Business travelers are living in uniquely challenging times. COVID-19 has paralyzed our industry for the past year, and even though Europe’s vaccination programs offer cause for optimism, we also have to consider Brexit, the shift to remote working, and the urgent need to reduce our carbon footprint. The business travel industry is certainly bouncing back strongly, but it is likely to face significant changes over the months ahead.Let’s take a look at some of the key issues travelers and travel management companies (TMCs) are dealing with right now - and the solutions that TravelPerk can offer to help.
This unprecedented wave of cancelations has made flexibility more important than ever when we book business travel: travelers need to be able to change plans to ensure the safety of their employees and themselves, and secure reimbursements if a trip can’t go ahead.
However, many travelers and travel managers have found it difficult to secure a refund. Each airline and hotel chain has a specific refund policy, and some are particularly time-consuming. Flights and hotels may withhold the refund unless they themselves are responsible for the cancelation (or flight delay in the case of airlines), and some carriers have even made customers pay the fare difference when changing flights.
These questions also create challenges for travel management companies. According to a study produced by the Business Travel Association in March, nearly three-quarters of respondents now demand proof of risk management and duty of care before making a travel booking. At a hectic time for the industry, this is a significant requirement to bear in mind.