Meta-Search Pioneer Brian Barth Is Back, Now Focused On Payment

Brian Barth and his team helped reinvent travel e-commerce when they created meta-search site SideStep, acquired by Kayak in 2007 for $200 million. Now Barth is set to make an impact on payments. His latest startup, UpLift, offers real-time insight on the customer’s form of payment and enables online merchants to make targeted offers on that basis. One goal might be to increase loyalty to a… Read More »

Corporate Booking Tool NexTravel Takes Off With Work To Do

With some in the corporate market craving options, tech blogs last month announced the arrival of corporate booking tool NexTravel. While oversights and hyperbole are not uncommon for start-ups, NexTravel may have a bigger issue. It doesn’t have a deal in place with Southwest Airlines, which is investigating its presence on the site. The airline typically doesn’t allow… Read More »

Concur Slows Down Innovation To Focus On Foundational Fixes

Concur’s technology leaders have refocused on core infrastructure over innovation to deal with increased service disruptions during the past 18 months. “In the past we have had much more rapid development of features and functionality, but over the last few months we have slowed those down,” said senior vice president for hosting operations Stephen deRham. Speaking Tuesday during a… Read More »

GPS Tracking Apps Test Privacy Boundaries

IJet International released apps in December on Android and January on iOS that can track travelers using global positioning system capabilities. The app brings to the everyday smartphone a level of realtime tracking traditionally available only through expensive satellite-based devices. Typically only used in high-risk environments, the Critical Trac app still is not a “mass-market product.” Nevertheless, officials… Read More »

Performance Issues Still Frustrating Concur Users

Concur claimed it resolved last week’s intermittent online booking outages about 88 hours after they began popping up. But some users this week reported ongoing issues and many expressed deep frustration about the whole episode. For travel agency resellers, booking tool downtime can hurt productivity, profitability and client goodwill. Making matters worse, the insufficient service came in the midst of another winter testing the industry’s mettle. Corporate clients… Read More »

From Data Management Firms, Clients Demand The Future

It seems that some corporate travel decision-makers are endlessly dissatisfied with data. It’s imperfect, dumped on them in buckets and hard to present to executives. Nowadays they want insights at the trip level. They want to identify policy violations before it’s too late. They want to take more immediate action on predicted outcomes. Using travel data for predictive… Read More »

Amadeus, Lufthansa ‘Personalizing’ Benefits For Corporate Accounts

Personalization. It’s not just for people anymore. Lufthansa is using Amadeus technology to offer product and service add-ons to passengers based on where they work rather than who they are. The capability applies in direct and indirect channels, including travel management companies that use Amadeus or integrate using Web services. Negotiated discounts are not the only benefit airlines… Read More »

What Does Expedia’s New Power Mean For Lodging Rates?

Hotels had to reckon with Expedia before it acquired Travelocity and proposed the same for Orbitz. If it’s able to enhance its negotiating power, Expedia could reinforce the notion that online travel agencies offer lower lodging rates than traditional managed travel sources. In a Feb. 13 research note, Oppenheimer analyst Manish Hemrajani wrote that Expedia’s “Hulk-esque proportions in the U.S.… Read More »

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 »