Michele McDonald

Michele
McDonald

Michele McDonald is editor and publisher of Travel Technology Update, an industry newsletter read by executives of online travel companies, industry suppliers, global distribution systems, investment analysts and technology companies involved in electronic travel distribution. She is a contributing writer for Air Transport World and writes frequently on distribution and technology issues. She has covered the travel industry for more than 25 years, with emphasis on the airline industry, technology and distribution. Previously, she was editor of Travel Distribution Report and managing editor of Travel Weekly.

Articles
BTC: US Airways-AA merger would bolster ‘anti-competitive’ NDC project 
News from Travel Technology Update: The chairman of the Business Travel Coalition widened his opposition to the American-US Airways merger to include a broad attack on IATA’s New Distribution Capability.
Inside Travel Technology Update - February 13, 2013 
  • UBM receives offer for data services, including OAG
  • Delta-Starwood program offers reciprocal elite benefits
  • SriLankan Airlines to migrate to Amadeus Altéa
  • Charter Solutions teams with Riskline
  • Sabre Hospitality Solutions links with Passkey’s GroupMAX
  • In Focus: IBS grows through acquisition strategy
  • World news briefing
     
Farelogix creates ‘Airline Commerce Gateway’ 
Farelogix has pulled together several of its key products to create the Airline Commerce Gateway.
Distribution Wars 
Southwest Airlines told the court in which American Airlines is suing Travelport that American is trying to obtain its trade secrets.
Inside Travel Technology Update - January 30, 2013 
  • American Airlines is ‘actively looking’ to invest in technology start-ups
  • Booking.com launches U.S. marketing campaign
  • Judge rules OTAs must pay Hawaiian excise tax
  • IATA, A4A ask Texas court to unseal AA-Sabre documents
  • 3BaysOver invites S. American companies to networking site
  • Deloitte sees room for improvement in hotel loyalty programs
  • World news briefing
Sabre embroils IATA’s NDC initiative in counterclaim to US Airways lawsuit 
News from Travel Technology Update: Sabre called IATA’s New Distribution Capability “an agreement among the airlines to withhold content by not publicly filing their content.”
Inside Travel Technology Update - January 16, 2013
  • Lanyon acquired by private equity firm
  • Room 77 raises $30m; Expedia joins list of investors
  • Travelport, AA could be on verge of settlement
  • Shorts Travel Management enhances Bookit application
  • Agilysys releases latest version of Visual One software suite
  • Nexion to establish agency hosting business in Canada
  • World news briefing
     
The shift to online servicing results in deep cuts at Amex business travel unit

American Express said it will eliminate about 5,400 jobs this year, reducing overall staffing by 4% to 6%.

The deepest cuts will be felt in its Global Business Travel unit, which currently employs about 12,000 people.

“Online servicing is the preferred channel,” Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer, said during a conference call with investment analysts.

“As our online capabilities improve, one outcome is that we can serve our growing customer base with lower staffing levels.”

Shift to online servicing results in deep cuts at Amex business travel 
News from Travel Technology Update: American Express said it will eliminate about 5,400 jobs this year, reducing overall staffing by 4% to 6%.
The Smart Sell 
Airlines must make better use of the new wave of communication devices
2012: Airlines strive to break the hold of ‘commoditization’ 
News from Travel Technology Update: The year 2012 was marked by moves to push airline distribution in a new direction, away from “commoditization” and toward a new model that is not simply tied to the selling of seats.
Inside Travel Technology Update - December 11, 2012
  • MakeMyTrip acquires majority stake in Thai hotel aggregator
  • S&P revises Sabre outlook to ‘stable’
  • WestJet plans premium economy section, fare bundles
  • J.D. Powers: Price is key in customer satisfaction with travel sites
  • Germanwings to launch new branding, a la carte pricing
  • Maxymizer and Monetate: Two approaches to ‘personalization’
  • World news briefing
A look back at 2012: Airlines strive to break the hold of ‘commoditization’

The year 2012 was marked by moves to push airline distribution in a new direction, away from “commoditization” and toward a new model that is not simply tied to the selling of seats.

At first glance, the settlement of American Airlines’ antitrust lawsuit against Sabre, approved by American’s bankruptcy court on Nov. 28, appears to maintain the status quo, but it frees American from a previous agreement with Sabre that limited its ability to openly market its Direct Connect product.

Inside Travel Technology Update - November 28, 2012
  • Concur invests $2 million in Evature, a natural-language search company
  • Lufthansa Group reduces stake in Amadeus
  • Amadeus unveils ‘curated’ search functionality
  • Priceline, Kayak CEOs talk
  • about their future together
  • TravelClick unveils ‘risk-free’ Google ad program for hotels
  • Branding in the digital age: You need values and beliefs
  • World news briefing
BTC takes airline fee fight to White House

The Business Travel Coalition launched a petition to urge the Obama administration to force airlines to provide ancillary fee information to all sales channels.

The petition was posted on the “We the People” platform on the White House website, which allows any American to create and post a petition on the site and collect signatures.

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