BCD Travel early next year plans to pilot New Distribution Capability bookings with Lufthansa Group and two undisclosed non-global distribution system aggregators.
At The Beat Live this month, EAB VP of business solutions Steven Mandelbaum sat down with his fellow corporate travel buyers for the annual Buyers' Table session. Anthem's Cindy Heston, FINRA's Carol McDowell, Evercore's Jason Ring and KBB Partners' Mira Rosenzweig joined for a lively discussion on travel management company relationships, exploring new booking technologies and testing the waters with startups.
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.
United Airlines, airline settlement clearinghouse ARC, a large corporate client of United and travel blockchain entrant Blockskye have completed a proof of concept to examine reporting and settlement through a blockchain ledger for flights booked on the airline's website.
New Zealand-based corporate T&E technology provider Serko landed Carlson Wagonlit Travel as its first reseller of the Zeno travel booking and tech system in the U.S., the companies announced this month.
It has been slow going for airlines to make good on commitments to enable Concur TripLink connections for bookings made on their direct websites, but a couple are gearing up to launch.
Amadeus during its third-quarter results presentation Wednesday acknowledged that moves by the three largest European airline groups to surcharge global distribution system bookings and drive bookings directly to their own channels are playing a role in disintermediating the GDSs. Yet, CEO Luis Maroto said he wasn't too worried about an acceleration in disintermediation.
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.
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.
The number of agencies kicking the tires on booking, ticketing and servicing airline content through Travelport's systems in accordance with the New Distribution Capability standard has expanded.