Lufthansa Group and travel management firm TripActions have launched a new travel booking platform designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The partnership to develop the BusinessToGo booking portal was first announced in December and went live on Wednesday (4 May) for customers in the German-speaking DACH region (Austria, Germany and Switzerland) and Belgium.
It allows companies to manage their overall travel programme at the same time as earning and using Lufthansa Group PartnerPlusBenefit corporate loyalty points.
Corporate clients can choose between two BusinessToGo platform tiers: Essentials and Premium packages.
Both versions allow access to all flights from Lufthansa Group’s airlines and joint venture partners, including NDC fares, as well as hotels, trains and car rental content from TripActions. Members of the PartnerPlusBenefit programme can also collect and redeem their points on the platform.
The Premium package offers enhanced on-boarding and support in configuring the platform, as well as access to offers from other airlines. Customers pay a €22 fee per trip to receive unlimited use of TripActions’ offline servicing support.
The platform also offers reporting and analytics capabilities for companies to monitor their travel programmes including spending, compliance and carbon emissions.
Stefan Kreuzpaintner, senior vice president sales for Lufthansa Group Network Airlines, said: “We’re providing unmanaged SME corporate customers the ability to use an innovative and modern business booking platform that combines the latest technologies and a wide range of flights, hotels, and rental cars with the advantages of PartnerPlusBenefit.”
Mark Goldberger, head of strategic accounts at TripActions, said that the new tool was “very similar” to the TMC’s existing platform but some elements of “uniqueness” had been built into the new Lufthansa portal.
“Machine learning and artificial intelligence are used to personalise the booking for every traveller based on their preferences, loyalty points, past bookings and colleagues’ bookings,” he explained.
“You can also look at compliance to see your out-of-policy bookings. You can see a naughty list of who’s out of policy the most.”
Lufthansa said that NDC was the “engine” behind the new booking platform and around 40 clients had already signed up for BusinessToGo within a couple of hours of the launch.