American Will Make Preferred Seats Free for Corporate Travelers

All those seats that frequent-flyers can access for free—American Airlines plans to make them free to corporate customers, as well, via global distribution systems.

American eastern sales division managing director Jim Carter told BTN GDS subscribers will be able to access preferred seats—those aisle, window and forward-cabin seats that are upsold to layperson customers when they reach the seat-map page during the booking process—at no cost. This nod to corporate customers does not extend to American’s Main Cabin Extra seats, which offer extra pitch and legroom and typically occupy the first three or four rows of the main cabin.

Why is American making preferred seats free?
Any passenger with status already could access preferred seats for free, Carter acknowledged, but “it’s startling how many corporates don’t have status,” he said. And on American flights, those who don’t have frequent-flyer status and who don’t buy preferred seats don’t receive a seat assignment until they check in, he said. Considering U.S. carriers’ global load factor has risen from 77.6 percent in 2005 to 83.8 percent in 2015 and American’s has risen from 78.6 percent to 83.6 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, preferred seats may be the only way for main-cabin corporate customers to avoid the dreaded middle seat.
Despite all those packed planes and thus no trouble selling preferred seats, American claims simply to be giving corporates what already is theirs. “The expectation from our [corporate] customers is that [preferred seats] ought to be included in the seat assignment, and we agree,” Carter said.

For more info, click here.

The Main Event: 5 Fundamentals Every Planner Must Know

Growing a successful event planning business is certainly not for the faint of heart. Mr. Larry White Sr., CEO and Founder of VIPeVENTS Concierge, @VIPConcierge_LW, an event planning and services company, specializes in providing his clients with an unforgettable experience that results in greater relationships, opportunities and revenues.

Mr. White shares key insights and essentials on how to host successful events and build sustainable relationships

1. Be intentional in deciding which community partners and corporate sponsors to connect with to foster mutually beneficial relationships

2. Know the target audience of your client

3. Have a strong social media presence. In order to fill seats at events, you must invest time, energy and resources into growing your online platforms

4. Establish a core leadership team

5. Attend networking events at least monthly or quarterly with a variety of corporate and outreach initiatives

For more, click here.

Business Travel Lags, While Meetings Keep Momentum

The U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Trends Index shows domestic business travel fell for the fourth straight month and is expected to underperform through summer. The latest quarterly Meetings Outlook from Meeting Professionals International, on the other hand, revealed seven of 10 respondents see “favorable” business conditions on the horizon.

To read more, click here.

21 Life Hacks Every Business Traveler Needs To Know

Below is an infographic which looks at ‘21 life hacks every business traveler needs to know‘ and, to put it simply, it’s an invaluable resource for any entrepreneur. Everyone has to travel at some point when running a startup and, in most instances, anything which can help to reduce associated stresses and make the trip enjoyable should be greatly welcomed. For more, click here.


Would You Pay an Hourly Rate to Stay at This Airport Terminal Hotel?

If you’ve ever been stuck at an airport for a layover and wished you had a comfortable way to nap or unwind before your next flight, Yotel may have the solution.

Yotel, a luxury hotel chain, will soon open a new location at Terminal 2E in Paris’s Chatrles de Gaulle airport with modern amenities such as self-check in and check out stations. The Paris location is expected to open on July 1. The airport Yotel is intended for travelers with early flights or layovers, Buying Business Travel reports. Customers can rent a room for the night, but they also have the option of booking a room by the hour.

For more info, click here.

Would You Pay an Hourly Rate to Stay at This Airport Terminal Hotel?

San Francisco again ranked most expensive US city for business travel

San Francisco has once again been ranked most expensive US city for business travel. But the big surprise in an annual study of hotel, rental car and dining prices is the ladder-climbing by Detroit.

The latest report by the trade publication Business Travel News, which measures prices paid by corporate travelers visiting the country’s 100 biggest cities, found that the fastest increase in hotel rates — 22.5 percent from 2014 to 2015 — was reported in Detroit, a sign perhaps that the Motor City is bouncing back from its 2013 bankruptcy.

Detroit’s average nightly hotel rate of $198 is still a bargain compared with San Francisco, the city with the highest corporate hotel rate of $370 a night.

Detroit’s average nightly hotel rate of $198 is still a bargain compared with San Francisco, the city with the highest corporate hotel rate of $370 a night.

When hotel and car rental rates and dining costs are added, San Francisco leads the country with business travelers paying a daily average of $547.

Read more here.

Millennials Make Travel Their Priority

Always-connected, highly-mobile millennials are forging new norms for leisure and business travel, making technology, in-the-know experiences, and adrenaline-rush adventures-not cookie-cutter vacation packages-some of the most striking hallmarks of the way they explore and enjoy their world.

These are findings from Hipmunk‘s third annual survey of millennials’ and older generations’ travel habits and preferences. Hipmunk is a travel search site with a comprehensive range of travel choices.

Millennials do more business travel than any other age group, and they take advantage while they can:

  • They work on the road. 38% of millennials travel for business, while just 23% of Gen Xers and 8% of boomers say they do.
  • And will do so even more. 80% are going to travel more for work in 2016 than 2015 (compared to 60% and 45% of Gen Xers and boomers respectively)
  • They stay in vacation rentals. Seventy-four percent of millennials have stayed at a vacation rental (such as those available through Airbnb) on a business trip, an experience shared by just 38% of Gen Xers and 20% of boomers.
  • They perfected bleisure. 81% will probably add extra time to a business trip (compared to 56% and 46% of Gen Xers and boomers respectively).

“Millennials already dominate business travel, and they’re doing it in a different way than the previous generation. Hotels should take notice,” Goldstein said. “`Bleisure’ may sound like a contagious disease, but it’s a real phenomenon, and Millennials are making vacation rentals a viable option for their business trips.”

For more, click here.


7 New Travel Start-Ups Making Business Trips Less Stressful

There are a handful of new services and apps on the market making travel a little easier for the tired, lonely worker. CNN caught up with some of the people behind them at the recent Business Travel Show in London.


The virtual valet service DUFL launched last May. “We’re getting rid of luggage,” declares George Meek, EMEA Managing Director.  “We ship, clean and store your business attire” as well as shoes, accessories, full-size toiletries, hairdryers and whatever travelers need to feel their usual sleek selves — allowing them to “travel bag-free” and pick up freshly laundered clothes at their destination.


Networking app Jambo launched at the end of last year, and is currently invitation only, with a testing base of 300 users. CEO and founder Laura Stembridge came up with “a platform that’s essentially LinkedIn on the go” after one too many work trip evenings that ended with “room service, dinner for one, date with my Kindle.”

Finding somewhere to stay 

Latecomers will find every hotel in the area booked solid and that’s where MagicEvent comes in. It’s an Airbnb-style service aimed at business travelers, and partners with industry events to secure appropriate accommodation in business centers.The French start-up has around 20,000 apartments in 60 cities, mostly in Europe and the U.S., with some presence in South Africa and the UAE.


Rip-off rates and fees 

Revolut is a global money app and debit card that promises to help users easily and transparently manage their money around the world. It launched in July 2015 and Revolut business analyst Gus Gould explains that it already supports 90 currencies, with no international transaction fees, no need for IBANs or frantic cash transfers to pay off outstanding debts.

Booking multi-leg trips

Italian start-up Beepry, which launched in November 2015, hopes to take on the big-name search engines with its flight meta search specializing in complex itineraries.

CEO and founder Salvatore Ambrosino says his company’s patent-pending algorithm gives it an edge, finding the best solution in terms of cost and efficiency “faster, cheaper and more relevant to the needs of the user.”

Beepry is currently targeting business corporations rather than individual users.

Booking efficient, economic ground travel

We’re “incorporating ride shares into the travel industry,” says Zachy Hamras, marketing manager at Flitways, which launched in 2014. Users can pre-book taxis, executive cars, ride-shares in the 140 cities Flitways covers. The most interesting part of the service is that users can pre-book an affordable ride-share, instead of having to wait until they land at the airport, hoping they find something affordable.

Your flight’s economy but your needs are premium

Android and iOS app Loungebuddy helps fliers locate, preview and book last-minute seats in airports around the world. So travelers in need of a work space, a shower, or a drink and a rest, no longer need to be part of the first-class club — and it quickly takes the stress out of long airport delays.

For more, visit here.


No lounge? No problem. With LoungeBuddy, you can find last-minute spaces for one-off fees.

The Evolution of Event Technology: What’s Changed Since 2000?

There’s no denying that technology has touched and transformed every aspect of the event industry in recent years. Technology has influenced the planning, production, execution, and follow-through of events. And yet, despite all of this change, the core functions and values of events remain the same: to bring people together to learn, to conduct business, to network, to support a cause, to be entertained.

BizBash notes that technology’s impact on the industry has been more evolutionary than revolutionary. Bit by bit, year after year, new products and capabilities are being integrated so that events today—everything from trade shows and fund-raisers to meetings and social gatherings—are vastly different than they were in 2000.

For more, click here.

Illustration: Joey Bouchard & Cornelia Stiles/BizBash