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Thursday, 18 February 2010

Travel technology: when yes sometimes means no

In the business travel sector, it's sometimes hard to take in everything that happens in the second week of February. This is when the Business Travel (not forgetting the new "and Meetings" bit) Show takes over London's Earls Court 2 exhibition centre.

It's hard because nearly everyone decides that this is the best time to launch new products and services because it is one of the only times that travel buyers, suppliers and media covering the sector are all together in one place. We often hear about senior company executives and members of the Royal Family flying separately to avoid a business or constitutional crisis. Goodness knows what would happen to the business travel industry should some disaster ever occur at Earl's Court that week.

But enough of the digressions. The point is that there is an awful lot of new travel technology unveiled at the show, some of it better than others.

It is buyer beware, however. Anyone who has ever dealt with technology suppliers will know that they often over-promise and under-deliver. When asked whether a new technology has a particular function, the given answer is usually "Yes, of course" when the real answer is "Oops, we forgot about that".

The point is that although it is easy to get caught up in jargon, it is more important than ever to check that the technology you are offered really does what it says on the tin.

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