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Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night, sweat on your brow, wondering about the most important things in life… like what’s going on with Deem? Me too.

Deem wants to succeed by narrowing down its focus, and its leadership seems to have righted the ship despite two tough years. You can check out my story, and thoughts from CEO and COO John F. Rizzo, below. Sometimes, getting back to basics is the best thing a business can do when things become too complicated; perhaps others in the sector could stand to refocus on what they are best at.

We also have all the latest on the brewing fare war in the U.S., why hotel chains are putting pressure on intermediaries, and Air Canada’s attempt to segment its basic economy product in a way that actually works for travelers.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or tips, feel free to reach out via email at or tweet me @sheivach.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor

Airlines, Tech, and Distribution

A More Focused Deem Has Gone Back to Basics: Somehow, Deem keeps chugging along, immune to the gravity that tends to fell travel services companies that reach too far and fall short. It’s likely too big to fail even as it simplifies its product offerings. But, hey, if clients keep coming back, clearly they’re doing something right. Forget it Jake, it’s Deem.

Air Canada Follows Delta With Segmented Economy Cabins: Air Canada’s new spectrum of fare classes released may rub some casual and frequent flyers the wrong way. Everyone else may appreciate the precise targeting that the airline has built up for every type of traveler.

United’s Rapid Growth Strategy Isn’t Hurting Fares Yet: When United said in January it was adding seats and flights, investors were not happy and sent United Continental shares down 11 percent. But a new filing from the company shows those fears over growth hurting the top line may have been unwarranted. It’s early days for the growth strategy, but so far the news is encouraging.

What Europe’s New Data Protection Law Means for Meetings and Events: U.S. meeting planners expect the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation to have a major effect on how they manage data. While the giant meetings firms are prepared to comply with it, smaller companies and related meetings vendors may lag behind.

Marriott and Hilton’s Group Commission Cuts Put Pressure on Industry: As hotel chains have shifted their business models over the last decade, keeping owners happy has become the priority. Slashing group booking commissions for intermediaries saves owners money, so it’s easy to see how the largest U.S. chains will follow the example of Marriott and Hilton in the near future.

The Future of Travel

Nor1 Buys Stay Delightful as More Hotels Upsell Guests on Text Chat: It’s old news that many hotels are enabling guests to text requests with the front desk. But it’s still early days for them to piece together the tech systems in a way that will let them successfully upsell guests on additional services via chat.

Red Lion CEO on the Myth of Loyalty Programs Driving Lots of Business: RLHC CEO Greg Mount’s comments about loyalty programs might surprise his hotel peers. But when you really think about it, he might be on to something. And instead of focusing so much on building up their loyalty numbers, perhaps there are other ways hotel companies should be focusing on reaching consumers.

Google Wants to Enter Aviation’s Broadband Wi-Fi Business: This would be a sneaky move by Google, but makes sense given the company’s recent focus on improved travel tools for consumers. The more closely the online giant’s products are integrated into the travel experience, the more traction it can gain in the travel space outside online booking. We’ve already seen them experiment, for instance, with Google Fi kiosks in U.S. airports.


Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.

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Photo Credit: Deem CEO John F. Rizzo posing for a headshot. Deem has refined its product offerings, but is it ready to start innovating again? Deem