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.
The 2017 Global Business Travel Association Convention is now in the books, and the big travel management companies were on site in Boston touting new programs and technologies easing pain points of travelers and travel managers alike.
The revolution in how business travelers plan trips and manage them on the road, however, has yet to occur.
You can check out my GBTA notebook here, reflecting on the trends and news that really matter.
This week we also have important articles on the shifting behavior of travelers related to how they travel for business and how travelers view airline loyalty programs (most don’t really care about them).
Finally, Skift travel tech editor Sean O’Neill looks into the case of iCars, which launched around GBTA last year and has apparently had some trouble ramping up its operations. Look below for the real story.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Senior Writer
Business of Buying
U.S. Business Travelers More Likely To Drive Than Fly to Meetings: It can be easy to forget that most U.S. business travelers aren’t road warriors hitting multiple cities in a week. Sometimes we fixate too much on those who travel the most instead of the majority, who spend a day or two visiting clients or potential customers. Read more at Skift
The Real Reasons Business Travelers Don’t Get What They Want: Beyond limiting company spending, there are financial reasons why business travelers feel so constrained by corporate travel-booking policies. It’s time for everyone to be honest about them. Read more at Skift
New Research Suggests It Doesn’t Always Pay to Book Direct for a Hotel: Maybe it really is better to keep clicking around if you’re hoping to save money (and you don’t want to be a member of a hotel loyalty program). Read more at Skift
U.S. Travelers Shun Airline Loyalty Programs: Many airlines have rewritten loyalty rules in recent years to make their programs more profitable and reward the most lucrative travelers. But our data show many U.S. travelers don’t want to play by those rules and aren’t loyal to any airline. Read more at Skift
Safety + Security
U.S. Asks Appeals Court to Block Travel Ban Liberalization While Supreme Court Decides: It is doubtful that the U.S. Justice Department will get anywhere with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has made its views known in opposition to the Trump travel ban on several occasions. Read more at Skift
Supreme Court Protects Grandparents From Trump Travel Ban: The U.S. Supreme Court says what families have been arguing for weeks: Grandparents and grandchildren of those already in the country should be considered “close relatives” and not kept out under the travel ban. Justices will allow the Trump administration to keep restrictions on refugees. Read more at Skift
Disruption + Innovation
DerbySoft Prepares for a Hotel Distribution Free-for-All: DerbySoft has thrived as a vendor that helps global hotel groups with distribution partly because its top boss Ted Zhang called the rise of Booking.com early on. Zhang’s latest predictions about what’s next for the industry may ruffle some feathers. Read more at Skift
iCars Denies That It Is Spinning Its Wheels in Corporate Ground Transport: In theory, the merger of iCars and Limos.com promises a thriving black car service for corporate travelers. In practice, there is circumstantial evidence this investment vehicle hasn’t yet left the repair shop. Read more at Skift
U.S. Airline Passengers Increasingly Buy One-Way Tickets Rather than Roundtrips: This has been true for awhile. In competitive markets, airline passengers often save money if they buy two one-way tickets. But remember that this can be be a risky move, because cancellation fees tend to be higher with this approach. You’ll have to cancel two tickets, not one. Read more at Skift
GBTA Notebook: The Future of Corporate Travel Is Basically the Same as the Past: Another year, another GBTA. It seems like corporate travel is heading in the direction of offering more options to business travelers, but progress remains slow. Read more at Skift