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Expense manager Nexonia has stamped its ticket into the travel booking space with the launch of the Nexonia Travel platform. The first significant product since Nexonia merged with Certify in June 2017, Nexonia Travel marks a major step in the combined company's efforts to serve larger corporate clients and challenge Concur's dominance in the T&E management market.
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American Airlines next year will launch SalesLink Insights, a data portal for corporate travel buyers through which they can monitor contract performance, spending and operational data. The carrier, which released a new portal for agents earlier this year, already has been demoing SalesLink Insights for its corporate customers and plans to put it in the hands of a beta group of about 50 corporate accounts in November, said American Airlines managing director of sales operations Brett Berman. In the first quarter of next year, it will expand that to more than 2,000 corporate accounts globally.
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Routehappy has added new descriptors for in-flight Wi-Fi to better define what sort of connection will be available aboard a flight. The categorizations define Wi-Fi based on four levels of capability: email and messaging, basic Web browsing, fast Web browsing and Netflix streaming capable. Those replace the formerly used "basic," "better" and "best" descriptors. Routehappy already is providing the data through channels like Skyscanner, Sabre, Travix and Upside.
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AccorHotels has appointed Chris Cahill and Jean-Jacques Morin as deputy CEOs. Cahill?who has until now served at CEO of luxury brands and CEO of North America, Central America and the Caribbean?will oversee hotel operations. Morin, who has been Accor CFO since 2015, will head finance, communications and strategy. "The appointments of Chris Cahill and Jean-Jacques Morin as group deputy CEOs alongside deputy CEO Sven Boinet are intended to further improve our operational efficiency and the quality of delivery of the group's strategy," chairman and CEO Sebastien Bazin stated in the company's media announcement.
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Business transient bookings for both the third and fourth quarter of 2018 are proving a bright spot for North American hotels, according to TravelClick. Third-quarter business transient bookings are up 2.8 percent from this same time last year, more than any other segment, and average daily rate is up 2.6 percent. 
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A feature in the iPhones that Apple unveiled this month could drastically reduce high international mobile roaming charges, a major hidden cost of business travel. The Apple XS, XS Max and XR phones include embedded subscriber identification modules, or eSIMs. Price per minute of talk time on foreign trips typically is measured in dollars rather than cents, but an eSIM allows the user to download a local calling plan when he or she arrives.
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Delta has achieved Level 3 certification for the International Transport Association's New Distribution Capability schema version 18.1, the highest level currently available. Delta is working with partner Virgin Atlantic, which already has achieved the same certification, to align shopping experiences across booking channels, for which NDC "is an important building block," according to Delta.  
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Hotel rates will increase between 1 and 3 percent in 2019, according to BCD Travel's 2019 Industry Forecast, thanks to demand outpacing supply in most markets. Airfares, meanwhile, will rise between 1 and 2 percent in most markets. BCD said lower airfares boosted global air travel demand in 2017. That demand has diminished, though, and dropped farther in some regions, due to slowing economic activity.
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American Airlines will charge $30 for the first checked bag for tickets purchased on and after Sept. 21 for domestic flights and flights to Canada. The $5 increase matches hikes already announced by JetBlue, United and Delta. American also increased the cost for a second checked bag by $5 to $40.
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As another deadline for state Real ID compliance creeps closer, Department of Homeland Security officials are hoping travelers and traveler buyers start paying more attention to the "real" deadline looming just a bit farther in the distance. As of early September, 33 states and Washington, D.C., are issuing licenses and identification cards that meet Real ID standards and are thus certified by DHS.   
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