American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) announced it is launching a set of “disruption management solutions” to minimise travel friction in the current chaotic travel environment around the world. The solutions will help on-the-road travelers quickly manage flight disruptions while giving travel managers insights into the impact of disruptions on their travel programmes, the company said.
Data from the flight tracking app Flightaware.com indicates that travelers are almost twice as likely to be delayed this year compared with last year. While revenge travel is boosting ticket sales, capacity among the six largest US airlines is currently below 2019 levels. This has created a perfect storm in which airlines have less flexibility to rebook passengers who are affected by delays and cancelations.
Mark McSpadden, Vice President of Product Strategy and User Experience at Amex GBT, said: “As business travelers get back on the road, companies are putting more stock into the end-to-end travel experience. They want to reduce travel friction while giving employees more autonomy to plan, book, and modify trips. We have prioritised developments that expand our unique proactive assistance services. Today, they deliver more actionable information and more convenient ways for travelers to stay connected to everything they need at every stage of their journey.”
Amex GBT’s Proactive Traveler Care (PTC) can now send recommendations for alternative flights to travelers experiencing disruption. Travelers can also now connect with traveler counsellors using WhatsApp in addition to the Amex GBT Mobile app chat or SMS channels.
PTC is the most extensive automated and globally available in-trip assistance service in the industry. The service constantly monitors travelers’ trips and contacts them as soon as a trip is delayed or cancelled using a first-to-market, automated messaging system. Now when travelers respond, they can receive recommendations for alternative flights from the full range of Amex GBT airline suppliers in the customer marketplace. The interaction can take place at the travelers’ convenience, in their preferred channel, with quick access to options across carriers.
In the Amex GBT Mobile app, travelers can now share real-time trip changes with friends, partners, colleagues, and clients via their preferred channel. The app generates a link to an Amex GBT web page that shows a flight’s live tracking status. The recipient can refresh the web page at any time. Viewing does not require a special app, freeing the traveler from the task of providing the most current updates to multiple contacts.
A new dashboard in the Amex GBT’s cloud-based reporting tool, Insights, gathers data from disruptions identified in PTC for a given company. Travel managers can use the dashboard to track the impact disruptions have on travelers and improve duty of care. This information includes the number of flights impacted, percentage of travelers engaging with PTC and the airlines most affected.
More disruption management services are planned for the coming months including post-disruption check-in surveys, additional chat channels to connect with travel counsellors and third-party value-added service offerings.
The Insights disruption management dashboard is available to all users globally. Live flight status sharing is available globally for all Amex GBT Mobile app users. PTC proactive recommendation for alternative flights is currently available to select customers in the US and will be available globally by year-end.