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Global Travel Policy Case Study: Modernizing a Savings Strategy

Modernizing a savings strategy

In 2012, one of our clients, a US-based global technology company, was seeking to revitalize their existing travel program. At the time, their travelers would call an agent and book the most convenient travel option according to policy which incurred higher airfare ticket prices. They couldn’t see alternative travel options available—options that could save the company money without causing business disruptions. On top of that, offline transaction fees were increasing.

They did have some online booking presence—55%¹—but as a global company, they needed to increase this adoption rate to optimize their spend and improve their global reach. It became imperative to implement a cost-conscious mindset among their travelers by providing a technologically advanced online booking tool with best-in-class functionality.

As their Travel Management Company (TMC), we—American Express Global Business Travel (GBT)—worked with the company to make these money-saving improvements.

It was evident the company was highly focused on developing a globalized online travel program. We achieved this by providing one point of contact—a dedicated American Express GBT resource to manage and drive the online capabilities forward.  We then analyzed key countries to identify online opportunities and expansion with our main focus on the European region, as it had the greatest area for improvement. Efficiency in the European region was achieved by applying a consistent global travel policy that worked for each country and provided travelers with new functionality on the online booking tool.

Travelers needed to be comfortable with these changes. We designed a plan to increase engagement and usage by providing virtual training sessions, user guides, a new home page, along with tips and best practices on the tool. In time, the online booking tool became the traveler’s number one method to find and reserve low-cost travel options that also aligned with the company’s travel policy.

The changes had an exceptional impact.  

  • Increased global online adoption from 55% to 85%¹ in three years
  • $50¹ million savings over a three year period with $15¹ million savings in transaction fees alone
  • Developed custom solution that integrated meeting registration with online booking


¹Source: American Express Global Business Travel reporting