Automation Breathes New Life Into Traveler Incentive Programs

Well before gamification became a corporate travel buzzword, companies had straightforward ways to reward travelers for booking cheaper flights. Traveler incentive programs that share savings with those who book coach airfare when business class is acceptable are challenging but not uncommon. Now, a variation on the concept appeals to companies without robust travel-management programs and policies. Point-of-sale price benchmarks guide travelers who may not know… Read More »

Point-Of-Sale Benchmarks Add To Visual Guilt

[UPDATE, March 8, 2017: Concur decided to “phase out” the Price to Beat feature, according to Rocketrip. The two companies announced an expanded partnership. More info here.] More than a decade ago, U.S. businesses started saving significant money due to what travel professionals called visual guilt. Mainstream by 2006, the notion is that when travelers see rates themselves… Read More »

New AA Travel Agency Incentive Favors Higher Fares Over More Passengers

American Airlines this quarter brought to most of its North American travel agencies revised back-end “override” incentive programs. Based on revenue share rather than passenger count, the move may put some travel buyers on guard for higher costs. It’s conceivable that the program presents agencies a reason to either transact higher fares and/or charge higher client fees. But… Read More »

SAP’s Earnings Target For Concur Requires Serious Synergy

SAP expects the pricey acquisition of Concur to increase its earnings in 2016, but that seems possible only with massive revenue growth or layoffs. In its fiscal year ended this past September, Concur recorded non-GAAP pretax income of $56 million. [Using non-GAAP figures reduces the effect of non-recurring items and improves comparability of performance over time.] But SAP is… Read More »

SAP CEO: Why Have Travel Policy When Employees Can ‘Maybe Get A Better Rate’?

SAP CEO Bill McDermott sees Concur’s TripLink supplier-direct program as a replacement for corporate travel policy. In an interview published last week by Re/code, McDermott responded as follows when asked why SAP is paying about $8 billion for Concur: “Every company has a corporate travel department, but no one wants to work with it. You can use . .… Read More »

Beyond The Panic Button: Risk Mgmt. Firms Explore App Customization, Integration

International SOS and iJet International upgraded their mobile apps this year while a new Healix app features distress signals with photos and audio. A “panic button” may not beat a phone call in an emergency, but apps can offer translation, destination training and document storage. Providers now also are exploring client customization and third-party integration. Customizing an app… Read More »

For Green Travel, Progress And Lip Service

For corporations and individuals looking to reduce their carbon footprints, business travel is a troublesome contributor. Chasing sales opportunities and growing revenue often requires travel. For some companies, business travel is the single biggest source of carbon emissions. In the middle of the last decade, green travel initiatives seemed to have momentum. But then the global economic recession… Read More »

Global Hotel Content Access For Travel Management Is On The Rise

Marriott’s plan to offer free Wi-Fi on direct bookings by loyalty members will cause channel conflict for many in business travel. Yet, it’s an oddity as the recent trend points to greater rather than reduced hotel content access for managed travel programs. As of 2010, each of the three major global distribution systems listed between 80,000 and 90,000 hotel properties.… Read More »

Starwood May Be Next As Marriott Wi-Fi Move Catches Corporates In OTA ‘Crossfire’

Starwood Hotels & Resorts appears poised to drop Wi-Fi fees for loyalty program members booking through its apps, websites and call centers. A similar plan at Marriott International announced last month and due to take effect Jan. 15 is upsetting many travel management professionals. This is collateral damage for Marriott, which is aiming to build traveler loyalty and better compete with online travel agencies.

Car Services Struggle With Disconnected Tech In ‘War’ With Uber

Atlantic City — No one in the fragmented and diverse ground transportation industry underestimates Uber anymore. For chauffeured car execs meeting here last week at a Chauffeur Driven magazine conference, “Uber” was the four-letter word everyone could not help but say. The rhetoric was dire, with operators described as being at “war” and destined to suffer many “casualties.”… Read More »