Non-Traditional Travel Companies

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» Posted by on Mar 7, 2014 in Industry Postings, Travel Management Centers, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

With so many systems, policies and programs in place, the use of unapproved channels for booking air travel, hotel lodging, or rental cars results in lost data and incomplete reporting.

In the private sector, many companies readily admit to not being able to accurately track travel spend and trends due to travelers who either utilized non-traditional travel companies, such as Travelocity or Priceline, or make reservations directly without providing necessary information to identify themselves as part of a negotiated program. Even if they do contact the vendor directly, the vendor providing the service might not be able to assign the correct discount to the traveler because the traveler has not proceeded through proper channels or provided the necessary credentials or account information. In these circumstances, even if the vendor chooses to honor rates meeting the expectation of the traveler, the reservation is likely not tracked back to the appropriate account.

When using non-traditional travel companies instead of following established travel policies, the traveler compromises his or her employer’s ability to fully understand the organization’s patterns of usage. Problems arising from failure to utilize established systems and follow policies include:

Incomplete reporting of travel expenditures;
Discrepancies between future travel budgets and actual travel expectations necessary to meet job requirements of a traveler’s position;
Weakened ability to negotiate future travel-related discounts due to dilution of tracking data.

In addition to these problems, non-traditional travel companies carry risks not normally associated with most negotiated transient travel agreements or contracts. For instance, travelers utilizing non-traditional travel companies may relinquish their right to cancel or change reservations, or face significant change fees they would not normally have been charged had they adhered to policy.

By:  Mark Feggeler

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