Thursday, July 20, 2006

Travolution@NBTA in Chicago - Part 6: US opens its eyes

Well, things are winding down here at the NBTA conference in Chicago and not a day too soon because any more of this humidity and I might have permanent hair frizz.

Usually, the last day of a conference is pretty uneventful, and today is not much different.

Most people are feeling a bit rough from the night before (BCD and Continental threw the mother of all parties at the legendary House of Blues [surely this is the reason for the hair frizz? - Ed]) and the trade show vendors have already begun to pack up thier booths.

Alas, so far (I've still got 6 hours to go), there is at least one piece of final news worthy of reporting.

That is the plan by Concur Technologies, which owns the Cliqbook self booking platform, to roll out a restriction-based ticketing tool.

The new tool, which is being implemented across continental Europe, the UK and Australia over the next five weeks, will enable business travellers to view fares with varying levels of restrictions, so they can more easily select the best pricing combination on point-to-point and multi-leg journeys.

The tool is particularly appropriate for the intra-European market, where there exist multiple types of restricted tickets, which, unlike in the US where even highly-restricted fares are somewhat flexible, cannot be changed without facing hefty penalties.

For those of you who don't think this sounds very exciting, trust me, it is – if for no other reason than it shows that the Yanks are finally starting to realise that the rest of the world is not America. Hurrah!

Tricia Holly Davis, freelance journalist in Chicago

No comments: