Before reading the below we would like to say how pleased we are that this is now being taken seriously and something is being done.
The below article is credited to the BBC the link is www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47141538
Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, ebookers and trivago have been investigated over high-pressure selling tactics and misleading discount claims, the competition watchdog says.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) was concerned the sites were making rooms seem more popular than they were.
The sites will now say if commissions they receive affect the results.
They also agreed to be clearer with discount claims and hidden charges.
The CMA began its investigation in June 2018 but didn't name the comparison sites it was investigating.
"The CMA has taken enforcement action to bring to an end misleading sales tactics, hidden charges and other practices in the online hotel booking market," said CMA Chairman Andrew Tyrie. "These have been wholly unacceptable."
Compare like with likeThe CMA will now seek to make the rest of the sector follow the same rules as the six companies it has named, it said.
Consumer action group Which? welcomed the CMA's intervention and said the changes should be "swiftly implemented".
The companies have all now agreed to the following, the CMA said:
"You can get some good bargains on these sites, but it is very important that you can trust what they say," Michael Grenfell, executive director of enforcement at the CMA told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"We will monitor them," he added.
The companies have until 1 September to comply with the demands, otherwise they could be taken to court.
There are no hidden fees or elements when you book with us.
Give us a call on 0131 467 7000 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
People often say to me 'why should I use a TMC when I can just book everything online?'
I love it when someone asks me this as there are so many answers depending on the company or situation of the person. All of them end up with the person realising that among other things; You can still book everything online and you have the backup of a 24 hour team of experienced professionals to help should you need it.
Just image this situation:
When using a 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 'why should I use a TMC when I can just book everything online?' is:
Why would you not use a TMC when you can still book everything online through systems like the one we can provide you and you have the backup of a 24 hour team of experienced professionals to help should you need it.
Get in touch and we can tell you how we can help you with your situation email us
Motivating your staff is key in any modern business, by rewarding your staff who meet and exceed your performance levels it will help them to strive for similar results in the future as well as motivating those that may be under performing.
But what is the best way to reward your staff who are performing well? Are cash rewards the way to do it? We believe that while paying a bonus may give staff an instant boost it will soon be forgotten once the credit card has been paid off!
We believe that incentive trips create much more impact, firstly there is the anticipation, followed by the enjoyment of the trip and lastly, memories that can last a lifetime.
We have a wealth of experience of creating incentive trips that will capture the imagination, get all of your staff talking and most importantly have your staff striving to raise their games in order to be included on the trip next year.
We can take care of everything, flights, hotels, restaurants and activities for the trip. We have a specialist team who would only be too happy to discuss your requirements and work within your budget in order to add value to your rewards program.
Want to find out more, contact me at email@example.com or call me on 07841 920752.
Alternatively contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 467 7000
It can be a relaxing experience - travelling by train or plane gives some business travellers the opportunity to clear their heads of clutter and refocus on what’s important. For others, business travel feels like a bit of a nightmare, eating up their time and keeping them from getting things done. Whether you’re stressed or stress-free, there are various things anybody can do to make the time spent travelling on business more productive and more enjoyable.
What better time to keep up to date with what's going on in your particular field? A lot of people don't feel they have the time to read up on what's going on in their business area, they're too busy getting on with their jobs. So use this in-between time to get clued-up on the latest developments and topical stories. You could turn to a trade magazine, scour the web for news stories or spend some time on a relevant industry blog.
Without the usual distractions shift into problem-solving mode. Take the time to focus on the major problems you, your team or your company want to solve. Focus on one issue at a time and hone in on workable solutions. Hopefully, you'll then be ready to return to your team with some really useful, well-thought-out ideas.
Just to-do it!
Do you have an unruly inbox that’s collapsing under the weight of your ever-increasing mountain of emails? Maybe there’s a report that would only take half an hour to read but keeps getting overlooked? I'm still a big fan of the good old to-do list; make yourself one before you leave and then work through the quick wins on your travels. If you can’t sort the issue while you’re travelling, make a note of what you can do or who you need to involve to make things happen. Instead of allowing the time on board to pass you by, sort out those tasks you keep putting off – you’ll be pleased you did.
I often wonder how much business-related activities actually go on whilst people are travelling on business. Your company may allow you to travel 1st class for a journey over a specific amount of time – this is usually to give the added benefit of making best use of your time as well as comfort! So next time you are travelling on business, don’t give up on being productive, use our tips to leave you feeling accomplished.
Want to know more how you can get more from your business travel? Please contact us on 0131 467 7000 or email@example.com
Smart Travel Makes Better Use of Funds
By consolidating your travel spend with your preferred Travel Management Company, The Travel Company Edinburgh, we are able to work closely with your procurement/purchasing department to ensure that best value is provided for all your travel requirements. By travel policy adherence, proactive account management and the extensive knowledge and expertise of our travel consultants we can drive down your company spend and make recommendations for best practice – improving the way you book travel.
Here are some of the key benefits that we provide:
So, you’ve trailed the internet and found the best deal available and having spent an hour and a half looking you have saved the company £20! Or have you really saved £20?? We will ignore the hourly rate of somebody looking for 90 minutes just now and see whether the company has fulfilled their obligation to the employee who will undertake the trip.
If your employees have to travel for business of any kind, it’s up to you to ensure their safety as far as possible and communicate to them what to do in the event of an emergency. However duty of care is not just about emergencies and major world events – it could be someone losing their passport, missing a flight or falling ill while abroad. It’s also about those travel details that can improve your employees’ wellbeing, like making sure they don’t have to drive after a long-haul flight.
What is duty of care?
The perception and profile of duty of care has changed dramatically over recent years. Previously thought of as a concern for larger organisations, those with high risk travel or managing emergency travel situations – duty of care has now become a recognised essential for any travel programme.
Duty of Care refers to the moral and legal obligations of employers to their employees, contractors, volunteers and related family members in maintaining their well-being, security and safety when working, posted on international assignments or working in remote areas of their home country.
In those circumstances, individuals and organisations have legal obligations to act prudently to avoid the risk of reasonable foreseeable injury or exposures leading to ill health. This obligation may apply both to acts and omissions. In addition to that, the employers are due to build a broad culture within their organisation addressing the health, safety, security and well-being of their employees and other related collaborators to the business. To do so, they are expected to develop and deploy appropriate travel risk management approaches to protect people from possible harm.
The importance of duty of care
Making sure that your employees feel safe and taken care of gives you a number of benefits. Firstly, simplifying travel and removing any nuisances makes it easier for your employees to get work done.
Secondly, looking after employees is a good way of retaining the very best staff.
If you’re branching out into new markets, you might find yourself sending employees to destinations where travel isn’t straightforward. So it becomes even more important to put in place simple solutions for employees if they come into difficulty. There’s also a need to prepare your employees ahead of their trip, so that they can clearly understand necessary preparations and what to expect when they arrive.
How businesses manage duty of care
The management of duty of care varies by organisation. Some businesses have an established, extensive duty of care programme with cross-functional teams spanning the travel department, HR, security, risk management and senior managers. Often these organisations have safety engrained in their culture such as those operating in the energy and offshore industries.
In other organisations, often smaller, departments such as HR or senior managers are solely responsible for ensuring the safety of travellers. In some cases, there is no direct reference to duty of care in travel policies – and reasons behind maximum driving hours for example, are not explicitly explained as a safety initiative.
Regardless of the size of your organisation, communication is vital. Travellers should be fully briefed before, during and after travel with necessary information and contact numbers – this includes familiarity with your travel policy. During travel it is important that employees have access to necessary information, such as who to contact in an emergency or specific high risk areas to avoid in their final destination.
How can a Travel Company help?
• Pre-trip reports – providing globally consolidated information on travel itineraries, particularly any booked to high risk destinations or out of policy
• Travel alerts – keeping travellers and travel teams up-to-date with any potential disruptions or global events
• Traveller profiles – key to any duty of care programme is ensuring that traveller profiles are current, including emergency contact numbers or records of any health issues
• Employee tracking system – tools that enable the travel or safety manager to understand where their travellers are at any one time, based on ticketed itineraries
• In-house 24/7 services – not just for emergencies but to deliver support at any time of the day and night, be that changing itineraries or asking for advice when travel is delayed
• Major emergency response management – should the worst scenario occur, having support from your travel management company in regards to emergency response teams and planning is a necessity so you can react quickly and efficiently
Want to know if you are fulfilling your duty? Please get in contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07841 920752 0131 467 7000 and we can help with putting a duty of care plan together or ensuring the one you have in place remains best practice, including the latest travel tools.
Nothing undermines a well-planned vacation quite like no-show luggage. When your suitcase fails to appear on the baggage carousel, you’re guaranteed a stressful experience filling out baggage-claim forms and futilely waiting. When it comes to making sure checked bags arrive safely at your destination, you are at the mercy of the airlines. Here are a few tips to give you better odds.
Upgrade Your Luggage Tag
Opt for a smarter luggage tag. Several high-tech brands of tags feature codes or microchips that travellers can use to detect lost bags. SuperSmartTags, for example, contain unique codes with which airline personnel can trace off-track luggage. (Many bags get lost when paper airport tags get ripped off.) You might even consider embroidering your name and phone number on your suitcase, or at least writing it in permanent marker.
Check In Early
Travelers who check in late—whether they arrived at the airport with only minutes to spare or got held up in a meandering check-in line—are more likely to get separated from their bags. Baggage handlers need time to process luggage and load it onto planes. Many experts say that 30 minutes ahead of departure is the cut-off, but it all depends. The earlier you can check in, the better.
Place Your Itinerary Inside Your Bag
Luggage tags can easily be torn off in the rough-and-tumble handling process, but a copy of your itinerary, placed on top of your belongings inside your bag, will almost certainly stay put. Place a copy of your travel plans along with contact information in a prominent place inside any checked bags; if your bag gets delayed, this will make it easier for airline staff to forward your luggage to you.
Ship Your Bags Instead of Checking Them
It sounds a little crazy. But it’s not. This strategy kills two birds: By shipping your luggage, you diminish the chance that it’ll get lost, and you also avoid costly overweight-, oversize-, and checked-bag fees. Sure, it takes longer to arrive but if you plan ahead and ship your belongings to your hotel in advance, you can save money and track your shipment
Take Some Photos
If your bag has gone AWOL and you’re attempting to get it back, photo evidence will help. Take a picture of the outside of your bag to show the airline staff member who is helping you locate it. It’s also wise to take a quick photo of your baggage-claim ticket, in case you lose it. Take a picture of the inside of your bag as well; this will come in handy in case you need to file an insurance claim for your lost belongings.
Use a Luggage Strap
Suitcases, unfortunately, sometimes suffer from a case of mistaken identity at the baggage carousel. This is especially likely to happen when half of your plane is traveling with the same bag. So give your bag a makeover with a colourful luggage strap, some neon duct tape, or whatever your creative little mind can conjure up.
Avoid Short Layovers
Tight layovers increase the likelihood that your bags will go missing. If your flight is late, the window of time for airport staff to transfer your bag from one plane to the next narrows. Pay attention to the length of your layover, especially when booking with an online 3rd party website. Often, these sites sell domestic multi-leg itineraries with layovers of less than an hour, which doesn’t leave any wiggle room in an industry in which flights are frequently delayed.
If you have an international connecting flight, know that you may have to pick up your checked luggage at the baggage claim, clear customs and airport security, and then recheck your bag, all before boarding. This is also the case if you’re arriving in the U.S. from an international destination and then taking a domestic connecting flight. For this reason, it’s important to allow plenty of time—two or more hours, ideally—on international layovers. Confused? Why not let the experts do it all for you. Contact us today and see how we can help with all your travel requirements.
email@example.com or call me on 07841 920752.
Alternatively contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 467 7000
The role of procurement departments has certainly changed over the years, with value, levels of service and duty of care all becoming significant considerations when taking on a new supplier. However, there is one aspect of the procurement process that has stood the test of time and underpins everything that procurement department’s work towards and that’s cost.
I’m often asked to benchmark against existing practices but what is the best way to do this?
Understanding transaction fees and how they relate to your overall spend is a crucial element in selecting a TMC.
Equipping yourself with as much industry knowledge as possible is the best way to get the procurement process off to a good start. If you’re keen to drive online bookings then, by doing research, you should be able to find a realistic online adoption rate expectation. The volume of online bookings your organisation makes will have a direct impact on the fees you pay, as online bookings are usually charged at a much lower rate than offline bookings.
Don’t focus exclusively on offline fees
In recent years there has been a real drive within the business travel industry to increase the amount of bookings made online. With transaction fees for online bookings being typically lower, this has been a great result for travel buyers. However, the same kind of fees should not apply to offline bookings. When it comes to offline assistance, it really is a case of you get what you pay for. It is imperative you work with your TMC to work out how realistic your online adoption rate really is, if you have a lot of multi-sector long haul travel I’d suggest you will be doing more offline than online but if it is simple point to point low cost travel a higher online adoption is probably realistic.
TMCs do not all have access to the same fares and so will not deliver the same online/offline booking ratios. If you really want to know what it would cost to work with each TMC you need to tailor your analysis based on your research and their figures.
Once you’ve done your calculations, based on a tailored online adoption per TMC, you can then work out what percentage of your total travel spend the transaction fees would equate to. The industry average sits at around 5%, so if you’re preferred TMC comes in less than this, with excellent customer service and a great all-encompassing solution as well, then from a cost perspective they are very much worth considering.
Travellers now have more of a say in how they travel for business than ever before and an increasing number of travel managers are levelling 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.
Implement gamification into your organisation
Some organisations operate a points system, with travellers who book 3 weeks in advance receiving 50 points, 1 week in advance earning 10 points and so on. The more points that they have the more they can use to buy rewards such as trips or cinema tickets at the end of the financial year.
There are many ways in which the gaming system can be implemented and used, for example booking with preferred suppliers; not checking in unnecessary bags; picking the best value hotels; completing expense reports earl and using off airport parking.