Advantages of Using a Corporate Travel Agent
Corporate travel agents can provide comprehensive travel management for their clients. The range of services they offer is usually extensive, and the travel services are tailored to meet the individual client’s needs. Many corporate or business travel agencies offer emergency assistance when unforeseen travel problems arise. Companies that use corporate travel agents find that it is a very cost effective way to manage their travel expenses.
Many companies find that business travel agents can help them reduce travel costs by maximizing their corporate discounts. The agents can review supplier contracts to determine whether the client is getting the best possible rates, and they can negotiate new contracts with suppliers. The corporate travel agent can enroll the company in multiple airline discount programs and manage those programs. In addition to yielding substantial savings, the agent can help the company realize other benefits such as free tickets, upgrades, and elite status. At the same time, employees are still able to accrue their own frequent flyer or hotel rewards points. Agents can also track and utilize the company’s unused airline tickets, leading to significant savings. Companies may have as much as 10% of their airline costs tied up in these tickets that might never be used.
Corporate travel agents are able to secure consortia discounted rates for hotels and car rentals. Consortia rates can save up to 70% off the published rates. They can also take advantage of unadvertised rates and obtain value added amenities for their clients.
Agents can review a company’s business travel policies and enforce them. They can develop travel policies for companies that do not have them. Having a written policy encourages compliance among travelers. Agents can ensure that employees comply with company policy by fine tuning the options available to them. They can streamline the reservation process and simplify the management approval process. Travel solutions can be customized for each client, whether their preference is for an online booking program or working directly with a traditional agent. Companies that specialize in managing corporate travel can manage travel expense data, saving the employees valuable time when submitting expense reports.
When employees are left to book travel arrangements on their own, they usually consider factors such as convenience or frequent flyer miles rather than controlling company costs. The resources and expertise of a corporate travel agent can allow a company to meet its travel needs without depleting its travel budget.