UK – USA Business Travel
- Richard Moss
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We’ve a team of 5 corporate account managers who are responsible for acquiring new business, as well as booking business travel. They speak to hundreds of companies each week who need help in arranging business travel for their employees.
Some companies love having all their bookings streamlined through one travel provider. However, there are a lot more companies that have numerous providers looking after their business travel. I took it to the team to find out what the advantages are for centralising corporate travel through just one business travel provider.
Companies have many reasons why they use more than one travel company, whether it is to make sure they are getting the best price on each business trip or perhaps their preferred supplier cannot fulfil all their travel needs.
Using one supplier has many benefits, not only can it save time and reduce travel costs, but it also saves the hassle of filling out multiple traveller profiles and sharing employee data with numerous different providers.
To most it may seem like a great idea to use more than one travel provider when pricing a trip. This way you can get them competing and ultimately get the best price, right? Wrong. By doing this you could end up increasing your overall business travel spend. This is due to the way in which airline systems work. When you contact your business travel agent asking for some flights, they will usually hold the price in the passenger’s name to avoid any increase in fare until you get approval to book that option. However, if more than one travel agent holds the same flight under the same name, this gets flagged up with the airline as a ‘duplicate’ booking. They can then throw both options held out of the Global Distribution System (GDS). Leaving neither agent with the lowest price held, so when you come back to book the price could have increased with both agents.
Booking business flights, hotels and car hire through different travel suppliers is going to be making your job much harder than it needs to be. Contacting each one and awaiting their responses is going to take time. Not to mention it’s probably not too popular with your accounts team. Streamlining this process through one business travel agent who can book everything you need is going to save you a lot of time. You’ll also receive all the details of the business trip in the same style of confirmation so no need to flick between different emails and PDF’s to find what you need. A top travel management company will also work with you to tailor their services to suit your company needs, be it confirmation styles or payment terms.
Business trips take people all over the world, with different countries posing their own threats, be it natural disasters or political unrest. If your business travellers are affected by cancelled flights, you need to arrange the change of flights, hotels and car hire reservations as quickly as possible. Using multiple suppliers is going to slow you down. You’ve got to work out which agent booked which travel element and call each one individually to either extend or cut short the trip. With one agent you can call them and sort the whole trip out in one go. If you’ve got one of the best travel management companies they’ll be proactive and get in touch with you should any event occur.
Booking through multiple agents and suppliers will cause all sorts of problems when trying to justify the travel expenses for the company. It’ll also take many hours to compile it all together by someone within your company. With one agent, all your travel data will be in one place. Reports on flights, hotels, car hire and VAT should all be accessible upon request. With Your Travel Corporate your dedicated account manager will be able to provide you with a single report of everything that you need for your companies T&E’s. They’ll also help analyse the data and suggest ways to lower your travel spend.
Using a single agent to support you with booking every element of business travel means you get to deal with them regularly. This will help create a strong working relationship. You get to know your dedicated account manager and they’ll get to know you and your travellers. With regular contact the service you receive will get even better as they get to know exactly what you want. Making booking through a corporate travel agency even more enjoyable.
Your current travel management company should be providing you with all the reasons you need to use them as your sole provider. If this isn’t the case, you need to consider looking for a business travel agent who will be your one-stop shop and tailor their processes to suit you. Click HERE for more details.
To read more expert advice and tips on business travel, view our business travel blog here.