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The Biggest Pain in Business Travel

Business Travel News (BTN) - 22 September 2017
It's where you sit. Over the last two weeks of August, AmTrav Corporate Travel surveyed 174 of its travel managers around the world, and 62 percent cited airline seat pitch and legroom as their travelers' top complaint. In a distant second place, preferred vendors taking precedence over convenient vendors was the top complaint heard by 16 percent of travel managers. Only 1 percent reported that a strict meal and entertainment policy ruffled the most feathers. As for what travelers deem a must-have, 56 percent of travel managers called out lodging that's close to the client or meeting, while 28 percent indicated inflight Wi-Fi.
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Uber Can Continue in London Through Appeal

Business Travel News (BTN) - 22 September 2017
London taxi and car-for-hire regulator Transport for London informed Uber for London that its private-hire operator license will not be renewed. The license expires a week from tomorrow, on Sept. 30. However, Uber can appeal by Oct. 13, based on the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998, and can continue to operate until the end of the appeals process. "TfL considers that Uber's approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility," according to a statement that cited "potential public safety and security implications." Those include reporting serious criminal offenses, how drivers' medical certificates are obtained, driver screening and Uber's explanation of software that might have blocked regulators from performing their duties.
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Three Traveler Trackers Gain Off-Channel Bookings

Business Travel News (BTN) - 21 September 2017
Anvil, Drum Cussac and Jesi will use Traxo Capture email-parsing technology to aggregate off-channel bookings and thus travelers' locations. Anvil will embed the feature in its Employee Travel Monitoring System. Thus travelers can forward booking confirmations, and the data that Traxo Capture gains will integrate with ETMS applications in real time. Traxo's tech gathers data by scanning emails and attachments for location indicators. Drum Cussac, which like Anvil is headquartered in the U.K., will use the tech in its new GlobalRiskManager tool, having piloting it with a university client. Australia's Jesi uses the tech in its journey-management software to serve its mobility-reliant clients in the resource mining, construction, shipping and community and health sectors.
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Brink's White-Labels Startup's SME Payment & Expense Solution

Business Travel News (BTN) - 21 September 2017
Secure logistics and security provider Brink's is going after small and midsize enterprises with a combined Travel + Expense MasterCard debit card and expense solution. Brink's is white-labeling the card and expense solution from financial solutions startup Bento for Business. The solution consists of both plastic cards travelers use for purchases and a platform, available on desktop and Android and iOS mobile devices that allows administrators to set spending limits for travelers by day, week or month; to disable cards; and to block merchants, times and days when the cards can't be used. Administrators also can filter the dashboard to see spend by employee, card number, spend category, time frame or expense tags. If a traveler tries to make a purchase outside the allowed parameters it will be declined and the travel manager will receive an alert.
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Travel Leaders Acquires Travel Management Partners

Business Travel News (BTN) - 21 September 2017
Travel Leaders Group has acquired Raleigh-based Travel Management Partners, which will become part of Travel Leaders Corporate. TMP president and CEO John Lewis founded the travel management company in 1994 and will join Travel Leaders Corporate. Gabe Rizzi, president of Travel Leaders Corporate called attention to TMP's client base, namely the federal government, laboratories, pharmaceutical companies and small and midsize enterprises. TMP had been an affiliate of HRG.
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Hotel Chain Cancellation Fees Spur Need for Superior Data

Business Travel News (BTN) - 20 September 2017
Major hotel chains’ recent expansions of their advance-cancellation penalties reflect a lack of understanding of the potential costs for corporate hotel programs. These changes bring yet another new element to the hotel sourcing process: Now buyers need to better track their programs’ metrics on hotel cancellations, when they take place and the costs/pain threshold of their specific program objectives. Back-of-the-envelope assumptions rarely satisfy CFO queries; travel managers need to have answers ready for their bosses as the impact of these changes on 2018 budgets comes into focus.
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EasyJet Enables Passengers to Book on Connecting Airlines

Business Travel News (BTN) - 18 September 2017
EasyJet has launched Worldwide by EasyJet, which it claims is "the first global airline connections service by a European low fares airline." The service offers through fares for EasyJet passengers arriving at London Gatwick and connecting there to long-haul flights on Norwegian and on Canadian carrier WestJet. No interline or codeshare agreements are involved. Rather, a passenger uses EasyJet's platform to book with an EasyJet partner, and the passenger designates the EasyJet flight from which he or she is connecting. Then, EasyJet transfers the bags to the passenger's next flight. Minimum connecting time is two-and-a-half hours, and EasyJet will not hold departures for passengers transferring from late-running inbound flights. Instead, passengers who miss their connections will be put on the next available departure.
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International Trips Boosted ARC Volume in August

Business Travel News (BTN) - 15 September 2017
U.S.-based travel agencies sold $7.4 billion in airline tickets in August, up 3.6 percent year over year, according to Airlines Reporting Corp. The average round-trip ticket price settled by ARC declined 2.1 percent to $456, but the number of trips increased 4.3 percent. The number of domestic trips was flat, while international trips rose 14 percent.
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10 Trends in Meetings & Events

Business Travel News (BTN) - 14 September 2017
By 2020, Millennials will form 40 percent of the workforce, according to CWT Meetings & Events' recent 2018 Meetings & Events Future Trends report. That fact overlays much of the future of meetings and events, from digital engagement to venue selection. Other trends CWT M&E highlighted:
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What Will Happen to Corporate Travel Prices in 2018?

Business Travel News (BTN) - 13 September 2017
Growing demand and rising crude oil prices will cause average worldwide corporate negotiated airfare to increase in 2018, according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel's 2018 Global Travel Forecast. That's despite an anticipated 6 percent jump in capacity. Meanwhile, fare segmentation will put downward force on base fares. For hotel rates, the 3.7 percent increase in the global average daily rate belies bigger bumps coming in Europe. However, the upcoming RFP season also is the first in which the recent wave of hotel mergers will have an impact. CWT Solutions Group Americas senior director Katie Raddatz filled BTN in on more of CWT's forecast:
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Japan's LCCs Progress Beyond 'Infancy

Business Travel News (BTN) - 13 September 2017
Low-cost carriers are carving out an increasing portion of the market in Japan, though legacy carriers still maintain a more dominant position there than in much of the rest of the world. In Northeast Asia, LCCs account for just 13 percent of market share, CAPA North Asia and Middle East senior analyst Will Horton said at the Association of Corporate Travel Executives conference in Tokyo. While that's two percentage points higher than a year ago, it remains well below other regions. LCCs have 51 percent of market share in Southwest Asia, 44 percent in Western Europe and 33 percent in North America, for example.

U.S. Hotel Industry Forecasts Project Modest Growth for 2018

Business Travel News (BTN) - 12 September 2017
New 2018 forecasts for the U.S. hotel industry project continued growth, though at a slower pace than in recent years. CBRE's most recent forecast pegs 2018 average daily rate growth at 2.3 percent and, despite a projected imbalance in supply and demand, predicts occupancy will edge up 0.1 percent year over year. "The limited growth rates may be disappointing or even troubling for some industry participants," said Mark Woodworth, senior managing director of CBRE Hotels' Americas Research. "However, 2018 will mark the ninth consecutive year of rising occupancy, something we have not seen since the 1990s."
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Travelport Hotel Booking Tool Launches Consolidated, Tax-Compliant Invoicing

Business Travel News (BTN) - 12 September 2017
Online hotel booking tool Travelport Hotelzon has introduced a consolidated payment and invoicing service to guarantee hotel acceptance of virtual cards and provide monthly tax-compliant statements for corporate clients. Hotelzon's Payment Consolidation Service debuted in the U.K. at the beginning of September and will roll out to other European markets over the next few months, Travelport said.
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Delta Tops On-Time Performance Ranking for August

Business Travel News (BTN) - 11 September 2017
Delta led major North American carriers in on-time performance in August, getting 84.7 percent of flights to the gate within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival times, according to FlightStats. Alaska Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines also had on-time rates above the monthly average of 77.6 percent, as did Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet and U.S. ultra-low-cost carriers Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines.
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IHG Creates Merged EMEAA Region

Business Travel News (BTN) - 8 September 2017
InterContinental Hotels Group will merge two of its operating regions in 2018 to form a new one: Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa. IHG CEO of Greater China Kenneth Macpherson will become EMEAA CEO. Jolyon Bulley will step in to replace Macpherson. They will assume their new roles at the start of 2018. Meanwhile, Europe CEO Angela Brav and Asia, Middle East and Africa CEO Jan Smits will leave IHG. Keith Barr, who became IHG CEO on July 1, said Macpherson's experience overseeing the company's fastest-growing region during the past four years makes him a natural fit to lead the diverse EMEAA region.

Expedia's Dara Khosrowshahi Takes the Driver's Seat at Uber

Business Travel News (BTN) - 28 August 2017
Uber's board of directors on Sunday night chose Expedia president and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as Uber's next CEO. The decision ended a three-way race for the position. Former GE CEO Jeff Immelt withdrew his name from the candidate pool last week, which focused eyes on Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman as the apparent choice. Along with her technology and leadership resume, Whitman would have brought good optics to the position, given co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick's tumultuous exit; he was dogged by accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace and unethical business practices. The New York Times reported that Uber's board was not able to close on terms with Whitman, at which point the company extended the offer to Khosrowshahi, whose candidacy had largely been kept under wraps.
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Small but Multinational: Managing the Puzzle

Business Travel News (BTN) - 24 August 2017
Technology has made it easier for small and midsize enterprises to expand, yet their spend still may not be enough to negotiate global contracts. BTN associate editor JoAnn DeLuna spoke with MathWorks senior travel coordinator Jeff Berall, GameStop director of meetings and travel Judy Payne and LetGo VP of finance David Wieseneck about saving time and money while maintaining a good travel experience. The right technologies and partners help.
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Business Travel Spend Through 2021

Business Travel News (BTN) - 23 August 2017
Business travel spend growth is expected to rise above 6 percent in 2018, thus ending an "era of uncertainty" among corporates regarding spending, according to the GBTA BTI Outlook, an annual research project by Rockport Analytics on behalf of the Global Business Travel Association. For 2018 and beyond, the report signaled "renewed optimism" among corporates, thanks to an uptick in global trade, expected improvements both in manufacturing and in emerging markets, and shifting currency dynamics. However, the report also planted a caution sign alongside its forecast, stating that political/governmental policies could change the below trend line. Here's more from the GBTA BTI Outlook.

Inside Payment: What Really Happens During a Card Transaction

Business Travel News (BTN) - 22 August 2017
A lot goes on in the few seconds after travelers swipe their cards and then wait for transactions to go through. Even more happens after paying the monthly bill. Travel managers who have taken on payment, or who think they might, should understand what happens behind the scenes and who's waiting in line for a cut of the fees.
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North American Hotel Bookings Show Upturn for Q4 2017

Business Travel News (BTN) - 21 August 2017
Bookings for the fourth quarter are up at North American hotels from this same time last year, according TravelClick. Business transient bookings are up 1.3 percent, while group bookings are up 4.5 percent. "The upswing in fourth-quarter bookings brings a refreshing wave of much-needed optimism for hoteliers," said TravelClick senior industry analyst John Hach. Average daily rates are also up for the fourth quarter, 2.2 percent for the business transient segment and 2.7 percent for the group segment. For the next 12 months, business transient bookings are down 1.4 percent, while ADR is up 1.4 percent. Group bookings are up 1.2 percent and segment ADR is up 1.5 percent. The August North American Hospitality Review looks at group sales commitments and individual reservations in the 25 major North American markets for hotel stays booked by Aug. 1 for August 2017 to July 2018.
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Room Supply Growth Impacts July U.S. Hotel Performance

Business Travel News (BTN) - 21 August 2017
The high volume of hotel construction activity of recent years is finally catching up with the U.S. hotel industry, according to STR. Occupancy declined 0.5 percent year over year in July to 73.8 percent. STR SVP for lodging insights Jan Freitag said the industry still sold more room nights in July than any other month ever on record—hotel demand typically peaks in the U.S. every July. But that strength is being offset by supply growth of 2 percent—higher than the long-term average of 1.8 percent—"and a further diminishment of pricing confidence," which led to the lowest growth in revenue per available room since February 2010, when RevPAR last decreased.
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Direct Travel Acquires San Francisco Agency

Business Travel News (BTN) - 18 August 2017
Direct Travel acquired San Francisco's nearly 50-year-old S.R. Travel Service in June. The agency employs 40 people, a Direct Travel spokesperson told BTN. Jessica Lewin will remain CEO of S.R. Travel during a transitional period that will last an undetermined amount of time and then will consult with Direct Travel West region president Helen Leon. Direct Travel's western U.S. presence derives from its 2014 acquisition of the agency for which Leon worked, Peak Travel, which was headquartered in San Jose, Calif., and had four offices in Oregon.
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GBTA's New Slate of Officers

Business Travel News (BTN) - 17 August 2017
Johnson Downie VP of travel and business services Christle Johnson was re-elected as president of the Global Business Travel Association at this summer's GBTA conference. GBTA travel buyer members also voted in Oracle director of global travel sourcing and global procurement officer Rita Visser as VP. GBTA's supplier members elected Festive Road managing partner Paul Tilstone as an allied board member at large.
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Dycom's Jennifer Steinke Serves on-the-Move Travelers with Mobile Travel Program

Business Travel News (BTN) - 14 August 2017
Dycom Industries corporate travel manager Jennifer Steinke was one of the first and continues to be among the strongest advocates for mobile travel programs. Why? "Because I live and breathe by this device," she said, clutching her smartphone. In providing for Dycom's unique travel needs, she has created what might be considered a precursor to travel program processes of the future.
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China Southern's Corporate Accounts & Growth Potential

Business Travel News (BTN) - 10 August 2017
China Southern Airlines has secured its 50th corporate account and anticipates accelerated growth through a new airport and increased cooperation with new investor American Airlines. Revenue from business travel grew 20 percent in 2016 to $1.2 billion, and it increased 27 percent year over year in the first half of this year, said SVP of sales Li Dongliang.

New IHG CEO's Plans

Business Travel News (BTN) - 9 August 2017
InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Keith Barr's stated plans for the company can best be summed up as: more of the same, but better. The executive, who assumed his new role on July 1, said during the company's second-quarter earnings call there's an opportunity to sharpen IHG's focus and accelerate growth while retaining the company's existing "high-quality, sustainable approach." Barr said the executive team will strengthen the company's brands and refine the existing portfolio, as well as leverage IHG's "deep consumer insight to launch new brands that fill unmet consumer needs and deliver superior owner returns."

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