Business travel has several moving parts, and corporate travel managers must establish backup plans, just in case something goes wrong.
If company plans change before your team travels, you’ll have to contact the airlines and hotels and advise them. Hotels that cater to corporate travelers understand that changes occur for companies. However, they must assess how the changes impact them.
Hotels aim to sell out their rooms daily. They have tools that help them determine whether they can find other guests to fill your company’s rooms.
Since corporate travel has become a valuable source of revenue for lodging providers, they work with this sector. Even leisure travelers can benefit from flexible hotel booking policies.
Booking rooms on a flexible policy means you can cancel the reservation without penalty. Some properties attach windows to the cancellations. They allow guests to cancel the reservation up to 24 hours before the check-in date.
If the guest misses that window, then the property assesses a penalty.
Travel planners use this policy in their favor. They book rooms at different properties months before the planned travel date. When the date nears, the planner will research rates again.
If they spot better rates, they cancel current reservations and book with the property that offers the most favorable rate.
Hotel Engine offers additional helpful tips for corporate travel planners.
Let’s explore how to look for the most flexible hotel booking policies.
Most travel planners will use the internet when researching flexible booking policies for hotels.
An easy way to find flexible policies is to search for them online. You might find articles that outline them for you. Therefore, they have already completed the research. Check the date on the article and ensure that it’s up to date.
In your search, you might find travel websites that also outline the information for you.
You can narrow your search by inputting hotel brand names or properties by location. This strategy might bring up articles, discounted travel websites, and the policies of those properties.
Companies benefit from establishing loyalty accounts with hotel chains, especially if your team frequently stays at the same ones. You’ll help rack up valuable points and rewards. Plus, you’ll receive access to favorable booking policies.
Therefore, assess your current loyalty programs to determine the type of flexibility you have earned.
Remember that properties want to maintain business relationships with corporate travelers. Therefore, rewards programs offer valuable perks.
Corporate traveler managers benefit from establishing relationships with properties. In some cases, properties will put the agreement in writing. If you have agreements with properties, read the fine print.
The agreement might outline the property’s cancellation policy. You might already have the flexibility and not know it.
If you give a few properties a lot of business and there is no flexible policy outlined in the agreement, reach out to your contact person. Then, discuss it with them.
Ideally, they will add the policy to the agreement for your company.
Human contact will never go out of style. Therefore, consider calling some properties to find out what policy they have for corporate travelers.
A call could lead to some good things for your company and position. You might land a new business relationship that pays dividends down the road. Plus, you’ll obtain the information that you need.
If you receive the run-around treatment, you can imagine that the property might also treat your team that way. Thus, it might be wise to find a different property for your team.
If making phone calls will take up too much of your time, consider using a booking service. Outsourcing tasks to specialists is usually a good idea, especially if it’s a low-impact task for you.
Specialized services have already completed the research. Plus, they offer booking platforms that outline all the information you need to make the best decision.
Corporate travel planning is a full-time job. Your responsibilities include preventing issues that impact your team on the road. Travel planners must also stay on budget. Therefore, search for flexible hotel booking policies that help you save money.