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When many think about ensuring business travelers are safe and secure when abroad, the focus tends to fall on managing travel disruptions and avoiding terrorism.
Yet, the culture of a country can pose problems as well. This week, we’re taking a look at the challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer business travelers along with the ways that travel managers can do a better job supporting them.
We also have the latest on business class and low-cost airline trends from around the world, and updates on digital security threats that have cropped up recently.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor
Airlines, Tech, and distribution
Global Business Travel Can Still Present a Vexing Challenge for LGBT Travelers: Companies are providing more information to help employees make educated decisions about business travel to countries that criminalize same-sex relationships. Travel managers should do their part to protect and accommodate their LGBT travelers.
Eurostar Tech Update Signals Action in Once-Sleepy Rail Sector: There used to be only two ways for railways to make money: luck and state handouts. But that’s changing, as countries look at privatization, and as railways look to technology to streamline operations. Sqills and SilverRail are two tech vendors that smell an opportunity.
JetBlue’s Popular Mint Business Class Disrupted All of Its Rivals: JetBlue’s not the most profitable U.S. airline. It’s not the most on-time. It doesn’t have nearly the selection of destinations as its larger competitors. But the airline has succeeded in disrupting the industry with its innovative business class product.
Brazil Open Skies Deal Is Great But Incomplete Without a Visa Waiver Program: Do travelers care more about cheaper airfares or not having to schlep to a consulate, pay for a visa, and wait weeks or months for it to arrive? Many travel brands would say visa waivers are more important, and many travelers would agree. The U.S. doesn’t seem to be in the business lately of making it easier for travelers to visit, visa waiver program aside.
Ryanair Is Buying a Majority Stake in an Austrian Airline: Not many people would have had Ryanair pegged as the potential partner for Niki Lauda’s new Austrian airline. The Irish carrier has seldom chosen the mergers and acquisitions path in the past, but an opportunity to take on Lufthansa in central Europe was probably too good an opportunity to turn down.
Virgin Atlantic Is Struggling to Cope With Low-Cost Competition: Competition from legacy carriers and a new generation of long-haul discounters might just be too much for Richard Branson. How else to explain his decision to sell a significant stake in Virgin Atlantic to Air France-KLM?
Business Travel Security
Orbitz Discloses Potential Data Breach of Customer Credit Cards: Orbitz isn’t the first booking site to get hacked, and certainly won’t be the last. The scope of this breach was global, and it’s concerning that the hack captured information on nearly a million payment cards.
U.S. Aviation Sector Was Penetrated by Russian Hackers in 2017: The specifics on which parts of the U.S. aviation sector were hacked are sparse, although the intrusion doesn’t seem to have involved airlines directly. Still, the vulnerabilities are not good news.
Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.