American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has unveiled a multi-channel ground transportation platform available to travel managers.
The new platform offers access to more than 750 ground transport operators in more than 2,000 cities in 18 countries. Integrated options include black cabs, taxis, limousines, airport express trains and shuttles, as well as ridesharing via a recently announced partnership with Lyft.
GBT says 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 requirements.
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 added promotion of corporate duty of care.
Other features of the platform 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.
The platform is currently in a pilot stage with select clients in North America and EMEA. GBT says clients can contact their client manager for more information.
Michael Qualantone, executive vice president of global supplier relations for American Express GBT, said: “Traditionally, ground spend has been a blind spot for travel managers. GBT clients saw 95 per cent-plus 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. 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.”