Category Archives: Distribution

As TMCs Praise AA Reveal, Some Question NDC Plan’s Practicality

Travel management company executives have mixed views on the American Airlines New Distribution Capability program announced Friday. Some are fine with it, acknowledging there is work to do. More are happy with the airline’s creativity but concerned about the technical and process challenges. Unease about the impact of direct bookings on agent and tech productivity… Read More »

Concur, Frosch, HRG Sign Up For New AA NDC Program Offering $2 Per Segment, Other Benefits

American Airlines will pay participating travel agencies $2 per net segment booked and ticketed using certified NDC connections at all points of sale on AA-marketed flights. The program requires agencies to cover distribution costs, but comes with a near-term content parity commitment. It also enables new possibilities for corporate bundles, waiver-and-favor management and risk management data. They’re… Read More »

Nineteenth Century Tech Joins SEO, Data Mining In Business Travel Startup Marketing

Nothing beats word of mouth for business travel providers seeking new clients. Established players count on referrals, with the most gratifying coming from former users recommending them to new employers. New entrants incentivize to evangelize. The lucky business travel startup hooks a big fish corporate account and rides the wave of publicity. Downstream from big… Read More »

TMC Vet George Opens North America For Agency Automation Firm Tramada

Longtime corporate travel sales exec Mary Ellen George joined Sydney-based travel agency automation firm Tramada Systems to lead its expansion in North America. Sixteen-year-old Tramada offers agencies a cloud-based, GDS- and online booking tool-agnostic alternative to back-office systems like Trams or Travcom. This includes business intelligence, though Tramada is happy to export data to its clients’… Read More »

Rail Revolution? A Travel Pro Can Dream

[UPDATE, June 23, 2017: Expedia completed its acquisition of a majority stake in SilverRail. Terms were not disclosed.] [UPDATE, June 16, 2017: Adds information about Amadeus Cytric.] Announcing plans to acquire a majority stake in rail distribution and IT firm SilverRail, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi last month said rail was “ready for an online revolution.” It can’t… Read More »

Teleconference 11: Introducing Blockchain

Introducing Blockchain Aug. 10, 2017 at 12 pm EDT Register here. Gift a ticket here. What the heck is blockchain? Tune in as we chat with innovators including Brook Armstrong from Blockskye to learn more about this potentially impactful technology. It has infrastructure and acceptance challenges. There’s a learning curve. It’s tied up with cryptocurrency’s fits and starts. But… Read More »

Teleconference 10: One-On-One With BCD Travel President And CEO John Snyder

One-On-One With John Snyder July 13, 2017 at 12 pm EDT Register here. Gift a ticket here. Is there a more important travel service provider to large corporate, education and government organizations than travel management companies? Many would say no, and yet the role of the TMC is constantly challenged. New technology, supplier models and traveler demands complicate the… Read More »

Another Travel Startup Leans On TMC Support

Disadvantaged relative to bigger companies that negotiate their own airfare discounts, small businesses mostly pay retail. TravelBank co-founder and CEO Duke Chung is out to change that. In a market full of business travel startups, one of his company’s angles is rebates for users. TravelBank introduced its first products in November. They are an expense… Read More »

Blockchain Startups Target Travel Distribution

Blockchain digital ledger technology could be used for loyalty programs, corporate contracts, payment, expense management, airport processing, traveler identity and maybe even travel policy and compliance. Innovators also are betting on distribution disruption. With tests beginning in about three weeks, Blockskye aims to shift the power in distribution “back to hotels and airlines” by enabling… Read More »

NDC’s Upshot: Altered TMCs, Evolved Air Deals

[UPDATE, May 26, 2017: IAG informed industry partners that British Airways and Iberia would add a $10 fee as of Nov. 1, essentially for each one-way trip, on tickets purchased in global distribution systems. The fee will be displayed as a “Q charge” in fare constructions, and included in itinerary fare quotes. Refunds will align with the… Read More »

Siemens Adds Benefits From Lufthansa Direct Connect, Talks With Other Carriers

Pioneering a new airline distribution program has its perks. The Lufthansa direct-connect initiative with Siemens will benefit the conglomerate’s travelers even when they don’t book that way. More than eight months into the program, Siemens officials last week briefed The Company Dime on progress and lessons learned. It was always part of the plan to provide… Read More »

Air Canada Moves To Blunt Rising Commissions

Air Canada reduced travel agency compensation on certain fares, effective April 1. The change followed increases in the airline’s sales and distribution costs as a percentage of passenger revenue in each of the past three years. A spokesperson confirmed that the carrier reduced commissions paid on some international airfare types, including interline and business-class fares.… Read More »

Today In Chatbots: Concur’s Hipmunk Demos, HelloGbye Launches

[UPDATE: June 28, 2017: Sabre announced plans for a new chatbot that travel agencies would white-label. According to Sabre Labs director of technology Mark McSpadden, Casto Travel and TSI signed up to conduct a pilot later this year.] Concur still isn’t saying much about its plans for Hipmunk, but a client conference this month featured… Read More »