Making travel easier and less stressful – check what Amadeus has to say!

Here comes one of the periodic guest posts I show on my blog, and, as travel begins in earnest again the advice and insights by Amadeus will hopefully help here and there to be better prepared when travelling on business, or leisure.

1. What devices does today’s traveler carry?

We can break this down by two categories:

Business Traveller – Smartphone; on which they are accessing emails / itineraries and personal information Inc music / videos / podcasts). A tablet or a laptop; off of which they will be working, presenting from and using for their ‘down-time’.

Leisure Traveller – A smartphone, on which they will be accessing their high mega pixel camera / music / audiobooks/ videos. As an alternative to their smartphone they may also choose to carry a tablet. Those that are interested in photography are likely to have the latest mega-pixel, camera with zoom lens and multi-functionality.

A recent study found that 87% of travellers use Smartphones while travelling making it the most essential device.

It is important to note that today’s traveller lives their life multi-tasking. We simultaneously focus on balancing our work and personal lives. Neither disconnects from the other especially when on-the-go. Hence travellers will often use gadgets as a means to stay connected to both their work and private life. Their gadgets will not only access and contain work information, it will likely contain their favourite music / audiobooks they may be listening to or even access to specific app’s that allow them a sense of continuity of things they enjoy and are familiar with even when they are on the go.

2. What risks are they exposed to?

As with every high value item there are always risks associated. For gadgets these particularly include –

Theft or Damage. There is nothing worse than having your smartphone, tablet or laptop stolen or damaged whilst on-the-go. Luckily few tips can help minimise the inconvenience and discomfort caused. These include: Ensuring your gadgets are insured whilst at home and also whilst travelling. Ensure you back-up your contents frequently so that in the event you do need to replace your gadget there is minimum disruption to your data being lost.

Hacking. This is a particular concern for gadget users. Especially those that do rely on their gadgets for online purchases via credit cards / hosting private data such as passport and pin numbers and of course confidential work data. If you are not careful and not mindful of how you’re giving your information out and whether or not sites / applications are certified then you do open yourself up to scams.

Infact this is a particular concern or rather it is something that people in Sub-Saharan Africa are particularly weary of. For instance, according to a report for Amadeus by Severnside Consulting 2014; Understanding Business travel in Sub-Saharan Africa, 31% of 170 travel industry stakeholders across Africa were aware of fraudulent activity when paying for travel expenses in the last 12 months.

However, this does not mean that you do not continue to use your gadgets to make your life easier. You just need to be aware of simple steps to avoid falling victim. These include – avoiding unfamiliar wireless networks especially when travelling, never click on an unknown link, use malware protection, do not disable the security settings on your gadget and of course always use common sense!

3. What are your top tips on how to protect their devices?

It is well said that prevention is better than cure, the following tips will assist you protect your devices while you are on the go;

In addition to avoiding unfamiliar wireless networks, avoid pop-ups or download prompts that appear as you surf the internet. This could be viruses that end up slowing down your device to the point of losing information or even damaging it completely.

For a business traveller, securing your emails is as vital as guarding your life; this is possible using a tool known as GPG, this app is available for Apple, Windows and Android Users. Moreover, as annoying as new software updates can be, they are sent out with a reason; when companies discover vulnerability in their software’s that hackers can exploit they send out security patches to solve the problem.

At Amadeus we recognise that it is crucial to ensure travellers feel safe and secure. We have developed the Amadeus Mobile Messenger App. Amadeus Mobile Messenger is an application provided by Amadeus. A traveler can use the application to receive messages from a travel manager and send messages to a travel manager who is using the desktop application of Amadeus Mobile Messenger. Amadeus Mobile Messenger has been created to let travel managers assist travelers before and during their trips particularly in disruptive situations or in risky areas. A travel manager can also request the GPS position from a traveler. If the traveler agrees the geocodes of his location are sent back to the travel manager.

In travel, you must be ready to deal with the unexpected, both natural and man-made (volcanos, strikes etc).

There are 4 key points to consider for effective incident management:

1. Duty of care – ensure the safety and well-being of your travelers

2. Traveler tracking – knowing where your travelers are and who is impacted is key

3. Communication – fast two-communication is essential to take appropriate action.

4. Effective Workflow – reduce the impact of travel disruption on your business and the time it takes to assist travelers.

In this day and age where by your devices are prone to theft, damage or loss, insuring your devices is a precautionary measure to take up. You need not to worry if you drop your phone, Insurance services for phones and tablets are currently offered by multiple insurance companies in Kenya. If stolen, the phone has to be reported to the police within 48 hours of the theft. If the country you are is outside Kenya the incident it to be reported in the country you are in.

Checkpoint-friendly laptop bags come in handy for those traveling with their PCs. Such bags have; butterfly style, tri-fold style, or sleeve style compartments separate, only section as they lie flat on scanner and do not have snaps, zippers or buckles that might damage your device. For other devices such as smart phone, I pod, camera always ensure that they have a well cushioned cover to eliminate any damage.

4. What are some of the apps that come in handy while travelling?

Mobile Apps increasingly assist smartphone-attached travellers along their journey. A recent study, App usage for travel brands has increased by over 100% within the last year.

The study also reveals that mobile apps now play an important role in travellers planning and purchase. 45% have used an app to help plan travel. During travel, 46% of leisure traveller and 61% of business travellers use a smart phone app to check into their flight. Post trip, 7 out of 10 post vacation photos via social networks during and after the trip.

Amadeus has created a number of applications that are all geared towards enabling the traveller to be fully functional and have easy accessibility to important travel information and as well to their travel managers. Our aim is to ensure enhanced connectivity between the travel manager and traveller so that there is ease of communication.

‘Check My Trip’​ by Amadeus allows travelers to retrieve and manage trip details together in one place at any time, including flight status, directions, weather, currency exchange rates etc. Connect anytime, anywhere and enjoy essential services at every step of your trip.

Of the 2819 people that have reviewed the app on Google Play, 46% would very highly recommend it.

The app is available for iPhone/ipad/ipod, android, java, blackberry and windows phones.

As previously mentioned, Amadeus Mobile Messenger is another application by Amadeus. A traveler can use the application to receive messages from a travel manager and send messages to a travel manager who is using the desktop application of Amadeus Mobile Messenger. Amadeus Mobile Messenger has been created to let travel managers assist travelers before and during their trips particularly in disruptive situations or in risky areas. A travel manager can also request the GPS position from a traveler. If the traveler agrees the geocodes of his location are sent back to the travel manager.

Amadeus Mobile Messenger has a 4/5 ranking on Google Play with between 1000-5000 downloads.

Amadeus e-Travel Management is anonline self-booking tool that serves every aspect of corporations’ travel needs through a single entry point.Amadeus e-Travel Management allows you to plan, book and purchase air, rail and hotel trips following your corporation’s policies.The app needs an Assignment Tag to work, which links the app to your existing e-Travel Management profile

The app has had between 10,000-50,000 downloads and has a rating of 4.2/5.

Amadeus mobile solutions empower you and keep you ahead of the game. With our innovative solutions and dynamic mobile platforms, it’s easy to plan, book and manage trips simply, conveniently, and on the go!

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