Choosing between an online booking tool and using a traditional travel management company
As it turns out, not all online travel booking tools are created equal. Before you choose a travel system for your company, here are a few things you should know about booking corporate travel online, and what you should expect from your service provider.
Online booking tools
Fees can be steep
If you’re having the online booking tool tailored to the needs of your company, the setup fees can be steep (think upwards of 80k). Depending on the level of complexity of your travel policy, it can take up to two months to set up, and you’ll be paying the travel company a monthly management fee for the use of the tool.
The travel agency behind the tool may also still charge you a fee every time you need to change a ticket, process a refund, or use after-hours assistance. If you frequently use these services (as most corporate travellers do) the costs will add up quickly.
On the up-side, the fees for individual transactions may be lower.
Stay in control
Your company’s travel policy can be built into your booking tool to help you maintain control of your travel programme. You can, for instance, preference certain airlines or load negotiated rates.
Travel management is time consuming
Booking your own corporate travel – even through an online booking tool – can chew up a lot of your time. Especially if you consider the limitless options and distractions on the web. Your company’s travel booking process may become more time consuming, which means less time to dedicate to business-as-usual. After all, there are only so many hours in a day!
One of the benefits, however, is that you can manage your travel any time of the day or night. In addition, you can build in an approval process in your booking tool to help maximise efficiency in your travel booking process.
Online booking tools work best for simple itineraries
Online booking tools are useful for simple itineraries, and many of the tools available can only process point to point routings. This means that more complex itineraries will need to be processed through an agent or a travel management company anyway. If your business frequently has complex routings, an online booking tool may not be the ideal solution for you.
We would definitely recommend the online booking tool to companies who have high volumes of point to point domestic travel.
Using a travel management company
Experience at your fingertips
Experienced travel managers will be able to help you optimise your travel efficiency by using their industry knowledge to suggest better ways to travel. For example, a travel expert may use travel reporting to determine whether you could benefit from advance bookings or more flexible tickets.
Enjoy the perks
A traditional TMC (if it’s worth its salt) will arrange your forex, assist with your visa application, and arrange airport transfers, all in one transaction. At Corporate Traveller, clients have access to a travel expert 24/7, so travellers know that someone will be ready and able to assist them in an emergency, at no cost!
The best of both worlds
At Corporate Traveller, our experts will work with you to identify your business travel requirements and advise which option – traditional or online – would be most beneficial. With Corporate Traveller’s online booking tool, you can enjoy all the benefits of an online booking tool, with the support of a travel expert when you need it.
The booking tool allows you to:
- manage traveller profiles online, including their passport and visa, mobile number and frequent flyer memberships
- integrate global travel programmes, preferred suppliers and negotiated rates into one easy to use website
- complete multi-level approvals and approvals on the go via the mobile app
- search, compare and book air fares, hotels (detailed/map view) and car rental
- save time, by using travel arranger templates to speed up the process
- analyse your travel through useful automated reports
- make date changes offline, free of charge
Everything that you book online will still be checked and issued by a travel expert and your travellers will have access to the travel team 24/7 free of charge.