Distribution

Scroll down to review The Company Dime‘s coverage of travel distribution.

The travel industry thrives on a complex network of channels connecting travelers with desired experiences. The Company Dime‘s travel distribution category delves into this intricate system, offering subscribers invaluable knowledge and insights. Our in-depth articles explore the various channels that constitute corporate travel distribution, both traditional and emerging.

Getting all the relevant, bookable inventory in front of business travelers is a never-ending challenge. Airlines, hotels and other suppliers constantly tinker with their products and pricing, and often favor direct distribution over third-party channels. That creates complexity in business travel technology.

Readers can expect thorough coverage of the relationships and dynamics between airlines, hotels, travel management companies, global distribution systems and other suppliers and intermediaries. We closely examine developments associated with the New Distribution Capability (NDC), direct booking initiatives and the rise of new entrants looking to disrupt legacy models.

Subscribers benefit from our scrutiny of the often-opaque world of distribution costs and revenue streams, including incentive payments, agency commissions and booking fees. We shed light on these essential commercial arrangements.

We also track the technological forces reshaping distribution, from the positioning of online booking tools to the potential of emerging solutions like artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual payment. Readers stay informed on innovations that could unlock efficiencies and improve the traveler experience.

Our coverage clarifies major industry debates, such as the relative merits of GDS and NDC content, and our Op Eds deliver provocative thought leadership from all corners of the industry. Contributor insights on timely issues — like rethinking travel management company commercial models — make for essential reading.

With a critical eye and a healthy dose of skepticism, The Company Dime delivers must-have intelligence for anyone seeking to understand the present and future of travel distribution.

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You get what you pay for, and most travel industry business news is free. We sell insight. Our mission is quality journalism for those interested in business travel services, expense management practices and travel industry change. Our features, exclusives and analysis equip business travel professionals with vital info for top performance.

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Travel Management Companies Race To Meet AA’s NDC Targets, Sort Out Client Fees

[UPDATE, April 23, 2024: American Airlines delayed new restrictions on how travelers can earn loyalty program points, to July 11 from May 1. The rules will affect some bookings through agencies AA does not qualify as “preferred.” According to a spokesperson, “This extension gives an opportunity for those agencies to complete the transition. We’ll continue…

American Express GBT CEO Abbott: CWT Acqusition Targets Non-Customer Costs

American Express Global Business Travel announced Monday it agreed to pay about $570 million to buy CWT using stock and cash on hand. The companies expect the deal to close in the second half of this year, subject to regulatory approvals in multiple jurisdictions and the satisfaction of other closing conditions. If it does, GBT’s…

Are Offline Transactions More Lucrative For Travel Management Companies? No, But …

AmTrav CEO Jeff Klee caused a stir with a Jan. 29 column in which he relayed an anecdote about a customer of a large travel management company hearing from a travel advisor that their “booking tool withholds some flight options on purpose in order to drive more revenue from phone calls.”  Reactions from multiple executive-level…

Notebook: Two Buyers Say Policies Fail In The Face Of Distribution Fragmentation

Regardless of the allure, direct bookings with suppliers are out of bounds for most employee groups at two companies represented on a March 6 webinar hosted by Cerebri AI. Both firms mandate that bookings go through their designated travel management companies via counselors or the SAP Concur Travel booking tool. According to their travel managers,…

Squeezed By Some Airlines, Flight Centre Tweaks Tech To Support Others

How much more can a travel management company make when corporate customers use its proprietary booking technology? Flight Centre Travel Group’s head of corporate travel wouldn’t specifically say, but his answer during a Tuesday evening conference call with equities analysts was instructive. With its own tools, the TMC has to cover maintenance and development costs….

Travel Management Company Consolidation Looms

In a Jan. 29 Business Travel News column, SAP Concur Travel president Charlie Sultan  predicted that distribution changes would “disrupt” travel management company revenue streams and combine with tech investment pressures to prompt “further TMC consolidation.” He didn’t cover Concur’s role. Parent SAP considered buying CWT but decided against it last week, according to sources…

New AA Agency Program, Loyalty Restrictions Support Direct, NDC Distribution 

Keeping its chief commercial officer’s word on plans for more incentives on “internet” bookings, American Airlines on Tuesday announced new conditions for customers to earn miles and points beginning with tickets issued May 1. They’ll earn when they book directly with AA or certain partners, book anywhere as an AAdvantage Business member or contracted corporate…

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