July 26, 2013

Mobile tech and the travel industry


Sure Travel’s Group Solutions Optimisation Manager, Abigail Pires, shares how mobile developments have transformed the way she travels, especially for business – as featured on the Amadeus blog.

There is no doubt that technology has changed the face of travel - the way people search and book for travel. From leisure travellers researching their destinations, hotels and resorts online, as well as sites like Trip Advisor, where travel opinion from peer travellers is so valued. Not to forget social media, where the most shared events on Facebook are travel events. Travellers love to tag themselves, “Check-In” at foreign locations, and indeed post travel photos.

Travel technology has also affected business and corporate travel naturally. Corporates book travel online too, and Travel Management Systems like the Amadeus E Travel Management (AeTM) system have had a major impact on how corporate travel is reviewed, booked, authorised and managed. These systems are fantastic technology solutions that suit SMEE (Small to Medium Enterprises) travel to multi-million rand travel accounts.

The ability of this AeTM system to manage profiles with multi-level security features, multiple divisional travel policies, as well as multi-level authorisation and approval levels is outstanding.  The relatively new ability to also approve and manage these “bookings” from a mobile device like an iPad or iPhone by the authoriser/approver is just the latest in the constant evolution of mobile tech. The AMP (Amadeus Mobile Partner) app for this system is easily downloadable and easy to use for that very time pressured, and not often office bound, top exec.

There are many other mobile apps that really ease the burden of business travel these days, apps like the Gautrain App for schedules and departure times when travelling in Johannesburg. Most airlines have their own mobile apps too now. Ones I have recently used are the EasyJet, Virgin Atlantic, Turkish Airlines, and our very own national carrier SAA.

I have to say, not expected at all, but the South African Airways App is really useful and very impressive. The App gives you the ability to do your online check-in, and pre seating, which is much needed when travelling. There are numerous apps like “FlightStatus” to check the status of all international flights, “Convert” for those internal metrics such as miles etc. There are also some fantastic travel expense claim and mileage tracking apps too.

How have developments in mobile technology transformed your business?


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