out five minutes after booking air,
because the agent may still be working on it,” he said.
Yet, after the first email, the “closer
you get to departure, the more frequently you’ll get the reminder.”
Within reason, that is. Christopherson will send only so many if no
action is taken. Cameron called it “a
few,” the exact number of which can
be adjusted by clients.
As for attaching a hotel reservation
booked outside the system, Cameron
asked, “Have you heard of anyone trying to solve that problem?” He added,
“This is our solution to open booking.”
Instead of forwarding emails to
capture hotel reservations booked
outside designated channels, travelers
are directed to a map of the destination city, powered by Google Maps,
to find their hotel by moving the map
BY JAY BOEHMER
“Nobody has been able to solve this
problem,” Christopherson Business
Travel CEO Mike Cameron said of
hotel leakage and low attachment
rates in corporate travel.
Of course, Cameron thinks his
agency finally has done it with a new
feature called Hotel Attachment.
Christopherson’s solution, similar to
one nuTravel announced recently,
uses post-booking email alerts that
implore corporate travelers to book
“The standard hotel attachment rate
is less than 50 percent,” Cameron said
of airline bookings that also include
a hotel reservation. “Half or more of
the reservations have the opportunity
to use this software. It’s a big gap in
the marketplace.” Nu Travel executive
vice president Rich Miller similarly
called low attachment rates “a con-
cern for many companies.”
Christopherson’s system scans over-
night airline reservations that do not
include a hotel booking. It then auto-
generates an email to travelers who
don’t have a hotel booking, outlining
four courses of action: Let the traveler
book a hotel immediately, let the trav-
eler set a reminder to book a hotel at
a specified date, let the traveler attach
his or her hotel reservation if already
booked outside the system or let the
traveler confirm that he or she doesn’t
need a hotel reservation.
Meanwhile, nuTravel’s FlexAlerts,
an “add-on to the nu Travel Enterprise
platform,” also uses email alerts “at
specifically-configured intervals to
remind and assist travelers in adding
missing hotel or car to existing travel
reservations,” according to the booking tool provider. Those emails link
travelers back to the booking path to
add a reservation.
If a traveler elects to book a hotel
after being reminded by Christopherson, the system knows if he or she
booked an air reservation online or
with an agent. In the former scenario,
a link directs the traveler to add a hotel
reservation via the preferred booking
tool. If the latter, Christopherson generates a prepopulated template with
some blanks for the traveler to fill in,
and the request is emailed to the same
agent that handled the air booking.
Cameron said clients can configure
settings, but when and how often to
email travelers will follow a standard.
“You don’t want to send the email
Christopherson Thinks It Has Solved
The Hotel Attachment Problem
or searching by name, Cameron said.
There, the traveler can click the hotel
he or she booked to populate information into the reservation record.
Cameron added that email-
confirmation forwarding and pars-
ing by way of Concur “is on our
road map. We are not going to build
a parser, and the reason that we’re
not is because Concur has done a
good job of that with TripLink and
we’re a Concur Preferred Partner.”
Christopherson also has launched
Travel Approval, a pre-trip system
that prompts travelers and managers
to approve, modify or cancel bookings
made online or by an agent.
While online booking tools have
built-in approvals processes that
Cameron said work well, the new tool
addresses agent bookings and adds
First, the approval request
prompts the traveler to approve, modify or cancel his
or her booking. After action
is taken, it goes to the designated approver, who also
may approve, modify or cancel. Companies can add another approval layer.
While some systems give
two options—approve or
reject—Cameron likened the
“modify” option to “a line-item veto.” For example, a
manager could reject an out-of-policy hotel booking but keep the
Cameron said clients can route the
emails to conform to their approvals
processes and enable “passive approvals” so ticketing can proceed if travelers and/or approvers fail to respond.
“We’re going to strongly encourage
companies to keep the traveler level
turned on, just to ensure everybody
is on the same page with what was
requested and what was booked,”
In conjunction, Christopherson is
providing a dashboard for “super approvers” or travel managers to see all
pending and processed approvals and
take action on approvals if needed.
Christopherson is making the home-grown solutions available at no added
charge as part of its AirPortal platform.
“The standard hotel attachment rate [to
airline bookings] is less than 50 percent.
Half or more of the reservations have the
opportunity to use this software. It’s a big
gap in the marketplace.“
—CHRISTOPHERSON CEO MIKE CAMERON
BY MICHAEL B. BAKER
Delta Air Lines is rolling out an
on-demand reporting application
for travel managers to monitor
contract performance, vice president of commercial operations
Kristen Shovlin said.
Sky Partner Performance Plus
uses advanced booking data and
other forward-looking data to
help travel managers review performance on desktop or mobile
devices and find ways to improve
it. The reporting is customizable,
such as by date range, she said.
Travel managers also can monitor
Edge Points, used for such perks as
“We sat down with key players, and they helped us design it,”
Shovlin said. “It’s really about going from reporting on the past and
Delta Develops Contract Performance Analyzer
moving it to the future with action-
able, transparent data.”
Delta has begun rolling out the
new tool to corporate clients, hav-
ing demonstrated it to its largest cli-
ents, she said.
In addition, Delta has started the
next phase of its Corporate Prior-
ity program, in which travelers from
Delta clients receive elevated priority
in cases of delays or cancellations,
according to Shovlin. Now, corpo-
rate clients’ travelers also will get
priority in cases in which travelers
are bumped from flights or face cab-
in downgrades, she said.
A third phase of Corporate Priority, slated for next year, will focus
on personalized recognition of corporate travelers, Shovlin said.
“We sat down with key players, and
they helped us design it. It’s really about
going from reporting on the past and
moving it to the future with actionable,
—DELTA’S KRISTEN SHOVLIN