Anybody with a vested interest in corporate travel, from the road warriors themselves to vendors behind the scenes, should make a point to study Skift’s Top Travel Startups 2018, published this week. Why, you ask, should I care about companies that nobody has ever heard of?

Here’s why: The companies are taking creative approaches to solving problems and prioritizing user experience. They include Kiwi.com, which combines flights from non-partner airlines into a single itinerary. Or Volantio, which predicts flight disruptions and proactively tries to help passengers rebook. Destygo is building chatbots using conversational artificial intelligence. And Mobacar is using machine learning to offer more personalized car rental suggestions.

These companies from our list may become household names. They may not. But knowing about each will help you tremendously to understand the technology and trends that may seep into the landscape in corporate travel, now and in the future.

Our other stories this week include a look at United’s Explorer Card relaunch and an explainer on how Hyatt Place is adding new features designed to woo business travelers. Enjoy.

Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman will be back next week. If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out to him via email at as@skift.com or tweet him @sheivach.

— Tom Lowry, Managing Editor

Airlines, Hotels, and Innovation

Hyatt Place Launches New Features Catering to Business Travelers: Hyatt doesn’t want its Hyatt Place hotel brand to become the next Sheraton.

Travel Service Provider Serko Turns Slight Profit and Gets Ready for Growth Airlines, Hotels, and Innovation: By revenue and booking volume, Serko remains a small player among global travel management companies. Its technology prowess, however, has outstripped many of the bigger players, setting it up for future expansion.

United Loyalty Boss Luc Bondar Relaunches Explorer Card to Compete With Premier Rivals: United’s new vice president of loyalty wants to bring more value to MileagePlus customers across a wider spectrum of travelers. He’s starting that process by spearheading an overhaul of the company’s co-branded credit card.

Emirates Plans Will Add Premium Economy Seats to Match Rivals: Dubai’s Emirates Airline profits for its financial year ending in March more than doubled to $762 million, and the carrier ferried a record number of passengers. Adding premium economy seats may help sustain the momentum.

Skift Tech Forum Preview: Sabre’s CEO on Going Technology-First: Sabre has slimmed down over the last year and is investing in its airline and hospitality technology products. Find out more from CEO Sean Menke at Skift Tech Forum on June 12 in Santa Clara, California.

The Future of Travel

Skift’s Top Travel Startups to Watch 2018: Better, faster, stronger. We pinpointed 20 venture-backed companies — mostly young — that promise breakaway potential. These startups prove that innovation is happening everywhere, from Atlanta to Ramallah to Queensland.

Marriott’s Plans for Homesharing, Malls, and All-Inclusive Resorts: Marriott is already dabbling in tours and activities, homesharing, and cruising and soon, potentially, all-inclusive resorts. So, what’s next? Aviation?

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

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Photo Credit: Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. Skift has put together a list of some of the top travel startups to watch in 2018. Pom' / Flickr