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

The latest in our series of stories about disruptors in the corporate travel space examines some innovative startups that are finding ways to deliver what today’s (and tomorrow’s) business travelers and travel managers need.

Need to track airfare and hotel prices? Want a better rebooking tool? Could you use a hand with shopping or event planning? Have a desire to reward employees for budget-friendly behavior? There is, of course, a startup for that.

The question now becomes: How will these startups evolve, who will they continue to partner with, and — most importantly — how will their services help business travelers and travel managers do their jobs better?

— Hannah Sampson, Skift

Social Quote of the Day

Every time I fly I count the # of women vs men in first class seats and silently promise “I’m on my way.” Business travel isnt just for men.— @Draeofsunshine

Business of Buying

British Airways Parent Reveals Its Long-Haul, Low-Cost Carrier Level: It’s been a quick turnaround for IAG, which only announced plans for a low-cost, long-haul airline in December. The legacy carriers have clearly been spooked by Norwegian’s initiatives and are now working to compete in this new landscape. Read more at Skift

Washington, D.C. Is Trying to Sell Meeting Planners on Inclusiveness: Washington, D.C. is promoting its high degree of inclusivity and diversity in the region’s tech sector, compared to the national average, as a competitive advantage to attract more technology conventions and drive long-term economic growth for a broader cross-section of local communities. Read more at Skift

Alaska Airlines To Drop Virgin America Brand by 2019: The big surprise would have been if Alaska Airlines kept the Virgin America brand. This isn’t a big deal, and it’s nice that Alaska will be upgrading many of its products in the next three years. New Wi-Fi can’t come soon enough. Read more at Skift

Safety + Security

Travel Industry Reacts With Caution and Frustration to New Airline Electronics Ban: A ban on large electronic devices may be necessary to keep travelers safe, but many in the travel community are not happy with how U.S. and UK authorities announced the new policy. Could we see some tweaks to the rules in the near future? Read more at Skift

U.S. Business Travelers See Terrorism as Most Important Concern: Most business travelers are still extremely concerned about the threat posed by terrorism. They also think that their employers are doing a good job taking care of their safety when traveling for business. Read more at Skift

Several Killed, Dozens Wounded in Attack Near UK Parliament: Falling on the first anniversary of the Brussels bombings, the London attack was an unsettling reminder that horror can come out of nowhere. Read more at Skift

Disruption + Innovation

Skift’s Most Interesting Corporate Travel Startups 2017: Innovation used to be hard to come by in corporate travel. Today, these startups are doing the hard work of moving the industry forward — and major players are paying attention. Read more at Skift

Why Armrest Innovation Is the New Passenger Experience Battleground: With the seat pitch in economy class getting smaller, designers are being forced to innovate using minimal surface area – perhaps that’s why the humble armrest is receiving so much attention. Read more at Skift

Marriott Pits Amazon Alexa Against Apple Siri for Voice-Controlled Hotel Rooms:
There’s a lot at stake for Amazon and Apple, which hope hotel room introductions will lead to living room purchases. Our choice: whichever assistant gets room temperature right. Read more at Skift

COMMENTS

Skift editors Hannah Sampson [[email protected]] and Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curate the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.

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Photo Credit: A promotional photo from Freebird, one of our top startups in the corporate travel space. Freebird