It may be tempting to book your company’s travel on your own – without the services of a business travel agency. Given that the extra assistance can cost you additional expense, we get it. But here’s the thing: that little extra assistance can actually pay off in the end and allow you to save money. Let’s look at the big picture and consider these reasons why using an agency to book your air travel proves beneficial.
1. Using an Agent Minimizes Travel Stress and Booking Time
Having an agency book business travel for you takes the uncertainty out of booking flights, car rentals, and hotels. Oftentimes employees spend time jumping from one website to another to compare costs — a process shown to take upwards of five hours of employee time, according to a recent survey by I.B.M. Institute for Business Travel. The fact is, when employees are faced with too may options, the process of booking business travel can be straight-up overwhelming. What’s more, considerations go beyond monetary cost – there’s both the travel price and the value of an employee’s time to consider. When employees are whiling away the hours comparing costs, that impacts productivity, too.
2. An Agent Will Likely Procure Cheaper Rates
Although companies may shy away from working with an agent due to the additional expense, business travel agencies have longstanding relationships with everything from air carriers to hotels, so they are typically able to negotiate the best rates — ones unavailable to the average traveler.
3. A Business Travel Agency Can Assess Your Needs
Depending on the kind of business travel you’re booking and where you’re planning to travel to, an agency can use their reach and knowledge to arrange seamless travel, using their connections to not only help you save money but also connect you to all of the things you need on the road, be it taking clients to a top table for dinner to securing after-hours tickets that will impress them.
4. There’s Someone to Help Troubleshoot
Unforeseen circumstances can and do occur while you’re on the road. It helps knowing you’re not the one responsible for solving problems, whether it’s cancelled flights, airport closures or security concerns that arise.
5. Expense Reporting is Tracked and Far More Efficient
When using a business travel agency, there are typically added perks. That extends to when the trip is done. Since employees usually need to submit travel expenses and, unfortunately, don’t always have attention to detail when doing so, it helps to have a process in place like most agencies do. In fact, most utilize automated, fast expense reporting software that improves employee productivity and accelerates the reimbursement process. Plus, your company will have immediate and easy access to the reports at any time.
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By: Jennifer O.