Sabre and Egencia make 2017 ‘The Year of the Business Traveller’

Sabre and Egencia make 2017 ‘The Year of the Business Traveller’

Four data-driven tips to increase business traveler satisfaction without breaking the budget!

Sabre Corporation, the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, and Egencia, the business travel company of Expedia, Inc., today released analysis and recommendations on ways companies can support their road warrior employees with a focus on the most valued perks and travel policies, captured in a joint whitepaper titled, “The Year of the Business Traveler: Four keys to utilising data to support road warriors in 2017”.

Based on analysis of Sabre’s global air, hotel and ancillary booking data, companies have the opportunity to increase traveler satisfaction in several areas, especially for road warriors. Life as a business traveler isn’t always easy. By heeding some of the tips from Egencia and Sabre, collected from data insights in traveler booking behavior and suppliers’ service, businesses can simplify the experience for all frequent travelers with fairly minor updates to their program.

“Data is defining a new era of travel management today. Smart businesses can leverage travel insights in more creative ways to strengthen corporate programs, while making trips more productive and travelers more satisfied. Companies used to focus on compliance. With the data we have today, the strategic approach is simplifying the travel experience by putting the business traveler first,” said Wade Jones, interim president of Sabre Travel Network.

“Business travel is projected to reach $1.6 trillion by 20201. Historically, as spend increases, companies increase their travel policy constraints. Egencia helps clients drive compliance without mandates, without constraints.  We do this by focusing on the business traveler, by offering solutions that guide efficient decisions without sacrificing choice,” said Rob Greyber, president of Egencia.

With an increased emphasis on ensuring business traveler satisfaction, the whitepaper outlines advice for corporate travel managers on balancing this need with an eye on driving costs down and compliance up.

Tips to Keep Business Travelers Satisfied

  • Lay the groundworkSmall changes in travel habits can mean big savings throughout the year—especially when it comes to how far in advance business travelers book. In their recent annual report about the state of the air travel industry, Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corp. found the biggest deals on average air ticket prices can be found 21 days or more in advance.
  • Prioritise perks According to Sabre’s air shopping and merchandising data, the most commonly purchased ancillaries across North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific are fast-track passes and pre-reserved seat fees.  When negotiating with suppliers, companies should include fast-track and seat upgrade fees in their contracts. High-performing road warriors will appreciate the flexibility and convenience these incentives provide.
  • Minimise disruptionsAccording to Sabre’s flight and airport data, Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Sao Paulo Congonhas International Airport (CGH), and London Heathrow International Airport (LHR) are some of the most heavily traveled airports by business travelers. They also tend to have more delays. Companies can help business travelers minimise the downside of delays by underwriting a global lounge program membership.
  • Simplify the booking and travel management processAbout 80 percent of global business travelers prefer to self-book travel, including road warriors who want to use self-service technology to manage their trips. There is an opportunity for travel managers to incorporate travel apps into their policies and encourage travelers to download apps from their travel management company and preferred providers.

Today’s high-performing employees are not only looking for better compensation or an opportunity to advance in their careers; they are also are looking for a successful company that wants to help them be more productive and offers a level of flexibility that brings satisfaction and balance.

Data from Sabre shows that a few simple steps can help employees find the right mix of productivity and happiness. These are incremental, cost-conscious changes businesses can implement without blowing budgets. By incorporating travel perks and ancillaries within their travel program, companies can introduce additional cost-saving measures to offset the investment.  Businesses can also realise additional cost savings through increased visibility and control of business travel within the organisation.

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