Making business travel as inexpensive and efficient as possible is one of the best ways to cut costs and increase profitability. Because of this fact, many smaller companies may steer clear of business travel agencies to avoid what they believe to be costly fees. However, this is a misconception, and in a lot of circumstances, a travel representative can save you much more money than you realize.
New York Times recently published an article that compared the price of agency service to that of online search engines, and agents ended up being cheaper on average. Knowing when to use a travel service depends on each individual business, but the following key factors could indicate an agent would save you money.
Does your business have a lot of complex travel going on throughout the year? It’s easy to lose track of spending and flight scheduling if you have a lot of moving parts in your company. A travel agency will gather a list of needed flights, find you the best price, and report your spending as often as you need.
If you don’t have a team member dedicated to booking travel, each traveler is probably wasting a lot of time looking for the lowest fare. As a result, the cumulative cost of your corporate travel management is higher than it should be and your company will have hidden cost factors that aren’t being addressed. Like travelers who always book at the last minute, or who book higher fares just to get frequennt flyer points with their favorite airline.
An agent will streamline this process and your corporate travel management firm will collect detailed reports to help identify leaks in your program.
In a perfect world, you book a flight, get on the plane, and arrive at the destination on time. Unfortunately, travelers will face the inevitable bumps along the road. Client needs, weather, or traveler incidents can require a last-minute change to flight plans.
These changes can result in missed flights and costly fees. A good business travel agency will have working relationships with many airlines and have an advantage when trying to move a flight. Due to the volume of flights they reserve, change fees are often waived, and they can request flights that the traveler may not have access to.
One of the biggest ways your company can save with a travel agent is if you book a high volume of trips. Similar to last minute changes, the relationships agencies have with suppliers help them negotiate a corporate travel discount for using the airline as the primary provider of your company’s flights.
The more flights you book, the better the discount. You may be able to negotiate personally, but this is time-consuming and you are less likely to get as good a deal as an established agency.
Don’t buy into the delusion that business travel agencies are a waste of money for smaller companies. Under the right circumstances, you can save on T&E by using a booking agent. Teplis is a top-rated travel agency that has been in the industry for over 30 years. Contact us today.