It goes without saying that nothing stands still when it comes to travel. Our once-familiar travel landscape is continually changing. Widespread mask mandates are no longer in place, although European visa waiver programs are expected to take effect. And the ambitious goal of halving emissions by 2030 set forth by the Paris Agreement puts increasing pressures on business leaders to invest in more sustainable ways to travel.
Despite these changes which may seem challenging at times, it’s an exciting time for our industry. Business travel spend is forecasted to reach $1.4 trillion in 2024, exceeding 2019 levels two years earlier than expected. And survey findings show that 2024 meeting budgets are up. In fact, all types of meetings are forecasted for growth, with most expected to be in person.
What does that all mean for you? Stay on top of emerging trends and impacts so you can make the most of every trip. With the help of our insights and tips, you can be travel ready for whatever comes your way, whether you travel solo for work or manage a team of travelers.
Let’s start with tips for travelers
Do some pre-travel prep
A few steps before the trip can help you avoid unwanted stress later. If you’re a frequent traveler:
- Expedite security screening by signing up for TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry if you plan on international travel.
- Make sure your travel profile includes all current information and your name matches on all IDs and travel documents (passport, TSA PreCheck, etc.).
- Check if your company has a CLEAR Plus membership to fast-track airport security at US airports.
Always travel with a travel app
It’s the best way to manage the trip and keep up to speed with changing trip details and entry requirements. When you use the Amex GBT Mobile app, you can get automatic itinerary updates and notifications about disruptions. With a simple download of the app, you can:
- Access previous and upcoming trip information.
- See flight departure and arrival times.
- Check in to a flight.
- Cancel or modify a trip.
- Chat with a travel counselor when you need assistance.
Learn how to counter disruptions
While flight cancellations in the US have eased up in 2023 as compared to 2022, it’s still important to have a proactive disruption system in place. You never know when a cancellation will happen next. Fortunately, when you book trips through Amex GBT Select (Select) you don’t have to contact the airlines when a disruption happens. You’ll get a text that your flight is cancelled or significantly delayed even before you’re impacted. And with rebooking assistance by a travel counselor, you’ll have all airlines available to you – not just the airline you were booked on. You’ll also get rebooked on all other parts of the trip, like car transportation, which are impacted by the disruption.
Now, let’s cover tips for travel managers
Keep travelers in the know
Staying informed of destination information and travel requirements makes you better equipped to support travelers. That’s why our clients get:
- Security alerts that they can customize by destination.
- Access to travel advisories, health updates and risk assessments globally.
Get the tools to support your teams
One of the biggest benefits of partnering with a travel management company like ours is getting access to an online booking tool (OBT). With an OBT, you’ll have one central platform for all types of travel, making it easier on everyone. Travelers can use the self-service platform to book and modify trips, and you’ll have better oversight of their locations to minimize risk and fulfill your duty of care obligation.
Staying in tune with travelers’ trip experiences is key to managing travel. Select clients have a dashboard view of flight disruptions that summarizes the number of travelers and flights impacted.
Stay on top of NDC
Those three letters (aka New Distribution Capability) are gradually transforming how airlines distribute and sell flight content. How? Basically, NDC is an alternative data structure that allows airlines to create more bundles and tailored offers. No worries if you still need clarity on the topic. We’ve summarized it all for you right here.
Recognize the full value of travel
In the past, business travel’s primary role was in winning clients and building brand loyalty. But when you look beyond sales pitches and industry events, and you look inside your own organization, then you realize the opportunities that lie ahead. Business travel can be the link that binds dispersed, remote employees. Think about travel in terms of:
- Boosting company culture and employee engagement.
- Building relationships among coworkers.
- Training employees on new products and skills.
- Meeting potential new hires.
There’s strong proof that well-managed travel for internal purposes can be a smart business investment. Curious to know more? Dive into the report, “Investing in Travel to Strengthen Culture and Increase Engagement,” by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with American Express Global Business Travel. And when you’re ready to take insights into actions, connect with a member of our team.