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American Express Business Travel Launches New Research Practice


eXpert insights Headed by Former Aberdeen Group and AMR Research Analyst and Research Director Christa Degnan Manning

Inaugural “Best Practices Roadmap” Research Report Identifies Savings Potential of Almost $2,000 USD Per Business Trip; Challenges Conventional Wisdom on Use of Restricted Fares to Consistently Gain Savings

NEW YORK -- As companies seek out new resources for thought leadership, benchmarking and research to more effectively manage their business travel investment, today, American Express Business Travel announced the launch of eXpert insights; a new dedicated research practice within its Global Advisory Services team. Created to help companies cut the costs of business trips, eXpert insights will assist by identifying creative strategies within T&E programs and will offer best practices for implementing new strategies.

Through eXpert insights, American Express Business Travel offers access to insights and advice backed by the industry’s largest database of travel and expense data, representing more than $100 billion in T&E spending, the collective knowledge of hundreds of consultants, and decades of travel experience. The resource is offered through an annual subscription available to companies of all sizes globally. The offering also includes access to travel management consulting provided in hourly increments for ad hoc needs, known as “eXpert on demand.”

“As companies put a premium on intellectual capital, eXpert insights brings a much needed, creative approach that provides companies with a clear cost-savings edge,” said Hervé Sedky, vice president and general manager, American Express Business Travel. “Most recently as an analyst and research director at two leading enterprise business process and technology market research firms, Christa Manning’s leadership of this new practice will bring the experience, methodologies, and wealth of industry knowledge to guide companies on efficient and effective ways to optimize their travel investment.”

As head of eXpert insights, Ms. Manning is responsible for identifying the meaningful trends in the industry, educating clients on the impact of market changes to their program and publishing actionable advice to help companies reduce travel costs, mitigate risk, improve compliance and enhance sustainability.

“In the current economic environment, it is critical for companies to have access to timely data and resources to arm them with the knowledge and guidance they need to make the right travel management decisions,” said Christa Manning, director, eXpert insights and research, Global Advisory Services, American Express Business Travel. “With the launch of eXpert insights not only does it provide the resources necessary to make the best travel strategy and policy decisions, but offers consistent advice and guidance to assist companies with implementing changes which can deliver the highest return-on-investment in their T&E programs over the course of the year.”

Also announced today were savings opportunities identified in the inaugural Best Practice Roadmap report “Creative Cost Savings in Air,” a key deliverable of the eXpert insights subscription offerings. Findings include:

* Premium Savings in Premium Economy -- As many carriers introduce compelling alternatives to business class and economy coach class, eXpert insights revealed that companies implementing a premium economy policy for daytime, long-haul flights over business class can save an average of $2,000 per one-way segment in key markets. This would have resulted in more than $40M in savings in 2008 for the 30 data set companies alone. Daytime flyers likely do not require a fully reclining seat but can still enjoy the added legroom and wider seats in new premium economy offerings than those found in coach, so this policy could be implemented without sacrificing traveler comfort.
* Restricting Restricted Tickets -- In general, restricted fares continue to yield cost savings when compared to non-restricted fares, particularly for long-haul routes. However, eXpert insights found that on average more than one-third of selected short-haul, non-restricted tickets were actually less expensive overall when average change fees were factored in 2008. As a result, securing corporate discounts on non-restricted tickets in competitive markets can make for an attractive cost-savings strategy over the long-haul.
* Quick Hit Business Trips -- Providing employees with the knowledge of rate differentials and guidance to travel on the least expensive day of the week can cut costs of same-day round trip air fares significantly on average as companies look for any ways to curb the costs of business travel.

In addition to the monthly Best Practices Roadmap reports, subscribers to eXpert insights will also receive:

* eXpert industry insights, a monthly newsletter featuring supply base analysis and managed travel program impact advice on the air, hotel, car and meetings industries;
* The Business Travel Monitor, the industry’s leading pricing benchmark with detail on average business traveler fares paid in air, hotel, and car by city and class of service for hundreds of locations worldwide; and
* The annual Business Travel Forecast offering predictions of managed business travel program and pricing rate trends. This year’s Forecast is being improved by incorporating likely global business travel growth impacts derived through industry-based economic modeling.
* eXpert on demand, provides access to a flexible offering which will link clients directly to a consultant to discuss how they can best optimize their T&E opportunities.

Research publications are delivered centrally through a premium archive on the online business travel community powered by American Express Business Travel.

About American Express Business Travel
American Express Business Travel (, a division of American Express Company, is committed to helping its clients maximize the greatest return on their travel investment through increased cost savings, world-class customer service and greater spending control. Ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations, American Express Business Travel provides a combination of industry-leading technology, travel management consulting, strategic sourcing and supplier negotiation support, alongside global customer service available online and offline. The Company also provides a dynamic online community ( harnessing the collective intelligence of those in the business travel industry offering a variety of perspectives, best practices, current research and industry news.

American Express operates one of the world’s largest travel agency networks with locations in over 140 countries worldwide. Total travel sales volume in 2008 was $29.1 billion, including proprietary volume, volume processed through joint ventures, and American Express branded volume processed through its partner network.

American Express Company ( is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.


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