Staying within corporate travel budgets has never been more challenging with increasing costs. FCM lists out several ways corporate bookings can go haywire
New research has revealed that more than 55 per cent of businesses are also losing out on savings when they book their own travel in-house, as their teams are making costly booking mistakes such as choosing the wrong time to book, to overbooking flights and accommodations, negatively impacting the bottom line of businesses.
“Many of our clients are cautious when it comes to their expenses and have been asking our travel management consultants on ways, they can stretch their business travel budget. When business travel is managed in-house, there’s always a risk of not knowing all the tips and tricks to find savings. At times, many errors can be completely avoidable,” said Scott Reddie, chief business officer, FCM Asia.
“They can be more prone to making mistakes as they often juggle multiple travel bookings alongside other high-priority tasks. These easily avoidable mistakes are costly and are hard to rectify, which ultimately affects their travel budgets,” added Reddie.
Here are nine corporate travel mistakes made by businesses:
Booking last minute resulting in higher fares: 22 per cent of respondents said that they could have got lower fares had they booked in advance. It’s easy for assistants and office managers to be distracted with other urgent tasks and so business travel bookings can slip down the priority list. So, by the time the booking is made, prices have shot up due to demand.
Incorrect traveller details: Keying in the wrong traveller details is the second most common error. Whether it’s misspelling a name, an incorrect date of birth, or incorrect traveller details takes time to fix. Businesses can reduce this mistake when using a travel management company, which eliminates human errors by creating a profile for each traveller.
Unaligned timing: Corporate travellers can be left without a bed to sleep in if they miss their flights or experience flight delays. This is the third most common mistake, which not only incurs added costs, as additional bookings will need to be made, but it can also put the traveller at risk if they are stranded in a new city late at night.
Ensuring bookings are according to travel policies: If an employee is left to book their own travel, they could risk overspending on a hotel or flight and by the time management has noticed, it could be too late to amend without financial penalties. A travel management company, on the other hand, can lock in a spending cap to keep a lid on frivolous spending.
Inconvenient bookings: Businesses also reported that when travel is managed by assistants or other team members, there is a risk the traveller could be booked onto an inconvenient flight time, or at a hotel that is miles from their early morning meeting location.
Lower standard of service: An assistant who books travel on behalf of their manager may not be privy to the best travel services. Instead, by using a travel management company and leaving business travel booking to the experts, businesses can be assured that they are booked into the travel provider that best suits their needs and expectations.
Selecting the wrong destination or date: This may seem an inconceivable mistake to make, but this is the seventh most common mistake when businesses book travel themselves – and comes with huge cost implications, especially if the business has booked the cheapest airline tickets that don’t allow date changes or don’t offer refunds or credit.
Incorrect bookings: Booking for large groups can be stressful, risking mistakes. Booking for too many or too few people can be difficult to rectify. A flight or hotel may no longer have availability, or refunds might not be applicable on the type of booking made.
Overbookings: While this may be the last mistake, booking way too many rooms or flight seats does happen. Overbooking is another completely avoidable mistake that businesses have admitted to making. If the employee making the booking has chosen the cheapest flight seat, refunds or credits might not be available. Likewise, if they have booked rooms directly with the hotel, they might lose the deposit.
“These common bookings can have significant consequences for a business. Not only are there financial implications to rectify the mistakes, but an organisation’s corporate reputation could suffer damage if a traveller arrives late to a meeting because of a simple booking mistake.”
“Travel consultants have become more relevant than ever post-pandemic with business travellers switching their travel needs from ‘DIY’ in-house to experts who can give you your time back and take the stress away from what can be an arduous process,” continued Reddie.