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It’s a new year, so I’m bringing back Skift’s Future of Business Travel Interview Series. On deck this week is my chat with Amy Fox from Lyft on the company’s devotion to making life easier for business travelers as its platform evolves to incorporate more mobility options.
Marriott International finally renamed its rewards program … Marriott Bonvoy, for some reason. The name seems bad but honestly it’s doubtful business travelers will care that much. They just want their points.
Oh, and United Airlines let it slip that Apple is its biggest corporate customer. Whoops! Hate it when that happens. You can find out how it all went down.
Check out these stories, and many more, below. We also launched our giant Megatrends magazine for 2019, if you want to know what’s really going on across travel this year.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Senior Editor
Airlines, Hotels and Innovation
Business Travel Mobility Becomes Focus for Lyft: As ridesharing platforms mature, they’ll offer more options for getting around than just car rides. And they’re hoping to capture more spending from business travelers, as well.
Marriott Bonvoy Is the New Name of the Hotel Chain’s Loyalty Program: We’re pretty sure everyone is thinking: “Is it short for ‘Bon Voyage?’” Personally, we were betting on Marriott Moments.
The Megatrends Defining Travel in 2019: From the rise of undertourism to blurred lines in hospitality to travelers’ demands for control, these are the Megatrends in travel we’re watching in 2019.
How United Let It Slip That Apple Is Its Biggest Corporate Client: A list of the airline’s top clients showed up on Twitter Friday, with Apple taking the top spot. This is bad news for United — especially if Apple is out shopping for a new preferred airline.
Are Meetings the Perfect Place for Sexual Harassment? The jury is still out on whether tweaking events can eliminate sexual harassment incidents — maybe that’s too easy of a fix. But if the better answer is communication and education, is the meeting industry providing that support?
The Future of Travel
Yatra Buys PL Worldways in India-Focused Corporate Travel Push: This tuck-in deal is minuscule, but it underscores Yatra’s drive to maintain its position as India’s largest online provider of travel booking tools for corporations. Yatra has the potential to build an “Egencia for India” over the course of five or 10 years.
China Warns Against Business Trips to U.S.: Blowback from the Huawei spying scandal is starting as China discourages state enterprises from traveling to the U.S. and its ally countries, especially with devices with sensitive information. It doesn’t bode well for China’s growing outbound business travel.
FAA Will Recall Thousands of Furloughed Inspectors for Airplane Safety Checks: It’s nice to see the Federal Aviation Administration admit it needs to get safety inspectors back on the job. But how about the entire government getting back to work?
Skift Senior Editor Andrew Sheivachman [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.