When it comes to booking business travel, travel managers, travelers, and travel arrangers may have different priorities regarding what they’re seeking in an experience. Travel managers tend to prefer a booking solution that drives savings and supports the program’s duty of care goals, while travelers value a tool that makes it super easy for them to book their favorite suppliers according to their preferences. But what if they could have the best of both worlds in one solution? Fortunately, they can with an online booking tool (OBT).
Let us explain further – here are seven ways an OBT can meet both sets of expectations:
1. It naturally promotes policy compliance.
When travelers or arrangers book directly with a supplier or through an online travel agency (OTA), anything may go, and employees may book a trip with little regard to the company policy and budget. But the algorithms, custom notifications, and visual cues of an OBT can help make sure employees book trips according to policy and guide them to compliant options.
2. It enhances your duty of care.
Critical itinerary details can get lost when travelers book direct or through OTAs. But when employees book via an OBT, that information automatically gets captured and recorded, giving your security team the details it needs to locate and communicate with potentially impacted employees during a crisis. When paired with a pre-trip approval tool that flags noncompliant bookings, you also can prevent travel to high-risk destinations more easily.
3. It helps us deliver seamless travel assistance during a disruption.
An OBT also provides the itinerary information our traveler care team requires to support travelers who may have been affected by a flight delay or cancellation. Without this crucial data, we’re in the dark about which travelers may have been involved and, therefore, cannot provide proactive assistance to help get their trip back on track.
4. Travelers do not have to hunt for trip-specific health and safety guidelines.
In 2020, we launched Travel Vitals™, a tool that aggregates data from hundreds of vetted sources and enables users to review health and safety guidelines for every segment of their trip. Because Travel Vitals has been integrated with our mobile app and OBT, travelers who book their trips with us will automatically receive itinerary-specific information in these channels, so they won’t have to check out a zillion different sites to prepare for a trip.
5. It can help reduce traveler spending.
An OBT can compile the most cost-effective itinerary by analyzing thousands of routes and options based on search criteria, company policy, preferred suppliers, and users’ preferences. Booking through an OBT also makes it easier to capture and analyze spend data, which can help you identify new savings opportunities and prepare for supplier negotiations.
6. It allows travelers to book a trip according to their preferences in seconds.
When conducting their own search, employees may waste many minutes putting together a complete itinerary to their liking when an OBT can build one in seconds. With our own OBT, all travelers have to do is log in to the tool, plug in their origin, destination, and dates and the tool will instantly assemble an itinerary that factors in their preferences.
7. It can help you make greener travel decisions.
Wish to do your best to protect the planet when traveling? An OBT may be able to help you with that goal by steering you toward more sustainable options. For instance, a tool may feature filters that let users select air and rail options based on carbon emission details or highlight hotels that meet your company’s environmental standards, helping your employees to book a trip with a clearer conscience.