Amex May Face Tougher Competition Following Court Decision

A federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Thursday ordered American Express to revise its merchant agreements. Provisions that bar merchants from preferring another form of payment need modification or elimination, the court found. Absent a winning appeal, the decision seems likely to hurt Amex’s competitiveness. It appears merchants such as airlines would be free to promote alternative payment platforms,… Read More »

Performance Issues Plague Concur Travel

[UPDATE, Feb. 27: Concur indicated the service was back to normal operation.] Concur is working to identify the cause of errors and slow processing in its Concur Travel web application. “Over the weekend, the engineering and operations teams identified key areas where transaction performance was negatively impacted and implemented configuration changes that significantly improved transaction processing times,” according to a… Read More »

Just As Egencia’s Fusion Begins To Bear Fruit, Expedia Buys Again

Egencia three years ago said it would begin building technology globally rather than regionally, and now it’s on the verge of some real accomplishments. Although the endgame is beginning to emerge, the 325 software engineers working on Egencia’s Fusion project need not update their résumés. Parent Expedia on Feb. 12 announced plans to buy yet another corporate travel platform in… Read More »

With A Bit Of Strategy, Airlines And SMEs Can Find Value In Small Business Programs

When organizations don’t have enough air volume to earn negotiated discounts, many find small business programs are better than nothing. But they can be a bit more than that. They can, for example, fill gaps for midsize companies averse to contracts with multiple carriers. For airlines, these programs offer access to a fertile segment at costs below those of traditional discount programs. Several carriers… Read More »

U.S. Market Challenges KDS

A leading provider to European companies and multinationals, 20-year-old travel and expense automator KDS is a new entrant in the United States. Some are pulling for it as an alternative to Concur. It has opportunity, but KDS also faces a lot of challenges. KDS CEO Dean Forbes in a Feb. 5 interview acknowledged that the Neo door-to-door travel booking product so far has no U.S.… Read More »

United Seeks ‘Four-Star’ Service With Employee Behavior Standards

In need of an image makeover, United Airlines opened the year by holding employees accountable for lagging customer service. New baseline standards developed last year measure frontline workers on courtesy, graciousness and consistency. United had been working with Forbes Travel Guide on standards for each of the carrier’s work groups. The idea is to get impartial input from… Read More »

In North America Push, Amadeus E-Travel Signs Southwest

Amadeus confirmed plans to boost its e-Travel Management corporate booking tool in North America. It’s starting with a “multi-year” deal struck this month to access Southwest Airlines inventory and fares “in the coming months.” The carrier also would be available worldwide in e-Travel and the Amadeus i:FAO cytric booking tool and mobile app popular in Germany. The . . .… Read More »

Saving Money With TripBam And Yapta Means Considering How Much To Annoy Travelers, Hoteliers

Yapta this month rolled out its RoomIQ hotel rate assurance product, claiming that in beta it saved clients $109 per stay. Like TripBam’s, the service beats rates for existing reservations and alerts travelers or their agents to the rebooking opportunity. Clients can calculate agency processing fees into rate comparisons. Both firms charge transaction fees, while TripBam offers the… Read More »

Years Of Consolidation Gave Concur Market Power, But No Monopoly

[UPDATE, June 20, 2017: Expense system providers Certify, ExpenseWatch, Nexonia and Tallie are merging. K1 Investment Management is spending $125 million to create what it described as the “largest independent expense management software company.” The new entity will maintain existing product lines. Goals include “expanded offerings” and wider geographic reach. A statement from Certify founder and CEO Robert… Read More »

Travel Management Pros Sort Of Like The Social Enterprise

Social media can help with travel management, but so far it’s not for everybody. According to Carlson Wagonlit Travel research released last week, using enterprise social networking to promote travel program compliance remains an “untapped” opportunity. Slightly more than one-third of 1,113 travel, meetings and events professionals surveyed last fall indicated that further promoting travel policy through social media was… Read More »