Uber Taps the Brakes, Delta Stays on Top in Latest Certify SpendSmartâ„¢ Report for Q1 2017

Uber Taps the Brakes, Delta Stays on Top in Latest Certify SpendSmartâ„¢ Report for Q1 2017
T&E expense data highlights corporate travel activity from the first quarter, including the most popular brands among business travelers and an in-depth review of ride-hailing trends
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PORTLAND, MAINE, April 20, 2017—Certify, a leading automated travel and entertainment expense management software provider, today announced the results of its SpendSmart™ report for Q1 2017. Competition for business travel ground transportation dollars continues to be intense, with second-place ride-hailing provider Lyft beginning to pick up pace. Uber's growth in the quarter was the slowest on record with Certify, gaining just 1% compared to 2% for Lyft. Still, Uber dominates the category and share of rides in major cities throughout the U.S. However, along with market saturation, data and user reviews suggest recent controversies and negative media coverage have also contributed to Uber's slower growth among business travelers. Elsewhere in more traditional travel, embattled air carrier Delta remains in the number one most expensed spot in its category for the second straight quarter.

The Certify SpendSmart™ report tracks business travel expense spending across major categories such as food, airlines, lodging and car rental. The report highlights top vendors and emerging trends by analyzing data from millions of expenses and receipts processed through the Certify system. Data is compiled each quarter and at the close of each year to help CFOs, controllers, accountants and business travelers make more informed expense management choices.

Looking more closely at year over year ground transportation trends, car rental dropped 9% representing the largest category decline since Q1 2016. Taxi lost an additional 4% during the same period and is now at just above 10% of total ground transportation receipts and expenses. Uber was the big winner in year over year growth gaining an impressive 10%, while distant second-place competitor Lyft grew 4% on the year surpassing Uber's growth rate by 1% in Q1 2017. In addition, Uber still leads in overall count for total quarterly expenses and receipts. Starbucks and Delta tie for second place at 4%, with American Airlines and Amazon coming third, each with 3% of the total.

A follow up to Airbnb data released by Certify last quarter, the alternative hotelier has accelerated its momentum into 2017 and is now on pace to double its growth over the previous year. Airbnb increased its share of business traveler expenses and receipts 286% since Q1 2016, as business travelers choose to extend trips, travel in groups or look for accommodations with more of the comforts of home. Average cost and number of room nights for Airbnb in the first quarter were $831.02 and 3.65, respectively.

“Today's business travelers and consumers are looking for the total package,” said Robert Neveu, CEO, Certify. “While convenience and affordability helped propel Uber to the top of the corporate traveler's preferred vendor list, the latest SpendSmart data shows how leaders in every category can just as quickly find themselves vulnerable to broader trends and growth among the competition. It's important to note that ride-hailing is still in its early days as an industry, one Uber essentially invented, so there's sure to be much more change and excitement ahead.”

Additional analysis of the more than 10 million receipts and expenses logged by Certify in the first quarter of 2017 includes the most expensed and highest rated brands for business travelers such as Starbucks, McDonald's, Subway, Delta, United, Marriott, Hampton Inn, National Car Rental and more. User ratings and average expense amounts are broken out by category below.

The Certify SpendSmart™ Report provides analysis of vendors, expense amounts and satisfaction rating data from corporate expense reports collected directly from its customer base. Certify SpendSmart™ reports on millions of receipts and expense transactions every quarter, delivering valuable insights to Certify clients and the business travel and expense industry at large. Certify is a premier provider of integrated travel booking, travel and expense management, and reimbursement in one automated, cloud-based system. Previous quarterly reports are available here.

First Quarter 2017 Highlights:

Most-Expensed Restaurants:
Starbucks: 4.55% of expenses, averaging $12.61 per receipt
McDonald's: 2.85%, averaging $9.03
Panera Bread: 1.73%, averaging $43.62
Subway: 1.56%, averaging $18.08
Dunkin' Donuts: 1.40%, averaging $13.79

Most Expensed Restaurants by Meal
Breakfast: Starbucks 16.27%
Lunch: McDonald's 3.56%
Dinner: McDonald's 1.86%

Top Rated Restaurants (On a scale from 1 to 5, as indicated by travelers)
Chick-Fil-A 4.5
Dunkin' Donuts 4.3
Olive Garden 4.3
Panera Bread 4.3
Starbucks 4.3

Most Expensed Airlines
Delta: 20.36%, averaging $420.58
American: 19.62%, averaging $338.15
Southwest: 15.51%, averaging $276.37
United: 14.10%, averaging $382.54
JetBlue: 1.62%, averaging $238.67

Top Rated Airlines
JetBlue 4.6
Alaska Airlines 4.6
Southwest 4.5
Delta 4.3
American 3.9

Most-Expensed Hotels
Hampton Inn: 9.40%, averaging $227.45
Marriott: 8.54%, averaging $260.51
Courtyard by Marriott: 7.76%, averaging $174.42
Holiday Inn Express: 4.78%, averaging $210.39
Hilton Garden Inn: 4.64%, averaging $199.43

Top Rated Hotels
Westin 4.4
Embassy Suites 4.3
Hilton 4.3
Homewood Suites 4.4
Hyatt 4.3

Most Expensed Car-Rental Services
National: 26.08%, averaging $185.09
Enterprise: 17.49%, averaging $188.28
Hertz: 13.52%, averaging $190.55
Avis: 11.94%, averaging $168.74
Budget: 3.62%, averaging $181.49

Top Rated Car-Rental Services
Enterprise: 4.4
National: 4.3
Avis: 4.2
Hertz: 4.0
Budget: 3.9

For complete data and analysis from the SpendSmart Q1 2017 Report, go to: www.certify.com/CertifySpendSmartReport.

About Certify
Certify is the leading online travel and expense management solution for companies of all sizes. Organizations worldwide book travel and complete expense reports quickly, easily, and cost-effectively using Certify cloud and mobile applications. For more information about Certify, please call 207.773.6100 or visit http://www.certify.com.