Thursday, 1 January 2009

Corporate Discount Travel

By Mary Bush
I fly a lot and am considered a heavyweight among people who claim to know corporate travel. I have flown so much that I have received Christmas gifts from the major airlines. One time when I was taking a couple of months off and trying to stay home more I actually received calls from the airlines asking where I was and if everything was alright. That is too much. That is too much because of the wear and tear it places on your body and family life but also because of the dent it places in your wallet. I have found a way to fix all of that, at least the expense part anyway.

I received a phone call from a man asking if he could have the honor of booking my next set of travel arrangements for me.

During a short interview he asked me where I typically went, how often I traveled, where I liked to sit on airplanes, which airlines I preferred, how much I was typically spending per flight to different locations, what type of accommodations the hotels I stayed in needed to have for me to be happy, what size and type of rental cars I preferred, all about my frequent traveler programs and away he went. I did not think another thing about it.

Within a few days I had a need to book a trip. I sent a quick e-mail to him letting him know the specifics about the trip and gave him a few hours to go to work. In the meantime I also went to work to check out what I would be able to book on my own. After spending about 45 minutes of my time I had a held itinerary for a flight, rental car and hotel room. The reservations were made all with my regular frequent flier and member numbers and all discounts were applied. The total trip was going to cost $1,620.00 over 3 days for air fare, rental car and a hotel stay.

I received an e-mail a couple of hours later telling me that I could save $200 off of my flight if I would be willing to make one-stop (I wasn't), $30 a day off my rental car if I would use a different company (I would gladly for a $90 savings) and that a better grade of hotel would cost me $69 per night and not $199 per night (a savings of $130 per night and $420 for the trip). I fell in love with this guy who had called me out of the blue a week ago. He had just saved me $510.

Our company has a great departmental profit sharing plan that rewards our team of sales people for the margin that we bring in. Travel has been a sore spot for the corporation and the department as the expenses have gone up for travel and we have struggled with ways to cut back. We sell a service that is difficult to sell over the phone, typically requiring a couple of multiple day visits on-site to get a new project started. My next call was to our corporate team to let them know about how we can all save money on our corporate travel. Many thanks to the man who made the cold call.
About the Author:
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