As businesses move toward the end of the first quarter, let’s take a look at some travel issues that could affect your bottom line should they go unchecked.
1. Frequent Flier Programs
Be aware of changes to frequent flyer programs as they can affect traveler habits which, in turn, could increase a company’s overall travel expenses. Miles flown has always been the driving force of these programs, but two major U.S. carriers (and my guess is that the third will soon follow suit) have replaced miles with ticket price for both status and rewards.
Come third and fourth quarters, companies could see increases in spending habits as travelers seek to ensure they retain their status for 2016 when these changes go into effect.
2. Hotel Fees
Hotels are adding more and more fees. One fee policy to watch for in particular is cancellation. Many properties are now requiring a full 24-hour cancellation rather than the 6:00 p.m. day of arrival cut off. Marriott is among those properties to have made a formal announcement, with others to follow. Not educating your business travelers to watch for these fees and policies, especially when booking online, may result in no-show bills.
3. Fuel Surcharges
With the current price of fuel dramatically decreased, some airlines are opting to reduce their fuel surcharges while others are not. These fees were initially instituted when the cost of fuel began climbing. Communicating–be it through websites, Twitter, Facebook, or other social media platforms–to our “favorite” U.S. carriers that they consider a surcharge reduction may be in order, particularly since many competitors are now making these reductions. Many international carriers have conceded to lower these fees. Perhaps having a public conversation (the positive and negative of social media, certainly) might persuade U.S. carriers to be more aware of their loyal customers.
At Christopherson Business Travel, our Account Management team works to keep our clients aware of these and many other present and pressing business travel management issues. Through our consultative approach, we analyze a client’s travel program and make recommendations of where to make changes to save money and stay on budget.