travel tech firm MagnaTech's SafeToGo travel intelligence and tracking system
has attracted additional corporate agency clients, including Tzell UTA and
Illinois International Travel. With a base service priced as low as $3 per
trip, it's billed as a low-cost alternative to other risk management systems.
This year, SafeToGo expanded to include a global positioning system geo-fencing
service that alerts a company's security personnel when a traveler's signal
leaves a pre-defined safe area in high-risk locations.
standard service launched in 2012 and includes a traveler tracking map, alerts
informing managers or agents of all types of disruptions and risks, and such business
intelligence as the number of company employees on a given flight. For
travelers, a mobile app provides full itinerary details with push notifications
for updates, flight and gate monitoring, disruption alerts, an agency contact
button and, if in a foreign country, embassy and currency information.
half of Tzell UTA's corporate clients—ranging in size from $250,000 in annual
travel spending to as much as $15 million—use SafeToGo services, according to Renee
Bragano, an account manager at the Pittsburgh-based agency.
a duty-of-care tool, to know where all your people are, but it's also a
dashboard of cancellations, delays and missed connections," Bragano said.
"No travel manager has time to monitor that, so we do.
are proactively using it to intervene," Bragano added, explaining that
Tzell UTA has a dedicated team of agents monitoring SafeToGo.
claims to use "advanced scanning" and an "intelligent rules
system" to monitor global media reports, flight data, government
information and other sources, and determine if and when a traveler may be
disrupted or face risks. Itinerary data is fed into the system—and then the
traveler app—via connections to the major global distribution systems. Bragano claimed
Tzell UTA was the first to use the Apollo connection.
MagnaTech co-owner and president Jacques Thibault
suggested tracking systems that depend on email itineraries are prone to error,
given "frequent changes in format and content." As such, "because
we serve the larger corporate TMCs, a direct retrieval from the GDS is our
favored method of data retrieval."
advanced level, dubbed SafeZone and available through "select TMCs"
starting in April 2013, includes additional information provided to a client's
security officer, pre-trip instructions for travelers going to risky
destinations, GPS geo-location and "breadcrumb trails."
can define a "safe zone" for a traveler—perhaps a residential
compound and safe transit routes—and customize automatic actions should the
traveler's signal leave the perimeter. That may mean alerting security
personnel or sending instructions to the traveler. From that point, to create a
"breadcrumb trail," SafeToGo "starts to log the exact map
coordinates of the device it is tracking, what brand it is, its battery levels,
etc.," according to company information. "It will display exact
positions along the route taken, at what time certain points were passed, the
speed of travel, the length of a stop, the current heading, all things that
could be helpful to a response team." SafeToGo also can link into
pre-existing satellite tracking services companies may use for certain
larger accounts with more international travel use it a little differently than
companies with domestic travel only," said Tzell UTA's Bragano, noting how
some of those larger clients upgraded to SafeZone. She acknowledged that "when
you mention geo-tracking, some get uncomfortable." Even so, the TMC is "in
the process of implementing it with one of our largest accounts, and SafeToGo
is working with the risk management security team to tweak the program to
specifically meet their company's needs."
to SafeToGo, pricing starts at $3 per traveler per trip, ranging up depending
on the level of service and any add-ons. In addition to SafeZone, clients for
example can "integrate situational data" on more than 270 countries
provided by travel risk management firm e-Travel Technologies or make use of
additional specialized security services.
the affordability that's attracted users among Illinois International Travel's
corporate clients. According to a prepared statement from Tom Molson, vice
president at the Rockford, Ill.-based agency, "Even those companies that
are aware of their duty-of-care responsibilities are hesitant because of the
cost of other systems they've seen." But, he added, once they've seen
SafeToGo in action, many sign up.
Tzell UTA, clients pay the agency an annual subscription fee based on the number
of travelers, and SafeToGo bills the agency based on usage, according to
Bragano. "This tool really has helped take us to the next level," she
claimed. "The takeaway is that clients really feel like someone has their
MagnaTech's other services
include unused ticket tracking and an agency quality control system. Other agency
clients include Travel One, Travel Leaders and World Travel Service.