TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, HOSPITALITY TRENDS
Optii | September 29, 2022
Optii Solutions, the leading cloud-based hotel operations software, announced an integration with the Opera Hospitality Integration Platform (OHIP). The new integration will make it easier, faster, and more cost-effective for hoteliers to manage their integration between Optii and Oracle Cloud PMS.When implementing a modern technology solution like Optii, that is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), integrations matter. When seeking to use hotel operations technology to increase productivity, reduce cost, and improve the guest experience, time is of the essence. The faster a solution like Optii can become operational, the faster the benefits are realized for hotel teams, their guests, and hotel owners. The integration with OHIP will address exactly this for Opera Cloud PMS hotel customers.
Dino Pietropaolo, CTO of Optii Solutions said, Not only will this integration save Opera Cloud PMS customers time and money when choosing to transform their hotel operation with Optii, they will also get the latest in API technology and a high level of security with fine grained OAuth 2.0 on all APIs.
The self serve aspect of Oracle Hospitality Integration Platform will mean a lot more flexibility and autonomy for hoteliers and for Optii. The typical integration between hotel technology applications and a hotel PMS requires work on both the technology application side and the PMS, while with OHIP, hotelier and technology providers such as Optii can manage the integration process without Oracle participation.
“At Optii, customer success is everything. But when delays in integration happen, the time-to-value for our customers is impacted and often the mitigation is out of our control. With OHIP, together with our customer, we are in the driver’s seat and have full control of the process and timeline. This helps our customers realize their goals quicker. We are very excited to start offering OHIP integration to our customers in the coming weeks!”
-Katherine Grass, CEO of Optii Solutions
About Optii Solutions
Optii Solutions is a hotel operations solution that leverages smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of housekeeping and service delivery departments. For further information, please visit: www.optiisolutions.com.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS
Alaska Airlines | December 01, 2022
Alaska Airlines became the first U.S. airline to launch an electronic bag tag program, which enables guests to tag their luggage through the airline's mobile app before they even reach the airport.
This week, 2,500 Alaska Mileage Plan members will begin receiving their electronic bag tag. Those elite status members included in the first wave of the program are guests who have traveled in the last 12 months, checked-in at least one bag and were among the first to register to use the device."The last thing our guests want to do is stand in line," said Charu Jain, senior vice-president of merchandising and innovation for Alaska. "With the addition of the Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag, our guests can complete almost all of their check-in tasks – from the comfort of their home, at work or on the way to catching their flight."
The three-by-five-inch devices are updated with a guest's flight information through the Alaska Airlines mobile app during check-in; essentially allowing travelers to head straight to the bag drop area once they arrive at the airport.
The Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag is estimated to reduce the time guests spend in airport lobbies by about 40%, including reducing lines and the use of paper bag tags. In addition to the device's impressive lifespan and durability (Alaska Airlines employees tested it by running it over with a truck), the devices don't require charging or batteries.
"We've tested our electronic bag tags on countless flights across the country, including international routes where Alaska Airlines flies, and the devices have performed exactly as they're meant to," said Jain. "We'll collect feedback from our first wave of users before the devices become available to purchase to all our guests early next year."
The Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag will be available for purchase to all guests starting in 2023 and will operate on all Alaska Airlines marketed flights operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines.
Along with the hardware, the software for the device is provided by BAGTAG, a Dutch company that is a pioneer in the field of baggage technology solutions.
"Alaska Airlines is an excellent example of a carrier on a mission to improve all aspects of their passenger's experience, This vision is leading their choices for innovation such as electronic bag tags and we are very proud to assist them in this project."
-Jaspar Quak, BAGTAG managing director
Click here to check out how the Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag works and join the notification list when the devices become available for purchase.
BAGTAG was founded in 2014 in the Netherlands, with the purpose of introducing the world's first flexible and secure electronic bag tag solution. Having developed in close cooperation with the world's leading airlines, the company launched its hardware solution in 2018 and is now leading the market for electronic bag tags.
About Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines and our regional partners serve more than 120 destinations across the United States, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. We emphasize low fares and award-winning customer service. Alaska is a member of the oneworld global alliance. With the alliance and our additional airline partners, our guests can travel to more than 900 destinations on more than 20 airlines while earning and redeeming miles on flights to locations around the world. Learn more about Alaska at news.alaskaair.com and follow @alaskaairnews for latest news. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,COMMERCIAL TRAVEL
Sabre Corporation,Conferma Pay and Mastercard | November 29, 2022
Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, and Conferma Pay, a global fintech firm that specializes in payment technology, announced a new partnership with Mastercard to accelerate the use of virtual cards for business-to-business (B2B) travel payments.
Today's announcement builds on Sabre's August 2022 acquisition of Conferma Pay. The collaboration with Mastercard is the next step in advancing Sabre's goal to create an open and independent travel payment ecosystem.
Digitization of travel payments with virtual cards helps address the historic challenges associated with B2B leisure and corporate travel payments. The securely generated, single use card numbers provide a link between booking and associated payments to third party suppliers. Travel buyers and suppliers are therefore able to easily track and reconcile payments, as well as benefit from flexible pricing, financing options, and enhanced security through card payment guarantees.
"The payments industry is in the midst of a revolution and there is an increased need for travel companies to better manage the whole payment experience, Companies in the travel space – including travel management companies, travel agencies, corporations, issuers and technology partners – need sophisticated solutions and seamless connections. Sabre is taking strategic steps to fulfill the needs of our industry, beginning with the acquisition of Conferma Pay. Now, the new partnership with Mastercard will help Conferma Pay to build new and enhanced digital capabilities in virtual cards, transforming the payment experience for issuers."
-Roshan Mendis, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Travel Solutions.
As part of the agreement, Mastercard has agreed to make a minority investment in Conferma Pay, which will continue to operate independently and serve the entire travel industry and beyond. Mastercard's investment in Conferma Pay is subject to customary closing conditions.
A combination of experience, technologies and capabilities will accelerate travel payment innovation and drive inclusive and sustainable growth for the sector, said Chris Fendley, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Partnerships at Mastercard. Virtual cards deliver visibility, boost liquidity and increase control over B2B payment flows, which enhance payment strategies and empower organizations across the travel value chain to run, grow and protect their business, which has never been more essential.
Conferma Pay connects issuers to more than 700 travel management companies, all the major global distribution systems and more than 100 online booking tools. Conferma Pay is fully integrated with all the major card schemes and serves more than 50 banking partners, who issue Conferma Pay generated virtual cards in nearly 100 currencies.
"We've already made significant inroads in the B2B travel space through partnering with Sabre, We are excited about the new investments. This, combined with our existing strong relationships, will enable Conferma Pay to build on our global footprint and be at the forefront of addressing industry challenges and opportunities."
-Martin Cowley, interim CEO at Conferma Pay
Sabre's Virtual Payments will continue to offer Conferma Pay services – with increased capabilities that help travel buyers, agencies and corporations best support travel customer needs. Sabre Virtual Payments is a unique, secure, automated and integrated end-to-end payment solution designed to simplify and add value to the transactions that TMCs, OTAs, travel agencies, corporations and travel suppliers do every day. Sabre Virtual Payments takes all the capabilities of Conferma Pay and its network of issuers and combines it with seamless integration across Sabre products for -connected travel buyers, agencies and corporations.
About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com.
About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.
About Conferma Pay
Conferma Pay is a global financial technology company. It designs and integrate virtual payment systems that provide a more efficient, seamless and secure way to pay for businesses. Conferma Pay was born in Manchester in 2005. Since then, it has connected over 700 TMCs, and directly integrates with all the major GDSs and OBTs. Its roots lie in corporate travel payment integration. It enables its payment providers to flow virtual cards into the preferred purchasing process of any business travel buyer. Crucial to this is its network of banking partners, who have issued virtual cards in over 200 countries, in 40 currencies with over 45 commercial banking partners via all major card networks. Its ecosystem continues to expand to meet the growing requirements of its global customer base.