American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has made a multi-channel ground transportation platform available to travel managers.
The new 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 company has indicated that the platform is GDS-agnostic and helps travel managers capture ground transportation bookings in one place, regardless of whether the booking was made online, offline or via the Amex GBT mobile app. The system is customisable at both the manager and traveller level, and can integrate changes in company policy and individual preferences.
The platform also connects to Global Trip Record, GBT’s single source of trip data, and its Expert Care disruption and risk management platform for additional corporate duty of care.
Other features include 24/7 global customer support, negotiated supplier discounts, real-time flight status monitoring to ensure smooth transfers, attachment of ground bookings so they appear on one itinerary with air and hotel reservations, secure data and privacy standards, access to reporting and benchmarking data, the ability for travel managers to edit bookings on behalf of the traveller, and advice on programme optimisation.
Michael Qualantone, executive vice president of global supplier for AMEX GBT, said: “Traditionally, ground spend has been a blind spot for travel managers. GBT clients saw around 95 per cent 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.”
The platform is currently in a pilot stage with select clients in North America and EMEA. GBT clients can contact their client managers for more information about the GBT ground platform.