Business travel is all about productivity — whether that relates to its fundamental use for more efficient collaboration, guarding against bureaucracy to ensure seamless collaboration, or generally purchasing the right services at the right prices so trip missions deliver the most value. It also means helping employees avoid getting bogged down in post-trip red tape. The coverage below digs into issues, processes, tools and tricks.

Some examples
• The movement of services to mobile devices and/or chatbots
• Stories about expedited airport screening and business travel’s ROI
• Trends like artificial intelligence and rewards
• The pandemic-era struggle to avoid quarantines

Q&A: Sabre CEO Kurt Ekert On Content, Pricing And Artificial Intelligence

The Company Dime co-founder Jay Campbell last week interviewed Sabre CEO Kurt Ekert via videoconference. Among other issues, Ekert talked about supplier content fragmentation, global distribution system pricing, AI, technology modernization and, yes, NDC. A lightly edited transcript follows. Some travel managers look back fondly at a period a few years ago when it seemed…

World Travel Inc. Gets Productivity Boost From New AI Firm Acai Travel

Starting with automating email routing and responses, World Travel Inc. is using artificial intelligence from startup Acai Travel to restructure its customer support operation. Reduced average handling time means faster service for clients. The travel management company estimated a 4 percent increase in productivity “off the bat,” said new WTI president Erika Moore. Acai Travel…

Dispatch 10

As American Airlines all but dismantles corporate sales, airline industry pundits scrutinized AA’s latest arguments about going small and emphasizing competitiveness via network and loyalty. The strategy illustrates diversification among big airlines that adds to these challenging times for corporate travel buyers. Chief commercial officer Vasu Raja on March 4 told Wall Street analysts that…

Notebook: Government Travel Pros Treated To Latest On Innovation, Sustainability

Alexandria, Va. – Amid a federal government solicitation process putting the management of upwards of $4 billion in annual travel spending up for grabs, the National Defense Transportation Association’s GovTravels conference attracted a record 1,100 attendees here last month.  The U.S. General Services Administration has begun collecting information from interested travel and expense tech vendors…

For Big Corporate Travel Management Companies Using Artificial Intelligence, Risk Mitigation Is Job No. 1 

Artificial intelligence promises efficiency gains and better, quicker corporate travel service. Use cases include email automation, swift answers to simple questions, and chatbot bookings and changes. For corporate travel management companies, though, achieving tantalizing outcomes requires extreme care. “Move fast and break things” this is not. Machine learning and predictive artificial intelligence are not new…

With A Stronger Balance Sheet, Amex GBT Expects To Grow By Outcompeting, Acquiring

American Express Global Business Travel expects to improve margins thanks to productivity gains, lower restructuring and debt costs, and a continued shift to proprietary online booking tools. It’s also looking for acquisition opportunities that executives and company documents released Tuesday called “accretive,” “incremental,” and “strategic.”  Speaking under the condition of anonymity a year ago, one…

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