Business travelers are passionate about tools that help make their time away from home more efficient. That’s why The Wall Street Journal and the National Business Travel Association partnered to create the 2010 Business Traveler Innovation Awards. Their readers and members have chosen their favorites, and between Heavenly Beds, mobile computing options, and other new innovations, business travel just might be getting a little easier.
The 2010 Traveler’s Choice Award winner, announced this week, is Continental Airlines for its Mobile Boarding Pass. Continental passengers can now display a 2D bar code, along with passenger and flight information, right on their mobile phones. Travelers don’t need paper printouts or boarding passes.
Other innovators include:
Meetings and Conventions—Hyatt Hotels and Resorts for The Hyatt Meeting Promise: Meeting planners get a written guarantee that their event will be flawless. If their service or quality expectations aren’t met, Hyatt will take steps to resolve the problem or refund a portion of the master account with a credit for future use.
Sustainability—Enterprise Rent-A-Car for its energy-efficient thin client terminals: The company’s new system (known as ECars 2.0) connects the reservations, billing, and reporting operations of more than 7,000 Enterprise rental offices around the world and will allow Enterprise to cut its annual carbon dioxide emissions by 6.5 million pounds.
Comfort and Well-Being—Westin Hotels and Resorts for the Heavenly Bed: Westin is committed to helping its customers sleep better, launching a sleep study and sleep hotline with the National Sleep Foundation to help travelers troubleshoot common sleep problems while on the road.
Mobile Apps—TripIt for the Itinerator: This free app lets travelers organize and share their trip info, ending up with a master itinerary with all travel plans, plus maps, directions, weather, and more. TripIt can be used with the iPhone and iPod Touch, Android, and BlackBerry.
Travel Convenience— National Car Rental for the Emerald Club: This program provides services that expedite the rental process, and members earn free rentals and/or hotel and airline points.
Business Collaboration—Cisco Systems for Show and Share: This cutting-edge social video system can be used globally and customized by the user.
Traveler Productivity—Apple Inc. for the iPad: The compact tablet computer resides somewhere between the iPhone and laptop. Its popularity has exploded since its introduction in January.
These winning products will be featured at the Business Traveler Innovation Pavilion at the NBTA Convention August 8 to 11 in Houston. A panel of travel celebrity judges will choose the 2010 Business Traveler Innovation Judges’ Selection Award winner on August 9.