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Egencia travel policy insights: Global air edition

3 min
Posted: 15 September 2020

There’s power in knowing. Should employees book air travel on Mondays or Tuesdays? There’s a difference, after all. Tuesdays are better. Pass it on. Better, make it part of your air travel policy.

We can share this insight with you because we have mined our air travel data to reveal facts that can drive better air travel policies for your organization. Our research illuminates how corporations worldwide set and adhere to air travel best practices.

What is an air travel policy?

An air travel policy governs how employees may travel by air while on company business. They cover “highest cabin allowed,” advanced purchase requirements and pre-trip approvals. It’s big money. Business travel makes up a significant part of the $1.6 trillion total worldwide travel market. However, company policies only cover about $235 billion. Many companies don’t understand how much they could save if they established air travel policies and pushed for adherence by employees who travel.

Key air travel policy findings

Egencia air travel policy customer data reveals that only 45 percent of corporate travelers worldwide adhere to a trip approval policy. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of business air travelers fly economy. However, companies open up access to premium class based on the length of flight. Thirty-three percent of international travelers can access some kind of premium travel versus 12 percent of domestic travelers. Enforcing air travel policies makes travelers save by booking travel further in advance. Companies with advanced purchase policies see half of all air travel tickets are booked 14 days or more in advance of travel.

  • Sunday is the best day for deals on premium fares
  • Monday is the preferred day to travel for both premium and economy class travelers
  • For longer trips; and trips taken close to the weekend, we see an increase in bleisure — traveling on business but staying over for leisure over the weekend
  • Egencia data shows that 68 percent of global business travelers are taking at least one bleisure trip a year

How companies of different sizes can benefit from air travel policies

Air travel policies provide a realistic instrument to save money and establish clarity and fairness in air travel booking regardless of an organization’s size. Depending on size, however, an organization will have to find the right way to define and implement air travel policy.

  • A small business, for example, might analyze its air travel expenses and save money by instituting a “book on Tuesdays” air travel policy.
  • Medium-sized organizations could conduct a more thorough analysis of air travel data and devise air policies geared to the specific needs of the business, e.g. mandating certain air carriers for certain air travel routes.
  • A large enterprise, which likely has deep data analysis capabilities; can assess air travel costs and patterns in order to maximize travel savings.

Making air travel policy work

How much of your organization’s air travel is within policy? Can you figure out how you could save money through better policy definition and enforcement? Working with a travel management and services provider, you should get data and reporting on costs of travel and adherence to your air travel policies. You can learn what’s working and where you can improve policies for even better financial results. Air travel policy offers demonstrable savings. It’s the kind of program you can take to senior management and score a win. Read more.

Looking for better business travel solutions? Get in touch with us.