RAIL: TTCE versus Train-line
If you currently have an account setup with Trainline and book directly. If I based your average rail ticket cost at £100.00 the booking fee comparison is as follows:
Fees based on a ticket of £100.00:
Train-line = £1.50 booking fee + 2% Credit card fee =£3.53
= £3.00 flat fee for TOD or delivery and would be billed onto account =£3.00
We would be cheaper than the Trainline on all tickets over £75.00.
Anything under £75.00 we would be more expensive by a matter of pence.
What other benefits are there of booking rail through TTCE?
1. We process your refunds which can be quite time consuming
2. All tickets are prepaid including ticket on departures (using the same card to collect the tickets that paid for them is not needed with our bookings)
3. We save you time reconciling card statements
4. We are proactive and exchange advance tickets (subject to the T&C’s)
5. We provide detailed reporting on rail spend (good and bad practice / booking horizons / suggested savings hints and tips)
6. Our system detects when the lower fare has been missed at the time of booking.
7. We offer seat only reservations
8. Flights, rail and hotels can all be booked on one system.
HOTEL RESERVATIONS: TTCE versus Online websites
I understand you can use a variety of hotel websites to book room nights. I am unsure of your volume; budget or how you control what is spent. I would like to say the hotel system we have is the most comprehensive available although I can never guarantee that.
We have a mix of hotel rates chosen from reliable sources, these are Expedia, Late Rooms and our live agent feed from the hotels directly. We choose our rates from reliable sources so we can ensure that costs can be billed back and are priced accurately and clearly state what is included in the rate.
TTCE Fees: Our fees for hotel bookings are below:
Pay on departure: Nil
Bill back to company: 2.5% where the rate is commissionable or 2.5% plus a £5 booking fee where the rate is non-commissionable (95% of hotel bookings are commissionable)
I am aware that no fees apply to the majority of online hotel sites, but do not offer hotel bill-back onto account.
What other benefits are there of booking hotels through TTCE?
1. We offer a bill-back service. This avoids the passenger paying on departure and time consuming expenses and statement reconciliation processes. We feel 2.5% offers excellent value for this.
2. If you wish to pay on departure we charge no fee (same as on other websites)
3. We provide a VAT breakdown on hotels which you are entitled to claim back. 20% of all hotel bills are based on a rough guess on your hotel expenditure a significant amount of money.
Hotel rates booked through sites such as Opodo, Kayak, and Trigavo are classed as leisure bookings rather than business and therefore no VAT breakdown is provided.
4. Our system can have a built-in travel policy, regional room rate caps and reporting can be very beneficial.
5. Ease of access. As with rail hotels are all under one system with one login.
6. If we are aware of your travel spend we can identify patterns and use our contacts within the industry to setup negotiated rates
7. Flights, rail and hotels can all be booked on one system.
TTCE versus Booking Independently
In cost terms alone, you have the hidden cost of researching, billing and reconciliation can be both cost and time expensive.
Research from Cornell University confirms that it can take 37.5 minutes to complete each Internet search for travel and that it can take up to 12 searches before a booking is made.
Factoring in back-office processing per invoice / credit card payment / expenses can cost upwards of £20 per invoice.
If we based a very rough guesstimate of the number of hotel bookings you make as 400 that means that your reconciliation costs are 400 x £20 = £8000.
If we add in the cost of searching and booking online based on 2 visits (37.5 minutes per visit) to the Internet (75 minutes) then the cost in salary is £15.38 per booking (based an average UK PA salary of £24,000 (source: Payscale). For 400 hotel bookings this costs you £6152.
Total hidden cost is £8000 + £6152 = £14152.
Rail, air and other ancillary travel will add significantly to this.
Once we have detailed travel data for your expenditure and number of transactions we can run a cost comparison of what our fees would total.
Additional benefits of using TTCE for all your travel requirements?
Management Information (Accurate travel reporting for the whole of xxx): The reporting I provide monthly will be more comprehensive. We can identify travel patterns, areas for savings and give clear info on travel spend.
Duty of care – If we book all travel we can identify and locate passengers and help assist should there be any delays, cancellations or problems with their travel plans.
Account and Supply-chain Management: we give you an expert travel consultancy that recommends better buying procedures, cost and time analysis, supplier negotiations and long-term procurement strategies, consolidated billing and credit facilities.
I’m assuming you’re not already using a Travel Management Company such as The Travel Company Edinburgh so I’m going to let you in on the some of the secrets to save some money and make your trip easier, safer and ensure you get best value for this business expense.
Firstly do your research. A little work early on can save a lot of time later. Think about the trip and what it entails. For example, certain countries require visas and/or immunisations. Make sure you get advice on the steps needed to be taken and be wary of timescales. Think about the itinerary. It’s easy to make the experience more efficient if you can save the traveller’s time.
Create traveller profiles. This is something we do automatically for our clients but you can also do this. It saves so much time when making bookings so you don’t have to constantly email or call the traveller to find out about essential personal preferences, loyalty scheme numbers, seating or room preferences.
Before you actually book, make sure you are clear on what is required. The cheapest train tickets and hotel rooms are usually those which have the least flexibility. They may save money initially but if plans change and you are unable to transfer, this will have to be written off.
If cost is the main consideration, consider the following:
Consider avoiding flexible tickets to save money (e.g. it's often cheaper to book three advance rail tickets, giving you flexibility, than it is to buy a fully-flex rail ticket). Sometimes the best solution is to book a fixed outbound ticket and a flexible ticket on the return.
Consider the full cost of a trip, not just the component parts, e.g. it's worth paying £100 per night for a hotel that is on site, rather than £80 per night for one a few miles out but incurs a £15 taxi each way
Consider starting internal meetings later to allow non-peak train travel for all attendees – this can save 60% per attendee
Pay attention to what you are being charged, it’s easy to go through a whole booking process and not notice all the extras.
Once the travel bookings are completed, it’s time to ensure the traveller is up to speed with what they need to provide and do. Important considerations include:
Travel Documentation: Make sure you prepare and organise any necessary documentation that your boss may need. These can include train and plane tickets/reference numbers, accommodation loyalty cards, passport, visas and immunisation certificates.
Travel Insurance: Make sure they have sufficient travel insurance, there are countless options these days and by shopping around you may be able to select a better package.
If this all sounds a little complicated as well as time consuming why not let us do all the work for you and here are some added advantages of using us:
Dedicated travel consultant or consultants along with a dedicated account manager.
Payment terms we offer one consolidated invoice per month
24 hour support – Airlines don't all operate 24 hours a day, if your boss is on the other side of the world and needs to call at 3am in the morning to change their return flight this becomes an issue
Impartial, expert advice. We have no preference for any supplier only years of experience dealing with a wide range of clients.
Having all bookings in one place makes it easier to manage your business travel, track business travellers and analyse data.
Find out how we can transform your business travel tomorrow. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07841 920752.
Alternatively contact the office at email@example.com or call 0131 467 7000
Have a travel policy that is fit for purpose.
You might already have a travel policy, but is it the best that it can be? Is it a one-size-fits-all document that’s been in place for a long time and therefore it no longer meets your needs? Is it aligned with where your organisation is looking to be in the future? Taking the time to examine your travel policy in a critical way, whilst gathering feedback from those that it affects the most is your first step in crafting a well-constructed, universally understood and adhered to travel policy that will act as your first line of defence when it comes to controlling and reducing travel costs.
Improve your lead times
Increasing how far in advance travel is booked is a behaviour that is key to driving travel costs down, however last minute bookings can be a hard habit to shake due to the amount of flexibility that they afford travellers.
Although it’s not always possible to exert a lot of control over meetings with prospects or clients, internal meetings provide a great opportunity to think smart and increase lead times, so it’s worth asking travellers to be mindful when arranging these. Your travel management company (TMC) should have a wealth of experience when it comes to improving lead times and working with your account manager to develop a strategy that best fits your organisation is the best way to kick things into touch.
Boost travel policy compliance
The first step to improving compliance with your travel policy is to understand why travellers are resistant to booking within the defined parameters set out in the policy; is it a matter of convenience? Is your current booking system difficult to use or access? Does your travel policy seem inflexible or unrealistic to employees? Do employees feel like they have more choice using online booking sites?
Find a travel management approach that’s the right fit
If your organisation’s current approach to travel management isn’t quite working out, or is failing to produce the results that you want then why not find a travel management solution that fits?
Procuring the services of a TMC is no mean feat and, if done properly, it can take a fair amount of time. However, it also provides an often much needed chance to take stock - to evaluate what’s working, what isn’t and where your organisation is heading.
Want to find out more, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07841 920752.
Alternatively contact the office at email@example.com or call 0131 467 7000
It is a phrase that is often banded about especially by travel companies but what does it really mean and what are the implications.
Over the past few years passenger safety has become an obvious concern with some of the terrible incidents we have witnessed around the world and whilst this is a real and genuine concern there are other issues including the health and wellbeing of travelling employees.
Travel can be stressful and take a toll on the body and mind that could affect an employee’s performance in a key meeting, as well as having a cumulative impact due to issues such as poor diet and disrupted sleeping patterns.
In the UK, employers have a legal duty-of-care for their employees wherever they are based or travelling, while the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations mean that companies also have the responsibility of undertaking risk assessments. This means that all of their time spent away from home is the responsibility of the employer. Organisations should have clear policies regarding their responsibility for employee health and wellbeing while abroad as there is a clear duty-of-care and legal responsibility. Companies should undertake risk assessments for every traveller to “identify any potential risks and seek to reduce the risks to an acceptable level”. The standard of accommodation also has an effect on risk, particularly when considering things such as food poisoning, which can be significant depending on the country being visited.
If a foreseeable risk exists and the employer fails to advise travellers or misrepresents the severity of that risk, then they can be liable for a health-related issue in the same way as a safety and security issue. Examples could be failing to provide adequate immunisation advice for travellers going to a high-risk area of diseases like malaria, cholera or hepatitis.
Working with a TMC like The Travel Company Edinburgh will help to eliminate these risks because as well as giving your travellers and travel bookers adequate advice and information we can also work with an organisations HR department to ensure we are meeting their requirements when developing a travel policy for you. You see, it’s not just about booking the cheapest airline ticket, if that’s going to be bad for the traveller and cause them lots of stress due to the timings or the routing. You might save on the airline ticket, but then the employee could be off sick because you have made them take unnecessarily long or inconvenient flights.
I believe these are some of the questions that you should be asking yourself as an organisation if you haven’t already:
What business class policy should you implement to ensure travellers arrive rested?
What should the company position be on employees self-driving after long-haul flights, especially when crossing time zones when jetlag is a factor that could increase the risk of an accident?
Where do travellers go for a single source of truth on health risks and vaccination advice?
Should extra layers of approval be built into the travel approval policy for destinations with high health risks?
If you need help with your travel policy and want to see if we can help reduce your travel expenditure please contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 07941 920752