Week in Review - 7/6/20

By Industry Intel posted 07-06-2020 11:36


Travel Management Entities, Feds, Grassroots Group Offer Return-To-Travel Resources


American Express Global Business Travel and BCD Travel separately announced new resources to help restart corporate travel. A new independent group of 180 industry constituents proposed standards for the same purpose. Meanwhile, the U.S. federal government issued a 44-page guide to help airlines and airports mitigate the public health risks of Covid-19.


As countries and states gradually reopen, "corporate travel programs are in the spotlight and the pressure on travel managers is increasing," according to BCD. To be regularly updated, its Back to Travel guide  is based on "recovery-specific solutions and several months of research."


The guide presents trends, advice, checklists and other info addressing duty of care, traveler communications, spend management and travel policy.


American Express Global Business Travel built an online resource providing information tailored to specific trips. Users enter their origins, destinations and airlines to get details on infection hotspots, immigration restrictions, safety protocols, inflight food and beverage service and so on. The info comes in via API from governments, airports, risk management firms, travel suppliers and other sources.


GBT plans to offer access via its Neo corporate booking tool, mobile app, messaging services and travel counselors. It also will offer the resource to other TMCs and interested parties, according to GBT CEO Paul Abbott.


The Travel and Meetings Standards (TAMS) taskforce formally issued its report. Titled "S.O.S. — The Standards of Safety in Business Travel," the document is meant to guide corporate travel industry pros as they rebuild operations. It offers standards and recommended practices across several aspects of corporate travel.


"As the travel industry prepares to come out of the pandemic, we’re left with more questions than answers about how suppliers, corporations and individual travelers should behave," according to Susan Lichtenstein, TAMS taskforce chair and managing partner at DigiTravel Consulting Managing.


The TAMS report is available here , with more info on the TAMS LinkedIn Group . The Association of Corporate Travel Executives provided logistical support.


Meanwhile, Dinova published a guide for eating out in the Covid era. Developed with several corporate clients, the guide  addresses "new rules, etiquette and expectations," and discusses diner screening and temperature taking, health declaration forms, social distancing and contact tracing. The corporate dining program provider also updated the Dinova Restaurant Locator app to include details on the precautions restaurants are taking.


On a federal level, the U.S. departments of Transportation, Health and Human Services and Homeland Security jointly developed the Runway to Recovery  framework for airlines and airports. "The guidance will enhance public health risk reduction to support an increase in travel volume while ensuring that aviation safety and security are not compromised," according to DOT.


United Airlines is reorganizing its corporate and agency salesforce. According to an internal memo from SVP of worldwide sales Jake Cefolia, the changes include promotions for some and “saying goodbye” to others. The revamped team  will be led by managing directors reporting to Cefolia, including Joseph Tibble (global agency accounts), Aileen Furlong (sales-global accounts), Marie Downey (sales-West), Steve Ross (sales-Midwest), Bruce Turpin (sales-East), Anthony Toth (digital sales), Karen Catlin (sales effectiveness) and Jane Lee (United for Business marketing). The airline created four new roles and filled them with existing sales and account management personnel: Director of pricing and strategy, director of incentive and implementation, senior manager for field agencies and senior manager for account management.


Sixt acquired 10 U.S. airport locations from bankrupt Advantage Rent a Car, including operations in Boston, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Newark, New York JFK and LaGuardia, and Orlando. Based in Germany, Sixt said the move was part of its strategy to expand its global network, particularly in the lucrative U.S. market.


Singapore Airlines on Jan. 4, 2021, will add a fee to "traditional" GDS bookings. The airline told travel agencies they could avoid the fee by booking through an "NDC channel." New Distribution Capability-enabled sales channels will include the carrier's new Agent 360 portal, scheduled to go live in November. Singapore also noted that it "integrated a comprehensive list of technology partners" to help agencies adopt NDC. Several other airlines charge fees for bookings that go through channels they don't prefer. Those policies often relate to efforts to promote NDC-enabled content. Various agreements between airlines, global distribution system operators and travel management companies protect against some of those surcharges.


Serko signed a reseller deal with Luxe Travel Management. Acquired by Frosch International Travel in January, southern California-based Luxe will help clients deploy Serko's travel booking and expense management technology. The agreement is part of New Zealand-based Serko's TMC support program . According to The Beat, Serko also works with  Acendas, Balboa Travel, CWT, Direct Travel, Flight Centre USA, Ovation Travel Group and Radius Travel.


MTrip added safety and security alerts from Riskline to its TMC apps. Users of the white-labeled apps will receive detailed alerts on various risks and emergencies, along with relevant destination info. MTrip's TMC clients have included Altour, Atlas Travel, Fox World Travel, MeritBiz, Omega World Travel, Professional Travel Inc. and TravelStore. The mobile appmaker also integrates several third-party services.


Eurostar on July 9 will resume high-speed rail service between London, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. "The return journey continues to be a connecting service through Brussels, where passport controls and security screening are carried out," according to the company. Eurostar is stressing onboard social distancing and requiring passengers to wear facial coverings.


Deem is bringing its booking and travel management technology to Direct Travel's mobile app. The two companies have been longtime partners.


Compiled by the editors of TheCompanyDime.com