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JTB Business Travel and Cirium to minimise trip disruption on travellers, travel managers and businesses

Alerts business travellers when waivers are available and enables them to book alternative travel at no extra cost following a delayed or cancelled flight
Global travel brand JTB Business Travel has teamed up with travel data and analytics expert, Cirium, to offer its clients proactive Airline Waiver Notifications to minimise flight disruption.

Flight disruption caused by weather conditions, airport closures, labour strikes and natural disasters are often unavoidable, so being proactive and able to quickly alert travellers is essential. Cirium’s Waiver notification technology allows JTB Business Travel to further improve and get ahead of trip disruption for business travellers around the globe.  

Through the new partnership, JTB Business Travel, which is part of JTB, one of the world’s largest travel companies with annual sales of over USD $13 billion, uses the new airline waiver service to enhance the business traveller experience and reduce cost for their clients.  

This customized notification service automatically alerts travellers via email or text message when waivers are available, enabling them to make immediate alternative travel arrangements at no extra cost if their flight is disrupted.   

Airlines issue exceptions to their change fee policies in the form of waivers for travellers when severe disruption affects a traveller’s trip. However, these often go unused, as identifying, communicating, and changing travel plans has traditionally been a slow and frustrating process for passengers.  

The need for automating the process has never been more urgent. According to Cirium data, more than 3.9 million flights – or 10,700 a day – were cancelled or delayed over 30 minutes or more globally in 2018. This affects more than 470 million people around the world and can severely impact their experience. The repercussions can also add up to a huge financial impact on a travel program.  

Jeremy Bowen, Cirium CEO, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with JTB Business Travel. It will be great to see the cost savings, streamlined operations and improved end-to-end traveller experience for the travel management company and its corporate clients as a result of implementing the service.”  

Waiver notifications offer more value for businesses and ease traveller stress  

Traditionally, matching airline waivers to travellers’ trips is a time-poor and labour-intensive process. In most cases, travellers are also unaware of what’s available to them. During times of disruption, travellers are often frustrated by enduring typically long call wait times when they’re forced to take the initiative to ring in to find a new flight.  

When business travellers attempt to rebook, they often do so on their own and at their company’s expense, missing the opportunity to take advantage of available waivers and travel management company support.   

By automating the waiver process, JTB Business Travel’s Airline Waiver Notifications make it more likely for business travellers to use available waivers, potentially saving companies USD 200 (or more) for flight changes.  

And in one study that Cirium conducted on a travel corporations’ unused tickets, 6-10 percent of their unused tickets were covered by a waiver which could have been refunded or changed without a fee.   

Russell Murata, JTB Business Travel Manager of Travel Technologies Solutions, said: “For over three years now, we have used Cirium technology to assist clients through our Trip Disruption Assistance program, which provides travellers with live support as they make alternative travel arrangements due to flight delays or cancelations.  

“The Airline Waiver Notifications serve as a natural extension of this program, helping ease the stress of flight disruption for business travellers and save businesses money when their travellers are forced to change their travel plans.”  

Cirium’s solution is evolving this entire process. The company’s streamlined APIs provide flexible access to timely trip information while avoiding complex data cleansing and development costs.   

Jeremy Bowen, Cirium CEO, added: “We challenged the existing waiver process, through developing the industry’s only matching engine that integrates our flight status data with airline travellers’ itinerary information. Enabling customers like JTB Business Travel to better anticipate disruption and minimize the impact on travellers.”  

As a result, JTB Business Travel provides fast communication, proactive assistance and a better overall experience for the traveller. In a survey that Cirium was involved in with tClara, Delta and Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC), 77 percent of  frequent flyers or “road warriors” said no cancellations or delays were the most important flight factor for their business trip success. This new Airline Waiver Notifications program eases road warrior stress and adds more value to businesses that purchase travel.

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