A trio of industry consultants took time out this month to join The Company Dime’s Jay Campbell and assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for a quintet of business travel startups. In general, they said, this crop has good prospects. (Includes audio clips.)
Delta Air Lines is testing free inflight Wi-Fi. JetBlue Airways already provides it. If an official Delta program emerged, that would pressure other carriers. It could appease the many travelers who feel cheated when they pay for unreliable or slow connections.
WorldAware expects next week to enable app messaging that pushes alerts to client employees based on where they turn up and allows organizations to see which areas their participating people enter. Updated this week, the latest version of the International SOS app added push notifications for medical and security alerts based on the user’s proximity to an incident.
Far Off For Business Travel Channels, Attribute-Based Shopping To Be A Hotel Website Reality This Year
Analysts and hoteliers including IHG are exploring a new way of selling rooms that also means a new way of shopping for them. It sounds like the NDC-enabled, personalized offers contemplated for airline purchases. It seems likely to have the same implication of creating a gap in functionality between managed business travel and supplier-direct channels.
There was a time when a big portion of ground transportation spending was invisible to corporate travel buyers. Lyft and Uber are helping with that, but they’re not the only options. A service provider to taxis and black cars, Curb Mobility started a business program last fall and now claims a few dozen clients including professional services firms, law firms and medical facilities.
Since before Lyft and Uber created programs for business, travel purchasing pros have been approaching them about volume-based benefits. Hard-dollar encouragement would help Uber and Lyft attract more managed corporate clients, especially those that effectively direct employees to one or the other. For now, though, the ride-hailing business programs barely register.
With Mike McCormick declining to pursue a new contract as Global Business Travel Association executive director and COO, the group appointed board fixture Scott Solombrino in his place. That this may ruffle feathers is nothing new for Solombrino, a politically minded former chauffeured transportation exec. During a phone interview, though, he asked people to put the past aside.