The Business of Travel

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The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association


Week in Review

Happy New Year! The Week in Review is back in action to provide you with the latest business travel industry news.

In late November, Marriott announced that approximately 500 million guests (who made a reservation at a Starwood property) were impacted in a data breach. Today, the hospitality company downgraded its estimate to 383 million compromised records, Skift reports. Since some guests have multiple records in Marriott's system, the number of guests impacted is likely less than 383 million.

According to BBC, London’s Heathrow Airport and Sussex’s Gatwick Airport will invest millions of pounds in anti-drone equipment that can obstruct communications between drones and their operators. This move follows a drone disruption at Gatwick that caused 1,000 cancelled flights over 3 days last month.

In acquisition news, Flight Centre Travel Group has agreed to acquire Casto Travel’s U.S. operations, Skift writes. The Australia-based travel agency has a mission to strengthen its North American presence.

AirlineRatings.com has released its list of the safest airlines in the world for 2019, with Qantas topping the list, USA TODAY notes. The list also includes the 10 safest low-cost airlines.

Qatar Airways acquired a 5 percent stake in China Southern Airlines on 28 December, Buying Business Travel reports. The airline also holds shares in International Airlines Group, LATAM Airlines Group, Air Italy, and Cathay Pacific.

New York was the world’s top destination for business travel in 2018, Business Traveller writes. The annual rankings from Egencia highlight the most traveled-to destinations for business. London, Paris, Shanghai, and Toronto are also among the top five destinations.

According to Skift, new safety concerns present a complicated challenge for event organizers. From extreme weather to terrorist attacks to widespread disease outbreaks, the duty of care bar continues to rise for event planners.

Singapore Airlines is now offering passengers the ability to pre-book their meal choices, Business Traveller reports. This only applies to travelers in suites, first and business class.

Buying Business Travel writes on the importance of having proper risk management processes and programs in place. Is your organization prepared to locate and help your travelers in the face of an emergency?

According to Business Traveller, the global ridesharing industry is valued at $61.3 billion and is expected to grow to $218 billion by 2025.


Week in Review

Another Friday, another Week in Review blog post! We’re rounding up the top industry news stories to keep you updated on the latest happenings in business travel.

London had quite a bit of trouble this week, first with the forced closure of London City Airport due to an operation to remove a 500 kg (1,102 lb.) World War Two bomb. According to BBC, all Monday flights were cancelled affecting up to 16,000 passengers.

Two days later, a vehicle collision at Heathrow resulted in one death and major flight delays and cancellations, Travel + Leisure reports.

According to Skift, Airbnb is set to launch a new tier of properties through its latest product, Airbnb Select. The program “invites selected hosts with high ratings and reviews to be part of a curated collection of listings that undergo an inspection and professional photography process.”

Lodging Magazine shares findings from a hospitality survey revealing the seven meeting trends of 2018.

A last-minute flight bidding app launched recently, allowing travelers to place bids on seats within two weeks of flying, Business Traveller notes.  

As we continue to work our way through GBTA’s history, this week’s throwback post takes a look at the Association and industry through the 1980s. The late ‘80s brought about tighter travel budgets as the U.S. economy slowed, with corporate travel departments scrambling to cut costs where possible.

A Philippine consortium submitted a $6.7 billion USD (€5.38 billion) proposal to modernize Manila’s international airport, Reuters reports.

According to Aviation Pros, Munich Airport and Lufthansa have begun testing humanoid robot “Josie Pepper” in Terminal 2. The AI-powered robot can assist passengers by provding directions to their gate and other similar requests.

Singapore Airlines now offers complimentary Wi-Fi for its premium passengers, Business Traveller shares.

USA TODAY reports United Airlines takes the lead for on-time performance among other U.S. airlines.

The same source notes President Trump proposed to raise TSA fees for one-way tickets from $5.50 to $6.60.

According to Buying Business Travel, Uber is set to introduce a host of new safety features, including a 24/7 support line for both passengers and drivers.

In other ridesharing news, Business Traveler reports Lyft added 14 cities to its commuter tax program, allowing customers to use pre-tax dollars for Lyft Line rides.