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.
Here at Skift, we think business traveler safety is paramount. But industry discussion around duty of care — the legal responsibility employers have to ensure the safety of their traveling workers — is often used as an excuse to deny travelers choice in where to stay or how to get around. We think that’s a bit wrongheaded.
A new survey from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives asked 170 global travel buyers about their approach to safety and security, and found that many organizations still don’t use modern technology tools to track travelers.
There’s also a training issue: 39 percent of the travel buyers polled said they don’t meet regularly with stakeholders inside their organization to plan for emergencies, and 49 percent don’t conduct safety training for travelers.
Why limit the types of accommodations travelers can use if you’re not even doing the bare minimum to track and train them yourself? You can check out the full infographic here.
In other news, we have a deep dive into Airbnb’s IPO prospects below; business travel is a big part of their growth aspirations as the company matures. We also check in on a bit of travel management company consolidation, finding out why Travel Leaders Group will merge with Altour (hint: Travel Leaders has its eye on international markets).
We’ve also got a look into how American Airlines’ new distribution strategy could affect travel agencies, with comments from Sabre CEO Sean Menke, if you’re into that kind of development. (And if you’re reading this, you’re probably into it.)
— Andrew Sheivachman, Senior Writer
Hyatt Isn’t Abandoning Expedia Just Yet as the Two Sides Reach Agreement in Principle: The Hyatt-Expedia crisis seems to be averted, for now. Read more at Skift
Low-Cost Spirit and Allegiant Struggle to Fly On Time: Allegiant and Spirit are giving the absurd excuse that an airline can’t be both low-cost and on-time. Wrong. In Europe, budget carrier Ryanair tops the rankings for on-time performance. Read more at Skift
American Airlines Launches Enhanced Baggage Tracking as Competition Heats Up: With new technology launched by American Airlines this week, tracking checked luggage will be ever so much easier. Read more at Skift
American Airlines Revives Direct-Connect Moves While Sabre Questions Feasibility: American is reviving its direct-booking conflict with distribution middlemen like Sabre. Advances in technology and fat profits at U.S. airlines make the threat more plausible now than a decade ago. Read more at Skift
Altour Joins Travel Leaders Group in Latest Travel Agency Consolidation Move: The big are getting even bigger. The combined entity of Travel Leaders Group and Altour will be a strong competitor in the U.S. and abroad. Read more at Skift
Safety + Security
UK Laptop Ban Eased on Some Turkish Airlines Flights: Old laptop bans never die — they just fade away, apparently. Read more at Skift
Security Screening Intensifies in Australia Airports After Plot Disrupted: Australia’s terrorism threat level has been at “probable” for a while and the recent plot will make authorities even more vigilant. Read more at Skift
Disruption + Innovation
Airbnb’s Road to an IPO: Everything You Could Possibly Need to Know: We all know Airbnb will go public someday — it’s just a question of when. When will it finally be ready — and what does the company need to do before it does? Read more at Skift
Wyndham Buys Love Home Swap To Bolster Position in Alternative Accommodations: AccorHotels isn’t the only big hospitality company that’s involved in the sharing economy or alternative accommodations these days, just FYI. Read more at Skift
Concur Develops Virtual Cards Offerings: Concur partners with Conferma to give its travelers enhanced payments offerings. Read more at Buying Business Travel
Is Airbnb’s Business Travel Focus Paying Off?: Airbnb put on a big show at GBTA, but corporate travel adoption is still lacking. Read more at Business Travel News