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American Express Survey: Travel Agents Vital to Business Travelers

December 1, 2010 By: Staff

More than half of business travelers surveyed by American Express Business Travel (AEBT) feel services by an experienced and knowledgeable travel agent, and their travel agent having access to the most advanced technology, are the most important service they can receive (53% and 51%, respectively), AEBT says.

The results of AEBT’s survey of business travelers services were released along with a parallel announcment of its expansion of business travel service options, namely universal aXcess.

The global survey found that business travelers prefer to book online, but want access to agents 24/7 when they are on the road and need assistance with current travel plans or changes to itineraries, AEBT reports.

More than half of business travelers preferred to book their travel online (55%), while almost half (46%) of travelers said they are more likely to turn to an agent when plans change for help when on the road. AEBT says this reveals an emerging demand for a service option that offers the best of both online and offline service.

Eight in ten (81%) business travelers feel it doesn’t matter where in the world their travel agent is sitting, opening up consolidation of servicing opportunities for companies that will allow cost savings, AEBT said.

AEBT’s launch of universal aXcess, which provides global corporations with a consolidated service platform, will allow travelers to access their service channel of choice: online tools, travel agent support as well as on-the-go mobility tools for itinerary management and emergency services.

AEBT said the responses from the new American Express survey underscored the need for a service option that offers the best of both online and offline service.

“Service is core to the American Express brand and core to any service strategy is innovative technology, investment in people and an unwavering focus on execution,” said Julie Bottner, senior vice president and general manager, Global Service Delivery, American Express Business Travel.

Universal aXcess is meant to allow companies to consolidate their travel servicing through a global center, AEBT says. The new consolidated service platform provides travelers with a single telephone number from their home country that can be used for all of their travel servicing needs, AEBT says.

Travelers will be connected to a central team with visibility into their company’s corporate policies and preferred supplier agreements to their own personal travel preferences and itineraries. And, while on-the-go, travelers have access to telephonic and online support, emergency services and a new mobility offering, AEBT says.

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