Common Corporate Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Irrespective of how frequently you travel for business, these common corporate travel mistakes are likely to plague your trips. Travellers often make these mistakes because they’re either uninformed or misinformed. This isn’t surprising.

The primary objective for business travel is not the trip itself but rather the international assignment. Given this context, business travellers – unlike leisure travellers – don’t have the time to research their travel arrangements. The result is usually wasteful expenditure and frustration, which could all be avoided if you knew the culprit of these expenses and how to circumvent them.

Issue: Purchasing Non-Refundable Tickets

Non-refundable tickets are enticing. The cost is four times cheaper than the alternative, making it the cost-saving choice for many corporate travellers.

Although there aren’t precise figures surrounding how much passengers lose on non-refundable tickets annually, pre-pandemic, this figure could well be in the tens of billions.

The truth about non-refundable tickets is – in many cases – they cost more than a flexible ticket, especially if travel plans change unexpectedly. These last-minute changes require non-refundable ticket holders to make new reservations which cost more as the tickets are purchased closer to the departure date. Because corporate travellers commonly make last-minute flight changes, they are left with the most significant out-of-pocket expense.

The pandemic only exacerbates the endless loop of losses incurred by non-refundable ticket purchases. Now, tickets may be cancelled because of events outside of passenger’s control, leaving travellers with little recourse.

Solution: Using an Agent to Book your Tickets

Assuming the reason you are purchasing a non-refundable airline ticket is cost, you can still make substantial savings while benefiting from the versatility of flexible tickets.

Given that corporate travel managers have built relationships with airlines, the airlines are more likely to offer better rates for flexible tickets.

Additionally, travel managers have extensive knowledge of ticket pricing and conditions, allowing them to present the best flexible rates to clients while offering alternative cheaper – but more restrictive – tickets. From this list of options, you’re able to make an informed decision about what best suits your needs.

Issue: Purchasing Non-Refundable Hotel Stays

Similarly to non-refundable airline tickets, non-refundable hotel stays cost travellers $8.6 billion annually. That number has likely sky-rocketed in recent years. The most egregious reason for this is that travellers often think they’re getting a “deal” or “bargain” when booking online. Then they’re only alerted to the restrictive nature of the booking once they need to make a change – terms that are detailed in the fine print of these deals often.

Solution: Making Reservations that Reflects your Needs

Here’s another case where using a travel manager will help you avoid thousands in wasteful expenditure annually. The cost-saving on non-refundable hotel stays is minuscule compared to the expense incurred when you need to cancel or postpone. Once again, since travel agents have established a network with hotels and have the influence to negotiate, they can access cheaper, more flexible rates.

Furthermore, given the relationship travel managers have with suppliers, they can get any cancellation penalties waived. This. in addition to being available 24/7, means travellers can still make changes to their reservations after the hotel’s booking department is closed.