AI, successful travel programmes and the death of proprietary OBTs, with FCM Travel Solutions

The Blue Swan Daily recently caught up with FCM Travel Solutions Strategic Partnerships Manager Julie McLean, on the sidelines of the 2018 CAPA Perth Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit to discuss technology, customer service and travel trends for the future.

FCTG launches chatbot travel assistant to assist today’s corporate road warriors

Flight Centre Travel Group’s (FCTG) recently announced the Australian arrival of mobile travel assistant app, Sam. Employing a blend of artificial intelligence (AI) and integrated travel consultant support, Sam overlays attempts to deliver some important features that a business traveller needs with the experience that a leisure traveller enjoys. According to FCTG, Sam was designed to not only fulfil the necessary travel management functions required by business travellers in Australia but also goes a step further by tracking a traveller’s location, providing real-time information for traffic and flight delays, and featured interactive city guides, weather updates and gate changes.

Relationships and customer service drive success

When asked about successful travel programmes, Ms McLean says that really successful travel programmes occur only when the procurement manager and the account manager work hand in hand. “To evolve and change and drive a programme forward, especially with all of the technology available these days, the partnership is so critical”.

Technology trends: The future of proprietary online booking tools

Proprietary online booking tools could be a thing of the past discusses Ms McLean, who confirms that four of the largest global travel management companies in the world have each sunset their own proprietary technology. The way forward is via third party tools, with FCM Travel Solutions now partnering “with over 20 online booking tools globally, because we believe a best in market approach is better for an inventory perspective,” said McLean.