It’s been a busy week in travel, and things are getting complicated for business travelers. Among the developments, the cost of travel is likely to increase over the course of the year, according to research by American Express Global Business Travel.
Choice Hotels has built its own own reservation system, and Qatar Airways’ newest business seats are still years away from deployment. In corporate travel itself, TripIt finally unveiled a useful feature after a several-year hiatus, and Chinese giant Ctrip is experimenting with group bookings for enterprise customers.
There’s really never a dull moment in this industry. Head below for everything you need to keep up. I’ll try to keep up as well.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor
Business of Buying
Business Class Fares to Europe Will Get Even More Expensive in 2018: Business travel demand is high, and so too are travel costs. Growing global instability in the political and economic realms, however, could disrupt these trends and drive costs down.
Choice Hotels Debuts New Booking System for Franchisees to Replace Outdated Tech: Choice’s decision to build its own reservation system in-house is a poke in the eye to the many technology companies that sell systems to hotel chains.
American and Delta Will Collaborate Again in Rebooking Passengers During Flight Disruptions: American and Delta once again will take care of each other’s customers when flights are delayed or canceled. For travelers, that’s good news. The two giant airlines stopped cooperating in 2015, and passengers have been hurt.
Qatar Airways Has a Problem With Some of Its Double Beds in Business Class: Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, one of the world’s most outspoken executives — in any industry, not just airlines — is known for demanding perfection from his suppliers. It’s no surprise Qatar Airways is taking its time with these A350 business class seats.
Disruption + Innovation
The Future of Event Tech Is the Fight for Simplicity: Is the meetings and events space on the cusp of a distribution revolution? There’s still a ton of work to be done, but signs are promising if hotel chains become more engaged.
Ctrip Begins Experiment in Corporate Travel: A group booking tool for company trips is probably just the beginning of a wider push into the business travel market for the Chinese booking giant.
EasyJet Tightens Its Relationship With Travel Startups: We keep waiting for conclusive proof that accelerators aren’t just kindergartens for entrepreneurs. But the early word from EasyJet and Founders Factory is upbeat.
TripIt Can Now Tell You When to Leave the House for Your Flight: It’s fairly shocking to see that TripIt, which lives deep in the belly of Concur and SAP, is still innovating. We had given TripIt up for dead, but there appears to be a pulse.
Voice Search Will Change Travel Marketing Faster Than You Think: Voice will change the current travel marketing funnel much faster than we think. Savvy marketers and technologists should begin thinking about ways to make an impact on this burgeoning channel.
Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.