FCM Travel Solutions, the flagship business travel division of Flight Centre Travel Group, has won two top accolades at the prestigious 2018 World Travel Awards. FCM has been named Leading Travel Management Company in North America for the seventh consecutive year, as well Leading Travel Management in South America for the sixth year running.
The World Travel Awards programme celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade. Awards are voted for by travel and tourism professionals worldwide and these accolades recognise the commitment to excellence FCM has demonstrated over the past 12 months.
2018 has continued to be another year of innovation for FCM with further investment in enhancing technology, products and processes.
In the USA, for example, FCM has invested significantly in additional advances to its proprietary reporting solution, ClientBank, particularly development of ‘Connectors’ enabling different data sets to be integrated within one business intelligence platform. This means FCM can provide customers with even greater insights into business travel spend. Clients can also compare variances between their spend with FCM and other travel and expense costs. Areas of focus for Connectors have been: Travel & Expense, Travel Risk Management Intelligence, and Ride Sharing Services.
• Advanced Advance Booking Connector: enables FCM to identify actual savings and losses with advance purchasing. By using proprietary data capture methods to show the cost of a ticket based on 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35 day increments, FCM can identify like-for-like scenarios where savings and losses are calculated accurately, instead of estimating the savings or losses incurred by purchasing air tickets in advance.
• “Class of Service Premium Calculator” Connector: allows FCM to identify the actual difference in costs between alternate airline cabin classes of service. The connector removes the guess work around estimating the premiums paid by a company to adjust their air travel policy.
In 2018, FCM also announced more enhancements to Sam, its ground-breaking chatbot-based ‘Smart Assistant for Mobile’ that supports business travellers on the move. Enhancements include a new Duty of Care feature which recognises the user’s whereabouts and triggers real-time relevant alerts when the traveller might be affected by a nearby incident; and Sam Community - a chatbot assisted ‘community’ for business traveller users to share tips and advice - anything from flight delay updates, to quiet and comfortable places to rest or the best place to find power-points in an airport to charge a laptop.
In response to feedback from clients who asked for greater visibility of their travellers in trip, FCM is also introducing a Sam for Travel Managers feature which expands Sam’s capabilities to any arranger, booker or travel manager. Sam for Travel Managers grants them access to view their current travellers’ itineraries, as well as receive crucial notifications about events that affect each traveller, such as flight delays or cancellations.
“FCM’s business model has always focussed on our people who operate in small teams delivering exceptional customer service by blending their expertise with bespoke technology solutions. However, the business travel environment is constantly evolving and to remain successful in a highly competitive market, FCM must continue to innovate,” says Billy McDonough. “Hence over the last year we have continued to pioneer new technology to flex with the needs of our clients, whilst staying true to our ethos of personal service.”