Whether there’s an emergency at a client site or you have to hold an in-person meeting to close a big deal, at some point, you’ll most likely need to book a trip at the eleventh hour. Doing this every once in a while is an inevitable part of operating a business and in moderation, shouldn’t drastically impact your finances. However, what happens when booking last minute travel becomes a habit? The fees add up. . . quickly. According to Concur, tickets booked fewer than seven days prior to departure are, on average, 44% more expensive than the same ticket booked 15 days in advance. And, on average, businesses can save $148 per ticket booked at least 8 days in advance of a trip. The numbers are staggering, and can have a serious impact on your bottom line if last minute booking happens frequently.
Ensure that if last minute travel does occur within your organization, it’s due to need and not just poor planning. Check our tips below:
- Make booking simple so employees don’t put it off until the last minute. Work with a travel management company who can equip you with the proper booking tools and training needed.
- Educate employees on the benefits of booking travel well in advance. Enforce a policy that encourages employees to book tickets at least 8 days in advance and 15 if possible. Work with your travel management company to receive alerts when trips are booked within 7 days of a trip so you can better manage.
- Urge employees to consider alternative routes or smaller airports when booking last minute travel as pricing may be favorable.
- If an employee knows their departure date but not when they’ll return, allow them to book a one-way ticket in advance so premium pricing will only have to be paid on the return flight.
- Urge employees who must book last minute trips to book mid-week flights. Flying during the middle of the week when most business travelers have already departed can save hundreds of dollars.
- Reward employees who consistently adhere to your travel guidelines with incentives such as an extra day of PTO or a gift card.
Professional Travel can give you the tools, training and support needed to reduce last-minute travel. Call us today to get started.
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