Kayak press officials have not responded to requests for comment, but informed sources described a possible business travel solution that would mix negotiated corporate airfares with public results for logged-in users.
At one time the main opportunity for travel management companies to deliver data to their clients was the quarterly review. But advances in data management mean customers already know the things TMC officials used to say in such meetings. Still a staple of the relationship, reviews now are more strategic and forward-looking. They feature more consideration of other stakeholders within the client organization. They address more topics, like risk management and the traveler experience.
BCD Travel last week announced a multiyear agreement with the Lufthansa Group. As part of the deal, the travel management company secured a full-content commitment from Lufthansa and the two parties agreed to test how BCD would book the airline group’s NDC offers. The agreement will give BCD Travel all content from Lufthansa and its Austrian, Brussels and Swiss subsidiaries via the Lufthansa NDC API. When Lufthansa terminated agreements with GDSs, “there was no longer full content,” said BCD Travel EVP Rose Stratford. “Our intention is to ensure full content and the best corporate rates. Part of our negotiations with the airline was to ensure we have access to that.”
Pursued for nearly five weeks, TripActions on Wednesday declined to answer basic questions about its own survey. That’s not something you often see in this line of work. Republished by some trade publications, the findings included that millennials see travel as a job perk and don’t care about loyalty programs; it takes more than an hour to book business trips for four in five travelers using corporate booking solutions; and half don’t use tools furnished by their employers.
An International SOS Foundation study of international business travelers’ health and wellness uncovered some new points, according to researchers. One was that few companies accounted for vulnerabilities among employees with pre-existing psychological conditions. Another was about risk-taking. When travelers are out and about, they’re more likely to do things they would not normally.
In a business travel sector as dynamic and competitive as ground transportation, there’s a lot to keep up with. While it’s got some new twists, one thing that hasn’t changed is the buyer’s need to heed add-on charges. “It’s a massive issue,” claimed Blacklane CEO and co-founder Jens Wohltorf during a phone interview last month. “The creativity is endless.”
According to announcements from around the industry, next year will be a big one for NDC. As airlines push forward on plans to differentiate content and tailor offers, GDSs, TMCs and other tech intermediaries that support corporate travel programs are adapting. That’s why the experts are encouraging travel managers to get up to speed. It’s more than ensuring a seat at the table to make voices heard, though that’s important. It’s also about learning airline intentions and seeing how parts of the supply chain relate to one another and to the end user.