5 things you didn’t know your travel manager could do for you
When you're a busy business owner, or you travel for work often, you just need your travel bookings taken care of. You want to know what flight you have to catch and how you’re getting to your hotel. You know that your travel manager will do this for you.
But your travel manager can do more for you than you probably think.
Jonathon Tas, Manager of Flight Centre Business Travel’s George Street, Sydney office, gave us his insights into five things you didn’t know your travel manager could do for you.
1. Hold airline seats for you
One of the benefits of booking through your travel manager is that they can hold seats on ideal flights for you, giving you time to confirm meetings and schedules. This simple action can save you money and stress.
“Business travellers might know when they need to be in another city but still need to confirm meetings and travel times. So, we can place a tentative hold on seats for a period of time without a deposit and either confirm them or let them go when we make the booking. This helps to avoid fare increases or costly change and cancellation penalties,” says Jonathon.
This applies to both domestic and international flights and can result in a saving of hundreds or thousands of dollars, as fares are known to increase closer to the travel time.
“We can also jump in and see how many seats are available on a flight and put a hold on them if they're down to their last seats. It gives you peace of mind while you're still working out your travel schedule," says Jonathon.
2. Problem-solve your travel logistics
Your travel manager isn't just there to book the flights you've chosen. They'll look at your whole travel request and consider how each element works in terms of your overall travel itinerary and whether there are better options for you. This is especially helpful in the current post-COVID landscape.
"We are essentially a second set of eyes to go over everything and our experience and knowledge of destinations means we can pick up if something isn't going to work on the itinerary. For example, the request might call for a connecting flight between Qantas and Rex airlines, but I’ll know that it’s physically impossible to get through that airport in the time you have, so I’ll look at other options,” says Jonathon.
Your travel manager will consider the practicalities of the situation and weigh up the risks. It’s about knowing what logistical challenges you may come across in your travels and troubleshooting before you get to that point.
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.
3. Keep your travel profile up to date
Setting up your profile with FCBT involves filling in details, like your frequent flyer, hotel frequent guest and car rental memberships, passport details and your travel preferences, including meal requests and where you’d like to sit on the plane.
“We manage all those details in a traveller’s profile so we can use them across bookings. For example, if we’ve got their Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number on record, it will carry across when we’re booking with an international partner airline,” says Jonathon.
And when you’re travelling overseas, your travel manager will be alerted when you’ve only got six months left on your passport, so they’ll likely prompt you to update it.
4. Help you stretch your budget further
Your travel manager knows not just to look for the lowest prices, but also to consider the total trip cost from door to door.
From pre-paying lengthy ground transfers on competitive rates, to tracking unused airline credits that could be used to offset your new airfare cost, your travel manager knows all the tricks to stretching your travel budget further.
"Making use of unused ticket credits before they expire is a huge priority for a lot of SMEs right now, and there can be a lot of confusing conditions attached. We make the process simple and ensure a company's credits are applied to new bookings whenever possible" says Jonathon.
Often when travellers look only at the base room cost when booking a hotel, a trip can end up costing the company substantially more by the time breakfast, wifi or parking is added. That's why your Travel Manager will alway try to source value adds like free breakfast or room upgrades through our exclusive hotel rates.
"If you're going to pay $15 to $30 every day for breakfast, only to claim it back through expenses later, it makes sense to get it included in the rate upfront - you'll save money and the extra admin. Our SmartStay rates all include complimentary breakfast and wifi, plus another bonus, like a complimentary room upgrade as well!"
5. Book your holiday
With ‘Business’ in our name, you’d be forgiven for thinking we only book business travel. But as Jonathon says, that isn’t the case: “I have clients say to me: I thought you only look after business travel; I didn’t know you could help with my holiday bookings as well.”
Whether you’re looking to add some bleisure travel to your work trip or meet up with the family in an ideal destination, your travel manager can book this either as part of your business travel booking or separately, depending on the arrangements with your company. You might even be able to access corporate discounts to use on your leisure booking.
Make your life easier
“Business travellers have busy jobs already, so if there’s something we can do to make their life easier, we will,” says Jonathon.