Altour last week released an Android and iOS mobile app with chat functions and flight disruption predictions from Lumo, formerly called Flightsayer. App maker mTrip helped build it.
Mobile apps are a requirement for big corporate customers, according to Altour CIO and SVP Laura Mattingly. She said the TMC liked mTrip’s flexibility for adding other third-party services and toggling on features for particular clients. Mtrip apps can connect to other mobile services such as online booking, risk management, Airbnb, Dinova and Expedia Affiliates Network.
Corporate buyers “are challenging their TMCs, and TripActions and TravelPerk are challenging the market by doing things differently,” said mTrip chief commercial officer Carole Moreira. “So we need to help TMCs do things differently.” She said Altour was the first to ask for Lumo. Now mTrip is making Lumo available to all corporate and leisure agency clients interested in adding it to their apps.
Beyond basic itinerary management, Mattingly said customers asked for chat capabilities. Travelers send text messages from the chat window that come in as emails to the group of agents supporting the account. Altour uses shared inbox management software from Front on top of Outlook.
“We wanted to manage the whole chat feature internally,” Mattingly said. “It’s a whole other level of support.” For VIPs, dedicated agents handle app chats just as they do phone calls.
According to Altour SVP of sales Doug Payne, the TMC can turn on mTrip components for meetings, incentives, conferences and expos. The app can connect to Cvent. “Our goal was to provide access to a lot of information from one place and narrow down number of apps you need,” Payne said, also citing a need to compete more effectively against startups.
For one client, Altour is supporting Troovo for virtual payment. Moreira said virtual payment has “improved stickiness” and helped win new clients.
Altour’s app also has an augmented reality feature. Travelers walking around an unfamiliar city, for example, would see info pop onto their screen about businesses, restaurants and other relevant points in the immediate vicinity.
Additional info: MTrip has built apps for corporate TMCs including Atlas Travel, Fox World Travel, MeritBiz, Omega World Travel, Professional Travel Inc. and TravelStore.
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