Pennsylvania-based ExpenseWatch launched a new approval feature and now integrates with MapQuest,
the expense management company announced Tuesday. The MapQuest feature, according to ExpenseWatch, allows users to attach single or multiple maps to individual expense line items to "quickly" calculate mileage for repeat destinations—for example, trips between home and an airport. The geographic data in turn gives travel managers more insight on spending and travel activities, according to ExpenseWatch. The Empowered Approvals feature allows travel managers to configure the information fields they see in their expense report summaries to "easily and accurately" approve reports, according to the firm. Users can prioritize views of such items as transaction types, submitters, dollar amounts or out-of- budget items. Users also can create and print analytical reports, as well as approve or reject line items in bulk or by line.
American Express Global Business Travel named long-time Amadeus executive Philippe Chérèque its new chief technology officer.
According to an Amex spokesperson, Chérèque "will lead our technology strategy and innovation with a focus on core platforms and critical path products." The spokesperson added that Chérèque's team also will focus on "platform optimization and GDS connectivity, as well as on newer technologies that can facilitate greater mobile and tablet functionality to meet the growing trend of consumerization in the industry." Amex GBT president and CEO Bill Glenn in July told BTN
that following the relaunch of the company as a joint venture it would "aggressively move on the information and technology side." Chérèque had worked for Amadeus between 1987 and 2011, culminating with a role as executive vice president of commercial. He subsequently served as an advisor to Emirates on that carrier's reservations system strategy.
Indirect group purchasing organization Corporate United has launched a car rental program for members via an agreement with Enterprise Holdings,
parent company of the Enterprise and National car rental brands, the company announced Tuesday. The program, developed after a nine-month sourcing process, gives members access to reduced rates based on their geographic regions and travel needs, the organization reported. Corporate United president and COO Marc Rosen in a statement said that car rental is "of extreme interest to a number of our member companies, and we'll continue to evaluate other opportunities in this vertical." Corporate United on its website claims 240 member companies, including Caribou Coffee, Diebold, Progressive and Sherwin Williams.
WestJet is adding a $25 first-checked-bag fee for passengers traveling on Econo fares for domestic flights and flights between Canada and the United States,
the carrier announced Monday. The fee is effective Monday and applies to bookings for travel on or after Oct. 29. Travelers flying on Flex fares will be allowed one free checked bag, and Plus fare passengers get two free checked bags. The first checked bag will remain free for passengers traveling on WestJet to international destinations besides the United States. In a research note, Cowen and Co. said that WestJet had discussed the fee in the past but only now had the IT capabilities to implement it, adding that the firm expects "Air Canada will eventually mimic these fees in the domestic market." Additionally, WestJet Monday announced a three-tiered rewards program based on dollars spent with the airline; waiving the bag fee is a benefit that begins at the second tier, the silver level.
Travelport and Alitalia renewed a "multiyear" full-content agreement,
according to Travelport. The deal means that Travelport subscribers will continue to access "all of Alitalia's fares and inventory, including web fares, and ancillary offerings." To manage the display of its flights, fare families and optional services, the Italian airline also agreed to use the Rich Content and Branding component of Travelport's Merchandising Platform.
Concur partnered with French taxi service Taxis G7.
Initial integration now lets users connect their Concur accounts to Taxis G7's mobile app to "seamlessly book and receive e-receipts directly into Concur Expense." The companies noted that Taxis G7's eCab app now is available for users in Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels, with plans to expand by year-end to 15 additional European cities. Additional functionality for the eCab platform, also expected later this year, would include advance booking of "fixed-priced routes such as airport transfers." Taxis G7 claims a fleet of 7,600 affiliated taxis and a large partnership network throughout Europe.