Describing itself as a disruptor to the “traditional agency/supplier/distribution relationship,” TripActions on Monday announced a restructured supplier relations group. The company hired Daniel Finkel, formerly of Egencia and Expedia, as VP of booking experience and supplier strategy.
Finkel reports to TripActions co-founder and CEO Ariel Cohen, moving supplier relations out of the group led by chief travel officer Nancy Atkinson. Atkinson continues to manage the company’s VIP and meetings and events programs.
Now reporting to Finkel rather than Atkinson is VP for supplier relations and alliances Bob Brindley, a corporate travel veteran.
“Experience has always been a top priority at TripActions and with the hiring of Daniel, they are bringing their efforts to create [an] innovative shopping experience, deep content and inventory, and strong supplier relations under one leader,” according to a media representative.
Finkel’s LinkedIn profile describes strategy and business development posts at Expedia, but none in supplier relations. He joined Expedia as an intern in 2012, 29 years after Brindley got his travel industry start at American Airlines.
Supplier relations have not always been smooth for TripActions, as Cohen acknowledged during an interview this month. At the moment, the TripActions booking interface tells users that if they’re looking to book Delta Air Lines, they can chat (text) with an agent. Delta does not appear in shopping results due to a dispute the airline last fall said related to how TripActions displayed it. Delta reiterated its stance later, even as clients continued to book it before TripActions this month stopped displaying its inventory altogether.
The company’s relationship with Southwest Airlines evidently also needs attention.
In addition to supplier relations, Finkel is “responsible for scaling up the company’s shopping capabilities,” according to a press statement.