Buckle in, tray tables up: Concur Travel’s biggest update in years is about to take off
When SAP Concur began this journey to re-platform Concur Travel, we knew it would take time. Evolution is, if nothing else, a gradual process that requires patience and attention to detail. When your mission is to evolve the most robust and flexible travel platform in the world, it’s a predictably difficult and time-consuming task.
Now, after years of work to make countless, under-the-hood upgrades to Concur Travel, we’re about to deliver our biggest update to the platform in years with our Q4 2023 release.
To reach the greatest number of customers, the Q4 release will introduce a new end-to-end booking experience for customers whose TMCs use the Sabre GDS from the US point of sale for air, hotel, and car rental bookings. No specific traveler access change is required. Travelers will continue to use their same URLs, logins, passwords, and mobile app.
Rarely does a software company flip a switch and change everything all at once. The reason we’re rolling out our new platform through multiple releases is simple: we can’t wait for users to start experiencing the new Concur Travel. Even as it continues to evolve.
What’s most exciting is that this release marks the start of significant, ongoing software updates that will be released over time. You’ll see many new features with this release, some features will revert to the existing experience, and others, if still enabled, will preclude you from using the new platform. There are also a handful features that will be unavailable and therefore require customers to opt out of the new experience if they want to continue using them.
We’re sure many of you have questions about who is eligible for new features and when they’ll be available. To clear up confusion, let us tell you what you can expect from this update.
What you’ll see in the updated Concur Travel
In addition to a redesigned user interface for both mobile and desktop, users will see:
Improved Content and Images: Increased global content coverage including New Distribution Capability (NDC) content, more engaging imagery, and richer product descriptions.
Time Savings & User Experience: A streamlined booking and checkout process, along with a consumer-grade user experience (UX), and functionality improvements on both mobile and desktop.
Sustainability Options: Travelers can reduce their carbon footprint and make environmentally conscious travel choices thanks to new search filters and improved sustainability information.
Search Capabilities: Omni-search capability that automatically merges options for many locations such as airports, city centers, or company locations, and improved filters.
Concur Expense Integration: The new experience maintains its integration with Concur Expense to create a seamless, end-to-end travel and expense process.
For more details please see SAP Concur Unveils New Experiences for Concur Travel
Easy, seamless redirects to the current Concur Travel
Our system is designed to give users a seamless experience. If a traveler tries a feature that’s not yet supported, they will simply be redirected to the existing booking flow and have access to all existing capabilities. As features are added over time, redirects will be less frequent.
Here are the features and scenarios that are not yet available and will automatically redirect users back to the current Concur Travel experience:
- Travelers who need to book a multi-city trip
- Users who select the ground transportation tab
- Non-profiled bookings for guests
- Users with American Airlines AirPass attached to their profiles (AA plans to sunset AirPass in March 2024)
- Companion travel bookings
- Bookings made via the meeting tab or third-party meeting links
A handful of new features will not be available for the Q4 2023 release. Customers who have these features enabled will be automatically opted out of the new release. If customers want to utilize the new experience, they must disable these choices in their settings.
Southwest Direct Connect: Southwest Direct connect content will not be supported. However, Sabre GDS content will continue to be available. Note that Southwest Direct Connect will opt a customer out of the new air experience. However, it is possible that they will still receive the new car and hotel experience.
Custom Trip Fields: If a Custom Trip Field has anything selected in the “Itinerary Rules for Display” section of Custom Trip Field Administration, which are powered by itinerary-level travel policy rules, you will not be eligible for the Q4 Travel release. Additionally, post-booking custom trip fields that depend on another custom trip field which uses a Conditional Display Setting of, “Display at the start of booking,” and Custom Trip Fields that use if/then settings based on the, "Has a value/Has no value" options, are not eligible for the Q4 Travel release.
Choose Your Rule Class: Clients who allow users to pick a Rule Class with the option, “User can select the rule classes tied to this agency,” are not yet supported. However, allowing users to pick a Rule Class with other options will be supported in this release.
Concur Request: Request-Approve then book, asi ti exist today, will not be supported in the new booking experience. Instead, a more flexible Concur Request integration will be provided in a future release. Request - Book then Approve will be supported in the future with several enhancements.
You don’t need every feature to experience these updates
While there is a subset of features that will not be available in the Q4 release, customers can still take advantage of the new experience. Timing of these enhancements will be updated on the quarterly SAP Road Map Explorer. If these features are critical to your business, you’re free to opt-out of the new experience so you can continue to use them.
Trip Changes: Trip changes are not yet supported before or after ticketing. The change reservation link will be hidden. Customers will need to either cancel and rebook, contact the supplier directly, or contact their TMC.
Virtual Payments via Conferma Pay: Virtual payments with Conferma will be unavailable at launch. If your business relies on this, you can opt out and continue to use it with your existing Concur Travel experience.
Mixed Air/Rail search: As we transition between the existing and new travel experiences there may be instances where combined Air and Rail search results are not available. Travelers should use the Rail tab to book rail and the Air tab to book air.
Placing trips on hold: Until this feature is released, the Hold Trip button will be hidden on the Review and Book page. It’s worth noting that less than 1% of trips are placed on hold.
Approve then book: This feature, as it exists today, will not be supported in the new booking experience. Instead, a more flexible Concur Request integration will be provided in a future release.
Meeting Match: Meeting Match with third-party meetings is not yet available with the new booking experience.
We hope this explainer helps you prepare for Concur Travel’s upcoming release. This is a big moment for both SAP Concur and our users. The evolution of Concur Travel is about to make its biggest leap yet, and we can’t wait to share more updates with you soon. Until then, thank you for your patience and continued support as we work to deliver the most elegant and intuitive travel experience the world has ever seen.