Corporate travel has undergone many changes in recent years, most importantly, easy access to air tickets via the Internet. As more travelers are able to better control their schedules using the Internet, many organizations have simplified their travel policies so that travelers can order their books online. This benefit for travelers was actually costly in terms of lost productivity, lack of control over unused tickets, and lack of access to airline programs that could significantly benefit the company in all areas of travel.
Can we agree that while online travel booking is profitable in some areas, it is not what we had hoped for in advance? Every day I hear stories from travelers about how difficult it is to book online and even when travelers can’t be sure they get the best fare when using the internet. This uncertainty is a cause for concern for travelers and coordinators for good reason. It is difficult to be sure of what you get from the internet because there is no record of success and there is no level of trust between the organization and the travel provider.
Cooperation between your organization and the travel management provider of your choice is very important. This partnership will benefit your company in terms of better business relationships and anticipation of your current and future needs, as it relates to the ever-changing corporate travel environment.
A centralized travel, corporate travel program, and travelers and travel coordinators need to come back to be in mind. Since all distribution channels have access to the same tariffs and rates, there is less reason to pursue a decentralized travel policy today. Performance-level purchases are critical, and it’s easy to allow travelers to maintain the levels of control they want when requesting a travel order from a preferred corporate channel. Most brick and mortar agencies now offer customizable online booking solutions to meet the needs of a unique corporate travel policy.
The benefits of re-travel centralization are many. Here is a comprehensive but certainly not a list of reasons to restore control over an important but carefully researched budget. Of course, it will have a positive effect on your ability to serve your company and customers and improve your travel mood.
- Access to airline and hotel discount programs through agency and provider agreements
- Centralized booking allows travelers to be more organized and efficient
- Unused tickets can be tracked and the hotel cancellation policy can be managed
- Centralized calculation of hotels and car rentals
- More efficient ordering processes
- Effective customer service for unavoidable changes and problems related to business travel
- Special and centralized financial and accounting reports
For many corporations, the best solution is a combination of options, many of which use an online booking portal provided by an agency partner to provide travelers with real-time agent assistance when time is tight or they have more complex travel routes. I think the main way is to reconsider the travel program from all angles. There are more weather programs available for more businesses than ever before. New opportunities are available for you to save money and simplify processes. Recently, United Airlines began offering discounts at all rates for corporate partners. This includes even the cheapest coaching classes that many Fortune 500 companies can’t afford. This is just one example of the opportunities that are not openly publicized for your company, which can be through old agency connections.
We made another transition in the corporate travel program to see where efficiency can be found and where savings can be found. Your travelers and coordinators can get their money back. Take care of your customers and move your business forward.