At its annual Connect corporate travel conference in Dallas, Sabre has launched a mobile travel management services which will keep up with travellers’ needs throughout the journey.
The Travel Experience Platform is designed to solve travel’s road bumps for those who spend their life up in the air–and there’s something for everyone else to boot.
Sabre has designed it as a single mobile technology platform which works for all travellers, but a host of features that are especially attractive to frequent and Business travellers and their Corporate travel managers.
The Travel Experience Platform lets users self-manage bookings on-the-go, processes payments, and helps manage expense reporting. It also addresses safety and security concerns.
The point is to avoid travellers having to jump in and out of several mobile apps at various phases of the journey. The Travel Experience Platform offers features which make the process seamless from trip planning through to the day of travel, and even after the return home.
A recent survey, The Digital Business Traveler, published by Sabre Corporation and the GBTA Foundation, shows that 77 percent of business travellers in North America prefer using self-service technology to manage their trips. To do so, they use an average of nine different apps–the most common of these being airline, hotel, booking, car and restaurant apps.
The Digital Traveler Survey also found that:
- Despite traveler interest, most companies do not require or recommend travel apps leaving travelers to figure it out themselves. In North America, only 18 percent of travelers say their organization “has specific apps they require for business travel” while 47 percent say their “organization does not recommend any travel apps.”
- The most common reasons travellers gave for using a travel app are flight check-in or flight status, generating an airline boarding pass, and booking hotels and flights.
- Approximately 24 percent of business travellers in North America use apps to request an Uber, Lyft, or taxi.
- Nearly 60 percent of North American business travellers are likely or very likely to use alternative forms of payment, including virtual payments and e-wallet, if they had the option within the travel program.
The new platform combines the online booking capabilities of Sabre’s GetThere for air and hotel bookings, the itinerary management and messaging features of TripCase and the e-payment solutions of Sabre Virtual Payments.
Sabre has also introduced a travel risk management solution, SafePoint, which helps travellers check-in with their employer via a GPS location, and ask for assistance in an emergency.
The platform also helps corporate travel managers by integrating with existing systems and offering an easily deployed mobile application for their employees.
It also ensures compliance to travel policies for booking and rebooking trips, and can capture expenses on the fly then auto generate a detailed expense report.
“Travel is a strategic investment for corporations that can bring significant returns which is why we built a platform that provides scalable innovation to drive two key objectives: experience and efficiency. In the past you had to give up one to have the other. With this scalable platform, you basically have it all,” said Florian Tinnus, vice president of Traveler Experience at Sabre. “With personalization becoming an expectation for travelers, and mobile as an enabler of a true personalized experience, the future of travel is in the collaboration and execution of the traveler’s experience with a corporation’s travel program. And with scalability and flexibility as the foundation of this platform, we’re not only meeting the needs of today’s complex corporate travel programs, but we’re continuously evolving with tomorrows.”
Sabre says new features are forthcoming which will make corporate travel even more efficient.
Independent Traveller? You Need TripCase
For independent travellers, TripCase has also been updated with helpful many features this year.
As readers will recall, TripCase is my go-to travel management mobile app on all of my devices, including the Apple Watch, because it has a number of convenient features that help me stay organised and keep up with the inevitable hiccups.
TripCase also automatically updates whoever needs to know about changes to my travel schedule automatically.
I wish I had something like it when I was taking 40+ trips a year and had to coordinate the details with my PA. It would have saved tons of time. But now I use it to keep my favourite PA of all time (hubby) up to date.
One of my previous wish-list items was expense tracking and TripCase has introduced that. The app was also very helpful to me on my last trip, suggesting private car arrangements through a travel partner–at a great price.
A driver was waiting for me at the airport, but more importantly a driver was also waiting for me on the return. Attending the same event last year, I waited for an hour and a half for a taxi, only to learn that the hotel had neglected to call the company!
Ladies, You Really Need It
For a woman travelling alone security and peace of mind are everything. Sadly, the security concerns for women on the road haven’t changed much from when I first became a frequent business traveller in the 90s.
I was always ready to go at the drop of a hat. I had to be on my job, because Aircraft On Ground situations and product issues in aviation require immediate deployment.
Getting ready for a trip meant having all the information I needed–so I wouldn’t be lost in strange surroundings. That meant hours of research and planning, detailed notes, and an emergency contact list in my handbag. I fine-tuned my travel planning and built habits which still work for me today. I always kept a Go-bag mostly packed with travel essentials, and there’s still one in my home office now.
With all my planning and preparation, and my well-trained security habits, there were still some very nasty surprises over the years!
I would have avoided many of them with today’s mobile technology. That’s why I take full advantage of my gadgets and travel apps now.
I wish I could say that it’s a better age for women travellers. It isn’t. But we do have far better tools, and that can make all the difference.