Much of the rationale for a managed travel program is providing appropriate and satisfactory service to corporate travelers. That means working with airlines, hotels, ground transport firms, travel management companies, tech providers and others to optimize each step of a trip, from booking and planning through to post-trip reports and surveys.

Coverage areas include:
• Travel agents, both real and virtual
• Employee engagement
Mobile technologies for travelers
• Variability in hotel services
Personalizing travel
Visa processing travel

Explainer: Configuring Travel Management Company Services

The primary choices for a travel management company servicing model have been the same for decades. The set of players providing the service has changed through M&A among existing providers and the emergence of new ones while improving technology allows for different flavors like virtual and hybrid-working agents. The most significant change affecting customer decisions…

GBTA Poll Finds A Little NDC Progress And An Unyielding Cohort

About 34 percent of 326 travel buyers polled last month by GBTA said their companies had begun implementing NDC-enabled channels, with varying degrees of success, up from 18 percent a year earlier. But half of respondents said they had not started to implement NDC — essentially unchanged from polls in April and October last year….

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…

Delta Names New Distribution Partners As Sabre Deal Comes Due

Delta Air Lines during a Thursday virtual meeting named the tech partners it would work with on a customer service-oriented distribution strategy based on IATA’s New Distribution Capability protocols. Accelya, ARC and Google will support Delta as it collaborates with corporate travel intermediaries on new distribution methods. The announcement comes as Delta’s agreement with Sabre…

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…

Op Ed: Matthew Newton On Removing Algorithmic Bias In Pursuit Of Equitable Travel

Having seen up close the dangers of algorithmic bias in artificial intelligence, CWT’s Matthew Newton has some suggestions for risk mitigation. Artificial intelligence is being deployed at scale in business travel management, with algorithms changing the game for service consistency, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. But this watershed moment threatens to unleash a monster. Algorithmic bias in…

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…

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