The reigning buzzword in the business travel world is New Distribution Capability, or a communications standard that enhances airlines ability to sell ancillary services. New partnerships between travel management companies, global distribution providers, and airlines are regularly being announced, and all in the name of this new distribution technology.

Yet nothing much has changed about the actual experience of business travel. In large part, these announcements have been about drumming up press.

At the GBTA Convention in Chicago this week, we talked to top industry execs, and much of the rhetoric around NDC remained unchanged. Companies continue to emphasize how important it is to improving business travel and how committed they are to updating their software. We take a look behind these comments, and try to get a sense of where the industry is really at.

Meanwhile, Southwest announced new deals with global distribution systems Amadeus and Travelport, a major turning point for the airline.

Check out these stories and many more below.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out via email at ic@skift.com or tweet @ikcarey.

Isaac Carey, Travel Reporter

Featured Stories

Promise and Pablum at Corporate Travel’s Biggest Gathering of the Year: Is corporate travel a sexy sector now? Maybe to investors, but new technology is doing less to change the status quo than you may think.

Southwest Expands Booking Access for Business Travelers: This is a big step for the airline, which has historically kept its inventory off nearly all global distribution systems, online travel agencies, and corporate booking tools.

BCD Travel Grows in North America by Adding Adelman Travel: BCD Travel has been steadily growing around the world, but its latest acquisition will help it compete in the crowded U.S. market for travel management services.

Boeing CEO to Business Travel Execs: Trust Us, 737 Max Is Safe Now: Boeing is going to have to do more than apologize to make travelers comfortable with taking the risk of flying on the 737 Max when it returns to service. Travel buyers and managers, too, are unlikely to ignore the risk with their jobs at stake.

The Future Of Travel

Hertz and Avis Double Down on Ridehailing Strategy: It’s been hard for car rental companies to adapt to disruptors like Uber and Lyft, but their recent strategies show promise.

Booking Quietly Taps Google Heavy Hitter to Lead Marketing in Exec Reorg: Glenn Fogel adding CEO to his Booking.com title as Gillian Tans transitioned to a one-year chairwoman role was not the only element of the management shakeup at the parent company’s largest brand in June. The executive changes were more far-reaching, and the implications are open-ended.

Marriott’s Growth in China Helps Buck New Industry Trend: Alibaba does not deserve all of the credit for Marriott’s sustained performance in China over the past year, but the partnership with the e-commerce company shows just how mutually beneficial these kinds of agreements can be.

Skift Senior Enterprise 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: Business travelers in Chicago O'Hare International Airport. New distribution capability continued to be a big focus at this year's GBTA Convention. Nicola / Flickr