ARCHIVED  August 1, 1997

How to choose a corporate travel service

To start looking for a corporate travel service for your business, you may want to meet with a few agencies and describe your company’s travel needs to them.

From there, the agency can customize a program for your business. For small to medium-size companies, there’s no requirement that you sign an exclusive contract with a travel agency. You can try out several agencies and see which ones work best.

If your company travels frequently to certain parts of the world, check around for an agency that has experience in those areas. Agencies that work regularly in a specific region can offer clients preferred deals with hotels, car-rental companies, airline upgrades and other amenities.Besides getting good prices on air fare and other transportation costs, a travel agency must have enough corporate travel agents available to help you when you need them. Check to see how many corporate agents are employed by the agency, their level of experience and length of service with the firm.
Satisfaction with a travel agency greatly depends on finding a match to your company’s needs. If your business often makes last-minute travel arrangements, you might look for an agency that can handle reservations quickly.
Is it important to you that the agency remain open beyond regular weekday hours? Will your employees want to stop by on Saturdays to pick up airline tickets for a Sunday or Monday flight? Will the agency deliver tickets to your office?
Be aware that different travel agencies belong to various consortiums that offer preferred arrangements with hotel and car-rental companies. These groups provide value-added amenities such as free airport transfers, room upgrades, free use of fax machines and local phone calls at hotels, in-room movies and hotel discounts all over the world.
Ask the agency to prepare a bid customizing their services to your business’ travel needs.
Then you can decide either to try out an agency for a specific time period or to use an agency’s services for an indefinite period.
Generally, it will take a few months before the agency learns your company’s travel patterns thoroughly and can meet your needs quickly and with quality service.

To start looking for a corporate travel service for your business, you may want to meet with a few agencies and describe your company’s travel needs to them.

From there, the agency can customize a program for your business. For small to medium-size companies, there’s no requirement that you sign an exclusive contract with a travel agency. You can try out several agencies and see which ones work best.

If your company travels frequently to certain parts of the world, check around for an agency that has experience in those areas. Agencies that work regularly in a specific region can offer clients…

Related Content