The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

Week in Review

Airbnb wants to give its host the opportunity to own a piece of the company, TechCrunch reports. The home-sharing company is attempting to change the SEC’s Rule 701, which governs ownership of equity in companies.

The UK government warns of flight disruptions in the case of a no-deal Brexit, Skift writes. If the EU doesn’t grant reciprocal approvals to its planes and airlines, flights may be grounded.

According to CNN, Hong Kong launched a new high-speed rail link to mainland China on Sunday. The $10.75 billion dollar project is controversial because it allows mainland immigration officers to enforce Chinese law on Hong Kong soil.

In other high-speed rail news, Al Jazeera notes Saudi Arabia launched a high-speed railway on Tuesday that connects holy cities Mecca and Medina.

According to USA TODAY, Southwest Airlines has begun rolling out complimentary in-flight messaging on select flights.

On this week’s podcast, we talk business travel payment trends. Airplus’ Kathy Cantwell and GBTA Senior Research Analyst Mark Sharoff talk through key highlights from a recent payments study and discuss the future of virtual payments.

Uber has been fined $148 million due to a cyberattack that exposed the data of millions of customers and drivers, Buying Business writes.

On Wednesday, the House passed a five-year FAA reauthorization bill, WTOP notes. Among other things, the bill prohibits voice calls on planes, states that only passengers enrolled in trusted traveler programs can use PreCheck lanes, and does not increase the passenger facility charge (PFC).

Grow your network with GBTA Ladders! This unique team mentor program affords members the opportunity to expand their professional development and to gain lifelong friends. Don’t miss out on your chance to get involved. Submit your application by September 28.

Japan Airlines plans on flying a nonstop service from Seattle to Tokyo, USA TODAY reports.

Another day, another pilot strike for Ryanair. The airline canceled nearly 100 flights on Friday after German pilots announced a strike at the last minute, Buying Business Travel writes.

According to Skift, Singapore Airlines is one step closer to launching the world’s longest flight, a non-stop service to New York that totals nearly 19 hours.

Grow Your Network with GBTA Ladders

Today is your last day to submit an application to become a mentee for the 2018-2019 season of Ladders.

GBTA Ladders lets you take the next step in your career. It’s a unique team mentor program that combines the right talent, a fresh vision and exclusive mentorship to help you develop your career and climb to the top. It affords members an opportunity to not only expand your professional development within the travel and meetings industry, but to also gain true lifelong colleagues & friends.

The winning team from our 2017-2018 season joined us at the GBTA Broadcast Studio at Convention this year to share their experiences with the program and talk about why others should get involved. It is a great opportunity to expand your network and expand your influence within the industry.

Don’t miss out on your chance to get involved. To be considered, fill out the application today, September 28. For more information, please contact

5 Tips to Eat Like a Local on Your Next Business Trip

In recent GBTA research, conducted in partnership with Dinova, digging into business travel dining trends, we delved into the psyche of the business diner. The typical business travel dining experience really depends on the trip. The study found that in total, 64 percent of business travelers take their money to upscale casual restaurants, followed by fast casual (52 percent), fast food (34 percent) and finally, fine dining (29 percent).

Many business travelers tend to spend their meals in the company of others. For lunch, 30 percent report eating with clients, with an additional 23 percent eating with coworkers, and the numbers jump to 40 percent and 26 percent, respectively, for dinner.

During a recent Twitter chat, many of our participants shared their desire to eat like a local while traveling and gave us their best tips for doing so. Here were the top five:

1 - Ask cab or car drivers about spots where they would take their families to eat – not where they tell other travelers to go.

2 - Search “best places to eat in ____” as a start. Use websites like Thrillist to find the best spots to eat. 

3 - Ask people in the hotel about the places they actually eat at. 

4 - If meeting with a client, ask them about the best local place.

5 - Ask friends in the area.

Learn more about the study findings here, and be sure to check out this recent guest blog post from Dinova on incorporating a dining program into your managed travel program.

Podcast: Travel Payment Goes Virtual

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel talks business travel payment trends. Earlier this year, GBTA released a new research project, in partnership with AirPlus International, identifying key trends around travel payment.

For the podcast, Kathy Cantwell of AirPlus and the GBTA Payment Solutions Committee joined GBTA Senior Research Analyst Mark Sharoff to talk through some key highlights from the study and discuss the future of virtual payments.



You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!

Building Philanthropy into the GBTA Ladders Culture

During GBTA Convention 2018, Jim Carter and Annisha Brown of American Airlines joined us at the Broadcast Studio to talk about giving back and their GBTA Ladders experience.

As a mentor, Jim talks about the value Ladders brings in its ability to make connections and prepare people for their futures. It’s a lot about what you are willing to put into it, he says.

When it comes to investing your time though, Ladders members do more than just invest in their own careers. Annisha Brown leads the Ladders Giving Committee, which looks for an organization to give back to through fundraising, education and awareness. “Philanthropy is really a part of the Ladders culture,” she says.

Learn more about the GBTA Ladders mentor program and how the group gives back:

Want to be a part of GBTA Ladders? Applications for new mentees for the 2018-2019 season are now being accepted. To be considered, fill out the application by Friday, September 28. For more information, please contact

Top 5 Dining Mobile Apps for Business Travelers

Smartphones are ubiquitous in today’s world, and as Apple always says, “there’s an app for that”. As part of a recent research study looking into business travel dining trends that GBTA conducted in partnership with Dinova, we asked business travelers what dining apps they use when on the road for work trips. Here are the top 5…

Top 5 Business Travel Dining Apps

1 – Yelp

2- TripAdvisor

3- Grubhub

4 – OpenTable

5 – Uber Eats


The study also explored generational differences when it comes to technology use and eating out while traveling for work. Not surprisingly, Millennials especially embrace technology and are more willing to use the tools and technology made available to them through their travel programs, but technology has also become an essential part of how employees of all ages travel.

Learn more about the study findings here, and be sure to check out this recent guest blog post from Dinova on incorporating a dining program into your managed travel program.

Podcast: GBTA Advocacy Update

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel talks with GBTA’s VP of Government Relations, Shane Downey. Shane provides updates on the latest advocacy efforts on the U.S. front including the FASTER Act, the PreCheck is PreCheck Act, Real ID and FAA Reauthorization.



Want to stay on top of the latest GBTA advocacy efforts on behalf of the business travel industry across the globe? Subscribe to Shane’s bi-weekly Politics of Travel email today. 

You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!

Dining Programs are Hot: Here’s Why it Should Matter to You

By Heather Thompson, Public Relations Manager, Dinova

With the Global Business Travel Association’s annual convention just behind us, it’s no wonder everyone is talking about business travel. It’s a hot topic that gets even hotter when we talk about how much business travel actually costs. (Don’t worry, procurement managers, we’re all feeling the same swelter.)

There’s no doubt that managing a travel program is much easier – and ensures your employees receive the best experience possible – when you partner with the right vendors. So, you negotiate the most advantageous contracts with one major airline, one hotel group, one rental car provider, and all is dandy. When it comes to putting together a dining program, however, the sheer number of possible vendors and contracts becomes overwhelming, a herculean task that hardly seems worth the effort. Or is it?

More than $77B is spent annually on business dining in the United States, according to an AMEX and GBTA study released in 2017. That total alone makes it the third largest category of overall T&E spend and clearly identifies dining as a topic worth discussion. But with approximately 640,000 restaurants across the nation, what would a managed dining program even look like?

It should look a lot like any other preferred vendor initiative: one source offering your employees a range of options, enabling them to have a great travel experience while also complying with your travel policy. What else should be included? Discounts or rebates of some kind that gives companies an incentive to use only their services. What makes an outstanding preferred program is understanding the traveler and what they really want.

At Dinova, business dining is always on our mind. We’re always hungry for insights about what makes business diners tick, what’s going on in the restaurant world, and how we can nourish connections between these two passions. In partnership with GBTA, we conducted an in-depth survey of U.S. business travelers in Spring 2018, delving into trends in diners’ habits, technology use, and company expense policies, while also uncovering fascinating generational differences.

Key among our findings: 60 percent of respondents said their organizations do not have any dining program at all, but 74 percent would be motivated to participate in one if they earned rewards for themselves or for the company. Clearly, there’s a huge opportunity for companies to capture employee attention and engagement with a preferred dining program. If you could bring back some of that spend, wouldn’t you?

For more information about Dinova, visit our website at

About the Author: Heather Thompson, public relations manager at Dinova since 2016, honed her Media Relations skills at a range of organizations, from a boutique PR firm to a Fortune 500 powerhouse. She recently completed her master’s degree in Strategic Public Relations from The George Washington University, and, when not using her PR powers to change the world, can typically be found in a small suburb of Atlanta riding her horses. 

About Dinova:
Dinova provides companies with an innovative marketplace filled with restaurants and enterprise partners who understand the value of a business patron dining on official company business and know that the connections made over a meal drive understanding and shared perspectives that establish lifelong relationships. Dinova nourishes those connections to create value for restaurants, companies, and the business people we serve every day.

The Ladders Experience

Last week on the blog you heard a Convention interview from the Ladders’ leadership team featuring details on how the global mentoring program works and its impact on our industry.

Want to learn more? Revisit our podcast episode recorded live onsite at the GBTA Ladders Summit this May. You’ll hear directly from mentees and mentors involved in the program for their take on the experience and how it has helped shape their views on industry trends and best practices.

Applications for new mentees for the 2018-2019 season are now being accepted. To be considered, fill out the application by Friday, September 28. For more information, please contact

Podcast: GBTA Media Day

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel brings you a special extended episode featuring the breaking news announcements made live during GBTA Convention 2018 at Media Day. Media Day provides a platform for top travel companies to share their breaking news announcements featuring the latest products, partnerships and services across the business travel industry. This year nearly 30 companies participated, and industry expert Monisa Cline interviewed a spokesperson from each company at the GBTA Broadcast Studio. Check out the full list of companies here.

You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!