Global Distribution Systems

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has reversed its plan to keep new loyalty program members-only discount rates out of global distribution systems. A spokesperson declined to address why the company quickly overturned its original statement that travel agents would have to use its website to book the rates. “Many of our members book their travel through our… Read More »

Book Review: A (Nearly) Complete TRM Resource

Fortunately for traveling businesspeople exposed to a world of danger, risk management is embedded in corporate travel’s consciousness. It’s a tricky area that touches many other business disciplines. Travel risk management approaches depend on culture, risk tolerance and many other factors. Threats, social stigmas and legalities vary around the globe. New technology constantly emerges to help both… Read More »

Airbnb Prepares Third-Party Bookings

Breaking from its standard policy of allowing only the guest to book his or her own accommodations, Airbnb is preparing a feature for its business clients allowing travel agents or arrangers to make bookings for the traveler. It’s a potentially huge improvement in the value of the service for organizations that manage travel. According to… Read More »

InterContinental Hotels Joins Members-Only Rate Party, Buyers Not Celebrating

[UPDATE, May 5: Travel agencies will earn commissions on the IHG rates, according to a press official.] [UPDATE, May 3: InterContinental Hotels Group is “working diligently” to make the new member rates available via GDSs “in the coming weeks,” according to an IHG letter to travel professionals.] Confused about how and whether to access some… Read More »

Fare Combinability Issue Cools

After a chaotic six weeks, the brouhaha around fare combinability has simmered down. American, Delta and United have settled on a middle ground, but differed in how they got there. The bottom line seems to be that fare combinability again is permissible for circle trips and when stringing together multiple one-way fares, except for the… Read More »

ExpenseBot Plies Both Human Support And Tech

Dakota Software finance director Nick Lay canceled his Concur Expense implementation two months ago, but he still gets monthly bills. This, he said, is a sign of a provider that’s too big for a small enterprise like his. On the other hand, new supplier ExpenseBot takes his phone calls and emails. ExpenseBot’s founders consider its… Read More »