June 15, 2017 View in browser
Business traveler wants — not just needs — figure into many of the stories in today's newsletter. We think it's good to occasionally take a view beyond policy, employer responsibility, and cost savings to consider how road warriors feel about their travels.

One study that struck us was about the awkwardly named (but popular to discuss) bleisure trend. More than a third of those who responded to a survey of North Americans said they had extended a business trip to add a vacation element. But of those that didn't mix business and leisure on the road, nearly 60 percent said it was because they just didn't have time. Nearly 20 percent said they weren't allowed. We've called the U.S. a no-vacation nation, and this report from the Global Business Travel Association didn't do much to change that image.

Other wants you'll find addressed: Comfort (in a story about an airline legroom victory); choice (in a quirky guide to Hong Kong hotels for business travelers); and innovation (in a wish list describing a perfect but sadly fictional airline).
How AI and Machine Learning Can Help Fix Corporate Hotel Booking [SPONSORED]
Sponsored by DEEM
Out-of-policy hotel bookings have long been a source of frustration for corporate travel managers and travel management companies. AI and machine learning technologies can help address the issue by presenting business travelers with hotel options that match their personal preferences.
Business of Buying
Time-Starved Business Travelers Are Missing the Bleisure Trend
While bleisure travel isn't growing in a huge way, this study shows nearly half of millennial business travelers add leisure to business trips. Those young travelers could cut back as they get older — or employers might need to better adjust to a rise in bleisure down the road.

American Airlines Reverses Plan to Shrink Legroom on Some Planes
In today's airline landscape, legacy carriers generally offer between 30 and 32 inches of seat pitch. Discount airlines give customers 28 or 29 inches. American Airlines had planned to shrink some seats to 29 inches, but customers complained. The plan is off. That's good news.

Clever Ways Basic Economy Fares Force Flyers To Pay Extra
Airlines are using cheap basic economy fares, and more expensive traditional economy fares, to drive revenue. And the worse the basic economy experience becomes, the more likely flyers are to choose more expensive fares.

Brazil’s Business Travelers Haven’t Returned to Frequent Flying Yet
Business travel spending dropped in Brazil in 2016, and continued uncertainty in the market is making a recovery difficult. Will companies get used to keeping employees off the road?

A Scenario-Based Guide to Hotels for Business Travel in Hong Kong
A quick, no-nonsense guide to where to stay for business trips in one of the world's most spectacular cities: Hong Kong.
Safety + Security
TSA Tests Fingerprint Scans at U.S. Airports to Replace IDs
While some passengers may worry about privacy, this is a good development. The current system, in which an officer must compare a picture on an ID with a traveler, is not the most reliable. Humans make mistakes. This is a better approach.

Laptop Ban May Not Be Expanded, Homeland Security Boss Hints
Is it necessary for the DHS Secretary to deliberate so much in public? He seems to change his statements week by week. Enough, already.

Appeals Court Upholds Block of Trump Travel Ban as Supreme Court Battle Approaches
This is good news for travelers, and hurts the executive branch's case for upholding the travel ban as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the issue.
Disruption + Innovation
Most Hotel CEOs Dismiss Airbnb’s Impact But Demand Level Playing Field
Most CEOs said the same thing they’ve said about Airbnb countless times before — ‘We need a level playing field’ — but there are signs that some are starting to take the $31 billion alternative accommodations provider a bit more seriously.

Business Travel Startup Upside Raising $100 Million in New Funding
Priceline founder Jay Walker aims with Upside to offer an alternative for smaller companies buying travel. If the reports of the latest funding round are true, investors must believe Walker is going to work some of his entrepreneurial magic again. On the other hand, they've been wrong before.

A Passenger Wish List When Designing an Airline From Scratch
What would the Casper or Warby Parker of the aviation world look like? We take a stab at outlining the characteristics.

Uber CEO Plans to Take Leave as Management Board Asserts Control
As Uber shambles on following the departure of numerous top executives, one has to wonder who exactly will be tabbed to fill the company's leadership vacuum. Will the company be able to continue its rapid growth without Kalanick's aggressive presence at the helm?
Skift editors Hannah Sampson [hs@skift.com] and Andrew Sheivachman [as@skift.com] curate the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.
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