American Express Global Business Travel ups its ground transportation offering

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has unveiled a new multi-channel ground transportation platform designed to give 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, as well as ridesharing via a recently announced partnership with Lyft − the first integration of its kind between a ride-sharing company and a travel management company.

GBT and Lyft – the first of its kind

The collaboration between GBT and Lyft integrates Lyft’s platform, data and insights for GBT client travel programmes. Travel managers gain insight into a comprehensive set of KPIs and data sets to optimise their ground programmes, while travellers gain access to GBT’s negotiated business incentives/rewards and partner rewards provided by Lyft. GBT’s partnership also allows for bookings to be segmented for easier expense management.

GDS-agnostic for improved data insights

The new multi-channel ground transportation 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. Travel managers will also have access to all company bookings in a single location, giving companies comprehensive visibility into their ground programme.

American Express Global Business Travel Executive Vice President of Global Supplier Relations Michael Qualantone, said: “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. 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.”

The new GBT ground transportation platform offering includes:

  • 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 that 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 programme value.
  • Advice on programme optimisation 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.