Friday, 5 July 2013

Handy tips for Travel Administrators and Executive Assistants

If you have been handling corporate travel, you must have gone through those times when hundreds of issues such as someone's meal preference, seat preference or visa problems hover over your head. If you usually work with busy executives who expect you to make travel arrangements with zero margin of error in the shortest possible time, you know the kind of stress levels you can experience if things go wrong. To help you manage business travel in a better and easier way, we have jotted down some tips that will help Travel Administrators and Executive Assistants or anyone who manages corporate travel routinely:
  • Maintain a List of frequent flyers should in an excel sheet or database. Note down the travelers’ frequent flyer numbers, meal preference when flying, airline preference or seat preference to avoid any confusion and save time for all. It may even be worthwhile to save all this information for the traveller’s family members. Having this information handy saves you from last minute rush and keeps your clients happy and satisfied with your service. 
  • Know the specific preferences for the trip. Before planning someone’s trip, ask your clients a few questions to be aware of their specific requirements such as their preferred time of arrival/departure, mode of transport (railways, airways or via roads), their budget etc. to ensure you meet their expectations when you create the final travel plan.
  • Check the dates beforehand and see if the traveller’s  dates are flexible or fixed. Sometimes, flexible dates i.e. a few days before or after the desired date result in cheaper fares. Confirm this possibility beforehand so that you can avail best fares.
  • Confirm if you can book to and fro tickets. Check with your client if he or she wishes one way ticket or both way tickets. If your client has a final plan of returning to the same place, you can book round trip tickets that cost lesser than the one-way ticket. But before booking both-way tickets, ensure it is a final plan or cancellation of a ticket might incur fine amount.
  • Keep airline preference in mind. Some people have a strong preference for particular airlines, even if there is a cost differential. So taking a note of which airline your client favors would be an excellent idea. It prevents back and forth and helps finalize things faster.
  • Ensure travel approvals are in place before booking the tickets. Do not book the tickets right away after your client has asked you to do so. Ensure that trip and all other formalities have been approved by the concerned authorities or individuals.  Check if the visa is in place or not. Ensure there is no delay in the submission of documents on the part of your client.
  • Be thorough with the company’s travel policy. If the traveler is entitled to a 4 star hotel only, please ensure you do not book a higher category. Keeping your bookings in compliance with the travel policy will save you the headache later, when you might have to jump through hoops to get bills processed.
In addition to the above, you should also take a note of unique needs of the traveler when flying. Passengers with senior citizens or children may require specific assistance/facilities. We hope that these tips will help you go from a “good” to “great” travel administrator! Happy travel planning!

corporate travel

Article originally submitted on Article Base

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