The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is our new weekly newsletter focused on the future of corporate travel, the big fault lines of disruption for travel managers and buyers, the innovations emerging from the sector, and the changing business traveler habits that are upending how corporate travel is packaged, bought and sold.

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The Future of Corporate + Business Travel

What causes friction for business travelers?

Sometimes, it can seem like almost every aspect of the business travel experience, from booking to the travel experience and then the inevitable expense report, is a potential headache.

New solutions are needed, on both the traveler and travel management sides, to fix crummy business travel outcomes. When I spoke to Rocketrip’s Dan Ruch on this subject, he mentioned something I’ve rarely heard discussed by corporate travel experts: the importance of how travelers feel during business travel.

“Travel is a very, very emotional process,” he said. “We care very deeply about how we’re treated when we’re on the road, and those decisions should not be left up to the companies that we travel for. It should be left up to us. Now we’re way outside the scope of what a modern day travel manager worries about, right?”

Right. And smart travel managers know that innovative tools can smooth long-standing pain points in corporate travel.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Skift

Social Quote of the Day

I truly have better things to do than fill out a credit card reconciliation form and hand in paper receipts for business travel in 2016. @TROndrey

Business of Buying

Lyft Is Trying to Make Big Gains with Corporate Travel Managers: Lyft still has lots of ground to cover if it wants to catch up to Uber’s business with corporate clients, but the company is smart to get in front of managers who make decisions about employee travel. Read more at Skift

Interview: Why Travel Managers Need to Care About What Travelers Want: Travelers always want more choice. Services like Rocketrip let companies give their employees more choices on the road while saving money on expenses. A move towards more progressive corporate travel policy is a win-win for business travelers and their employers alike. More flexible travel policy, however, does challenge the orthodoxy of the corporate travel ecosystem. Read more at Skift

Alaska Airlines Wants Virgin America to Fulfill Its Corporate Travel Ambitions: It’ll be interesting to see how many of Virgin America’s corporate travel partners stick around once Alaska Airlines begins to chip away at the brand’s sterling identity. Read more at Skift

Security + Safety

Paris Convention Bureau Responds to Post-Attack Challenges: Conference organizers are reaching out to the Paris Convention Bureau more than in the past few months, but the numbers are still significantly below 2015. Read more at Skift

China Now Spends More on Business Travel Than The U.S.: China’s spending on business travel has finally outstripped that of the U.S., according to the Global Business Travel Association. And that lead is only expected to grow in the years ahead. Read more at Buying Business Travel

Disruption + Innovation

Automating Flight Refunds May Become Big Money in Corporate Travel: Dealing with flight disruption compensation has been a hassle for travel management. But new services are looking to remove points of friction and essentially automate the process. Read more at Skift

How Women Travel for Business: Women book their business travel earlier than men. They are also more concerned with security and avoiding snafus like lost baggage. Read more at The Economist

American Express Global Business Travel CEO Steps Down: American Express GBT is looking for new leadership to assist in its development toward an organization more focused on digital bookings and services. Read more at Skift

Comments

The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is curated by Skift editors Hannah Sampson [hs@skift.com] and Andrew Sheivachman [as@skift.com]. The newsletter is emailed every Thursday.

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Photo Credit: A JetBlue plane taxiing in Costa Rica. Bernal Saborio / Flickr