By Lelia Gowland, principal, Gowland, LLC
As a corporate travel arranger for a rapidly growing business, your company relies on you to get employees where they need to be. With more travelers on the road than ever, your responsibilities have expanded, along with the number of frantic, last-minute travel changes to navigate. Perhaps you’re curious about how different life might look with a travel management company, like Egencia, on board.
Here are two scenarios using the experience of our favorite fictitious road warrior, Rhonda.
Adventures in unmanaged travel
First, let’s imagine the situation with an unmanaged travel program. With her innovative and agile thinking, road warrior Rhonda makes your company a lot of money. Unfortunately, her business acumen doesn't always translate into attention to detail when booking travel.
She rarely completes the designated travel processes, but given her VIP status within the company, your boss tells you to ignore protocol and accommodate whatever she needs.
Rhonda emails you to book her travel for the most important presentation of the year. Over a chain of more than a dozen emails to get the necessary details, you have managed to stay relentlessly pleasant and finally get her booked. Phew.
Fast forward to Sunday, one day before the big presentation, and Rhonda frantically calls to tell you she’s going to miss her flight. She’s headed to the veterinarian because her beloved Pomeranian, ate a dozen dark chocolate truffles. Rhonda is understandably upset and doesn’t know when she’ll get to the airport.
Driving to your niece’s dance recital, you immediately pull over and investigate Rhonda’s options. If Rhonda can make it to the airport for a 1 pm departure, you can rebook her on a direct flight on one of her preferred airlines. Any later, and it looks like she’ll have to decide between a tight connection through a busy airport and a red eye. You don’t look forward to sharing that news.
As Rhonda waits to hear from the vet, you’re on standby, waiting to book her new travel.
Just as you’re arriving at the dance recital, Rhonda calls to share that she’s on the way to the airport. You’re relieved to hear that Ellie is going to be ok and will stay with the vet until Rhonda returns. From the parking lot, you rebook Rhonda on the 1 pm direct flight. It’ll be tight, but she’s a pro and should be able to make it.
Finally, you get settled into your seat at the recital, but just as the lights go down, Rhonda calls. In your haste to rebook her travel, you forgot that Rhonda is actually her middle name. Now the names on her ticket don’t match her passport, and airport security won’t let her through. Much to the frustration of your family, you rush to the lobby to remedy the error.
With Rhonda’s name updated, you return to the recital. You covertly check your phone (much to your brother’s annoyance) and are relieved to finally see the confirmation text from Rhonda that she made the flight.
Adventures in managed travel with Egencia
In our alternate scenario, your company has adopted and fully rolled out on the Egencia travel platform.
Since road warrior Rhonda is a priority traveler, you take extra care in showing her the benefits of the new Egencia system. She’s delighted to find out that the more she uses Egencia, the more the platform will learn her preferences. It provides personalized search results that prioritize her preferred airline, airports, connection cities, and flight times.
At around 4 am one night, Rhonda can’t sleep and decides to knock out some work with her snuggly pup Ellie at her side. Logging into the Egencia platform, she’s delighted she can book each aspect of her travel independently and with ease right from her laptop.
Because of the platform’s easy interface, she knows she’s booking within policy and hasn’t missed any details. Since all of her loyalty cards are already in the system, she also knows that regardless of which company she uses, she’ll collect points. She enthusiastically books a window seat with extra legroom, a deluxe room at her favorite hotel chain, and a hybrid sedan.
The next morning, you approve Rhonda’s trip from your phone with two quick taps in the app.
On the Sunday of her flight, Ellie still gets into the chocolate, which causes Rhonda to miss her original flight. Fortunately for everyone, instead of a frantic interruption in your day, Rhonda’s able to rebook herself on the 1 pm flight with ease using the Egencia app on her phone while in her veterinarian's waiting room. As Max Altschuler at Outreach, explained of his travel program, “My account execs want to make sure that they can open up an app, and everything’s going to be centralized, and they can get the information they need.” And for our hero Rhonda, it’s no different.
She knows she’ll have some nervous energy to burn on the plane, so she switches to an aisle seat that will allow her to get up and stretch her legs mid-flight. Since she’s using the Egencia platform, she can efficiently request an override of company policy against the last-minute booking, and the platform will send you an alert immediately.
With a few quick taps on your own phone, you override policy and approve Rhonda’s request for last-minute changes—all from the parking lot of the dance recital.
With Egencia, Rhonda adjusts her trip with ease, leaving you free to be fully present with your family and enjoy the dance recital, insofar as 2 hours of toddlers in tutus can be enjoyed.
The Egencia difference
Using Egencia, you and Rhonda both avoided the frustrating back-and-forth about travel changes.
Since Rhonda filled in her own name, there were no hiccups on her personal information. Furthermore, had Rhonda needed to change her flight again, she could have explored all of her options, sorting the flights on the Egencia mobile app based on travel time, departure time, or arrival time. There would be no need for you to patiently explain all of her options over the phone.
Unexpected travel challenges are inevitable, but with Egencia, travelers are empowered to make the real-time changes they need to in order to reach their destination.
Using a managed travel company, you’re able to actually manage travel, rather than focusing on individual traveler minutiae. With Egencia, you’ll get helpful insights into employees’ travel needs, habits, and trends. It’s also easier than ever to fulfill your duty of care. You can locate your travelers in seconds by accessing the Traveler Tracker feature directly from the app.
Egencia makes travel easier and more enjoyable for road warriors like Rhonda and travel managers and arrangers like you.
See why fast-growing business, Splunk, chose Egencia to make their employees’ travel bookings easier so that they could spend less time on trip admin and more time doing business.