The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

Help GBTA Members Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

*This post has also been distributed as an email to GBTA members.*

By now, most of you have seen numerous news stories of the historic flooding in Houston and surrounding areas in recent days. As a Houston area resident, my heart goes out to all that are impacted by the devastation resulting from Hurricane Harvey.

As travel professionals, we are all familiar with the care and caution exercised to keep our travelers safe on the road no matter what circumstances they face. The business travel community has a unique resiliency, and has repeatedly showcased the ability to come together and stand strong in the face of many adverse situations from terrorist attacks to natural disasters.

Now, some of our own are facing the destruction left by Hurricane Harvey. Nearly 600 individuals who are members of GBTA or Texas BTA live in the impacted areas.

If you would like to help, you can always make a donation to the Red Cross. You may also donate to a GoFundMe campaign created specifically for GBTA or Texas BTA members who were impacted. Funds will be made available for those impacted members in need of food, medication, clothing, temporary housing, transportation to work, etc. Please help share this donation opportunity via social media and other forms of communication.

Again, I send my deepest sympathies to all the victims of Hurricane Harvey. My thoughts and prayers are with Houston as the city comes together and rebuilds.

Week in Review

Buying Business Travel reports that the UK laptop ban has been lifted on Tunisia flights.

According to USA TODAY, Qantas is planning for a 20-hour non-stop flight from Australia to London.

Buying Business Travel reports that Vietnam Airlines and Garuda have agreed to an extended partnership including more codeshares.

Business Traveller notes that the disparity between business and economy classes is growing.

According to Buying Business Travel, corporate travel rewards specialist Rocketrip has signed deals with a range of new corporate clients.

Tnooz shares findings from a new study by Carlson Wagonlit Travel which reveals that 88% of business travelers find business travel easier to navigate thanks to technology.

Buying Business Travel notes that Labour leaders could vote against the addition of a third runway at Heathrow due to environmental concerns about pollution.

According to Skift, KLM has become the first non-Chinese airline to accept WeChat Pay.

Tnooz reports that Delta has added video chat to its customer service line-up.

Business Traveller claims that Portuguese immigration officers planned a walk-out on Thursday and Friday.

According to Buying Business Travel, Loganair signed a new distribution deal with Sabre.

NPR reports that China is relaunching their high-speed rail service, which happens to be the world’s fastest inter-city lines.

Buying Business Travel notes that Edinburgh Airport has begun working on a new £80 million extension to its terminal.

According to Skift, UK business travel is in a post-Brexit slump.

Business Traveller reports that Qatar Airways has launched a pre-order dining service enabling business and first class passengers to pre-order their main course up to 14 days before departure.

BBC has revealed the worst flight routes and longest average delays experienced by UK passengers.

According to Hotelmarketing’com, hotels are making strides in measuring ancillary revenues.

Week in Review

According to TechCrunch, the battle between hotels and Airbnb has escalated in New York City. A campaign backed by a union representing hotel workers and the Hotel Association of NYC claims there’s a link between Airbnb’s short-term rentals and public security threats.

Business Traveler reports that Airberlin and JetBlue have partnered to offer connecting flights.

TravelDailyNews International notes that GBTA has announced three newly elected members to its Board of Directors.

According to Business Traveller, there’s no reason to worry about data security if you lose your hotel key.

Buying Business Travel reports that the UK may keep visa-free travel in place for EU visitors following the country’s withdrawal from the EU.

Bloomberg claims that Cathay Pacific is struggling to get fliers to pay for premium amenities amid their revamp. GBTA India kicked off its annual flagship education and networking event in New Delhi on Friday. The conference delivered a knowledge forum on best practices across the business travel lifecycle through a mix of panel discussions and presentations.

According to Skift, travel-tilting hedge funds are investing in airlines and online travel agencies.

Fortune notes that Air Berlin is filing for bankruptcy after Etihad refused to offer the airline any further financial support.

According to Hotelmarketing’com, air travel experienced a record first-half growth in the first six months of 2017.

TechCrunch reports that Uber has debuted a revamp of its Uber for Business platform with custom travel programs and rules.

Buying Business Travel notes that rail fares in the UK are set for their highest rate of increase for five years in 2018 due to a jump in inflation.

According to Skift, meeting planners are struggling to keep up with the fast evolution of event technology.

USA TODAY reports that hotels are turning to alternatives other than room service to cater to guests. Business Traveller notes that Air France is trialing virtual reality headsets.  

This week's list comes from HuffPost: 10 Business Travel Tips for First-Timers

Week in Review

According to The Hill, David Pekoske was sworn in as TSA administrator on Thursday, one week following his unanimous approval by the Senate.

Al-Jazeera notes that the UAE and Bahrain have granted Qatar Airways new routes following a two-month blockade.

Skift reports that Qatar has ended tourist visa requirements for 80 nationalities.

According to The Telegraph, increasing global risk calls for a new era of travel management. As organizations travel to new and diverse locations to drive business, risk mitigation is crucial now more than ever.

Business Traveller reports Hyderabad International Airport has launched an “Express Security Check” facility for its passengers.

MarketWatch shares poll results showing what U.S. airline passengers care about most when flying.

According to AsiaOne, Indian airline Vistara has launched a new service to protect female passengers from harassment or abuse.

Business Traveller reports Intercontinental Hong Kong is set for a full renovation in early 2019.

Reuters notes that Marriott and Alibaba have partnered to tap into the growing number of Chinese citizens who travel abroad.

Skift takes a deep dive into the history behind GDS platforms in addition to the future of travel distribution.

According to Business Traveller, Amtrak partners with Lyft to get passengers “from station to destination”.

Business Traveler USA reports that IATA and A4A are leading a new lost baggage campaign with the goal of reducing mishandled bags and increasing efficiency in baggage operations.

According to Bloomberg, some airlines plan on launching two-way texting with fliers as a new form of customer service.

Business Traveller notes that Qatar Airways has launched a 24-hour customer service Twitter handle.

According to The Hill, Delta has begun its $4 billion makeover on New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Tnooz reports that Hilton is testing incentives to encourage earlier cancellations among guests.

According to The New York Times, a new federal report claims airlines are bumping passengers at the lowest rate since 1995.

According to Buying Business Travel, Gatwick and Easyjet suffer the longest summer delays.

Week in Review

According to Buying Business Travel, passengers traveling through major European airports are facing up to four hours of immigration delays caused by the introduction of a new set of rules.

4Hoteliers reports that the TSA has announced new U.S. airport screening procedures for electronics in carry-on bags. Travelers must begin placing all electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for screening.

According to The Hill, the Senate unanimously confirmed David Pekoske as the next TSA administrator on Thursday.

CNN notes that the Trump administration’s ban on U.S. citizens traveling to North Korea will take effect early September.

Reuters reports that Qatar Airways has reversed their decision to buy into American Airlines. According to hotelmarketing’com, Hyatt has reached a new distribution agreement with Expedia.

Skift notes that Wyndham has acquired home exchange program Love Home Swap in order to bolster its position in alternative accommodations.

In other acquisition news, Travel Weekly reports that Flight Centre has made its fifth acquisition in four weeks. Most recently, the company acquired Quebec City-based travel company Les Voyages Laurier du Vallon.

According to Business Traveller, AirAsia is expected to expand its India network with the addition of two new Indian destinations.

According to Skift, American Airlines plans on reviving direct-connect moves. In order for travel management companies to receive incentives, they must book directly through the airline’s new technology platform.

TIME shares tips on beating the system to avoid overpaying for flights.

According to TravelDailyNews International, Chicago, Orlando and D.C. are the most common destinations for meeting planners.

Skift reports that the UK laptop ban has been eased on some Turkish Airlines flights.

According to 4Hoteliers, AccorHotels launched a series of emotion-based gifs called “The Feelings” in order to interact with internet users.

The Economist reports that a judge has ruled on the case of the “incredible shrinking airline seat” requiring the FAA to take a second look at the minimum requirement for seat pitch.

TravelDailyNews International claims Helsinki Airport officially boasts a zero carbon footprint.

According to Skift, Altour has joined Travel Leaders Group in the latest travel agency consolidation move.