With the pandemic continuing to affect air travel, and change the way we take trips, it’s important that travelers have the right tools to make informed decisions before, during, and after their journeys. According to a study conducted by SAP Concur, 72% of business travelers cited flexibility as a top priority while traveling using airlines.
Regulations for corporate travel can change within hours. Whether travelers are on a plane, train, or at a desk, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is focused on developing corporate travel technology to help them move with the flux of protocols. Rerouted trips, canceled flights, and quarantines are the new norm in this era of business travel.
Here’s how we’re enhancing and personalizing our services to help travelers and travel managers confidently return to travel. As Michael Savicki, VP of Risk, Compliance, and ESG, says in the Return of the Road Warrior podcast, “To be forearmed is to be forewarned.”
Let’s get back to travel, together.
Getting in Touch with Personalization
Personalization is at the core of GBT technology.
We recognize that every traveler and travel manager has unique needs. Neo™, GBT’s proprietary online booking and expense management platform, was developed with this in mind. The platform builds a compliant and priced itinerary based on a traveler’s preferences and past booking behaviors, which is helpful with sticking to travel budgets. Plus, travel managers can make updates based off a client’s post-trip surveys. If a hotel didn’t meet safety standards, for example, the manager can choose a different accommodation for next time.
The goal is to reduce clicks and create more efficiency while not going over travel budgets when planning trips.
Evan Konwiser, EVP of Product, Strategy, & Communications at GBT, says, “Rather than creating this whole supermarket shopping experience, it [Neo] already has the right options for you and produces a recommended series of trip options.”
Even more, instead of having to scour the internet, travelers now get quick insights (through a new Travel Vitals™ integration) on the latest quarantine measures, cancellation policies for air travel, and mask requirements. This helps travelers make decisions they are confident in.
With an emphasis on a customized user experience, the Amex GBT Mobile app now features the Neo expense module that allows travelers to finalize and submit expense reports via their mobile device – saving time and allowing for faster reimbursement. The app uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to scan photos of receipts from business travelers, and automatically links them to in-progress trips.
Putting Safety First
Practicing compliance and duty of care is critical for the confident return to travel. Program Alerts in the Amex GBT Mobile app enables travel managers to send timely messages and tips to their travelers. This could be an update about a recent vaccination policy that affect airlines and locations, travel policies, or a push notification regarding an urgent travel advisory.
The Expert Auditor™ pre-trip approval system also gives customers more visibility. Through a high-risk destination parameter, trips can be limited to areas where travel is more of a hazard. Plus, Travel Vitals is integrated with the system to provide timely and reliable updates on destination risk levels. Managers will receive notifications when high-risk destinations are booked. Plus, past trips can be traced to provide alerts about possible exposures.
Staying Sustainable While Traveling
According to a survey by Booking.com, 81% of travelers intend to stay in sustainable accommodations at least once this year. GBT makes it easier for travelers, including travel managers, to go green, and reach sustainability goals, by delivering technology that helps them see their impact.
Green Compass™ was created to push greener business travel forward. The insights dashboard gathers data to provide a comprehensive view of CO2 emissions across travel programs. Sliding levers are positioned next to each hotel and transportation option to show travelers the amount of carbon emissions they’ll use. This dashboard is just one of the sustainable business travel tools that are driving decarbonization forward.
As Andrew Crawley, GBT’s Chief Commercial Officer, says about sustainable business travel, “We have spoken to our customers and travelers, and we share their desire to carve out the most sustainable path forward for our industry. The new Neo emissions filter lets travelers consider their carbon footprint.”
Much like Green Compass, Neo includes sustainability guidance for travelers during bookings. Users can search for flights, trains, and rental cars using the carbon emissions filter. To reduce emissions and help fight climate change, travelers can switch to a cleaner aircraft, electric or hybrid rental car, or opt for rail travel instead of air. The app also displays a green hotel badge for accommodations that meet a company’s environmental standards and helps with carbon reduction.
Forming Great Partnerships to Create Great Experiences
One of our core values is “Progress.” GBT knows that partnering with technology companies on new services enhances travel (including corporate travel) experiences for customers and pushes the industry forward. As we continue to partner with these companies, we want everyone to experience safe and sustainable travel during their trips.
We’ve recently announced our partnership with CLEAR, the secure identity company, to offer Clear Plus. Subscribing members of Clear Plus can access a network of airport security lanes and verify their identify with biometric technology. With a quick and safe scan of your eyes, travelers will be able to easily and quickly move through security lanes.
We are continuously enhancing technology based on client feedback, efficiency, and the good of the planet, with sustainability goals in mind. Stay tuned for more exciting #TravelReady enhancements in 2022.
To find out more about our tools and services, please contact our team and we’ll be happy to connect!