Week in Review - 6/29/20

By Industry Intel posted 14 days ago


The European Union will ban incoming travelers from the United States, according to The New York Times . EU is scheduled to reopen external borders on July 1 but will exclude those from countries deemed too risky due to viral infection rates. The Times reported that Australia and Canada were not on the list of excluded countries but Brazil and Russia were. The list would be updated every two weeks. According to a June 11 memo from the European Commission, "Travel restrictions should not be lifted as regards third countries where the situation is worse as the average in the EU+ area." The United States continues to ban incoming travel by most people from the European Union.


The mining and construction verticals will resume business travel faster than others, according to a May Flight Centre survey of 1,600 business travel managers, bookers and travelers. A plurality of respondents expected their domestic business travel to resume in one to three months (40 percent) and international in six to 12 months (32 percent). In the Americas, 28 percent of respondents said they did not know when travel would resume, the highest of any region. Among all respondents, "winning new business" was the most popular reason why organizations expected to resume business travel. Half of the respondents agreed that changes implemented during Covid-19 would reduce their need for business travel. Flight Centre's FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveler divisions conducted the survey.


HRS created a "common denominator" approach to labeling hotels based on cleanliness. Hotels that pass an inspection by HRS partner SGS or another valid third party earn the Clean & Safe Expert-Inspected label. Properties that fill out an online questionnaire earn a Clean & Safe Self-Inspected label. "A common denominator makes it easier to understand," said HRS chief product officer Martin Biermann. "Some customers say self-assessment is totally fine. Others want expert-inspected. They want to be sure it was audited by a third party." The labels appear on property listings in the HRS mobile booking app and a proprietary agent desktop, as well as SAP Concur Travel and Amadeus Cytric. They also appear in the HRS sourcing tool, allowing buyers to filter properties during requests for proposals. HRS and SGS developed the Clean & Safe protocol based on recommendations from the World Health Organization, the World Travel and Tourism Council, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and guidelines for meetings and groups defined by Research Institute for Exhibition and Live-Communication. HRS said hotels in 40 countries already signed up.


AA will stop limiting flight capacity as Delta maintains a cap through September. American's customers from July 1 "may notice that flights are booked to capacity," according to the airline. It will continue to give travelers advance notice about very full flights and the option to switch to a different flight at no cost. AA had been capping flights at 85 percent capacity. Delta went the other way, announcing that it will block middle seats and maintain cabin-specific capacity limits through Sept. 30. That includes 50 percent in first class, 60 percent in the main cabin and 75 percent for international Delta One. According to Delta, reducing the number of people on each aircraft "is one of the most important steps we can take to ensure a safe experience." When flights get too full, Delta will "look for opportunities to upsize to a larger aircraft type or add more flying."


Andy Menkes restarted his travel management consultancy with Dee Runyan. Menkes mothballed Partnership Travel Consulting when he joined BCD Travel as a senior vice president in 2018. The firm's relaunch features travel management veteran Runyan, most recently COO at CorpTrav, and former corporate buyer Jim Wilkins. PTC welcomed back Tom Kallas, who had worked at World Travel Inc., and, to support multinational engagements, consultants Tony O’Connor (Australia), Brigitte Jakubowski (France), Riana Fouché (South Africa) and Winfried Barczaitis (Germany).


Tripbam created a program to certify consultants to use the company's corporate hotel sourcing and management technology. According to Tripbam, the new program will help customers transform much of their programs to dynamic pricing models and maximize savings opportunities. "We want to make sure that resource constraints don’t prevent them from trying something new," said Tripbam CEO Steve Reynolds. Participating consultancies include Areka Consulting, Direct Travel's consulting division, GoldSpring Consulting, KesselRun Consulting, Nina & Pinta Consulting, Opteva Consulting, Partnership Travel Consulting and PivotPoints Consulting.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection will start reopening Trusted Traveler program enrollment centers next week. Trusted Traveler programs include Global Entry, Sentri and Fast. Residents of New York State remain ineligible for new or renewed memberships, according to the CBP site. That ineligibility resulted from a disagreement  between New York and the federal government regarding access to the state's database of driver records.


Delta and United are restarting service to China with a few weekly frequencies. Delta on June 25 launched Seattle-Shanghai service via Seoul Incheon. From July, it also will operate Detroit-Shanghai via Seoul. United on June 28 will resume San Francisco-Shanghai (also via Seoul). In July, United will restart Chicago-Tokyo and services to Hong Kong and Singapore.


TripActions' booking platform now includes U.K. rail and Deutsche Bahn services. The inventory expansion was made possible through a partnership with rail book intermediary Trainline. TripActions users now can search and book tickets on 35 rail operators.


Compiled by the editors of TheCompanyDime.com