Corporate Travel – Is It Time to Centralize Your Program Again?

Corporate travel has undergone a ton of changes in recent years, the most important being the advent of easy access to airfare via the internet. As more travelers found value in better control over their schedules by using the internet, many organizations loosened their travel policies to allow for travelers to book on their own online. This perceived benefit to travelers has actually cost businesses quite a bit in terms of lost productivity, lack of control over unused tickets, and lack of access to airline programs that can save the company significantly in all areas of travel.

Can we agree that online travel booking, while advantageous in some ways, has not been all we had hoped it would be from the outset? I hear stories from travelers every day about how difficult online booking can be, and how even when using the internet, travelers simply cannot be sure they are getting the best fare. This uncertainty gnaws at travelers and coordinators, and for good reason. It is difficult to be certain of what you are getting online because there is no track record of success, and no level of trust between the organization and the travel provider.

Collaboration between your organization and your chosen travel management provider is critical. This collaboration will reap benefits for your company in terms of a better working relationship and an anticipation of your current and future needs as they relate to the constantly changing corporate travel environment.

Centralized travel needs to make a comeback for the sake of the corporate travel program, and the sanity of travelers and travel coordinators. Because all distribution channels have access to the same fares and rates, there are fewer reasons today to continue with a decentralized travel policy. Executive level buy-in is critical, and it is easy to allow travelers to keep the level of control they like while still requiring travel booking through the preferred corporate channel. Most brick and mortar agencies now offer online booking solutions that can be customized to meet the needs of the unique corporate travel policy.

The benefits of centralizing travel again are many. Here is a comprehensive, but certainly not an exhaustive, list of reasons to regain control of this important but under-scrutinized budget. It will certainly have a positive impact on your company and its ability to serve your customers and improve traveler morale.

  • Access to airline and hotel discount programs through agency and provider contracts
  • Centralized booking allows travelers to be more organized and efficient
  • Unused tickets can be tracked and hotel cancellation policies can be managed
  • Centralized billing of hotels and car rentals
  • More efficient booking processes
  • Effective customer service for the inevitable changes and issues that come up with business travel
  • Customized and centralized financial and accounting reports

Many corporations find that the best solution is a combination of booking options, with most using an online booking portal provided by their agency partner, along with real live agent help when travelers are pressed for time or have more complex travel itineraries. The key in my opinion is to re-examine the travel program from every angle. There are more airline programs that are available to businesses than ever before. New opportunities to save money and streamline processes are out there for you. United Airlines recently began offering a discount off of every fare for corporate partners. That includes cheapest coach class seats, which even many Fortune 500 companies do not have access to. This is just one example of under-publicized opportunities for your company that can be had through the old-fashioned agency relationship.

It’s time we took another pass at the corporate travel program to see where efficiencies can be found and savings opportunities can be uncovered. Your travelers and coordinators may even be able to get back to what they’re actually paid to do. Take care of your customers and propel your business forward.

How A Business Jet Charter Can Save You Time And Money

Nowadays persons traveling for business purposes find that they have to go through the extensive pre-board screening, horrible lines at the airport and seemingly endless connecting flights not to mention and delays or cancellations which may come up. A great solution has come up to alleviate this problem. It is the private business jet. The greatest thing is that you do not need to own one to be able to use one. Getting one reserved can be done with a simple phone call. It is currently the most cost effective and flexible option to travel and requires no long term commitments or deposits.

There are quite a number of advantages to utilizing a business jet charter. A few will be examined below:

You get to travel on your own agenda. You are able to book your flight, get to the airport and get on board without the usual delays. You also get to avoid any connecting flights that would possible extend your travel time and lengthen your business trip. Of course you are able to get more business done as you can schedule meetings in different cities for the same day and get it all done to be home in time for dinner with the family.

The best thing is that you can travel in privacy. Unlike the domestic flights you are able to get some quality work done without interruption. You can make business calls and get reports done without worrying about who is hearing your conversation or reading your screen. You are also able to get some rest if you need it until you get to your destination. The most beneficial thing that a business jet charter provides is that your competitors will not have a clue as to where you are going and who you are meeting with.

This mode of travel is also highly convenient as more landing strips now become available to you. You also have the luxury in some places to be driven right up to the waiting aircraft so you can board while your luggage is being stowed away; you need not worry about lost luggage either.

Quite a number of businesses are seeing the benefits of and are starting to utilize business jet charters. It is the best way to save in the long run and get your business ahead of the competition.

Online Business Travel and Time Sharing

The term “staycation” is a paradox in itself. It has the word “stay” in it, which is the total opposite of the other half of the word-vacation, which means to spend time away from home. However, the amalgamation of both terms brings out a new meaning, and it’s something quite a lot of people do these days, and that is to have some semblance of vacation while staying in. If flying out to another destination is a hassle, or when a weekend getaway at the beach costs an arm and a leg, spending the day in a place close to home, or at a place that’s homey enough could be the best option.

Since staying in has become a new way to spend leisure time, it would be wise to start investing in timesharing. Whether it’s for your personal use, or for online business travel, it will take a while before this trend gets old. A timeshare property is a place or resort that actually allows investors to purchase rights to own that property for a period of time. The customers could either own a property for a specific time each year, or if it has more than one property, the rights could be extended to those locations as well. Moreover, timeshare properties are not limited to resorts and hotels. This is also an option for posh condominiums or vacation houses.

People actually love staying in, especially if the amenities are superb and the other option will either clear out their bank accounts or cut the vacation short because of long travel time. Since your stay at a timeshare property is considered “pre-paid,” you don’t have to spring for cash every time you think about going away for a while. The cost of staying in a timeshare property is a lot lower compared to renting a hotel room or a space at another resort. Although the term itself is alarming because you’d think it is really that expensive to buy a part of the property, this is how it actually works: instead of buying the property yourself, you share the ownership to several other people so that you can stay there for a specific time each year.

Another thing to consider about timesharing is the kind of accommodation it offers. Sure, you can scout for low vacation packages online if you are that good at booking discount vacations. However, if you know your way around online business travel, you will know that investing in timeshare properties is the best way to go about it. Discount vacations offers you low rates, but at the expense of the quality of your accommodation. With timeshare, on the other hand, you practically own part of that resort, hotel, or condominium, that is why getting to stay there without having to pay much does not mean you have to cut corners around the quality of your vacation. Investing in timeshare actually gives you a higher standard of accommodation-if not the highest, it is at least a higher standard than most discount vacations can offer.

Investing in timeshare also gives you a guarantee that you have a place to stay or have your vacation in for at least a week every year. Timeshare are usually recorded in a public register, so not only does it trumps the shady nature of some travel packages, but it also means that you have rights to ownership in that specific property for a lifetime, provided that you pay annual fees on time. You’re even doing yourself a favor when you invest in a timeshare-if you’re the type of person who is really uptight when it comes to work, it will be like you are driving yourself to have at least a week of time off from work by owning a timeshare.

Investing a timeshare offers a lot of advantages, as mentioned earlier. If you’ll compare it to the amount of money you spend on vacations each year, you’ll still get a better deal in a timeshare. It does not really matter if you’re looking at personal use or online business travel purposes. The important thing to note is that it is a worthy investment, and probably the smartest place to put your money into.