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BBT March/April 2019 cover
March/April 2019

Room 101: what drives you crazy about the business travel industry?

Business Travel Show found out industry experts' biggest bugbears

Confusing acronyms, moaning travellers and even French air traffic controllers; welcome to Room 101. Yes, Business Travel Show asked the industry for their pet peeves and there looks set to be a waiting list

Matthew Pancaldi, global sales and client management director, HRG
“Two things drive me mad about our industry – corporate travel speak and acronyms. Keeping it simple and straightforward has always served me well.”

Geoff Allwright, travel manager UK, general procurement, Airbus
“French air traffic controllers. There’s been a ridiculous amount of strikes. It’s been going on so long, I think they may have actually forgotten what they strike about!”

David Chapple, group event director, Business Travel Show
“Moaning travellers who think they know better.” 

Alex Cousins, director of global client services, Corporate Travel Management
“Our ubiquitous acronyms! RFP, NDC, IFE, GDPR… There’s no escape from them; it’s like we have our own secret language. I feel sorry for anyone who’s new to the industry – we must be a nightmare to talk to!”

David Oliver, procurement manager, Red Bull
“Suppliers who don’t seem to be bothered in taking the time to understand your business before wasting time explaining things that would not fit culturally, or work operationally, in a million years.”

Mark A Williams, partner, GoldSpring Consulting
“Travellers spending excess time to save minimal amounts.”

Pat McDonagh, chief executive officer, Clarity
“The prevailing wisdom that the transaction fee is the best way for TMCs to charge. We do so much more than simply transact, but the terms dominates procurement conversations and fails to represent what we do.” 

Nikki Foster, travel category manager, Veritas Technologies LLC
“Excel template travel profiles – these need to go into Room 101!”

Graham Angus, hosted buyer manager, Business Travel Show
“Exhibitors that are not engaged with the passing audience; storms and strikes that affect visitors coming to the show; people that don’t read instructions and info properly.”

James Filsinger, president and CEO, Yapta
“Corporate travel is a $1.4 trillion industry, but most of the time we act like a much smaller industry. We need to lead the way and show the rest of the world what a great industry this is.”

Max Waldmann, CEO, Conichi
“What still surprises me is the lack of interest in innovation from smaller corporates. In the business travel world, the big guys are willing to let technology solve their issues and optimise their processes. I can't understand how certain smaller corporates don't see the changes and reap the benefits of more digitalised business travel.”  

Xaveer Fluitman, regional director of business travel,
“The user experience for both business travellers and travel managers is in general still too complex and more frustrating than it should be. Even though too much friction remains in various parts of the overall business traveller journey, I’m confident that together we can make it significantly better for everyone involved.”

Steve Martin, CEO, Influence at Work
“The idea that in order to change people’s behaviour, you have to change people’s minds first. This notion that you have to give someone lots of data to rationalise why the change they are advocating is warranted. That’s actually hardly ever true. It’s really quite hard to change people’s minds, but it’s relatively easy to change their behaviours, and for some people, their minds will catch up over time.”

Amanda Greenwood, editor, BTiQ
“Hotels taking deposits at check-in, especially if it’s at the end of a busy month!”

Francesco Deluca, director of sales and client services EMEA, Omega World Travel
“The drama of arranging a hotel bill back for a client (i.e. TMC prepaying a client’s stay by a third party card) is one of our biggest bugbears. Despite all the advances in virtual payments, some hotels still insist on faxed confirmation, which they often lose, forcing guests to pay at check-out again!”

The Business Travel Show runs from 21-22 February at Olympia London. Register for a free visitor pass at

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