Egencia, Expedia Group’s corporate travel arm, is rolling out updates to its platform that benefit both business travelers and companies.
In what its billing as an “industry-first feature,” Egencia has launched Hotel Conversations, which enables two-way chats between travelers and hoteliers.
Using the Egencia app, travelers can ask hotels questions, confirm plans or make requests, down to what type of pillow they’d like in their room.
Hoteliers can similarly reach out to guests ahead of their stay to offer welcome messages or additional services or treatments.
Egencia is also leveraging Expedia Group’s relationships with hotels through its new Air and Hotel packages, which give business travelers access to special-rate hotels once they’ve booked their flight.
Travelers who secure a hotel within 10 days after booking their flight will have the option to book more top-rated hotels that might otherwise be out of policy, Egencia says, and companies in turn benefit from a reduced overall trip cost.
Egencia’s existing Travel Tracker, which lets travel managers locate travelers, is also getting an upgrade: Travel managers can now search specific regions by drawing a circle or square on an online map.
The designation will show if employees are in the area, and if so, travel managers can offer support in the event of unforeseen circumstances, like weather.