Business trips can be fruitful and frustrating simultaneously, depending on the outcome of the trip and the experience of the traveling executives. While there are several downsides to poorly planned and executed business travel, one of the most challenging things is booking corporate flights. Corporates look to save money at every step of the business trip. When it comes to corporate flight bookings, saving money means cheap flights at peak hours and booking tickets of less popular flights. These tips can help you book the most affordable tickets for your next business trip.
8 tips for corporate flight bookings
1. Negotiate for top discount packages
In situations of urgent travels, a company may have to pay extra due to surging dynamic fares of the flights. But do you have to shell out exactly what the airlines quote? Did you know that corporations can negotiate flight bookings to get discounted prices?
If a company books flights regularly, they may be able to convince airlines and travel agencies to provide discounted travel costs. Negotiating discounts of certain percent on all future flights or a cap per ticket is possible. The only hunch is that one may have to prove that the executives regularly fly with the same airline for business needs.
2. Look for loyalty programs and perks
Nearly all leading airlines offer loyalty programs at personal and corporate travel levels. They are provided in the form of frequent flier points. Corporate travel loyalty programs are two-way beneficial partnerships between your business and the most preferred airlines. The company and employees can earn points with these programs. They can get discounted tickets or even free flights for future bookings while the regular clients are maintained for the airlines. For every flight booked by the organization, the airline adds points to your travel account. These points can be used to get a discount on future flights.
3. Book flights 2 months back
Is it possible that airlines drop prices steeply on vacant seats just before takeoff? Yes, but this only happens in rare cases. In fact, it works the other way around. Tickets become more expensive when they are booked at the last minute. Flight ticket booking data reveal that the best deals are available about 70 days from departure. The norm is to book at least two months in advance and get the best prices.
4. Be flexible with trip dates
The company may need an executive to make an urgent trip to meet potential investors or to close a significant deal. Such last-minute planning will not help companies save on corporate travel. Some date flexibility is necessary to take advantage of flight booking discounts.
Also, companies should avoid scheduling business meetings that entail traveling during holidays. Getting a cheap flight booking on holidays is next to impossible.
5. Avoid weekends flights
Why do corporates prefer booking weekday flights? It provides business travelers book flights at discounted rates. Weekends are infamous for the holiday crowd. The planes are usually full of weekenders and vacationers. Airlines are said to be the busiest from Fridays through Sundays.
Research reveals that it is cheapest to fly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If your business executive has to travel next week, plan the flight for these two days and enjoy alluring discounts on air ticket prices.
6. Choose airlines with customer-friendly policies
Are you delighted with that low-priced business class ticket available on an alternative airliner? Planning to book that ticket for your executive’s upcoming trip? Don’t rush with the booking. Some airlines are known for their hidden fees and extra charges. Take a close look at the fine print of the airline’s policies and booking process. Airlines may charge you extra under the guise of service charges, change fees, cancellation fees, etc.
7. Use price-tracking tools
It is common knowledge that airline tickets can change by the minute, for better or worse. That’s why you need the best price tracking tools to know which way the prices are currently swinging. There are many such tools empowering business travel with their powerful technology and unique payment solutions. Companies can find what they are looking for from its full stack of solutions.
You can enter the app’s preferred flight routes, travel dates and sign up to receive price drop notifications. You will get an alert whenever the ticket price drops significantly. Travel managers must know when and how to swoop up such deals when they receive such notifications.
8. Consider less popular airlines
The best airlines have built their reputation over the years by providing the best customer support, safety ratings, and in-flight experience. However, when they acquire premium status, it also shows up in their pricing. The top airlines don’t always offer the best prices.
At times, it makes sense to choose budget airlines on business trips. They can save your company quite a tidy sum per mile compared to the leading airlines. Understandably, these discount airlines cannot be a regular choice for your business trips. But whenever there is an opportunity, use them as they can bring significant savings for your organization.
Corporate travel management is one of the most challenging aspects of running a company. The challenges can be manifold and more intense for a fast-growing enterprise looking to establish an overseas network. Business travel bookings, especially urgent ones, pose a more significant challenge for travel managers. The unpredictable nature of travel bookings and by-the-minute changes in ticket pricing add to the confusion.
Use these eight tips to get a grip on your corporate flight bookings issues. You can try a few of these tricks on any upcoming business trip on your calendar and save your company and managers significant sums of time, money, and effort. Further, you can also try booking platforms like Paxes to find the best flights for your organization.