When ARC this week announced its investment in nuTravel, the latter’s CEO referenced a new “global airline” customer. Looks like it’s Delta.
“At the end of this quarter, we will introduce new functionality, powered by nuTravel, that enables the management of delta.com business bookings and allows for duty of care, payment management, expense provider integrations and reporting,” the airline wrote in a message to travel agents posted Thursday.
NuTravel is working with ARC as well as Blockskye and Traxo (both also part-owned by ARC) to enable policy application, user registration, profile management and data exports for corporate travel bookings made on airline websites. The notion builds on nuTravel’s earlier work with Air Canada, JetBlue and WestJet for dedicated business travel portals.
Called Universal Connect, the newer initiative allows airlines to simplify development by infusing their dot-com sites with business travel functions. It’s all part of ARC’s “omnichannel” retailing strategy.
It won’t be the first time Delta allowed corporate travelers to log in and access their companies’ negotiated rates on the airline’s website. Last month it went live with SAP Concur’s TripLink, which connects the user’s Delta loyalty program profile with their Concur account. If their companies enrolled in TripLink, users can then book on Delta’s website or mobile app and have the details imported into Concur Expense and the TripIt itinerary app. Changes and cancellations made with Delta are posted back to Concur, according to product documentation.
Officials with nuTravel and ARC said they were working to enable travel management companies to support supplier-direct bookings. “We believe ARC’s recent investment in nuTravel is a foundational step in creating an ecosystem where our TMC partners, who play a vital role in corporate travel, can service a booking regardless of the channel it is booked in,” according to Delta.
Delta also called the effort an “omnichannel” approach. In fact, it’s now part of the job title for Jeff Lobl, managing director for global distribution and omnichannel strategy.
“On January 23, we reached another milestone along our journey,” Delta told industry partners. “Access to Delta’s business experience was extended to existing business travelers currently shopping on delta.com that have a SkyBonus ID saved in their SkyMiles profile. Travelers will have the ability to toggle between personal or business profiles when booking on delta.com.”
SkyBonus is Delta’s points-based small business loyalty program.
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