A to z Of Business Travel
Ever find yourself slightly confused with some of the jargon used around business travel? It can be perplexing, or sometimes you just need a helping hand to make sure you have all the specifics defined.
We’ve collated some of the most common business travel terms and created a jargon busting dictionary, keeping it simple in 100 words or less. We’ve got you covered from A to Z!
Approval Process - The term describes a company’s internal process by which employees are permitted to make travel arrangements, and allow businesses to manage their costs more effectively. Processes can range from simply all travellers being permitted to book their own travel within a fixed budget range, or more nuanced with all bookings to be approved by authorised bookers.
Bleisure - Bleisure travel is a combination of business and leisure travel. It’s popular among those who like to squeeze the most out of every trip. Travellers schedule their business trips to coincide with a little holiday break, be that a weekend or a full week in a far-off destination.
Business Traveller - Someone who is travelling specifically for work. This is a trip that is essential to work, it could be a meeting with suppliers, partners, or to visit other branches of a company. Alternatively it could be travel is essential to get to the working location and operations.
Centralising - This is a term that is usually associated with bookings or costs. When a company has not centralised their business travel that means their travellers are booking trips in multiple places. Some may do it themselves, some may use one agency and others use another. Centralising means all bookings, and costs associated with those bookings, are made in one place. This makes it easier to track travellers, upcoming trips and how much is actually spent on arranging travel.
Corporate reward scheme - These programmes encourage travellers to book again and again with the same airline, collect loyalty points and exchange them for benefits such as discounted fares and free upgrades. In addition to these frequent flyer schemes for individuals, there are also airline reward schemes for companies. Airline reward schemes are also an easy way to encourage your travellers to stick to your company’s travel policy.
Duty of Care - Quite simply, it means your duty, as an employer, to care for your employees. This is not just a moral obligation, but a legal one, too. It means you must do everything you reasonably can to ensure their safety while away for business, and to remove as many risks to their mental and physical health as you can.
GDS - Global Distribution System. But what is that? A GDS is the network that agencies use to complete transactions with suppliers. Airlines, hotels, car hire etc, feed their information into the GDS so that we can check availability, create bookings, manage changes and more.
Hotel Billback - This is a way of billing for hotel bookings. Instead of paying in advance or having the traveller pay at the hotel on departure, the hotel will send a bill to the traveller’s TMC after their stay. That way the TMC can invoice the travellers company after the trip.
Leakage - In the business travel world leakage refers to any bookings that have been made outside of the company’s preferred suppliers. For example an organisation may use a TMC like Flight Centre Business Travel as their preferred provider, they will include this in their travel policy and instruct all those who travel to book through us. However leakage occurs where employees do not follow the guidance and choose to book elsewhere and potentially expense those bookings separately. Leakage can cause multiple issues around duty of care and traveller tracking as well as issues around centralising costs and reporting.
Low Cost Carrier - These are the cheaper, no-frills airlines like Jetstar, Air Asia, EasyJet and Ryanair. They mostly service short haul routes and offer basic fares with add ons at an additional cost, things like baggage, meals, flexibility etc. As Low Cost Carriers keep their services to a minimum and charge for extras, they are able to keep the basic fares lower compared to scheduled full service airlines.
Loyalty Programme - Similar to corporate reward schemes, however for individuals to earn and gain points on their own accounts. Travellers sign up for an account with an airline’s reward scheme, when they make bookings with that airline they can add their membership numbers and earn points for their trip. Each programme offers different perks, from free upgrades to using miles on next trips and even cashing in points for shopping.
Marine Fares - Marine fares are specialist fares for the marine and offshore industry. They are designed to meet the specific needs of crews within the marine and shipping industry. Marine fares are only available through specialist contracts between an airline and travel management company. These specialist fares allow for more flexibility, increased baggage allowance and discounts.
NDC - NDC stands for New Distribution Capability. It’s a standard developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to facilitate communication and trade in travel. It can get very technical, but essentially allows airlines to distribute their content (things like booking your baggage, Wi-Fi and meals separately) in real-time, helping to personalise the booking experience and maximise cost savings.
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OBT - Online Booking Tool. This is a self-service tool that enables you to book travel yourself online. You can use a TMC’s online booking tool to book travel yourself without having to use a travel agent but still have the added support and backing of using a TMC.
PNR - Passenger name record. Essentially this is the reference number associated with a booking. A PNR can be for one traveller’s trip or a booking with multiple travellers travelling together. Using a PNR allows airlines and TMCs to easily access your trip details within the GDS booking system. A PNR may be referred to as a record locator or a booking reference.
RFP - Request for proposal. This helps companies in the process of finding a new Travel Management Company. It often is a different process for travel than for procuring any other suppliers. RFPs help to bring structure to the decision making and gather the correct useful information up front. Conducting an RFP for your corporate travel is time consuming, so the first thing you need to evaluate is whether you genuinely need to go to market.
TMC - Travel Management Company. A TMC is a company that works alongside your business to help arrange and centralise your business travel needs. The benefits of using a TMC over ‘do it yourself’ are numerous. To name a few: using one provider to arrange all travel helps fulfil Duty of Care by allowing full oversight of traveller tracking and upcoming trips, cost of travel can easily be tracked through accurate reporting, backing and support when things go wrong, expert advice, time and cost savings… the list goes on! Flight Centre Business Travel is an example of a TMC.
Travel Expert - Our Business Travel Experts can manage every single aspect of your business trip, from finding you airfares that simply aren’t available to the general public (our relationships with all the major airlines means we have constant access to exclusive discounts and offers), to booking you the best possible accommodation. Our Travel Experts are at the heart and soul of what we do. They come from all walks of life, and are based all over the country, but they all have things in common: a genuine passion for travel, an unsupressable appetite for finding the best deals and options to suit your unique business needs, and a wealth of hard-earned experience in the business travel sector.
Travel Policy - A travel policy guides your employees through the travel booking process. By ensuring your employees book their travel according to your process, you can take back the control when it comes to how much they spend, reducing travel costs and ensuring duty of care. By defining procedures for business travel and guidelines for reimbursement you can monitor your travel expenses and make sure your budgets are accurate.When creating your travel policy you need to think about how strict your control should be to suit your company culture and business objectives.
Traveller Tracking - Traveller tracking is important for any business. It allows organisations to keep track of their traveller’s whereabouts. It forms a huge part of any company’s Duty of Care, and is best achieved by consolidating all bookings in one place, which provides transparency across all travellers’ trips using even the simplest of reports.