Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Mon December 28 2015

Business and Tech Travel Report Card 2015: Which Companies Earned High Honors?

Business Travel | Gabe Zaldivar | December 28, 2015

Business and Tech Travel Report Card 2015: Which Companies Earned High Honors?

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Congratulations on maneuvering through yet another year on this spinning world. Reward yourself by taking a look at some of the big companies that ruled your respective journeys and grading them like some judgmental professor.

Trust us, it feels so very good, which is precisely why we do it here.

Now the following are just a few of the companies that came to mind when we consider technology, gadgetry and other obvious entities that pop up along our business travels.

As you undoubtedly considered, there is no more fluid industry than business travel. Technology, which is always evolving, has become the key cog by which we journey.

With that, we take a look at the year that was for several companies that tried to make things a wee bit easier out there for us all.

Gogo In-Flight: C

We see you working Gogo, but many of the changes and evolutions for this increasingly ubiquitous in-flight Internet solution will come in 2016. But that’s not to say that 2015 was a bust.

The company continues to make inroads in the industry, solidifying more of a presence across various airlines: 80 percent of the available market according to Bloomberg.

That same report, however, echoes what many travelers proclaim when logging, or attempting to log on to the service, namely it’s expensive and capriciously available.

Its budding 2Ku promises the advent of truly broadband speeds in the air. So chin up, Gogo. This grade may very well be something you can hang on the veritable refrigerator next year.

Airbnb: B-

Airbnb’s year was a mixed bag of follies, truly disconcerting reports and political victories. Make no mistake, because this is a brand that is only becoming more of an industry mover and shaker, even welcoming boutique hotels into the mix.

After raising another $100 million, the company is now valued at $25.5 billion, via VentureBeat.

That would be enough to give the company an A for the year, but the above linked report asserting discrimination points to infrastructure that seriously needs to be considered anew.

American Express: C-

Two things happened that made American Express, a leading card for business and casual travelers alike, a less favorable go-to for the ol’ wallet.

As Business Insider explained, losing a key antitrust lawsuit may just lead to diminishing returns for consumers in the form of rewards. We will wait and see on that regard, however, losing its hold on Costco was a truly dramatic turn of events for the company earlier this year.

That alone would be worrisome, but then JetBlue followed suit and went “in favor of a new credit card deal with Barclays and MasterCard,” via CNN Money.

The company still offers fantastic rewards and security, but it’s time to turn things around in 2016.

Uber: B+

Uber had a turbulent time internationally with protests in such countries as Mexico and France, the latter devolving violently.

However, it continues to bolster its offerings with varied modes of transportation hailing, which now includes Facebook Messenger. 2015 also saw the company double its driver base, which means more availability around major cities.

Now the ease of its use will vary from city to city, but this year it has been exponentially easier and, at times, less expensive than other modes of transport.


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