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Week in Review

The business travel industry is at the forefront of today’s global economy. There is always something going on and it can be hard to keep up on it all! This new weekly post is meant to give you a quick overview of the week’s top business travel news stories.

The week started with lots of buzz from SAP’s acquisition of Concur last Thursday. In ComputerWorldUK, SAP CEO Bill McDermott tells why Concur is worth $8.3 billion and calls Concur the best business case he’s ever put in front of the Board.

Concur Chairman and CEO Steve Singh onstage at GBTA Convention 2014 in Los Angeles
Concur Chairman and CEO Steve Singh onstage at GBTA Convention 2014 in Los Angeles

The fight on cell phone voice calls on planes is fully underway. In USA Today, Bart Jansen writes about a group of 77 House Members who wrote Monday to the Federal Communications Commission and the Transportation Department urging against lifting the ban on cellphone calls aboard planes. GBTA’s Shane Downey, director of public policy, spoke with Ellis Booker in this Information Week article about why cell phone calls on planes will be more than just annoying, they could potentially be a tool for terrorists to exploit.


A GBTA Foundation study on travel mishaps created a stir in the news with CBS Money Watch writing about how travel snafus hit the bottom line and Charisse Jones of USA Today highlighting how travel problems cost businesses time and money.

In Canada, the inaugural Travel Procurement Symposium was a hit, according to Michael Power. The nearly 120 attendees were given the opportunity to learn about the growing synergy between meetings and events, travel management and procurement.

Bloomberg Businessweek asks the question: Would regulation make airlines’ mileage programs less maddening?

USA Today reported on the Nashville airport becoming the first in the U.S. to give Uber and Lyft the green light to pick passengers up curbside in designated areas. On the opposite end of the spectrum, SFGate reports the San Francisco and Los Angeles district attorneys have sent letters to ride-share companies Uber, Lyft and Sidecar claiming they are operating illegally and warning them that legal action could follow if they don’t make major changes.

Photo Credit: Alfredo Mendez
Photo Credit: Alfredo Mendez

GBTA and Project ICARUS issued a call for applications for the annual Project ICARUS Outstanding Achievement Awards for Sustainability in business travel and meetings across Europe.

PATA Conversations interviewed GBTA’s VP of Operations for the APAC region, Welf Ebeling for his perspective on business travel in China, and what steps are needed to hold its position as a business travel powerhouse.

Finally, earlier this afternoon the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced a TSA Pre✓™ initiative that will enhance the program’s ability to identify low-risk, trusted travelers and provide alternative ways for air travelers to apply for expedited screening.