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Week In Review

The Week in Review keeps you up-to-date on the latest business travel news. We had some technical difficulties on Friday, but we’re back today with the latest in business travel news. Check back again this Friday for another wrap-up.

The U.S. tightened security requirements for travelers from Europe and Asia on Monday. According to Reuters, visitors from countries in the Visa Waiver Program must now get approved through an online system. They will need to provide additional information, including other names they use, parents’ names, national identification number, contact information, employment information and city of birth.

This week, the GBTA Foundation released two new studies: one on the costs and savings of a managed travel program and the other on the role of a Travel Manager and expected changes. We found that technology was transforming the role of the Travel Manager by automating processes.

If you’re a business traveler looking to keep expenses down, Nancy Trejos of USA Today looked at the creative ways some road warriors are cutting costs. Some are using their own frequent-flier miles, while others are staying at Airbnbs for a fraction of the cost of traditional hotels. The Financial Post’s Kristine Owram reported on a recent survey of Canadian travelers which found that while 90 percent prefer to fly business or first class, 80 percent are actually flying economy.

The savings from using Airbnb and frequent flier miles will come in handy after you’re asked to pay extra for your checked luggage. Ancillary airlines fees – fees for extras, such as food on board and checked luggage – are expected to generate an all-time high of $49.9 billion in revenue worldwide, according to CNBC’s Phil LeBeau. This is a 17.2 percent year-over-year increase. On average, passengers will pay $15.02 per flight in ancillary fees.

Meanwhile, Emirates CEO Tim Clark told Buying Business Travel he expected free onboard Wi-Fi to become standard on full service airlines within a few years. Currently, technical limitations, including speed and bandwidth availability, stand in the way. According to Clark, Emirates is spending more than $20 million USD a year to install and operate in-flight connectivity systems.

Hotels are developing high-tech, “boutique” hotel brands to capture the highly coveted millennial business traveler demographic, who are expected to make up half of all business travelers by the end of the decade. Yahoo’s Sid Lipsey reports that Hilton has announced plans to open a new line of hotels called Canopy. Each location will be uniquely decorated and designed to match their specific neighborhood, offer free Wi-Fi and artisanal breakfasts and allow travelers to use their smartphones as room keys.


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