Business Travellers have always had to adapt to disruptions to their travel plans due to adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, security incidents and geopolitical situations. During 2020, the world has faced the challenge of Covid-19 and travel plans, along with many other areas of life, have been subject to disruption/change, often with little or no notice.
Travel Management Companies demonstrate their proven value in supporting travellers and businesses alike concerning rebooking travel plans and risk management support in the shadow of travel disruptions.
For some organisations, the invention of the Internet in the same timeline has offered a “Do it yourself “solution to booking travel directly online. In this 2-part series, Andy Sison, Strategic Account Manager here at Good Travel Management, discusses the many benefits a Travel Management Company can offer, as opposed to booking directly through the internet – especially in the event of a crisis.
TMC`s will be there for you 24/7
Let’s says its 10 pm local time in your destination on a Thursday night and you`ve just heard the country you are staying in is being removed from the current UK safe list as of next Monday. Unless you are an essential worker/key worker, there is a good chance you may have to quarantine upon arrival for a period of time, unless you can re-book your flights quickly and return home. If you`ve booked online, your options to amend your plans are not always that simple. To change a flight with an airline over the phone, it could take you a significant amount of time to get through especially in the event of an unforeseen incident. With a TMC’s 24-hour department, you can relax knowing you have 24-hour support to change your plans or even hold alternative travel options for you.
The COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented need for increased knowledge, building on new standards linked to traveller safety and new country entry requirements and quarantine obligations. As our business travel consultants are trained in such new standards, they can provide personal recommendations on which airlines and hotels have new safety measures in place, providing personal recommendations on where to stay and who to travel with. There`s nothing better than having a pleasant and friendly person at the end of the phone when you need them.
Things change, including your Travel Policy
The “Do it yourself” approach used when booking direct on the internet leaves you and your travellers open to booking in the same way you have always done, with little consideration to a world that includes a crisis such as Covid-19. During a crisis, TMCs will not only ensure all bookings comply with your bespoke travel policy framework by encouraging and enforcing the rules but a proactive TMC along with your dedicated Account Manager, will suggest fresh modifications such as the recommendation of introducing a “Pop-up Travel Policy” based on the current Covid-19 landscape to ensure your policy is fit for purpose.
TMC`s consider other travel methods at the same time
When considering travelling between city pairs that offer various methods of transportation, such as a trip between Manchester and London. A sharp thinking business travel consultant will use the current landscape to offer other types of transport, other than the more traditional transport modes of Air and Rail between the two cities. For example, Car Hire options will also be provided as based on safety.
TMC`s offer innovative payment and expense solutions
Managing cash flow has been an important goal for many organisations during Covid-19. Opposed to booking travel on various websites across the internet on different credit cards, TMC`s enable you to manage your cash flow and keep travel expenses central on one payment account via a range of payment solutions such as lodge card solutions and credit accounts which help give you control and visibility of your spend. Proactive TMC`s at the booking stage will also encourage the use of unused tickets previously put on hold due to Covid-19 to ensure no additional outlay on travel expenses.
Travel Management Companies can also arrange hotel bill back, this means the traveller does not have to settle the bill when they check out, instead the hotel sends an invoice to the TMC to them pay, who is then paid by the corporate client at a later date. This solution also means you can add meals and other sundries to your rate, all itemised on your bill, saving time in submitting additional expense claims. This process is all done electronically, safely eliminating any unnecessary contact at the hotel front desk.
Above are just a few examples of the importance of business travel agents, demonstrating what Travel Management Companies can offer in supporting your travellers during a crisis. To keep up to date with the latest advice on travelling safely throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, please check out Good Travel Management`s very own Covid Hub.
Using a Travel Management Company has become even more crucial following the impact Covid-19 has had on international business travel and the travel industry as a whole. If you require help with your business travel requirements, get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!
T: 0330 004 0520