Released 09 Nov 2022
Sustainable Travel - Thrust Carbon 🍃 NEW
Request - Online Booking Tool Diversion NEW
Request - Email Notifications ENHANCED
Request - Quote Amendment ENHANCED
Profiles - Show Custom Labels
Booking Class Code Mapping ENHANCED
Platform Alert Banner NEW
Magnatech - Unused Tickets (Credits) ENHANCED
Concur - Online Access via SAML Single Sign-On NEW
Custom Labels - Employee Types
Concur - Approver Permissions
Concur - Travel Arranger Permissions
Concur - Online Access Permissions
Amadeus Profile Sync - VIP Indicator
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Kudos understands the importance of and the need for transparency in making informed sustainable travel decisions. Our efforts to “greenify” our platform began in late 2019/early 2020. Unfortunately, COVID-19 derailed things with the need to reprioritise things to help our industry partners and their travellers.
As a result of the delays experienced to reignite the platform’s “greenification”, a partnership with Thrust Carbon was formed, an innovative company whose mission is to make travel effortlessly green.
This release sees the first phase of our travel platform’s Sustainable Travel options, all designed to help make informed decisions with the planet in mind, as we return to the skies and beyond → Sustainability widget.
Our Sustainable Travel and related articles provide an in-depth look at carbon emissions, including their variations, across the travel industry. Our decision to partner with Thrust Carbon is included as well as ways an individual can make mindful decisions to Travel with a Lighter Footprint i.e. reduce your CO2e while planning a trip and whilst travelling.
A benefit of our partnership with Thrust Carbon will be the ability to present tangible imagery of the CO2e emissions, as seen in the following visualisations.
Our platform uses the standard for the Sustainability Industry of a “metric tonne”. One (1) metric tonne is equivalent to 1,000 kilograms, or approximately 2,204.6 pounds
Only agencies sending booking data (e.g. PNR) to the travel platform via an approved API service will have the Sustainability Widget enabled and CO2e calculations performed. An agency that does not currently provide booking data via such methods is unable to benefit from any of the travel platform’s Sustainable Travel initiatives.
An Industry Classification Standard was implemented in the travel platform to categorise companies using it globally. It is similar to that set by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Business Travel Index though most closely aligns with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).
Each company using the travel platform is categorised into one (1) of nineteen (19) Industries, thereby providing a rich dataset (including anonymised) for benchmarking globally.
🍃 Discover more about Industry Benchmarking and how a company can utilise it to help “greenify” its travel program - here.
If a company’s “Industry” classification is believed to be incorrect, please liaise with your company’s travel administrator/manager or the travel agency (e.g. TMC) that manages your company’s bookings.
When enabled, the widget can be displayed on the travel platform’s Dashboard in either a 1/3 or 2/3 layout. Due to limitations in sizing, selected elements of the widget are only visible when displayed in the 2/3 layout. Depending on the volume of CO2e to be displayed, the measurement of “Kg” (kilograms) may be shown, though for large amounts the standard is “t” (metric tonnes).
If the Sustainability widget is not immediately evident, provided the browser’s cache has been cleared it is recommended to review one’s personal Widget Settings. The widget if indicated as inactive should be made active and the widget settings saved. If problems are still encountered, please liaise with your company’s travel administrator/manager or the travel agency (e.g. TMC) that manages your company’s bookings for assistance.
Anatomy of the Widget
Date range filter(s):
The From/To dates shown will adjust accordingly, depending on the date range filter selected.
View selector (toggle):
Allows company platform users TA and TM who manage one (1) or more travellers, the ability to view the CO2e of the company (the default) and their own (personal).
Adjustmenting the selector to “Personal” will present CO2e emissions of one's self. The widget’s display will then appear as it would for a TR (traveller) platform user.
Company selector (look-up list):
Allows an agency TAM user via the Consultant Desktop to view the CO2e emissions of all companies. When one (1) company is selected, the “View by” (droplist) will be enabled.
The options and data a TAM has access to is limited by their “Company Access” permissions. i.e. Which company(ies) they have been enabled to manage.
The total CO2e emissions are based on the selected date filter, for the TR and of the TA and TM when the view selector is set to “Personal”.
A TA and TM with the view selector set to “Company” will present the total CO2e emissions of the company.
A TAM with “All Companies” selected will be presented with the total CO2e emissions of all companies, based on the selected date filter.
A breakdown by travel (segment) type - Air, Hotel and Car, of the total CO2e emissions are additionally available.
View by (droplist):
Allows a TA, TM and TAM the ability to view a more granular breakdown of CO2e emissions of the selected company. When the view selector is set to “Personal”, this option is disabled.
The options and data a TA has access to is limited by their “Permissions”.
TR (Traveller) | TA (Travel Arranger) | TM (Travel Manager) | TAM (Travel Account Manager)
🍃 Stay up-to-date with how the platform can help greenify your travel, including an in-depth look at the sustainability widget’s benchmarking - here.
Online Booking Tool (OBT) Diversion
Travel bookers can often select Request in their travel platform’s Navigation Panel in error, rather than Online, for a booking (trip) such as Domestic which can often be booked via the OBT (e.g. Serko, Cytric). This can lead to an increase in turnaround times due to an influx of offline booking requests, which can include “simple” (non-complex) trip arrangements.
This enhancement provides a travel agency with the ability to divert always or optionally (with a reminder), the travel booker as part of their Request workflow, to the OBT to complete the booking with instant confirmation.
Following are examples of the two (2) options of “always” and “optional” for a travel platform’s Request workflow with OBT diversion.
ALWAYS → Divert the travel booker to OBT always.
OPTIONAL → The travel booker is offered the option to be redirected to the OBT, or continue with the Request.
How to set up OBT Diversion? Visit the details listed in the Platform Administration section - here.
The following enhancements have been implemented for agencies (e.g. TMC) whose travel platforms are enabled with the Request.
Auto Assign Request to TAM
A Request if unassigned (not claimed) by a TAM at the time the 1st quote is created, will be automatically assigned to the TAM who creates the 1st quote. NEW BEHAVIOUR
The assigned TAM will be sent the Travel Quote Approved/Request Approved email correspondence CURRENT BEHAVIOUR
Travel Approved - CC Company Default Email
In addition to emailing the Travel Quote Approved/Request Approved email to the assigned TAM, a carbon copy (cc) will be sent to the Company Emails > Default Email.
Emails to TAM and the company’s Default Email will be triggered upon the Request being Approved at the final level of approval only for request workflows that require TAM (i.e. agency) interaction(s) after approval e.g. “Pre-Approval-TA Fulfil” will not trigger the aforementioned emails.
Quote Amendment Submitted - CC Company Default Email
In addition to emailing the Quote Amendment Submitted email to the assigned TAM, a carbon copy (cc) will be sent to the Company Emails > Default Email.
The Request Submit a Quote Amendment function has been enhanced to enhance the user experience (UX) of a travel booker when a quote amendment was submitted without providing details of the change(s) required.
The text input section is now mandatory, denoted by an * (asterisks)when submitting a quote amendment.
Form headings and instructions have been adjusted to better represent the process.
The Submit Quote Amendment function is available only to Employee Types configured with the “Approval Before Booking” Request workflow.
To ensure consistency throughout the travel platform, profile fields that allow custom labels to be configured will reflect the customised label (name). The custom label for each of the following profile fields if set (Profile Configuration), will be presented in lieu of the system’s default.
The custom label for the aforementioned profile fields will be presented in Request and Travel Check, as seen in the following examples.
Booking Class Code Mapping
The booking class of a flight is based on the Reservation Booking Designator (RBD). The RBD is the code used in reservation transactions to identify the booking class.
For reservations via a GDS (Global Distribution System) like Amadeus and Sabre, airlines are limited to 26 characters of the English language alphabet. The booking class provides airlines with a means for controlling fare prices in order to best leverage available capacity.
When publishing airfares, an airline can choose to follow the standards set by IATA (Resolution 728), as shown below. Alternatively, they can elect to customise their RBD-to-cabin mapping, as more than 370 airlines like Qantas, Emirates and United have done.
The travel platform’s RBD-to-cabin mapping has been enhanced to accommodate the continued growth of airlines choosing to implement their own customised version. This was essential to not only ensure the correct cabin type (mapping) could be presented for a traveller’s itinerary, as shown in the following example but also for accurate CO2e emission calculations for air segments.
Platform Alert Banner
A system-level alert banner has been introduced. This is designed to allow Kudos Travel Technology to communicate critical or important information to the platform end-user. This can include but may not be limited to informing of a new travel platform release and its associated release notes.
In the near future, the ability for an agency administration to self-manage agency/company-level alert banners will be added.
Magnatech - Unused Tickets (Credits)
The Magnatech Unused Ticket integration has been further enhanced with the ability now to capture and utilise (map) added information about a booking’s (PNR) unused ticket(s).
A total of thirteen (13) additional data elements allow being captured and used. Depending on their existing Magnatech “Extra Data” setting, an agency can decide to use some or all.
These added data elements mean when an unused ticket is presented in our platform, if it was marked as “Name Change Eligible” (for example), it will be identified automatically in the Credits registry and UI.
The following is a snapshot of additional data that can now be captured and utilised in the travel platform’s Credits registry and UI.
Credits Mapping (UI)
Name Change Eligible indicator.
Ticket Type indicator.
Kudos Administration users should refer to the Kudos Admin Help Centre > Platform Administration > System Integrations > Unused Tickets > Magnatech for details.
Concur - Online Access via SAML Single Sign-On (SSO)
Whilst Concur acts as the profile master and all profile maintenance should be performed within their system, it is beneficial for users to be able to log in to Concur via our travel platform.
These benefits include but are certainly not limited to the following:
Visibility of both online and offline Trips (bookings), and
With SSO, companies can:
Reduce password overload with employees no longer required to remember dozens of passwords, and
A more efficient travel experience via the aforementioned benefits that therefore enables a user
(e.g. traveller) to be able to self-help.
Single Sign-On (SSO) is a technology that combines several different application login screens into one. With SSO, a user only has to enter their login credentials (username, password, etc.) one time on a single page (e.g. Kudos Travel Platform) to access multiple SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) applications (e.g. OBT - Online Booking Tool).
Like all widgets, access is controlled by user type → TR, TA, TM and TAM. A travel agency has the ability to enable the Sustainability Widget to be viewed/used, by “user type” i.e. TR can have a different setup/layout for their dashboard widgets, versus a TA/TM.
Travel agency Kudos Administration users (Agency Admin) should refer to Kudos Admin Help Centre > Platform Administration > Travel Agencies > Widget Setup for details.
Company Industry Classification
A company’s Industry classification if not already set, or should it require changing, can be performed by a Kudos Administration user.
Kudos Administration users should refer to the Kudos Admin Help Centre > Platform Administration > Companies > General Details for details.
Online Booking Tool (OBT) Diversion
To facilitate the “OBT Diversion” workflow, the Employee Types > Travel Approval Workflow section has been enhanced.
OBT Diversion Options
Continue with the next step of the Request workflow as per existing behaviour [DEFAULT option]
Always divert the travel booker to OBT.
Text is displayed below the travel type choice options to indicate the travel booker will be re-directed to the OBT automatically upon selection.
The travel booker is offered the option to be redirected to the OBT, or continue with Request.
Upon selection of the travel type, the user is offered the option to continue by:
Example below, including custom “Important Information” verbiage.
At the time of deploying the above enhancement (Nov22), a database (DB) script was run by Kudos ensuring each travel platform’s existing Employee Types > Travel Approval Workflow of active setups was set to NEVER. This was completed to ensure no new and “unexpected behaviour” as a result of changes to the Request workflow the travel booker is familiar with.
Kudos Administration users should refer to the Kudos Admin Help Centre > Platform Administration > Companies > General Details > Employee Types for details.
The support of custom labels of Profile related data elements has been expanded to include Employee Types.
A custom label can be set in Kudos Administration via a travel platform’s Profile Configuration settings, as seen in the following example.
When Profile Configuration > Employee Type Label is null (blank), the system’s default label (Employee Type) will be shown.
Amadeus Profile Sync
GDS Profiles - VIP Indicator
The profile sync for travellers with the VIP toggle enabled (true) includes a specially formatted remark (RM) data element.
The RM data element is visible in both the profile’s sync XML Request and the Amadeus Host system’s (GDS), traveller profile, as seen in the following examples.
It was identified that the VIP remark data element had stopped generating.
At the time of deployment, a database (DB) script was run by Kudos to update the GDS traveller profiles of all active companies and their travellers, with a GDS profile sync enabled. Although no action should be required, should a GDS traveller profile be found to be missing the VIP remark data element, an agency’s Kudos Administrator user is able to initiate an update manually.
Single Sign-On (SSO) via SAML
Configuration by the agency in both Concur and Kudos is needed for each company requiring the Kudos to Concur Single Sign-On (SSO) functionality.
In Concur, a user with “Concur Administration (Travel)” will need to configure the SSO (Single Sign-On).
If access to this is unavailable, please ensure a Concur Account Manager is contacted for assistance before proceeding any further.
Concur → Administration > Company > Authentication Admin
Additionally, the assistance of the Kudos Technical and Support team will be required of the agency for the generation of company-level credentials needed for each travel platform’s (company) SSO activation:
SSO Public Key
SSO Private Key
IdP Metadata XML file (to be loaded into Concur administration by the agency)
Kudos Administration users should refer to the Kudos Admin Help Centre > Platform Administration > System Integrations > OBT > Concur for details.
As the assistance of the Kudos Technical and Support team is required for the activation of the Concur SSO, agency partners are reminded to submit a support ticket at least 7 business days prior to the planned go-live date of each travel platform’s SSO functionality.
The Approver permissions functionality has been enhanced for the Concur sync.
This allows profiles with the Approver add-on role set, as well as any Department or Cost Centre approval assignments, to be retained even after subsequent profile syncs between Concur and Kudos.
Travel Arranger Permissions
The Travel Arranger assignment functionality has been enhanced for the Concur sync.
This allows profiles with the Travel Arranger (TA) access level and any Department(s), Cost Centre(s) and (direct) Traveller assignments they hold, to be retained even after subsequent profile syncs between Concur and Kudos.
Traveller permissions are removed only from the assigned Travel Arranger when the traveller’s profile is resynced between Concur and Kudos and no longer contains the Travel Arranger’s details.
While permissions for Departments and Cost Centres are unable to be assigned as part of the sync between Concur and Kudos, this enhancement provides the agency with added flexibility to assign by Department or by Cost Centre i.e. easier to set up and maintain.
The “Online Access” function has been enhanced for the Concur sync.
This allows newly created profiles to have their “Online Access” setting (yes or no) determined by the company’s Default Online Access setting.
If a traveller’s profile “Online Access” is updated manually, the revised setting will be retained even after subsequent profile syncs between Concur and Kudos.
This allows an agency to either allocate “Online Access” to all users by default (yes) or restrict it to selected users (e.g. “Travel Arranger A” and “Travel Manager D”) who only need to access Concur for online bookings.
Kudos Administration users should refer to the Kudos Admin Help Centre > Platform Administration > System Integrations > OBT > Concur for details, including of Roles & Permissions.
😕 If you are reading about a new feature and cannot see it yet, do not worry 🤙, it will be coming soon. From time to time delays can happen which require Kudos Travel Technology to withhold a new feature or change from its scheduled production release. Should this occur, we will endeavour to reschedule its release at the earliest opportunity possible.
Kudos Travel Technology is set to serve up some tantalising additions in the coming releases^. The following are some highlights of what’s coming soon to a device near you. You can count on Kudos to lead the way with incredible and innovative travel technology.
^ Until development is finalised and committed to production, actual inclusions and UI designs can be subject to change.
The travel platform’s Sustainable Travel options will be expanded to include CO2e emissions for Request and Trips.
CO2e in Request is designed to provide the traveller/travel booker with the opportunity to select a greener travel choice before the booking is made/ticket(s) issued by the travel agency.
CO2e in Trips is to be enhanced to include benchmarking to help travel platform users consider greener travel choices the next time they book.
For existing bookings, if still pending ticket issuance by the travel agency, there may be the chance to select an alternative option with a “lighter footprint”.
Chat (Zeus) - New Conversation
The travel platform’s chat feature known as Zeus has been self-educating over the last 12 to 18 months 🤓. This will allow an expanded knowledge base and therefore new conversation paths previously unavailable.
Sync of Custom Fields
Designed to allow a travel agency to sync profile custom fields with the travel platform’s integrated systems such as the GDS (e.g. Amadeus).
Request - Additional “Ticketed” Workflow
Allows a Request workflow to incorporate a “ticketed” status which to provided an added level of information to the travel booker that the request is complete and ticket(s) have been issued.