Many people believe that because they are regular travellers this makes them best equipped to make their own travel arrangements and whilst they may have best intentions, by acting in this way it may in actual fact not only be false economy but it could be leaving the company wide open in terms of risk management. Organisations have legal and moral obligations to provide safety and security to their people, as much as possible, as they travel on business; that comes in the form of duty of care and a travel management company (TMC) should offer you access to tools and services that support you in looking after your travellers and help you in holding up your end of the duty of care bargain.
So next time you are booking your business trip and you think you can save a couple of pounds by booking your hotel room through some 3rd party website or going on a price comparison site for your flight just think about the following:
If you don't book through your TMC, they won't know where you are, which means they can't help you in a crisis.
Let's say you book a hotel on your own, and when you arrive, you are not happy with the condition of your room or worse still, the hotel doesn't have a record of your reservation. Who do you call for help? No one. That's who.
You are probably NOT even saving your company money by finding the deal of the century even if you think you are. Want to know why? Your company negotiates deals with specific suppliers on an annual basis. These deals frequently include behind-the-scenes incentives based on quantity of bookings. The TMC may well be offering your company a rebate on commissions earned and you also have to factor in time, your time to make the booking and your finance department who then have to spend time cross referencing your expense claim.
So you may be an experienced traveller and you may feel that a TMC restricts what you can or can’t book. This is very rarely the case, we work with all of our clients to give the end user a pleasurable experience, give them choices and a high level of personal service all whilst controlling the companies spend, making sure the staff are as safe as possible and streamlining the back office processing.
Get in touch so we can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)131 467 7000
How to write a company travel policy?
It is surprisingly common to come across organisations that despite having significant expense in terms of travel, they do not have a travel policy to adhere to and whilst it is possible for a company to get by without ever formally documenting rules on employee travel and expenses it is inadvisable.
Each company has to find a program that matches its size, travel pattern, and culture. Yet for all these unique considerations, the importance of getting it right is universal, as are the basic principles that go into designing the right policy.
So why do you need a travel policy?
Cost Control - Smart policies don’t just protect against overspending, they actively encourage saving.
Employee Satisfaction - Business travellers want the right amount of guidance from their company policy. Not having defined rules can leave employees confused, but having too many rules can be counterproductive. By creating more work for an employee during booking, and giving them too few comfortable and convenient options on the road, overly-strict policies encourage travellers to go rogue.
Reporting - T&E is one of the largest expense categories at a typical organization, often ranking behind only salary and rent. Because a company’s travel policy determines how employees book and submit expenses, it has a huge effect on whether spending remains visible.
By identifying specific priorities, you’ll know where to focus your attention. Here are some possible objectives:
Reduce average trip cost
Replace some travel with virtual meetings
Promote use of approved suppliers
Secure negotiated hotel rates
Increase advance booking
Improve employee satisfaction with flight and hotel options
Speed up expense reimbursement process
Once you have established the objectives, we work with clients and potential clients in order to write a travel policy that is comprehensive, covering every stage of trip from booking through to reimbursement, and at the same time comprehensible.
Below are a list of examples that could be included in a travel policy:
Where should employees book their travel?
How should they pay?
How are trips approved or rejected?
What class of flight?
Flight selection criteria
Hotel star class
Allowable expenses whilst in a hotel
Rail v plane
Economy v Business Class
Are you struggling with your travel policy? Why not get in touch today and see how we can help.
Get in touch email@example.com +44 (0)131 467 7000
Travellers now have more of a say in how they travel for business than ever before and an increasing number of travel managers are balancing the needs of their employees with the needs of the organisation as a whole, as a way of boosting employee satisfaction and engagement.
Although increasing the comfort, convenience and simplicity of business travel as way of thanking your travellers for their time ‘on the road’ might seem like a nice idea in theory, realising and implementing these changes in a way that doesn’t undermine efforts to reduce travel spend or compromise your organisation’s duty of care is a much greater challenge.
So how do you go about improving your travellers experience?
Make it easier to book travel
There are still many business travellers hopping from travel website to travel website, booking flights then rail and then their hotel stay.
This wasted time can lead to travellers feeling frustrated at the mere thought of having to book even the simplest of trips and so as a travel or procurement manager it’s worth looking into single solution booking options.
If you’re currently using a travel management company (TMC) and are finding that travellers aren’t content with the process of booking their business travel then have an honest discussion with both your TMC and your travellers. For example, travellers may be avoiding using your TMC’s booking system because they don’t feel confident that they know how to use it properly - something that is easily fixed with a little extra training. They may also prefer an offline solution simply sending their requests to a dedicated travel consultant who can do all the work for them.
Introduce a dynamic travel policy
Strict and limited travel options are a very common source of frustration for travellers and can often lead to travellers going rogue and booking out of policy - something that then becomes a source of frustration for travel managers.
However, introducing a dynamic travel policy enables organisations to increase the amount of choice that travellers have when booking, whilst also remaining in control of their travel spend. Unlike a traditional business travel policy that is a static set of business travel guidelines, a dynamic business travel policy’s controls will adapt depending on the options available at the time of booking.
To discuss your travel with us get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0)131 467 7000
What does duty of care really mean for organisations that send it’s employees away on business?
It is a phrase that is often talked about especially by travel companies but what does it really mean and what are the implications?
Passenger safety has become an obvious concern especially recently with the Coronovirus pandemic and various other incidents we have witnessed around the world. This is a real and genuine concern as the health and wellbeing of travelling employees is paramount to all business'.
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 and location within a city, 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 us at 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 your HR department to ensure we are meeting your requirements when developing a travel policy for you.
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 money on the airline ticket, but then the employee could be off sick because you have made them take unnecessarily long or inconvenient flights, which will cost you more in the long-run.
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 facts on the current Covid-19 restrictions or the other health risks and 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 us.
email@example.com or call on +44 (0)131 467 7000
The Travel Company Edinburgh
One thing that is so important when considering your travel policy is the security and safety of your travellers.
Companies often overlook this element, not on purpose of course as they have a company-wide travel insurance policy in place and then assume that this will cover everything they need. A normal company travel policy or insurance does not usually provide the cover that is required to all destinations especially if your travellers are travelling to a destination that is advised against travel by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or there is a change in the advise while they are abroad.
The help and advise that we, as a travel management company (TMC), can give is invaluable.
We can arrange and assist with numerous things, the below is just the tip of the iceberg:
Get intouch to discuss options for your company, we are here to help and make life easier for you and your company!
Call us on +44 (0) 131 467 7000 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Travel Company Edinburgh
'Why should I use a TMC when I can just book everything myself?' is something that we have heard alot in the past.
I love it when someone asks us this as there are so many answers depending on the company or situation of the person. A big one right now is that we are watching the developments on the Covid-19 travel restrictions globally so that we can inform all our clients of the situation in the destination they want to travel to and the situation with quarantine upon returning. Therefore if the traffic light system in the UK changes then we will let you know and help you get home or to the destination you need to go.
With regards to and other thing that people also say; "I can just book everything online": You can still book everything online if you want to, using our booking system, or you can just ask us to do it for you and save a lot of time with all the searching especially when it is a busy destination! PLUS you have the backup of a 24 hour team of experienced professionals to help should you need it.
Why wouldn't you use a TMC?!
Just image this situation:
SOLUTION: Just give us a call:
When using us as your TMC there is no need to panic we can help you. We have all the information in one place and can tell you exactly what flights and hotels are booked and for who and help sort all the flights, re-book alternative flights, book trains if flights are grounded, book hotels where required or anything that you need.
So the answer to the question is:
Why would you not use a TMC when you have the support of our team of experienced professionals to help you and we have all the up to date information about the travel restrictions with regards to Covid-19.
Get in touch and we can tell you how we can help you with your situation email us
The Travel Company Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 467 7000
Business travel has come to a complete halt in the first few months of 2020, as the world grappled with the COVID-19 crisis. With stay-at-home orders in place throughout the country, a large percentage of the workforce were forced to work from home and cancel all travel plans indefinitely.
It’s no secret that pandemic has not been easy for the air travel industry. But as restrictions and travel bans are easing across the country and the world, things are looking up again for the future of flying.
COVID-19, however, may have changed air travel as we know it forever.
Let us take a closer look at how the pandemic has changed the way people travel for business.
Demand for Private Aviation Surges
While the idea of flying private for business isn’t new, the demand for private jet flights has surged over the past few months as more and more companies turn to private aviation as a safe and efficient means of transportation.
Private jets inherently tick all the right boxes for those who need to fly right now, whether for business or leisure. Aside from providing a personalized business travel experience, chartered flights eliminate most health and safety concerns that people have with traveling during a pandemic, particularly the need to traverse through crowded airports and fly with strangers.
With so many flights getting rerouted or cancelled, flying private has become a viable and convenient option for travellers.
More Time Spent at The Airport
Gone were the days when it’s okay to show up at the airport an hour or two before your flight. To ensure everyone’s safety, airports and airlines are now implementing strict disinfection processes prior to boarding. Commercial flight passengers are advised to be at the airport three or four hours earlier to complete all the necessary health, sanitation, and safety protocols.
A lengthier immigration process is also to be expected when traveling to another country during the pandemic.
More Travel Requirements
A passport used to be the only thing you need when traveling out of the country, but not anymore. Aside from a clean bill of health, a negative COVID test result, and travel insurance, those who are traveling for business may need to produce proof that their travel is essential, especially when the destination is a known COVID hotspot.
You’ll also likely need to present a recent negative COVID test result before being allowed to board a flight back to the country.
Business Trips Becoming Longer
Up until COVID-19 happened, it was normal for businessmen and corporate employees to take short business trips outside the country. These days, however, this has become impossible.
Many countries require incoming passengers to isolate until they get their negative COVID test result, while others implement a mandatory two-week isolation period even after testing negative.
That being said, organizations have to take a case-by-case approach when assessing the viability of employee travel nowadays. They have to be more flexible with the travel plans and budget to accommodate last-minute changes and ensure the safest routes of travel for their representatives.
Air Travel is More Flexible Than Ever
If there’s one silver lining for traveling in the time of COVID-19, it’s that air travel has become more flexible and accommodating towards passengers. Airlines used to charge passengers for changing or cancelling their flights, but that’s no longer the case.
Some airline companies have waived change fees for this year amid the ever-changing travel bans, while others have cancelled them indefinitely. Also, most flight vouchers issued during the pandemic are valid for up to two years.
These days, it does seem like passengers have the upper hand. The balance of power has shifted to consumers, and it’s likely to stay that way for a while.
Business Travel Rebounds Slowly Amid the Pandemic
Although virtual conferencing platforms have made it possible for businesses to hold meetings and discussions from different parts of the world, it is not always enough. Some deals are best negotiated face-to-face.
The good news is that despite the huge blow that it has sustained for most of 2020, air travel, whether for business or leisure, is bound to pick up in the next few months as COVID vaccines become widely available.
The airline industry is expected to slowly rebuild itself as domestic travel restrictions are lifted and the country opens itself up for flights from all over the world.
If you would like more information about Private Jets please get intouch:
email@example.com +44 (0)131 467 7000
About the Author
Melissa Hull is the Content Marketing Strategist for Aviation Charters, a West Trenton, New Jersey-based private aviation company that provides on-demand aircraft charter, aircraft management, and aircraft acquisition services. Aside from her passion for writing, she loves to travel and read espionage books
A Negative Covid-19 Test result is now required when entering Scotland and England. This may also be applied to the rest of the UK however it has not yet been announced.
'People arriving by plane, train or boat, including UK nationals, will have to take a test up to 72 hours before leaving the country they are in. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said travellers "can't board... without having that negative test". But even with a negative test, arrivals from countries not on the travel corridor list must still quarantine.'
Excerpt taken from the BBC article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55582116
If you need any help with your travel then please get intouch: +44 131 467 7000, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Travel Industry, along with many others, has taken a huge knock in 2020! (and that is a big understatement!)
I think this year people have realised how important it is to book travel with a REAL travel agent.
We have helped all of our clients, along with many new people who needed some assistance, get refunds, make cancellations, postpone trips and give help and advice when they needed it. We have been available 24/7 and believe that this is the best and only way to operate as a responsible Travel Agent.
We know how difficult, upsetting and worrying this year has been for people and have taken the 'travel' stress away from people, sorting everything out for them.
Let us know how we can help
Get In Touch email@example.com, +44 (0)131 467 7000, www.ttce.com
So 2020 has been a crazy year so far and I think we can all agree that we need to look to the future and what better way than to write a 'Travel Bucket List'!
Now your list can be as long or a short as you want it to be, it can also keep on growing and changing as nothing is set in stone!
To help you visualise it here is the empty bucket ready to be filled with all your amazing thoughts and ideas of; places to go, things to do, people to meet, sights to see, meals to eat, drinks to drink, I could go on forever there is so much to get excited about.
Best not to do this when you are at work!
Or maybe it is if you are having a tough day!
Get comfortable, sit back with your favourite drink and start dreaming. I forgot to also mention not to think about how much it will cost while you fill your bucket as this is a 'wish list' and once you have all those amazing ideas in your bucket (metaphorically speaking) then you can start to prioritise them and then comes the exciting bit - START PLANNING!!!!!!
If you could go anywhere in The World where would that be?
Write all those ideas down with as much detail as you can. Whether it is the other side of The World or just 10 miles away from your own home, it really doesn't matter. This is your Bucket so you put whatever you want in there. I have and there are some crazy ones on there, but with the right help & planning they aren't out of reach.
To help you with a few Bucket List ideas:
It is a very therapeutic thing to do and also extremely exciting!!
The next thing is to start thinking about when you want to go, this year, Next Year, 5 years from now? Write it down and get planning. Split your bucket into different months or years as it can help when planning it all in. You are going to be busy and in a very great way.
If we can help, of course we are here to make sure you stay as excited as you are right now and make those Bucket List dreams become a reality!
Get in touch and let us know what's in your bucket and if you are ready let us help you plan and book that trip ( or trips!) you've always wanted to do.
The Travel Company Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 467 7000