BCD Travel is taking the next step to evolve its mobile capabilities from itinerary management to itinerary creation. The mega travel management company announced plans soon to enable airline shopping and booking capabilities through TripSource, which covers its native mobile app and responsive Web channels.
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.
Corporate travel industry veteran Andy McGraw joined Milwaukee-based Adelman Travel as CEO in May 2017. Since then, the travel management company has positioned itself as a mobile-first "platform as a service" operator, underpinned by its mobile app, Adelman Virtual Assistant, or AVA, and an upgrade to its workforce management and agent-facing technology. He spoke with The Beat editor-in-chief Jay Boehmer.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel plans to roll out flight booking capabilities on its CWT To Go mobile app in the second half of the year, CEO Kurt Ekert said. Already, mobile flight booking is testing with clients in what Ekert called an "aggressive pilot phase."
A couple Frosch executives co-founded a startup that provides mobile itinerary management technology for travel management companies to support travelers in-trip whether they transact with the agency or book off channel.
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.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel plans to introduce full airline shopping and booking capabilities within its CWT To Go app later this year. BCD Travel, too, confirmed mobile "air booking in TripSource is in development." Those megas are among several travel management companies evolving their mobile wares to include further booking capabilities. If the first generation of TMC apps were informational and focused on itinerary management, the next is increasingly transactional.
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.
As TripActions readies a new airline shopping interface for its booking system that includes a new ATPCO-led and Delta-approved star rating concept for airline products, it is seemingly back in the airline's good graces and this week will be back in the business of selling Delta.
American Express announced Tuesday that it has acquired Mezi, a mobile travel concierge and chat-assisted booking application that won a few travel management company clients last year.