Travel for business to different destinations sounds exotic but, the reality is, it can be tiring and challenging

Did you know that 10% of corporate travellers spend nearly four weeks of their personal time up in the air in an aircraft, and are away from home an average of 88 nights each year? 

Or that the human body loses almost 1.4 litres of water in a three-hour flight?

Travel for business to different destinations sounds exotic but, the reality is, it can be tiring and challenging. Ryan Potgieter, Flight Centre Business Travel (FCBT) General Manager, shares the most common pain points business travellers face, and advice to overcome them.

Keeping safe while on the road

Despite traveller safety being a growing priority, one-third (34%) of travel buyers do not know how long it would take to confirm every employee’s safety if an incident occurred, according to research conducted by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

That’s a worrying trend when considering that strong duty of care practices are key for any business with travelling employees. During their travels, employees may encounter a number of adverse conditions that could include everything from minor inconvenience such as cancelled flights, to more serious health, safety and security concerns.

This is where Duty of Care becomes vital. Simply put, a comprehensive Duty of Care plan will make sure your company has the right procedures in place and that it is possible to react effectively if something unfortunate happens in a destination country. Travel Management Companies (TMCs) can assist companies in knowing where your people are at all times.

Flight Cancellations and Delays

“Travel delays can be frustrating and the idea of running late to a client meeting can be very stressful,” Potgieter adds. “If the employee’s flight has been cancelled, it’s important they approach the airline information desk as quickly as possible to secure a seat on the next available flight. Remember that there will be an entire aircraft full of passengers who need to be rebooked.”

In the event of a delay or cancellation, don’t hesitate to call a travel consultant. This means the traveller can make their way to the airline’s airport lounge, order themselves a drink and let your TMC handle the rebooking process.

Keeping track of added expense

Have you ever calculated the cost of all the little extra’s your employees incur while travelling for business? Ask any frequent traveller and they are likely to say their biggest bugbear is waiting for work trip expense refunds.

“The trick is to remember when booking that the cheapest room with no inclusions doesn’t necessarily come with the cost-saving advantages one would traditionally expect,” says Potgieter. “Your travel consultant will suggest an all-inclusive rate, which includes services such as Wi-Fi, breakfast and parking facilities, which can otherwise add up.”

Missing out on upgrades

“In most cases, to qualify for an upgrade at a hotel, the company will need to guarantee they will book at least 100 nights. This can be a tall order, especially for a company with a small to medium-sized travel spend," says Potgieter.

“By booking through a travel management company with global buying power such as FCBT, your company could enjoy the same upgrades and discounted corporate rates as the large players in the market.”

The same applies for airlines, Potgieter adds.

“Many international airlines have loyalty programmes designed to benefit not just the traveller but the company, too. By including loyalty programmes and preferred airlines in a company's travel policy, travellers enjoy added benefits, such as free upgrades, lounge access and fast check-ins while accruing points towards free flights.

“Your travel agent can offer valuable insight and advice on how to overcome the most business travel challenges. If you would like to streamline your business travels, save yourself some admin, I recommend speaking to a travel expert.”