Using A TMC vs The Internet

How covid-19 has proved you need a TMC on your side!


The age-old question we face at Flight Centre Business Travel is: ‘why would I use a Travel Management Company (TMC) when I can book everything online myself?’ 


It’s a great question and not one that’s easily answered, as it all depends on a variety of factors. Most importantly right now is the question of whether your team are confident in navigating the red-tape and ever-changing travel restrictions to keep your travellers safe and their trips smooth. And even in normal times, pre-covid, whether they have the time to dedicate to research and the pre/post trip admin needed to facilitate international and inter-state travel.


Pandemic conditions aside, the amount of travel your company does per year also impacts how easily a company can absorb travel program management into your team's existing role and workload. Sure, if you had one or two employees flying to Sydney or Melbourne twice a year then perhaps you could just book online yourself. If it’s more than that and you’re looking to save money without sacrificing the comfort of the traveller, then you should give us a call.

Erin Hawkins
We caught up with Erin Hawkins (pictured right), Manager at Flight Centre Business Travel to find out the key differences between a TMC and booking online.
Erin says: “Even before COVID, every one-in-three corporate trips had changes, whether an executive needing to get back home earlier for a meeting, conference or family time, or they decided to reschedule at the last minute. A TMC is so important for companies with corporate travel because it provides one contact to help with bookings and changes. This is even more important in the current travel environment."

Dedicated 24/7 support

A TMC provides support with a dedicated travel manager to look after all of your travel needs. We do all the research for the trip and have it all in one place. We provide one consolidated itinerary so that in the event of changes, it is all updated at once for the traveller. The consolidated itinerary is provided to the booker and traveller which can then be synced into their app. A TMC also provides 24/7 support where travellers can speak to someone locally in Brisbane to help make any last-minute changes to their travel.
“Imagine this: a traveller gets to the airport and their flight is cancelled. Normally if you booked your flights online you might have to wait on hold with a call centre to rebook or hope for a good internet connection and try and book another flight yourself. With Flight Centre Business Travel, you can call our 24/7 support line so we can make the changes for you,” says Erin.
Duty of Care

Duty of care

A TMC helps companies to maintain their Duty of Care to the travellers. Flight Centre Business Travel has an instant database to access in the event of an emergency or cancellation. The travel booker or CEO can find out where all staff are at any time and track their whereabouts.

Reporting and data

A huge advantage of a TMC is data. At Flight Centre Business Travel, we can analyse a business over a three-month period and provide recommendations on how they can better manage their travel. This advice could range from cost savings to how long they’re booking in advance. If the majority of travel is with one airline, we can recommend airline loyalty programs or benefits of consolidating with an airline. We look at all travel and look at reduced costs of the business without compromising the comfort of the traveller.
Cash Flow

30-day accounts

We offer 30-day accounts to approved customers, which frees up cash flow. This allows for reconciliation of accounts at the end of the month when cash flow is easier for most businesses.

Corporate rates

Thanks to the Flight Centre Travel Group network across the globe, we have access to great corporate rates. When we analyse your business, we look at where your travellers are staying and approach corporate rates with hotels for the company. This makes it easy for the traveller and the hotel gets to know them and their preferences.

Is it cheaper to book travel through the internet?

“Absolutely not, it’s never more expensive to book with a TMC than the internet. We’re on par or cheaper with fewer restrictions and greater flexibility for the traveller and company,” says Erin.
If you’re booking non-refundable accommodation through the internet, then you’ll lose the money if you cancel. Flight Centre Business Travel provides flexible accommodation pricing and we offer added inclusions for the traveller like WiFi and complimentary breakfasts. As a TMC, we’re looking to save a company 10-12% over 12 months for their travel. We have review meetings to show them front -end savings and their value for money.

Compare TMC vs Internet



Flight Centre Business Travel

Online Travel Websites

Dedicated Support

Dedicated Travel Manager takes care of all bookings and queries

Limited with long hold times via call centres

Traveller Information

Traveller profiles stored - automated membership number uploads, payment methods and information

Fewer capabilities for automation - Manual records for booking and reload of information into booking sites

Service Level Agreement

Guaranteed service KPIs and regular monitoring

Limited service level agreements or measuring against KPIs

Reporting Data

Offers centralised travel data in a wide range of reporting fields

Lack of visibility and reporting across total travel spend

Comprehensive Analysis

Offers analysis, benchmarking and innovative solutions to your travel program

Minimal analysis of travel and spending patterns

Advice & Improvements

Face-to-face advice on improving your travel process, reducing costs and consolidating your travel program

May not be available with online suppliers

One Itinerary

One consolidated itinerary with all bookings

Multiple itineraries and invoices for each airline, hotel and car hire supplier

30-day account

Available to all approved customers

Restricted payment conditions apply

After Hours Support

24/7 after hours support

Limited after-hours support

Duty of Care Assistance

Supports employer duty of care through instant traveller tracking and provision of alternative travel arrangements

Reliance on personal online records

Travel Credit Management

Automation of any credits on hold

Administration by a traveller or booker can result in loss of credits

Exclusive Rates

Global negotiating strength gives you access to fares and rates not available to the general public.

Limited access to corporate negotiated discounted rates

Streamlined Reconciliation

All invoices are generated from one central point and sent electronically at agreed intervals

Invoicing and reconciliation compiled manually and from multiple channels

Need help booking your business travel? Our Travel Managers are dedicated, experienced and knowledgeable. When you work with a Flight Centre Business Travel Manager you’re choosing peace of mind.
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