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BA Trials Long-Haul NDC Fare Differentiation

On Tuesday, British Airways began testing new inventory buckets in business and economy classes on Boston and Dubai routes, some of which only are available for purchase through the airline's direct channels or New Distribution Capability-compatible connections.

Egencia Readies Direct-To-Hotel Chat System For Corporate Travelers

Expedia Group-owned travel management company Egencia is finalizing a direct-to-hotel communications system that enables client travelers to chat with hotel property representatives through the Egencia mobile app. Tapping in to established technologies and supplier relationships of its parent company, Egencia plans soon to give managed travelers a unique conduit to pose questions, make special requests, heap praise or lodge complaints related to their hotel stays.

Business Travel Direct Becomes First Traxo Marketplace TMC, Still Committed To Concur

U.K.-based Business Travel Direct has become the first travel management company to participate in Traxo Marketplace, which integrates travel data aggregator Traxo with other service providers to manage off-channel bookings.
INTERVIEW: Lufthansa Group's Heike Birlenbach

INTERVIEW: Lufthansa Group's Heike Birlenbach

Lufthansa Group's withdrawal of its lowest Light economy and Business Saver business class fares from global distribution systems is the latest push in its mission to transform airline distribution. For an update on the group's plans, The Beat met Lufthansa Group SVP sales hub airlines and chief commercial officer of the Frankfurt hub Heike Birlenbach, Lufthansa's key distribution strategist from a commercial viewpoint, at the Global Business Travel Association Europe conference in Berlin.

Cornerstone Acquires Travel Auditing And Benchmarking Firm Topaz

Cornerstone Information Systems has acquired Topaz International, a corporate travel auditing and benchmarking firm that works directly with travel buyers.

NuTravel's Next Play: Bringing Travel Management To Airline Websites

Instead of creating standalone portals for airlines to support business booking and rewards, NuTravel's Universal Connect product lets carriers deliver business program perks and travel management features—from preferred rates to policy—through their consumer dotcom sites.

Southwest To Expand Business Travel Channels, Upside Lands Access

Business travel entrant Upside last week revealed in a mobile app update that Southwest Airlines bookings "are now available for work travel." Southwest's testing with Upside is "very early days," said Dave Harvey, the carrier's managing director of business development.

Lufthansa Group To Pull Some Fare Types From GDSs

Effective Oct. 9, Lufthansa Group will remove its Light brand of economy fares and Business Saver business class fares entirely from the three major global distribution systems in the German market.

BCD Travel To Test NDC Bookings With Lufthansa Group, Non-GDS Aggregators

BCD Travel early next year plans to pilot New Distribution Capability bookings with Lufthansa Group and two undisclosed non-global distribution system aggregators.

Upside Adds Tools And Perks For The Employer

Ever since it launched, Jay Walker's business travel startup Upside has gone directly after the end-user business traveler. More recently, the company has added a few tools and perks for the employer, including employee onboarding support, reports on spending and a cashback rewards program for participating companies.