Sabre-connected agencies in France, the Netherlands and United Kingdom now can book and fulfill Air France-KLM bag fees,
according to Sabre Travel Network. That functionality is available in
the "classic view" of the Sabre Red Workspace while the newer
graphical view in the agency desktop system currently accommodates only
shopping for Air France-KLM prepaid bags, according to a Sabre spokesperson who
noted that "work is in underway to make pre-paid bags bookable in
graphical view." Sabre in September 2012 announced a new content deal with Air France-KLM
that called for the sale of KLM's premium-economy seating. The
spokesperson confirmed that "pre-paid seats are available in graphical
view today for shopping and booking," adding that Sabre receives the seat
and bag content from the Airline Tariff Publishing Co.'s Optional Services
GBTA named travel buyers Donna Kelliher of Dominion and Pamela McTeer of First Data Corp. as nominees for its president and CEO post.
The winner will serve a two-year term starting at the conclusion of the Global Business Travel Association's convention in San Diego in August, where members will vote. Christie Johnson, director of business services at Johnson Downie, is running unopposed for vice president. The ballot also includes three nominees for two Direct member-at-large positions on the board of directors: Denise Truso, global travel director at St. Jude Medical; Rita Visser, director of global travel GPO/executive travel services at Oracle; and Karoline Mayr, director of global travel procurement at Deltek. The open Allied member-at-large board seat will be contested by Altour senior vice president of sales Doug Payne and Christopher Juneau, Concur senior marketing director for Australia and Asia/Pacific.
Privately held Virgin Atlantic Airways reported a £93 million pre-tax loss for its fiscal year ending Feb. 28.
Virgin Atlantic Ltd., a group that includes the passenger airline business as well as Virgin Holidays and an air cargo business, posted a pre-tax loss of £69.9 million, which included positive special items. Group revenue for the 12-month period increased 5 percent year over year, with a modest increase in total passenger counts and a passenger load factor improvement of 1.3 percent. The carrier reported a 9.2 percent increase in passengers traveling in Premium Economy and Upper Class. Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger, a former American Airlines executive appointed this year, expected an improved financial performance for this year and has established a plan to "return the business to profitability within a two-year time frame," according to a statement. The path to profitability includes the carrier's new U.K. domestic business
, its pending joint venture with Delta Air Lines
, the impacts of a more fuel-efficient fleet and other initiatives, including a cost-savings program that calls for "£45 million in financial improvements in the current fiscal year."
Concur announced preferred seat tracking and alerts for TripIt Pro users,
although users still must contact the carrier or booking agent to actually change seats. Users can set tracking preferences for classes of service, window or aisle seats and those in the front or back of the cabin. Alerts on openings in exit rows and bulkheads also are available as part of the service, currently offered on the web but coming soon to mobile, Concur announced.
EasyJet this month will include "free fast track security" as part of its "flexi" fares targeted at business travelers,
which were introduced in 2011
. According to the carrier, "phase one" of the expedited security rollout will include 27 airports, including London Gatwick, London Stansted, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Paris Orly, Rome Fiumicino, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa, Athens, Munich and Hamburg.
The average cost for a first-quarter domestic U.S. trip by Travel Leaders Corporate clients dropped for the first time since early 2010,
according to the travel management company. The marginal $1 year-over-year decline in total domestic trip cost to $953—including air, car and hotel costs—resulted from a 2 percent drop in average airfare (the first such reduction since 2011, according to the TMC) and a 3 percent decrease in average daily car rental rate (to $42, "a three-year low") offsetting a 1 percent rise in hotel cost per night. Based on Travel Leaders Corporate data, Miami had the largest first-quarter increase in nightly hotel cost, up 11 percent year over year, followed by Dallas and New York (each 9 percent). "The number of hotel room nights booked by our clients has jumped 21 percent year over year," noted Travel Leaders Corporate president David Holyoke. "Clearly, there is significant demand for business travel."