Travel Booking Websites

These days, everything is at your fingertips, and with the simple click of a button, almost anything can be yours. As such, it makes sense that online travel booking websites have become increasingly popular over the last few years; users can quickly search and book their travel, without having to go through a travel agency – and the low prices can be extremely enticing.

So, you might be asking yourself why use a travel management company when travelling for business if you can use the same “good” sites that you use personally? Well, what most people don’t realize about online booking websites is: you get what you pay for.

When it comes to business travel, many variables need to be taken into consideration. From safety to preferred vendors and loyalty programs, a corporate travel management company (TMC) is able to ensure that business travellers benefit from a complete end-to-end travel experience.

Let’s take a look at some of the potential risks of using an online booking website when travelling for business.

 

  • Travel Booking Websites And Your Travel Policy

 

When travellers are allowed to use an online travel booking website, they’re essentially given the freedom to select whichever means of travel they wish to use, without necessarily considering the impact or cost to the organization.

This is where a corporate travel policy becomes an asset to an organization; it outlines the parameters with which a traveller can book their travel arrangements. A TMC is able to help organizations build and maintain their travel policy. They’re also able to negotiate better rates with travel vendors on behalf of the organization, and therefore help them better manage their travel costs.1

 

  • Perks and Loyalty Programs

When business travellers book through online travel websites, they often miss out on flight and hotel perks, as well as fail to accumulate loyalty program points. What they purchase is what they get; anything extra comes at a price.

TMCs usually have a relationship with travel vendors and, as such, their travellers are able to benefit from exclusive perks, like free upgrades2. As well, TMCs enable travellers to accumulate and use their points when travelling – and often times, being a member of a vendor’s loyalty program can earn you free upgrades and additional perks.3

 

  • Safety

One of the biggest disadvantages of an online booking website is the safety risk it brings. Organizations are unable to track their travellers when they book through these websites, as their travel information is not stored in an accessible platform. Organizations are therefore dependent on travellers sharing their travel information with another individual, in order to track them.

Organizations have a legal obligation to be aware of their employees’ location when travelling for business. Indeed, Bill C-45, which became law on March 31st, 2004 when it added Section 217.1 to the Canadian Criminal Code, establishes new legal duties for corporations regarding health & safety in the workplace. This law contemplates severe penalties for organizations in case of injury or death of the employees occurred while on duty. This means that organizations are responsible for the well-being, health and safety of their employees when they are travelling for business and representing their organization.

217.1 Every one who undertakes, or has the authority, to direct how another person does work or performs a task is under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person, or any other person, arising from that work or task.”

A duty of care program ensures that travellers can be quickly located in the event of an emergency and safely returned home – using a TMC can help you manage this.

TIP: Download our itinerary app, EncoreGo, today and easily share your travel arrangements with colleagues, family and friends!

 

  • Cancellation or Changes

When travellers book through an online booking website, the travel arrangements are often non-refundable and unchangeable – and with the ever-changing schedule of business, an inflexible trip can end up costing an organization more than the savings it had originally garnered through the booking webs.

Using a TMC ensures that travellers can easily adjust any of their travel arrangements. A TMC’s travel agents can take care of cancelling certain travel arrangements or entire trips, and can also change and alter travel reservations, usually at a lower (to no!) fee than an travel booking website.

 

  • Knowledge and Experience

Ultimately, an online booking website cannot offer a truly personalized touch.

By booking through a TMC, you benefit from the knowledge and expertise of seasoned travel professionals. These professionals are able to advise and guide business travellers towards the best prices and accommodations, and they can even offer suggestions based on personal experience.

 

Sources

  1. Christopherson Business Travel: Concerns for Corporations using Public Online Booking Sites by Susan Poole
  2. US News: The Pros and Cons of Using a Travel Agent by Liz Weiss
  3. TRAILS.com: The Disadvantages of Booking Online by Jessica Morelock

Just like your perfect personal travel assistant would do, EncoreGo will ensure that your travel experience is stress-free and enjoyable.

Looking for a travel app? Discover Encore Travel's pick - and make sure to take full advantage of these the next time you are on-the-go!


Future of Travel

Have you ever had to flag down a flight attendant, while in the air, to get some water? Well, in the very near future, you might not have to even lift a finger to get what you want.


We, at Encore Travel, decided to put together a list of the pros and cons regarding the addition of home-sharing in business travel policies.