Product rollouts at the annual Global Business Travel Association conference in Los Angeles have begun, and American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has announced updates that enhance the current business travel product. "First" is the name of the latest effort to bring more customized, personalized support to business travelers.
The First team is dedicated to business travelers’ evolving on-the-ground needs via a person-to-person interface, where the dedicated travel experts support travelers 24/7 to resolve needs and improve trips. Beyond simply managing disruption, Amex promotes the team as “finding solutions that remove travel obstacles and ensure a traveler can maximize productivity while on the road.”
At the press conference, American Express SVP and GM of Global Client Group Kevin Carey on the new product, part of the initiatives fueled by the recent $900 million capital infusion.
[First] provides true end-to-end experience from personalized business trip planning and disruption management to pro-active care while on the road.
We have a hyper focus on customers to provide end-to-end solutions that give control and transparency to travel managers. We are reinvesting and excited on how we can drive greater offerings. We are better capitalized to create data-driven insights that change the way that business travel operates with simpler, easier and ultimately faster ways to do business.
The product allows travelers and travel managers to create specific profiles outlining travel preferences and priorities so that the GBT team can better deliver the right style of travel service to the client. These profiles then ensure more accurate travel itineraries and supplier choices, ideally delivering a more productive and less stressful travel experience.
The First product is currently available in the US, the UK and Australia.
AX Connect also received an iterative update, allowing for card swipe monitoring so that travel managers can see recent credit card swipe data. This allows managers to locate a traveler in a spotty cellular or WiFi connectivity situation.
This data is folded into the AX Connect product, meaning that a travel manager can track a traveler's path according to swipes - functionality targeted to emergency situations in which duty-of-care requires immediate location of travelers.
The third piece of news from Amex GBT is further integration with Sabre’s TripCase. This expands on last year’s initial integration of feed trip details into a traveler’s account, and the ability to link an American Express card for card benefit reminders.
Now Amex users will see more detailed information brought into the TripCase app, including supplier-specific amenities such as free breakfast and WiFi. This information is customized to the specific traveler, and will also be extended into client-specific negotiated supplier deals. This means that hotels can offer specific amenities as part of a client negotiation, which would then be fed into the TripCase app. This improves the traveler's experience while also saving companies money as travelers take advantage of complimentary amenities rather than purchasing.
NB: Amex image courtesy Shutterstock.