As we emerge from the pandemic and travel resumes, many businesses are realizing that it may be time to review the strict travel restrictions put in place last March. Dishonest travel has been a problem since travel policies existed, but now, those who are circumventing the restrictions are not only affecting their bottom line, but putting their health and well-being and duty of care at risk. For your company. The same policies that you implemented in 2020 during the pandemic are now sometimes seen as obstacles to the success of your organization’s individual contributors. And so… they’re getting rogue.
The ‘book-on-your-account-apologize-later’ mentality has long been popular, but as we emerge from a blocked or blocked travel policy, many companies still have strict travel restrictions. in place today. So what should your sales team do when they need to meet with a potential customer to help them run their business? Well … they find the way to go, of course.
The problem here is really twofold, on the one hand, the company is trying to do the right thing and protect its employees, and on the other, it has an employee who depends on that commission and wants to help grow the business. So how do you find the balance between health and safety and your companies need to grow? Let’s find out.
Why is Rogue Travel a problem?
Fraudulent travel can have many negative impacts on your business, from the obvious, leaking the program and damaging your bottom line, to the less obvious wasted time. The reasons to mitigate rogue travel are endless, but here are some key points to consider when evaluating your rogue travel program.
- Your travelers don’t get the best rates. Whether booking online or through an agent, if your travelers don’t book within your program, they are missing out on the best rates. Our fare searches integrate multiple airlines and internet web aggregators to ensure we find the best price, regardless of where a fare is offered.
- Corporate discounts are not captured. You worked long and hard to build relationships with key partners to ensure the best price, rouge travelers are losing out on those rates.
- Lost time. Buying fares online can be time consuming and quick comparisons are difficult when you have to factor in varying departure dates, routes, corporate discounts, and ticket coupons. When travelers book with their TMC, they don’t have to take the time to try to compare prices and can be sure they are getting the best rate for their business.
- There are no travel alerts. In the post-pandemic world, knowledge is critical. When booking outside of your program, travelers will not receive relevant TripAlerts to notify them of potential travel related disruptions or health issues.
- Where are your travelers? When you book outside of their program, you just don’t know. Your company is legally and morally responsible for your employees when they travel for business, and when your travelers book within the policy, you have access to all the data you need to track their whereabouts.
TACTICS TO MITIGATE ROGUE TRAVEL
Corporate Travel, Inc. has been actively working with our clients on tactics to mitigate the unruly traveler. Key initiatives to consider for your program include:
- Open dialog. Talk to your travelers about their policy and discuss what is considered acceptable travel. You may find that having these conversations with your travelers will help them understand the importance of policy-compliant reservations.
- Have an open mind. What worked a few months ago may no longer work; Having an open mind and balancing the need to ensure the health and safety of your employees while giving them the freedom to travel when needed is crucial to curbing dishonest travelers. And if you’re still not comfortable giving them free rein to travel at your discretion, consider an approval process to give your employees the freedom to book policy-compliant travel while maintaining control over travel approvals.
- Consider alternatives. Travel mandates are a popular way to require reservations within the policy, but they may not work for all companies and their culture. As restrictions begin to relax, offering a less restrictive policy for your travelers and possibly adding incentives to book within the program might be a better option.
- Educate. Once you decide what is best for your business and your travelers, make sure they fully understand your policy. Set a time to review your entire travel policy with all of your travelers and even consider asking them to sign the document for proof that they intend to comply. It might also be a good idea to set up update meetings every few months to reiterate the importance and highlight any changes.