Meet Sam, Flight Centre’s new AI mobile travel assistant

Girl adoring her cellphone.

Say hello to Flight Centre’s new pocket-sized mobile travel assistant, Sam!

The company unveiled the arrival of the award-winning mobile travel assistant app at the btTB GBTA conference in Sydney.

Developed by the group’s innovation lab in Europe, Sam is a blend of AI and integrated travel consultant support, overlaying the most important features that a business traveller needs with the experience that a leisure traveller enjoys.

And it looks pretty bloody cool if you ask us.

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Sam is now available for clients of Flight Centre brands FCM Travel Solutions and academic travel provider Campus Travel.

FCTG’s SME business travel specialist Corporate Traveller and entertainment and sports travel brand Stage and Screen, will make Sam available for clients, in the second half of 2018.

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Flight Centre’s corporate division executive general manager, James Kavanagh, said today’s launch was an exciting milestone for the Australian business travel community following the launch of Sam in the UK and the USA in 2017.

“By downloading Sam, our customers won’t miss a thing,” Kavanagh said.

“Sam’s messages are intuitive, helpful and include practical information and advice that is based on context, relevance and a traveller’s personal preferences.”

Kavanagh said Sam fulfilled the necessary travel management functions, but went a step further by tracking a traveller’s location, providing real-time information for traffic and flight delays, and featured interactive city guides, weather updates and gate changes.

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“Sam will even give you information about what carousel your luggage is on and allows you to book an Uber ride within the app,” Mr Kavanagh said.

“Plus, some of the new functionality that’s on its way, is a perfect example of how AI is redefining the travel management space.”

“Across the USA and UK FCM has travellers from more than 80 national and multi-national companies currently using Sam.”

“A recent survey of our USA clients who had downloaded the app, included comments from customers who were loving the ‘automated weather and traffic’ alerts and many praising the real-time updates following the recent storms across the US East Coast.”

Flight Centre also announced the new ‘Community’ functionality – ‘Sam Community’.

The soon-to-be-released feature taps into the knowledge and experience of a global community of business travellers, serving up user-generated tips and advice based on a traveller’s location or when they ask Sam for assistance or inspiration.

Other Sam functions that will be coming soon include:

Sam for Travel Bookers:

  • Sam will ensure Travel Bookers are aware of potential issues impacting their traveller(s) and prompt appropriate actions including booking changes and communication with the traveller to ensure their wellbeing.

Enhanced traveller safety features:

  • Sam will soon recognise the user’s location via a blend of itinerary information and GPS and match this to any critical incidents, triggering real-time relevant alerts with an ability to respond with appropriate action for the individual traveller.

Deeper integration:

  • Sam currently integrates with many leading service providers including Uber, Lyft and Certify, and is in the process of growing its integration with global travel suppliers.

 

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