Category Archives: Budgets

Talking Approvals And Expenses With Unit4’s Digital Assistant

Unit4 provides enterprise resource planning systems to governments, not-for-profits, higher education and professional service firms. Based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, it’s known in corporate travel for powering Sabre’s Central Command travel agency back-office software. It also offers an expense management product and, as of this spring, a digital assistant. Named Wanda, the chatbot stems from… Read More »

Big Clients Signal Acceptance As Rocketrip Signs General Electric, Twitter

[UPDATE, April 26, 2017: Rocketrip said Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Deem, Ovation Corporate Travel, Sabre and Travel Leaders Corporate joined Concur in its partnership program.] Rocketrip CEO Dan Ruch thinks too few travel managers are advocates for travelers. He said the profession has a policy compliance problem and lacks innovation. His new, big-name clients apparently agree… Read More »

2017 U.S. Corporate Hotel Rates: Small Increases, Some Happy Surprises

[CLARIFICATION, Jan. 4, 2017: An HRS spokesperson explained that while the company promotes independent properties, it does not require sourcing clients to commit to using them. Rather, those clients are asked to funnel “a reasonable” share of total hotel volume through HRS systems. This article has been updated with that information.] U.S. corporate negotiated hotel… Read More »

Offsetting Trends To Keep 2017 Airfares About Flat In North America

U.S. airfares have been falling this year, just as they did last year. According to three forecasts published by travel management companies, that will change in 2017, but not by much. In North America, a combination of drivers likely will keep pricing stable. The demand outlook is uncertain. Low-cost carriers are expanding domestic U.S. and transatlantic… Read More »

Not Steeply And Not Everywhere, Average U.S. Hotel Rates To Rise Again In 2017

U.S. corporate hotel rates are projected to rise about 4 percent next year. That’s in line with Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta’s initial expectations. It would be a slightly more modest increase than the industry expected for 2016. Predictions of course vary by market. The Bay Area still has tight supply powering rate hikes. New York… Read More »

Travel Friction And The Diminishing Returns Of Cost Savings

Programs like Rocketrip, Upside and TripActions offer new ways for travelers to save their companies money while earning something for themselves. In some cases they earn such benefits by accepting a lower-quality travel experience. But what are the human and productivity costs of these tradeoffs? Recent studies tried to get at the influence of business… Read More »

SR Travel Takes Action To Manage The Unmanaged

The creators of TripActions think they have a slick reservations app, a fun incentive program and an innovative approach to travel policy. At $0 per transaction, the price also may be attractive. Its travel management company partner, S.R. Travel Service, sees TripActions as a differentiator in the market. When San Francisco-based S.R. looked at TripActions a… 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 »

Updates: Air Merger; NYC Room Rates; Hotel Safety

Sometimes the things we write about peter out. Sometimes more developments happen, but they don’t warrant an entirely new article. In other cases, something unexpected or counterintuitive is noteworthy in its continuance. Hence, the Updates post. Click these links to jump to updates on airline consolidation, New York lodging rates, hotel safety, GBTA’s risk management… Read More »

Airline Rule Change Abruptly Hikes Circle Trip Costs

[UPDATE, April 1, 6:29 p.m. EDT: Delta now says that while “end-on-end combinability of non-refundable fares has been restricted,” booking within one passenger name record “multiple one-way tickets for the purpose of constructing legitimate circle trips” is again possible. “You can book any one-way ticket we offer for sale, but we do not recommend using… Read More »

Dinova Boosts Dining Program With Personal Points

Dinova’s new rewards program enables client employees to personally benefit from their companies’ dining dollars. Whereas in the dining network’s existing program their companies get rebates, individual participants also can now earn points redeemable for restaurant gift cards. American Express corporate cardholders working for Dinova clients can sign up for the myDinova program on its… Read More »

London, China Among International Fare Soft Spots

Businesses are paying less for some international airline tickets than they have in years, according to corporate travel benchmarks. It’s not because airlines have cut published pricing. Instead, they have kept selling more low-bucket inventory closer to departure. That brings down passenger yield, a proxy for fare paid. Some U.S. routes to London and China are showing sharply reduced… Read More »

Rio Tinto Plan Resurfaces Questions About Edicts On Travel Cuts

Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh got some attention last month when he said the multinational mining company would cut trips to save money. According to a press official, Walsh “was challenging everyone in the organization to remain focused on costs and that included reducing travel. He asked everyone to consider if that journey, visit or… Read More »