American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has unveiled a multi-channel ground transportation platform that it says gives travel managers and travellers expanded flexibility, choice and control.
GBT’s ground platform offers access to more than 750 ground operators in more than 2,000 cities in 18 countries. Integrated options include black cars, taxis, limos, airport express trains and shuttles, plus ridesharing via a recently announced partnership with Lyft − the first integration of its kind between a ride-sharing company and a travel management company.
The platform equips clients with a GDS-agnostic solution that seamlessly captures and manages ground bookings in one place, regardless of whether the booking was made online, offline or via the Amex GBT Mobile app. Customizable at both company and traveller level, the platform is designed to evolve as corporate travel policy requirements and individual preferences change.
Travel managers will now have access to all company bookings in a single location, giving companies comprehensive visibility into their ground program. It underpins GBT booking channels including the Amex GBT Mobile app, and connects to Global Trip Record™ (GTR) – GBT’s single source of accurate, reliable real-time and historic trip data.
“Traditionally, ground spend has been a blind spot for travel managers. GBT clients saw 95%+ leakage through out-of-policy booking channels for ground bookings in 2017, resulting in lost opportunities for our clients to negotiate on that spend and ensure traveller compliance,” says Michael Qualantone, Amex GBT EVP of Global Supplier Relations.
“Our ground transportation platform is the first solution of its kind for booking via a seamless user experience that meets both the content and choice expectations of travellers and the core needs of travel managers, all in one place.”
Features of the new GBT ground transportation platform offering include:
Ability to shop, compare rates and book in one place for black cars, taxis, limos, airport express trains and shuttles, and ridesharing with Lyft
Access to 24/7 global customer service and negotiated supplier discounts
Promotion of corporate duty of care through Global Trip Record (GTR) integration and connection into GBT’s Expert Care™ travel disruption and risk management platform
Flight status monitoring in real-time to ensure smooth and timely transfers
Attachment of ground bookings to existing trips, so air, hotel and ground reservations are displayed as one itinerary
Secure data and privacy standards
Access to reporting and benchmarking data to create visibility into spend and program value
Advice on program optimization for travel managers
Ability for travel counsellors to edit bookings remotely on behalf of the traveller
Editing and viewing bookings on all portals, including all GDS platforms
Amex GBT says the platform is currently in pilot with early adopter clients in North America and EMEA.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.