VIPs are high-profile executives having strategic significance in an organization or board members like Vice Presidents, Executive Managing Directors, Managing Directors, or chairpersons. Managing VIP travel is an honor and a challenge.
Travel managers can have sleepless nights planning and executing VIP trip because of the high stakes. They deserve a high-touch service and a picture-perfect travel experience throughout the journey.
What is VIP travel?
VIP travel management requires impeccable planning with room for flexibility as VIPs have tight schedules, but their plans can change unexpectedly. Corporate travel managers looking after VIP trip are accountable for handling all travel requirements and logistics. These may involve air travel, ground transportation, private lounges at airports, chauffeured services, and room upgrades. VIPs travel to meet business-critical objectives. Their meeting schedule or event participation is of critical importance to the organization.
Travel managers must ensure that nothing goes wrong with proactive planning to make room for last-minute changes. They must know the personal preferences of the VIP traveler and incorporate these into the travel plan.
7 tips to manage VIP travel
The following tips may help travel managers and TMCs simplify VIP travel with no stress.
1. Leverage an automated travel management platform
You can save time and effort using a SaaS-based travel management tool like Paxes for business travel booking. It allows access to a vast inventory of suppliers and enables instant search to find the right option. Further, corporate travelers can find the flights and hotels that fall under travel policy of the organization and save highly on their next booking.
2. Budget considerations
Budget restrictions are crucial while planning a VIP business trip. These trips can surpass the budget because of the premium travel and accommodation choices. Hence, one must understand if the VIP aims at saving on costs or prefers a luxurious travel experience. However, there are many travel management companies that help in finding a balance between the two variables.
3. Understand the travel preferences and schedule
The individual preferences include flight seating, accommodation, plans before and after the business meeting, and other priorities. Know the minutest details of their travel plans before preparing an itinerary. These should include arrival time at the destination airport, airport transfer, meeting schedule, and return travel. Find out if the individual VIP has plans for leisure to make the arrangements.
4. Accommodating last-minute changes
Being proactive pays as business travel is prone to unpleasant surprises and last-minute changes. Quickly responding to the VIP for help from the office may be difficult after office hours. An automated travel management platform ensures seamless support through the app. The VIP can instantly contact the human assistants or use other modes, including chat, email, or phone.
5. Check the local conditions
Knowing the local conditions like weather, political situation, and social environment helps you create a Plan B. Online travel management platforms facilitate real-time alerts and access to emergency services. Understanding the weather will help travel managers recommend clothing and footwear to the VIP executive. Further, real time tracking helps in providing necessary aid in case of emergency for maintaining the safety of VIP travelers.
6. Book local transport in advance
One should facilitate local travel at the destination by pre-booking transport and provide assisting services to save precious time for the VIP executive. It will ensure a better traveling experience, as VIPs need to focus on business objectives within a tight schedule. Corporates should remain vigilant while booking VIP local transport as delay in any schedule will greatly affect the overall experience.
7. Instant travel updates
VIP business travelers must receive instant updates regarding changes in flight schedules, including delays and cancellations. An automated app-based travel management solution delivers real-time modifications to help VIP travelers change plans. Further, these changes should remain effortless to make the overall experience better for the VIP travelers.
Suggested Read: All You Need To Know About Corporate Travel Management
VIP travel is a business-critical activity mandating granular-level planning to ensure nothing goes wrong. Travel managers and TMCs must focus on improving the travel experience for the VIP traveler by working within the budget.
Harnessing SaaS-based travel management platforms like Paxes improves booking efficiency and facilitates round-the-clock support for smooth business travel. It enables access to a broad spectrum of travel accommodation options.
Travel managers and TMCs can choose from multiple perks, like a gym, room location, round-the-clock room services, on-site co-working facility, and overnight laundry service. Paxes enables app support to facilitate VIP access to the travel itinerary and other services on the go.
Suggested Read: How Do Travel Management Apps Assist Corporates And Agencies
VIP Travel FAQs
Who else may accompany VIPs on business trips?
Usually, an executive assistant or a personal secretary travels with the VIP during the business trip in a corporate setup.
Is there a unique position for VIP trip management in a corporate organization?
A VIP Corporate Travel Specialist plans and executes VIP trip by incorporating the individual needs and preferences of VIP executives. The position looks after travel logistics by addressing travel requirements for ground and air transportation and accommodation booking.
Are there any special services for the VIPs?
Meet and greet, chauffeur-driven local transportation and airport transfers, local translator, tickets to local events, and booking golf slots are a few specialized services for corporate VIP travelers.
Why is trip monitoring crucial for VIP travelers?
Business travel by VIP executives is highly essential. One cannot afford to miss the high-profile events and meetings in the destination city. Flawless planning and continuous monitoring help travel managers ensure a smooth journey from departure until return to corporate headquarters.
What special services are available for VIP travelers if there is a layover?
Travel managers and TMCs should arrange for premium lounge access during layovers providing private sleeping facilities, quality food services, showers, and concierge facilities.