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August 10, 2020

Business Travel News for the Week: August 10

Samantha Shankman
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News
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Data is an integral part of TripActions. It’s played a critical role in building every TripActions product and innovation to date, and we believe in the power of data to solve big challenges. Which is why TripActions co-founder and CEO Ariel Cohen joined forces with other corporate travel leaders last week to urge the U.S. government to fully support a national COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and open data program.

Data will play an important role in giving enterprises and business travelers the confidence and controls they need to get back to business and travel -- safely and cost-effectively. While our industry is doing everything it can, leaders across hospitality and aviation are also taking charge. They’re pushing for new protocols and implementing them themselves in order to create a safe environment for business travel today (more on that below).

As you decide on your return to business travel plan, we encourage you to use our free-to-the-public TripActions Business Travel Recovery™ Tool and our COVID-19 Report in the TripActions Admin Dashboard. These help you assess the safety of travel, understand any government regulations associated with travel, and use other pertinent real-time data to guide your business and travel policy decisions.

You can also explore the most pressing industry topics on the TripActions Community, which has valuable insight from travel managers, finance leaders, HR professionals, and others.

Now, let’s dive into what’s happening across the industry today. You can check out past weekly news roundups here.

Business Travel CEOs Urge U.S. Government to Take Action on COVID Testing, Tracing, and Data Sharing [PhocusWire]

The CEOs of TripActions, TravelBank and Upside Business Travel last week sent a letter to U.S. congressional leaders urging them to fund nationwide COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and an open data program. While these companies have built innovative products and services to provide business travelers information about health advisories, travel restrictions, and infection trends, these tools rely on data. The conclusion is clear: Reliable information about the spread of the virus is critical to restart the business travel that powers business and the economy.

Oversight: T&E Spending Down but Violations, Fraud Up [Business Travel News]

Although the pandemic has decreased much corporate travel and entertainment spending, the risk of expense violations and fraud has actually increased drastically, according to new data from Oversight. Much of that increase can be attributed to the widespread need to set up home offices in the wake of the pandemic-induced temporary closing of traditional office spaces, which presented an increased opportunity for fraud. Learn more about TripActions Liquid and how we can provide the real-time insight and visibility needed to catch and stop fraud.

Delta Air Lines CEO Confident Business Travel Will Return [Simple Flying]

Ed Bastian, the CEO of Delta Air Lines, believes that business travel will return once confidence is restored when it comes to flying and meeting face-to-face. The airline boss doesn’t think that virtual meetings will signal the death of the business traveler. “The human spirit needs to be in person. It’s very hard to draw that same relationship and the collaboration and creativity and spark of ingenuity virtually,” he said -- and we agree.

Starwood CEO Touts Resiliency of Extended Stay Hotels During Pandemic [Skift]

Extended-stay hotels are currently the strongest performers for the Starwood Property Trust, a signal of shifting priorities for travelers who are looking for a home base when traveling for work or leisure. It will be interesting to see how hospitality trends and offerings continue to change to match the needs of business travelers today.

Alaska, JetBlue Adopt No-Exemption Passenger Mask Policies [Business Travel News]

Both Alaska Airlines and JetBlue are taking harder lines on their facial covering policies, removing exemptions for passengers over the age of 2. Alaska's new policy begins Friday, at which point passengers will not be allowed to travel if they will not or cannot wear a facial covering, and passengers who refuse to wear them after boarding will be suspended from future travel with the carrier.

For more news and actionable insights from the business travel community, subscribe to Open for Business: A Corporate T&E Podcast Powered by TripActions on your favorite podcast platform and join the TripActions Community.

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