I don’t know about you but I have spent hours arranging and then rearranging travel for my Executives. It takes up a huge amount of time and can be incredibly complex especially if they are travelling to a number of destinations with connecting flights and a host of visa requirements. I’ve had absolute nightmares in the past such as the time I organised a trip to Japan only to be told to cancel everything the day before because my colleague now had to go to Brazil. All this stress and you don’t even get to leave your desk!
It is quite common now to have help with travel arrangements as most companies do employ an outside supplier to book flights, hotels and car hire. I do think it is useful having the additional help especially if you are busy with other aspects of your role (and who isn’t!) Here are eight reasons why you should employ a corporate travel agent:
- A good travel agent will have contacts at the airlines so can advise on seat allocation, delays and upgrades
- The travel agency will have a profile on each of your managers and colleagues so they automatically know their preferences when it comes to travel which will mean you don’t have to repeat the same details to the airline, the hotel, the car hire company etc.
- The travel agency should have a 24 hour emergency helpline which means if anything goes wrong your colleague can contact them to find out information and get an idea of when they can get home. So for example, if they are in Australia on a Sunday when all the airports shut down and you are at home asleep they can at least speak to someone.
- From a price point of view the agent should be able to negotiate a good deal for you because they will have access to a variety of flight prices over a larger period of time and they will know when that particular price expires.
- Some airlines and hotels will hold back from advertising their best prices online because they like to maintain a good relationship with travel agency. Potentially you could be missing out on a better deal booking directly.
- Using a travel agency has pretty much made queuing for visas at cold and draughty embassies obsolete. Most travel agents will work with a company that will take the passports and paperwork and do this for you. So much easier and less time consuming!
- Booking directly will require you to use either your manager’s corporate credit card or their personal card and then ask them to claim the money back. I always find this slightly worrying if they travel extensively and don’t get their expenses reimbursed straight away. Also it is difficult for the company to gauge how much money is spent on travel overall, it can be easier to have a central booking system to monitor the spend.
- What happens when everything goes wrong? Having that additional support can be an absolute godsend.
Which corporate travel agency should you use?
CTI are one of the 15 top travel management companies in the UK. They offer either a full travel management service or a bespoke service where you can mix and match their services depending on your requirements, adding them alongside your current travel solution. Their individual travel divisions offer flights, hotels, meetings and events, marine travel, sports travel and rail. All of their services can be used online using their CTI Sherpa system, which is designed to save you time and your organisation money.
If you are responsible for booking flights or hotels or appointing a travel supplier then this is the one event you will not want to miss! Come along for a relaxed evening after work and meet the CTI team for a few drinks and nibbles to discover how they can make a difference to your corporate travel and also see CTI Sherpa, the world’s smartest online travel booking tool.
CTI Roadshow Partners are:
- British Airways
- Qatar Airways
- Best Western
Where are the roadshows?
- London (7th October)
- Leeds (22nd October)
- Birmingham (4th November)
- Aberdeen (19th November)
- London (3rd December)
- Cardiff (14th January)
- Glasgow (28th January)
- Cambridge (11th February)
- London (25th February)
- Hull (11th March)
- Southampton (25th March)
- London (31st March)
Tickets are free but spaces are limited so please RSVP as soon as possible by visiting the CTI website where you will also find more information.