Be the first to get the inside scoop on what to expect in 2014. In this story, UNIGLOBE Experts talk about the ways companies can advance travel cost containment in 2014 and how the evolution of smart tools provides better efficiency for travel research, booking and even personalized service. A definitive guide and must read for business owners, travelers and coordinators.



1. Expect ongoing and sustainable savings and better control on travel spend using a pre-trip authorization tool

Heading into 2014, pre-trip authorization tools will add further support to a company’s travel policy by helping control costs before spending. Such automated “checks-and-balances” tools allow approvers (typically managers) to approve, decline or request changes to, various components of an employee’s itinerary prior to ticketing. It can also help avoid increased airfares due to missed ticket deadlines while waiting for approval. 

More sophisticated tools, like the UNIGLOBE pre-trip authorization tool, come complete with online flight schedule “look-up”, booking capability and booking history tracking. With the ability to approve and decline instantly from an email, approvers can efficiently take action from a computer or smartphone, no matter where they are.


 

2. Experienced travelers and travel coordinators will lean even more towards travel experts for vital purchasing advice- especially with more complex itineraries.

In a recent survey of business travelers, 66% of respondents ranked ‘price’ as the most important deciding factor for choosing one flight itinerary option over another. Sounds about right, right?

Digging deeper however presents a more interesting need. 83% of respondents in the same survey also ranked ‘shortest connections’ and convenient arrival/departure times as the second most significant decision factor when choosing one itinerary over another. This is where travelers will increasingly value the consultative approach that only a professional travel buyer/research expert  can bring to the table. By recommending the best fare given ALL factors (including connecting time, extra baggage fees etc) a corporate travel management expert is at the center of the travel buying process – helping increasingly busy travelers make the right choice for their time and money. 



In this regard, UNIGLOBE Experts will also highlight cost saving opportunities by recommending the best possible combination of “trip components” that result in the lowest overall “total trip cost” (not only getting you the best fares for your flights but also looking beyond to other components of your business trip like hotel, hotel location, WiFi charges,  or even transportation costs). With dozens of factors influencing the actual cost for every trip, and more being introduced every month, it pays to use a professional research expert to assist in the planning and purchasing process to avoid hidden costs.   

 


 

3. Look forward to effective travel research and faster response times

With highly sophisticated web-based tools like “UNIGLOBE Complete Access Online” travelers and travel coordinators will see 50% faster response times for self-searched flight options. Options will include available (not “sold out” )fares sourced from the GDS (the travel industry’s private channel), the Internet, fares from other countries as well as any corporate fares databases. Fast and vast is the trend to watch!

As one UNIGLOBE Expert points out, “such tools will also eliminate credit risks by providing a secure and pre-approved purchasing system for companies to book travel.” Company travel policies can be loaded to help filter suitable options so any bookings made will automatically be “policy compliant” to ensure optimum cost containment. The tool can be setup for use by both coordinators and travelers via a secure login. This results in significant time savings as travelers and coordinators no longer have to wait for replies to emails or phone calls. This will be a hot favorite for travel coordinators in 2014 because they can use the extra time to focus on administering the travel program and supporting the company’s travellers”.

 


 

4. “Fewer but more meaningful travel spend reports”  are what CFOs want for 2014.

Both the style and type of reporting may change in 2014. UNIGLOBE Experts know that CFOs are inundated with paperwork and the last thing they want is another “data dump” of travel data. Travel spend dashboards will lead the way for summary-style reporting in 2014  and reports like ‘Missed Savings’ will be increasingly popular for both the busy CFO and the travel coordinator. Cost-per-ticket analysis provided by ‘Missed Saving’ reports gives superior control and 'exception reporting' at the transaction level with data capture of whether tickets were purchased on the lowest available fare or not. As one UNIGLOBE Expert points out, “Bombarding a CFO or travel coordinator with a bunch of reports isn’t the best use of their time. Ultimately the goal is to identify the most meaningful reports to help them spot new saving opportunities and to make timely and impactful adjustments to their business travel purchasing program.”

 


 

5. The focus on ‘personalized service’ will grow

UNIGLOBE Experts think that in 2014 travelers on business will be more demanding. For most travelers ‘preferred seating’ will be a hot favorite on their list of items that define personalized service.

“Our investments in technology continue to make it possible to deliver on our service promises.  Automation makes it easy and here at UNIGLOBE, we use it extensively. Automated programs like our Seat Finder and Waitlist Clearance access and monitor airline inventory 24x7 for changes and should a seat or your preferred seat become available – the program will book it”, says one UNIGLOBE Expert. Other services on the radar of travelers are e-mail and/or SMS reminders to use online check-in complete with the links to do it , information on local food and restaurants to suit individual requirements, travel alerts and Mileage Program management. 
 



UNIGLOBE Experts also point out that personalized service begins with the promise of ‘error free’ travel arrangements, billing and reporting. Automation adds great value in this arena with tools like UNIGLOBE Complete Quality Manager (UCQM) – a technology that runs over 100 quality checks on every file to ensure it  is complete, aligned with the traveler’s preferences and error free. Personalized service – delivered.

Personalized, professional, perfect – three key trends for business travel in 2014 and UNIGLOBE Travel is ‘on it’. Thank you for your business!

Oh, and one last trend worth watching:

 


 

6. Look forward to a richer research experience for your vacations in 2014

You’ll be able to eliminate the time spent in navigating dozens of websites and brochures to find that perfect vacation for your family. Full-content, interactive travel portals offer more than just flights and hotels. They now combine content from hundreds of sources into one, simple to use site and then invite YOU to participate in contributing and sharing YOUR experiences and knowledge!  Think of it like a travel “crossroads” where you can view hundreds of travel reviews and exciting value offers that may include an extra room night, an automatic room upgrade or an included excursion. Set up dynamic discussions with travel experts, other travelers including friends and family from your social media networks and get their expert views, experiences and opinions to help you in deciding your next vacation.



All this will save you considerable time and make your research process more fun too. Travel – the UNIGLOBE Way!

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