BTN's Top 10 Stories of 2022

January 4, 2023


The year 2022 was one of renewal, with the Covid-19
pandemic's grip on the business travel industry loosening as travel
restrictions faded and international trips returned. That's not to say it was
smooth sailing: the effects of labor shortages, persistent inflation and
soaring prices challenged travel managers the world over. Presented here are
the BTN reports that gathered the most unique readers in 2022, perhaps as a
preview of a 2023 that features further recovery to a pre-pandemic world. 

1. JPMorgan
Chase to Acquire Frosch
(Feb. 17)

BTN's most-read story of 2022 centered on one of the larger
acquisitions of the year. After travel management company Frosch Travel Group
in recent years had acquired several other agencies, JPMorgan Chase turned the
tables and bought out Frosch. Frosch CEO Bryan Leibman later called
the deal
a "one plus one equals 10" proposition. 

RELATED: Newly
Acquired by JPMC, Frosch Goes Into Growth Mode

[Note: Private equity company Eagle Tree Capital owns BTN
parent company Northstar Travel Group and is an investor in Frosch.]

2. Travel
Manager Salaries Rise as Roles Expand
(Aug. 15)

The 39th annual edition of BTN's Travel Manager
Salary and Attitude Survey was of even higher interest in 2022. After the 2020
onset of the pandemic upended the profession with layoffs, transfers,
outsourcing and changed responsibilities, many remaining travel managers in
2022 found themselves in a tight labor market and a complex travel environment.
Their pay in many cases reflected it: The average compensation in BTN's survey
increased 11 percent year over year.

3. Concur
Fills In Some Lines on Booking Experience Roadmap
(Aug. 22)

SAP Concur remains a keystone player in the online booking
and expense management space, so when the company in May elevated
Concur and American Airlines vet Charlie Sultan to president, his explanation
of Concur's re-platforming
plans
drew much attention. Concur has promised upgraded hotel and air
booking experiences in 2023.

RELATED: Legacy
OBT Suppliers Detail Long-Term Direction

4. Amex
GBT Readies for Lasting Environment of Travel Disruptions
(Aug. 23)

One of the key storylines of 2022 was the labor shortage
that spread throughout all corners of the business world, not sparing the
business travel industry. Travel management companies and hotels struggled to
find, train and keep employees. For airlines, a pilot shortage helped trigger
summertime capacity reductions, and the industry still is looking for
solutions. American Express Global Business Travel EVP David Reimer in August
talked to BTN about the TMC's tools for disruption management and why he thinks
such disruption is here to stay.

5. Omicron
Wreaks Havoc on Holiday Travel; Will It Stall Business Travel Recovery?

(Jan. 3)

BTN's first report of 2022 was on the wild holiday 2021
rampage of the omicron variant of Covid-19, as a nervous industry hoped the
devastation of the delta variant would not repeat. It didn't. Although omicron
proved very contagious, its effects generally were milder than those of delta,
and despite some January slowdowns and cancellations, the industry within a few
weeks had
exhaled

RELATED: Optimism
Increases for Limited Omicron Corp. Travel Effect

6. BTN's
2022 Travel Manager of the Year & Best Practitioners
(Aug. 24)

BTN since 1985 has named a Travel Manager of the Year, and
in 2022 recognized Visa senior director of global travel and events sourcing Kim
Hamer for developing a program with Visa airline, TMC and booking tool partners
that delivers customized amenity and service bundles based on the New
Distribution Capability standard to Visa travelers. Also honored as Best
Practitioners of 2022 were Siemens' Emma Eaton, Estee Lauder Cos.' Jami
Stapelmann and Takeda's Faye Zeidlhack.

7. British
Airways, American Among Carriers Making Significant Schedule Cuts

(Aug. 22)

The waning effects of the pandemic brought with it new
challenges for airlines throughout the world. Rapidly escalating demand,
persistent supply chain disruptions and staffing shortages—along with similar
issues down the line at air traffic control, maintenance and catering providers—helped
trigger something of a global operational breakdown, and carriers cut capacity
to regain footing. Still, issues
persist
.

8. Delta
Leads 2021 On-Time Performance for N. American Carriers
(Dec. 29,
2021)

Bending the rules a bit to include BTN's final report of
2021, heralding Delta Air Lines' on-time performance, which topped major North
American carriers in 2021. The carrier repeated
that performance
in 2022, though like several of its competitors a lower
share of its arrivals were on time last year.

9. U.S.
Travel Industry Intensifies Push to End Inbound Testing Requirement

(June 8)

The U.S. federal government's maintenance of a requirement
for inbound international travelers to test negative for Covid-19 before
departure, after the United Kingdom and several European countries had dropped
similar rules, was a springtime thorn in the side of U.S. travel suppliers. A
few days after this report, the U.S. dropped
the requirement
. But it's not quite gone for good: On Jan. 5, the U.S. will
require
a negative test for travelers to the U.S. from China.

10. CWT:
Expect Travel Prices to Keep Rising in 2023
(Aug. 10)

Persistent inflation helped send U.S. airfares
and hotel
rates
soaring in 2022, beyond all forecasts, and CWT and the Global
Business Travel Association in August projected travel managers could expect
more of the same in 2023, thanks in part to potentially higher fuel prices and staff
shortages. Other forecasts, including those from Amex
GBT
and CBRE
Hotels Research
, also projected further 2023 rate hikes. 

Bonus! 11. Sabre
Acquires Conferma Pay
(Aug. 8)

In one of the largest industry acquisitions of the year, travel
distribution and IT company Sabre in early August acquired U.K.-based virtual
payments company Conferma for what BTN sibling The Beat reported
was a purchase price of $72.5 million. Conferma for years has powered the Sabre
Virtual Payments product, but now Sabre has suggested the deal would allow for
the development of "end-to-end" payment solutions. Mastercard
subsequently took
a stake
in Conferma in a partnership to build new virtual payment
capabilities.

Thanks for reading in 2022, and BTN wishes you a happy and
prosperous 2023. 

RELATED: BTN's 25 Most
Influential in 2022



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