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American Express Hotel Rate TRAX Awarded PatentAugust 12, 2009 By: George Dooley
American Express Business Travel (AEBT) has been awarded a patent on Hotel Rate TRAX, solidifying the company’s exclusive rights to use the automated auditing tool. Launched in 2004, Hotel Rate TRAX compares a company’s negotiated hotel rates with those listed in the GDS to identify discrepancies and capture potential lost savings due to inaccurately loaded rates. The technology has also won strong endorsements by travel managers.
According to American Express Business Travel, companies that do not have a thorough rate auditing tool can lose an average of seven dollars on each room night, which can add up quickly. Additionally, it is estimated that nearly 35 percent of hotel rates are loaded incorrectly into the GDS.
“With hotel spend on the chopping block, this innovation brings greater transparency to corporate negotiated rates and helps our clients get the most out of their hotel programs,” said Lisa Durocher, senior vice president of global marketing for American Express Business Travel. “The patent enables us to offer this already popular solution exclusively to our clients in order to avoid inconvenient and costly rate loading inconsistencies.”
Hotel Rate TRAX completes an audit of each program highlighting any differences between the negotiated rate and the actual rate found in the GDSs. It also allows companies to share the data with hotels, which are then able to make any necessary corrections and address pricing inconsistencies.
"The hotel rate audit is a critical piece of the sourcing process," said Jeff Lawrence, U.S. travel manager for Cummins Business Services. "Hotel Rate TRAX creates consistency between the rate travelers expect to see when booking and the rate they actually pay. The rate audit closes that loop and also identifies opportunities for travel managers to pursue reductions or refunds from hotels that don't load rates timely or correctly.”
In addition to Hotel Rate TRAX, AEBT also announced it has been awarded a patent for its automated Ticket TRAX tool. Ticket TRAX applies a company’s refundable tickets procured within the previous 60 days to eligible trips and notifies travelers and travel managers of outstanding tickets that are eligible for name changes within the parameters of a company’s contracts. This solution reduces unused ticket liability while making it possible for all travel dollars to be captured.
“Ticket TRAX allows us greater traveler flexibility while minimizing the liability of unused tickets on the back end,” said Tamara Gordon, global travel and meetings manager for UnitedHealth Group. “Ticket TRAX continues to add value to our corporate travel program. Since the beginning of the year, the company has saved more than $700,000 as a result of Ticket TRAX.”