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Amex GBT Partners With Lola To Fill A Gap For The Small And The Simple

American Express Global Business Travel today is announcing a commercial deal with Lola to fill a product gap in the mega travel management company's product portfolio for small and midsize companies that have less complexity than typical Amex GBT clients. Lola, meanwhile, gains a large ally to boost adoption of its technology for travelers and travel program administrators in the lightly managed corporate travel sector.

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.

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.

Traxo, TripEasy Enter Unmanaged Fray With Very Different Models

Another week, another couple of entrants chasing the unmanaged-to-lightly managed business travel segment.

30SecondsToFly Now Courting TMCs In Latest Pivot From A Bot Startup

Travel startup 30SecondsToFly is shifting its focus from directly serving small and midsize business accounts to developing AI-powered chat-based booking systems for travel management companies.

Shep Browser Extension, Which Polices Web Shopping, Starts Small, Unmanaged

With a recent round of seed funding, Shep is finding its footing in business travel. The Austin-based startup has built a browser extension, compatible with Google Chrome, that tracks traveler interactions on public travel websites, highlights in-policy options and pulls in booking confirmations for tracking and reporting.

TMC Partners Mostly Warm On Concur Hipmunk Small Business Plan

In a memo to Concur's preferred travel management company partners last week, EVP of supplier and TMC services Mike Koetting called small businesses the industry's "white whale." With its new Concur Hipmunk product for unmanaged travel, Concur has sharpened its harpoon and joined plenty of would-be Captain Ahabs.

Hold The Phone: TMCs Delve Into Text And Chat

It used to be that if business travelers wanted to reach a travel agent, their only option was a phone call. Now, corporate travel agencies of all sizes are supporting multiple modes of communications, including chat and SMS texting, to help travelers plan, book and manage trips.