Skift Take

Car services appear to still have a secure foothold in corporate travel. But ridesharing companies are working to make it easier than ever for business travelers to book with their services instead.

The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is our 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

Have rumors of the demise of traditional car and limousine services been greatly exaggerated?

This week we took a dive into the ground transportation ecosystem in corporate travel, with results that are somewhat surprising.

A look at industry research shows that car services have rebounded from a tough couple of years spurred by the widespread adoption of services like Uber and Lyft.

Talking to industry leaders, however, it seems that the conflict between these two sides in the marketplace is still heating up. Car services, along with taxi providers, are developing on demand apps to make it easier for travelers to book rides. Meanwhile, ridesharing upstarts are negotiating deals with corporations and corporate travel management companies to bake their services into booking tools.

Read our story, and let us know how you think the competition in the ground transportation space will shake out; also, tell us whether or not it drives you crazy when your travelers use ridesharing instead of your approved ground transportation provider.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Skift

Social Quote of the Day

 Despite like 40 announcements, someone brought a Note7 onto my plane. Flight delayed just before pushback, when crew discovered it.  @theMrMobile

Business of Buying

Google Flights Now Notifies Flyers When Airfares Will Expire: Google has several very clear advantages over competitors: its mountains of data sets and the computing power to do something with them. That’s the context of some of these incremental changes in Google Flights and hotel search. Slowly but surely, after much data crunching and testing, Google — which already is one of the largest players in travel — is enhancing its flight and hotel products for consumers and advertisers. Read more at Skift

Cheap Airfares are About to Vanish as U.S. Airlines Tighten Capacity:
Airfares don’t feel particularly cheap — anecdotally speaking — but things can always get worse (from a consumer perspective). Delta has already announced restrained capacity growth for 2017, and other carriers could follow suit as economic growth stays slow. Read more at Skift

Highlights From the DOT’s New Passenger-Friendly Airline Guidelines: Some consumer protections are better than no consumer protections. But the steps outlined this week by the Obama Administration are relatively minor. They won’t do much to change the travel experience. Read more at Skift

6 Charts Comparing Business and Leisure Traveler Satisfaction With U.S. Destinations: U.S. business travelers’ high satisfaction stems from not spending their own money and knowing where to go and what to avoid in a destination. Leisure travelers aren’t far behind with their satisfaction but this should still concern destinations, especially those where business travel is their bread and butter, given business travelers also spend more in categories like lodging, shopping, and transportation than the tourists they have to share their trips with. Read more at Skift

Meetings Activity May Drop Next Year, Forecast Says: A new outlook from American Express M&E shows spending on meetings and events across the globe is expected to stay flat, while activity might actually decline. Read more at Buying Business Travel

Security + Safety

Weeks After One Neighborhood Was Cleared, Miami Has a New Zika Zone: This new neighborhood in Miami, known as Little River, is less of a tourist draw than Wynwood or especially Miami Beach. But the identification of another Zika zone — and the CDC suggestion that pregnant women consider postponing non-essential travel to the entire county — is bad news for Miami-Dade. Read more at Skift 

FAA Bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 From All Airplanes, Threatens Criminal Charges for Non-Compliance: This will be a tough rule to enforce, but the U.S. government probably made the right call. Why take the risk of having a fire on an airplane, especially for a phone Samsung has recalled? Read more at Skift

Following the U.S., Global Airlines Forbid Samsung Galaxy Note 7: Airlines in countries around the world, including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany have told passengers they cannot bring the phone on flights. Read more at The Guardian

Disruption + Innovation

Traditional Car Services Won’t Disappear From Corporate Travel Anytime Soon: While ridesharing has gained solid traction in corporate travel, the business model of traditional car services providing ground transportation to companies is still strong. What remains to be seen is whether car services will widely adopt more user-friendly interfaces for hailing cars on demand. Read more at Skift

What Will the Airline Cabin of the Future Look Like?: It’s good to know Airbus takes passenger experience seriously, but let’s be honest: Most airlines want to squeeze as much revenue as they can from each seat, while remaining roughly competitive with other carriers. Read more at Skift

Mobile Apps and the Evolution of the Next-Generation Travel Agent: Are travel agents being leveraged to serve as teachers for machine learning artificial intelligence? Time will tell. Read more at Skift

AccorHotels Partners with LinkedIn to Help Users Connect While Traveling: The new feature on the AccorHotels app, called Business Check, lets travelers find people already in their network who are based in the city they’re visiting and suggests other people to connect with. This is an interesting push by Accor to encourage more business travelers to engage with its app. Read more at


The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is curated by Skift editors Hannah Sampson [[email protected]] and Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]]. The newsletter is emailed every Thursday.

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Photo credit: Taxis and car services have rebounded following a few years of losing marketshare to ridesharing services. Here, Lyft passenger Christina Shatzen gets into a car driven by Nancy Tcheou, in San Francisco. Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

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