Hipmunk dives into premium services for business travel, yet Concur is hot on its furry tail
Hipmunk, which has essentially been a free metasearch service, is debuting its first paid product: Hipmunk Business Class, a service aimed at small companies that manage their own bookings instead of hire a travel agent.
At today’s Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) 2012 Convention in Boston, Hipmunk pulled the wrapper off of its product for unmanaged business travel booked by executive assistants and other office managers.
Hipmunk Business Class simplifies communication by letting a travel manager save and e-mail potential flight and hotel bookings right from the search results. The product also minimizes toggling between multiple calendars by being integrated with Outlook and Google calendars.
Already scheduled meetings and events are shown side-by-side with flight and hotel results, helping travel managers see which flights conflict with
meetings and the proximity of hotels to meetings or conventions.
Preferences can be saved for each traveler, so when conducting a search for a that person, his or her preferences are always shown at the top of the results.
Hipmunk Business Class costs $10 a month for the first year, with a free trial period of two months.
See video for details:
Integrated with TripIt, Concur Open Booking includes hotel recommendations based on the traveler’s past trips and preferences in accordance with his or her company’s travel policy.
Avis, Best Western, Choice Hotels, Hertz, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Marriott, and Starwood are among the participating brands. Says Steven Singh, Concur’s Chief Executive Officer:
The idea is to capture the parts of a booking will happen outside the booking tool.
Cleartrip, India’s leading online travel portal, will make its market-leading Indian hotel content viewable in Concur Travel, while Deutsche Bahn has partnered to let travelers in Germany compare air and rail pricing side-by-side. Travelers can view prices within Concur and then book directly on the Deutsche Bahn website.
Sean O’Neill is a New Jersey-based reporter for Tnooz. He is also a daily contributor of consumer news to LonelyPlanet.com.
He used to work for BBC Travel, BudgetTravel.com, and Kiplinger's, and used to live in London, New York City, and Washington, DC.