TMCs achieve SAP Concur Elite status

Buying Business Travel | December 16, 2019

Business Travel Direct and BCD Travel have each gained TMC Elite status in the SAP Concur Partner Programme, becoming two of three companies headquartered outside of the US to earn the accreditation. SAP Concur has recently revamped its  Partner Programme into a multi-levelled system, with partners now classified in one of three accreditations – Partner, Select, or Elite. Business Travel Direct said it has been working closely with the firm, having held TMC Certified and Preferred Partner status for the past five years. Its team has also delivered 50 Concur implementations, including five global clients. In addition, BCD Travel earned Elite status in November and claimed it was already one of SAP Concur’s biggest reseller partners, with the relationship dating back to 2001.

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What’s the most-visited country? Where are the most expensive hotels? A look at where and how we travel.

Spotlight

What’s the most-visited country? Where are the most expensive hotels? A look at where and how we travel.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

AWS Selected as Delta’s Preferred Cloud Provider

Delta | July 12, 2022

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), is part of the latest acceleration in Delta Air Lines’ digital business transformation with the announcement of a multi-year agreement to serve as the airline’s preferred cloud provider. AWS will help Delta unlock technologies and streamline processes that will make the customer experience faster, smoother, and more secure—from the booking process to the flight experience.“Continuous innovation is at the core of Delta’s commitment to its customers,” said Matt Garman, Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Global Services at Amazon Web Services. “Delta is using AWS’s global infrastructure, proven operating expertise, and wide range of services to drive innovation in delivering superior customer service, as well as enhancing efficiency and reliability across its global network.” Delta is building on AWS’s broad portfolio of cloud technologies and solutions to meet unique industry and regulatory requirements, as well as the company’s continuous drive for efficiency and reliability. With AWS, Delta is providing a secure infrastructure for timely data-driven insights. In addition, Delta is providing its employees with the opportunity to take part in training with the AWS Designated Virtual Trainer (DVT) program to increase cloud adoption and develop new client-facing and internal capabilities. Delta plans to scale the program across its global hubs to ensure employees around the world have access to in-person and online cloud skills training. “We’re not just transforming our IT backbone—we’re rallying our entire organization to use leading technology to improve our customers’ travel experience in meaningful ways, Our work with AWS is one of many critical steps we’re taking to modernize our technology platform, empower our employees with the best tools available, and give customers even more control over the way they fly.” -Delta’s Rahul Samant, E.V.P. and Chief Information Officer. The airline is also working with AWS to modernize the core technology platforms that support its customer engagement center operations. Thanks to Amazon Connect (a fully managed, easy-to-use, omnichannel cloud contact center service), customers who call Delta’s reservations and customer care specialists will have a more streamlined experience. Delta customer care specialists can respond in real time to customers with new online and text support. Delta’s collaboration with Amazon extends beyond technology innovation. The airline is also Amazon’s most preferred carrier, supporting Amazon’s business travel needs around the globe. About Amazon Web Services For over 15 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud offering. AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any cloud workload, and it now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 84 Availability Zones within 26 geographic regions, with announced plans for 24 more Availability Zones and eight more AWS Regions in Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit aws.amazon.com. About Amazon Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews. About Delta More than 4,000 Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) flights take off every day, connecting people across more than 275 destinations on six continents with award-winning operational excellence, customer service, safety and innovation. Our people lead the way in delivering a world-class customer experience, and we're continuing to ensure the future of travel is personalized, enjoyable and stress-free. Delta is America's most awarded airline thanks to the dedication, passion and professionalism of its people, recognized by J.D. Power, Fortune's World Most Admired Companies, the Wall Street Journal, and Business Travel News, among many others. Delta has served as many as 200 million customers annually. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta operates significant hubs and key markets in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Seoul-Incheon and Tokyo.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Spirit Airlines Completes Initial High-Speed Wi-Fi Installation, Takes Ultra-Low Fare Air Travel Experience to New Heights

Spirit Airlines | July 14, 2022

Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE) has completed yet another groundbreaking investment in the Guest experience. Guests can now binge their favorite shows via Spirit Wi-Fi on flights operated by its Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. The major milestone marks the first time a U.S.-based ultra-low fare airline has offered high-speed Wi-Fi. Spirit partnered with Thales to install the high-speed connectivity solution FlytLIVE to cover Spirit's network across the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. This state-of-the-art system offers access to internet services. Guests can enjoy an at-home level of experience in the air while viewing video from their streaming services, playing games and connecting on social media with their personal devices. As another major milestone, Spirit expects to provide the fastest Wi-Fi service of any U.S.-based airline when all FlytLIVE-enabled planes are connected to the new, very high-throughput SES-17 satellite by September 2022. "This is a real groundbreaking moment in the industry as Spirit adds in-flight amenities and product options that have previously not been available on ultra-low fare carriers, We're continuing to deliver the best value in the sky by providing options that are important to our Guests, like our high-speed Wi-Fi service, while keeping our focus on affordable fares to provide our Guests with More Go." -Matt Klein, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Spirit Airlines. At Thales, we are proud to partner with Spirit Airlines in their mission to enhance the Guest experience and are truly excited to have 100% of their A320 & A321 fleet equipped with FlytLIVE. The system's reliability and performance is getting rave reviews from Spirit's passengers who can now stream to their heart's content," said TK Kallenbach, CEO Thales InFlyt Experience. Spirit Wi-Fi Spirit is the leader in providing customizable travel options that allow Guests to pay only for the options they choose like bags, seat assignments, refreshments, and now, Wi-Fi service will be part of this À La Smarte approach to travel. In addition to purchasing Wi-Fi on the flight, Guests can pre-purchase Wi-Fi at the time of booking on spirit.com effective July 13, 2022, and on the mobile app effective August 10, 2022, for flights on or after August 24, 2022. The voucher codes received from the pre-purchase option are for entry in the online Wi-Fi portal on the plane. Wi-Fi Your Way Browsing: browse the web and stay in touch via email, chat, and social media starting at $2.99 Streaming: stream, browse, and chat on board with high-speed internet that's 20x faster than our browsing option starting at $5.99 How To Connect Turn on your device's Wi-Fi and choose "Spirit_WiFi" Open your web browser and visit SpiritWiFi.com Choose the plan, enter your payment or voucher code information, and enjoy Spirit Wi-Fi Features: The most advanced Ka-band high-throughput connectivity FlytLIVE uses SES & Hughes next-generation aviation satellite network and technology SES-17 satellite built to serve routes across the Americas and Atlantic with Ka-band coverage SES-17 is SES's first satellite to have a totally digital payload, powered by a Thales advanced digital transparent processor (DTP), enabling greater flexibility and efficiency than previously available. Using Thales' FlytLIVE and SES-17, Spirit expects to offer the best availability in the Americas and will be faster than other airlines based on published data. Additional program details: In total, more than 80 percent of Spirit's fleet has Wi-Fi capability with system installations completed on Spirit's existing A320 and A321 sub-fleets. The expansion of Wi-Fi functionality to Spirit's existing A319 sub-fleet will be determined at a later date. Spirit plans to gain 24 brand new A320neo planes in 2022 for a projected fleet-wide total of 197 by the end of the year, and 33 more new planes projected for delivery in 2023. The price of the Wi-Fi options is based on the duration of the flight. While inflight, Guests can enjoy complimentary access to Spirit.com—check your flight status on connecting flights, access your mobile boarding pass, and join Free Spirit to earn points from your flight. More information may be found on spirit.com/wifi. Recognition Spirit continues to garner recognition for innovation in the Guest experience and its commitment to operational excellence. The carrier won "Best Airport Innovation" in the 2021 APEX/IFSA Awards for its groundbreaking self-bag drop system with biometric photo matching, which speeds up the check-in process and reduces face-to-face contact. Additionally, Spirit was recognized by Forbes as one of America's Best Employers for Diversity in 2022. Spirit also received the FAA's "Aviation Maintenance Technician Diamond Award of Excellence" for the fourth consecutive year. About Spirit Airlines: Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE) is committed to delivering the best value in the sky. We are the leader in providing customizable travel options starting with an unbundled fare. This allows our Guests to pay only for the options they choose — like bags, seat assignments and refreshments — something we call À La Smarte®. We make it possible for our Guests to venture further and discover more than ever before. Our Fit Fleet® is one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the U.S. We serve destinations throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, and are dedicated to giving back and improving those communities. Come save with us at spirit.com. About Thales: Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and "deep tech" innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum computing – to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers – businesses, organisations and governments – in the defence, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Stratix and Samsung Form Alliance for Smart and Connected Hotels

Stratix and Samsung | June 17, 2022

On June 15, Stratix Corporation, a leading Managed Mobility Services (MMS) provider in the U.S., announced its alliance with Samsung to bolster SmartMobile technology solutions to revolutionize hospitality operations and guest experiences. Both the companies want to solve many of the challenges the hospitality industry faces today. The majority of the hotels and resorts in the U.S. rely on slow, analog workflows that do not contribute to great guest experiences. Mobile devices and applications can create highly-efficient fully-connected hotels to remedy this issue. Stratix has created an interactive video demonstrating transformative mobile solutions for maintenance, housekeeping, front desk, concierge, dining, events, and valet services. Such solutions paired with mobile devices and wearables can make workflows intelligent and seamless. As a result, employees can work efficiently and happily, customers can enjoy digital interactions that match their service expectations and enjoy their stay. Stratix and Samsung solve some of the most pressing issues that the hospitality industry face, including: Implementing technology Personalizing customer experiences Attracting and retaining employees This alliance pairs Samsung’s industry-leading technology for the hospitality industry with Stratix’s expertise in the solution design domain, lifecycle management and 24x7x365 support. Both the companies can: Educate hospitality companies through the knowledge and resources they need to develop and implement cutting-edge technology and create competitive differentiation Translate data and insights into usable information that helps tailor guest experiences, promotions, and loyalty programs to individual customers Provide employees with useful and easy-to-use tools that improve their productivity and make their lives easier "With customer expectations increasing and hospitality facing the same staffing challenges other industries are navigating, using mobile-driven digital transformation to improve productivity and enhance user experiences just makes sense, Our alliance with Samsung allows us to expand our strategic customer engagement model, and success in other industries with comparable use cases, to quickly bring transformative Managed Mobility Services to the hospitality industry." -Gina Daniel-Lee, Vice President, Strategic Alliances and Partnerships at Stratix. Together, Samsung and Stratix are delivering solutions that the hospitality industry desperately needs to create outstanding guest experiences.

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