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Week in Review

This week in business travel, Skift reported on the Lufthansa Group airlines plan to implement a booking surcharge starting next week for any bookings made outside of direct channels. They cited a GBTA poll of its members that showed one-half of travel buyers who currently offer Lufthansa as a preferred carrier plan on decreasing their spending with the airline group. The Hill’s Keith Laing chimed in as well writing that travel groups seek to ground airline’s third party ticket fee.

In the hotel world, Buying Business Travel’s Rob Gill reports that London hotel rates are set to rise again during the second half of 2015. Similarly, Travel Daily News reported that U.S. hotels are gearing up for a healthy 2016 as strong advance bookings are providing a positive long-term outlook.

Hilton is working to further improve their guest and staff relations by adding another feature to embed technology into the hotel experience with a digital key available on their loyalty app for Hilton HHonors members, according to Skift. Also in Skift, United Airlines wants to improve its customer experience by becoming more flyer-friendly and delivering on its original promise of “the friendly skies.” According to USA Today’s Road Warrior Blog, British Airways is bucking trends in seating customers by widening their airline seats.

Want to see technology in action? At the Glasgow airport holograms are replacing security agents to talk passengers through the process as they wait in security lines.

GBTA’s annual business travel outlook this July showed Asia Pacific owns the largest share of the business travel spend market. FTN News shares seven trends in Asia Pacific corporate travel management and Tnooz asks why some travel companies thrive in China. The Straits Times says airfares are set to rise next year despite lower oil prices in the APAC region, especially Singapore, citing a GBTA, CWT joint study.

Most companies deal with social media. CNN covers how airlines do it in their story, “The turbulent world of airline Twitter accounts.”

Tnooz reports on Google’s new Think with Google Travel Dashboard that highlights recent and year-over-year trends based on Google data across the car rental, air and hotel verticals in the United States and also shares 10 tips for travel search marketing.

Check back every Friday for a round-up of the latest news in business travel.