Last week US Airways (now American Airlines) and Sabre made their final pleas to the jury – the five-year-plus antitrust case draw to a close. My prediction became true: There is no winner.
The verdict is in. American Airlines will receive $ 5.1 million in damages – 11.5 percent of what they’d sought. The battle will go on, Sabre will file a motion or appeal, and we are back to square one. Bottom line, attorneys aside, no winner only be losers. The money awarded will hardly cover the expenses of this lawsuit. [UPDATE 3/7/17: Even though the Award is tripled according to Texas law, US Airways disclosed legal costs exceeded $ 122 million ($ 84.5M in attorney fees, $ 36.6M in attorney expenses & almost $ 0.9M in statutory costs), while Sabre estimated their legal fees between $ 35-$ 50 million]. Will airlines now be free to negotiate any deals they may want? I hardly doubt it.
Did GDSs pay $ 1.2 billion to avoid multi-source agent desktops? And how much does it cost to develop multi-content booking tools?
Graphical travel user interfaces (GUIs) such as agent desktops, online booking tools and mobile interfaces have been around for a while by now. While they are pretty successful in the online booking space with an adoption at around 90 percent, they are still lagging behind with agents who love their cryptic screen or “green screen”, how this terminal access is called by insiders referring to the ancient IBM 3270 terminals. Continue reading
Will chatbots supersede apps and websites? A view into the future.
What is a chatbot? A chatbot is a service powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence (AI), which you interact with via a chat interface. An example: If you need new shoes, instead of going to the store and talking to the salesperson about what you want or scrolling through all shoes on a website, you would simply tell the chatbot what you want: your size and your preferred style. Then you would get returned the results as if you were in the store. Chatbots are supposedly huge because for the first time in history, messaging apps have surpassed social networks with over three billion active users per month (almost ½ of the world’s population). Continue reading
FinTech, InsurTech and HealthTech … the industry is facing a wave of digital disruptions that are starting to reshape the financial, insurance and health service sector. But have you already gotten in touch with the latest buzzword PropTech? And do you know what connects PropTech and business travellers?
Usually in the travel industry, booking travel is considered air, car, hotel, possibly some leisure aspects such as cruise, tour, activities (if it is not for business travel) and ground transportation (if you consider door-to-door). Today I want to draw your attention on the hotel portion – but expand on it as today’s travel environment is not so simple anymore. A better term would probably be accommodation. Continue reading
Although the European Commission last week announced that they have agreed in principle with the US on new data transmission rules, according to the German Business Travel Association (VDR) it is believed that the situation is still quite uncertain.
A recent article in ‘The Company Dime’ highlights our company’s built-to-order Online Booking Tool (OBT) which was rolled out globally with a major financial institution in 2014, replacing Concur’s Cliqbook . We want to thank Jay Campbell for the feature which you can read in full length on our website: The Company Dime – PASS’ Online Booking Tool
One of my colleagues in Germany has written this article on the new Microsoft Windows 10 for our technology blog in Germany. I thought this is of interest for our readers in the US as well and thus translated it.
With Windows 10 Microsoft is trying to win back users it scared away with Windows 8. But there is one little obstacle: inadequate data protection. Continue reading
After the VDR criticized Lufthansa’s GDS fee in an open letter on the 9th of July, the company replied politely but firmly and explained why the DCC (Distribution Cost Charge) might be important for the future of the travel industry.
“German companies and their business travelers (…) are opposed to the sales strategy you have announced”, the VDR reproachfully started its letter to Jens Bischof, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board. “The introduction of your DCC involves a fundamental unilateral change to the system – those that fail to comply pay a high price, with a surcharge of 16 Euros per ticket.” Continue reading
The concept of Gamification is simple: Play by the rules of your company and you will be rewarded. But what’s behind this modern way of encouraging employees to comply with corporate travel policies?
If you had a look at my article about Expense Management, you should be aware of my position regarding travel policies. I hold the opinion that the best option for the company and the most efficient option for the traveler can be reached through clever policies paired with a good corporate booking tool. Continue reading
If you were following the travel news last week, you have probably already heard about the big Lufthansa news. Starting on the 1st of September, all airlines of the Lufthansa group are going to add a 16€ fee to every booking made via GDS.
The “Distribution Cost Charge” affects Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Airlines, but will not be added to tickets purchased through their own website, airline ticket counters or service centers. Continue reading
After my last article I’m starting to debate using cabs, but it was the easiest option on my corporate trip last week. When I sat down something else suddenly hit me: A big yellow fuel surcharge sign on the car’s window.
We are all aware of the fact that Kerosene hasn’t been this inexpensive in years. So why is it that we have to pay surcharges on cab rides and flying hasn’t gotten any cheaper, too? Continue reading
I heard some interesting theories today which made me think. Will Uber eventually deliver Amazon packages? Uber definitely revolutionized ground transportation. Challenges were mastered easily and instead of fighting back, fines were paid leaving the competition win in court but not on the street.
Sounds familiar? Correct – Amazon and Uber share some common tactics. So why not join forces and let private people deliver packages to your home? Maybe deliveries with drones were a bit futuristic, but cut down delivery times to hours with private drivers seems pretty realistic. Do you think UPS is nervous? Continue reading
Did you know that for every dollar invested in corporate travel, companies can increase their revenue by an average of $9.50 and $2.90 in new profits? No wonder that Americans went on more than 452 million corporate trips in 2014, with almost 40% going to meetings and events.
Even though corporate travel is not about the employee’s pleasure and serves a greater purpose, there are still some easy ways to make the most out of your trip and even save your company some money. Continue reading
The historical development of travel is based on human mobility. In the beginning this travel was done for practical reasons, such as the search for places with food and water and escaping from natural catastrophes, but it quickly grew to include travels for cultural reasons.
In the time of the ancient Romans and Greeks, excursions to particular events, such as the Olympic Games and all manner of competitions, was a routine ritual of the rich upper class. Continue reading
Even though the Apple Watch won’t be available until April 24, it is already being celebrated as a huge game changer. But what can wearables provide smartphones can’t? How can a simple watch revolutionize the way people travel?
When Apple announced the release date for the Apple watch, many people around the world were either joyfully gasping for breath or shaking their heads in disbelief. The competition is fierce, yet the consumers don’t seem to be completely ready for the concept of an all-round watch. Continue reading
Last week we were talking about corporate travel expenses and how to manage them in the most effective way without spending thousands of dollars on pricey software. Since the corporate travel volume is constantly growing, it is time to have a closer look at some facts about U.S. travel spending in the past, as well as projections for 2015.
About four months ago SAP announced its agreement to buy Concur for 8.3 Billion Dollars. Many industry professionals –including myself- were intensely debating about the reasons and consequences of this acquisition.
It almost seems like Uber’s risk management department read my previous article about the missing safety arrangements for travelers using the controversial transportation service.
That’s why I was more than surprised when I checked my Twitter timeline last week and saw the big news: Uber is launching two new security features, the “panic button” and the “safety net”, which allow riders to immediately call for help and inform up to five people in case of an emergency. Continue reading
“Do you take a cab sometimes?” I randomly asked one of my employees this morning. “Actually not”, she replied, slightly confused. “It is too expensive!”.
Interesting, I thought to myself, while I walked back into my office and tried to make a list in my head of all the things I do expect from a good transportation service. It should be safe, reliable and bring me from point A to point B for a reasonable price, that much was clear. Continue reading
Welcome to the second part of Travel Safety Tips for Corporate and Leisure Travelers. If you haven’t read the first part of the article yet, feel free to do so here and be well prepared for your next trip.
So what else can you actually do to be well prepared on your journey?