Tuesday, 6 August 2019

American Airlines to expand dedicated support team for travel professionals

At the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) 2019 Convention on Monday, August 5th, US mega-carrier American Airlines announced it will increase staffing levels for its dedicated Sales Support team by 50% to provide even more personalised service for travel agency and corporate customers.

The expanded team will support American’s 24/7 phone line for North American agencies and corporate customers. The team will be dedicated to top corporate accounts and will provide enhanced support during peak and off-peak hours, more native Spanish speakers and increased resources during operational disruption. The team also provides resources for American’s AirPass and Business Extra programmes.

“Expanding our dedicated Sales Support team will help us deliver a consistent customer experience to agencies and high-value customers who book through travel professionals,” said Alyssa Heath, Director of Sales Support for American. “This is an important step in becoming the easiest airline to do business with, and we are pleased to expand our support to ensure we are ready anytime our customers need assistance.”

American has already increased Sales Support resources and expects to offer the fully staffed team this year. The team currently provides assistance for travel booked on American marketed itineraries.

Atlantic Joint Business Sales Support Coming Soon

Additionally, to further enhance dedication to travel professionals and provide a consistent experience throughout the travel journey regardless of marketing carrier, American will add support for Atlantic Joint Business (AJB) partners British Airways, Finnair and Iberia. Beginning this fall, American's Sales Support teams will leverage joint system access to provide faster resolution to waiver requests for North American travel professionals. The joint waiver service will operate under one phone number, increasing alignment and flexibility across all carriers in the AJB.

For the corporate traveller

In an effort to deliver simple programs that meet the needs of corporate travellers, corporate customers travelling on flights marketed and operated by AJB partners British Airways, Finnair and Iberia now benefit from preferred seating and priority disruption recovery no matter which airline they fly. Additional enhancements will be available on each carrier by early next year.

“Travelers expect a consistent experience whether they’re flying on American or any one of our Atlantic Joint Business partners. With corporate recognition now available on American, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia, we’re elevating the recognition, prioritization and benefits that our corporate customers receive at every touchpoint possible,” said Alison Taylor, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Distribution for American. “Simplifying the day-to-day experience for our corporate travellers is one more way we can demonstrate our commitment to being the easiest airline to do business with as we continue to grow and diversify our corporate account portfolio.”

Corporate customers travelling on tickets marketed and operated by American and issued using American Airlines Corporate Travel Agreements enjoy complimentary access to Preferred seats through seatselect.aa.com. Complimentary Preferred seat selection will also be available later this year on aa.com and through American’s mobile app.

On day of travel, American Airlines corporate travellers receive complimentary Priority Access — the fastest route through the airport. Customers with “Priority Access” printed on their boarding pass should look for “Priority” signs when checking in at American Airlines ticket counters when going through security and during boarding with Group 4.

Corporate travellers on American also receive higher priority for re-accommodation in the event of operational disruptions including weather events so they are among the first to be back on track in the event a flight is cancelled or significantly delayed.

In addition, American also provides corporate offerings that grant corporate travellers access to special leisure discounts on packages through American Airlines Vacations, bundling air and other components like hotels, rental cars, events and theme park tickets.

For corporate travel managers

American’s corporate portals are the fastest way for corporate travel managers to access the information they want when they want it. Through SalesLink Services, corporate travel managers can request complimentary Preferred seats and sales or mileage upgrade listings for their travellers, eliminating the need to contact their travel agency or American Sales Support. SalesLink Insights is an interactive tool that helps travel managers analyze performance while providing better clarity into how to meet their goals. Data is visually summarized in reports and graphs with weekly updates to program data.

Coming this fall, the airline will launch a new website dedicated to providing a comprehensive overview of the full breadth of agency, corporate and distribution related products and services available from Global Sales at American.

American plans to continue making improvements to the corporate traveller experience throughout 2019 and beyond.
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