American Express Global Business Travel acquires AI start-up 30SecondsToFly

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), a business partner for managed travel, has acquired 30SecondsToFly, a technology start-up specialising in artificial intelligence (AI) and messaging for business travel.

The 30SecondsToFly technology will enhance the travel experience for GBT’s clients’ travelers by increasing the number of service options available to them throughout the trip lifecycle.

In addition to live chat via the Amex GBT Mobile App and Apple Business Chat, travelers will be able to initiate automated servicing requests from their favorite messaging service. By providing tested, AI-powered self-service options, the technology complements the best-in-class service provided by GBT’s global network of travel counsellors.

GBT’s Director of New Business Ventures, Gabriel Ayache, said: “Many business travelers want the speed and convenience of self-service. But they also take comfort in knowing that teams of travel counsellors are always there to have their backs. 30SecondsToFly has developed a ground-breaking experience for both travelers and travel counselors that will optimize the GBT service experience and enhance our messaging capabilities.”

Riccardo Vittoria, CEO of 30SecondsToFly, added: “We believe that intelligent chat is the new standard for corporate travel service. We are very proud to help drive this at scale for GBT and thrilled to be joining the global leader in business travel.”

The platform is tailor-made for business travel and has already been used successfully by thousands of travelers. 30SecondsToFly’s experienced AI developers will join GBT’s growing team of technology experts as part of the acquisition. The technology will be integrated into GBT’s services over the coming months.

The terms of the deal, which closed on October 8, will remain undisclosed.