Thursday, 28 January 2016


A sobering trend in business travel is forcing companies to re-evaluate their processes and systems for controlling costs.

A recent study by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), reveals that across the board employees are choosing to ‘do it themselves’ and go out-of-policy when it comes to reserving hotels, flights and land travel (train/car), as opposed to using their in company management service.

The study surveyed over 2,000 business travellers, from six countries around the globe including: The U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany, and Australia. Its findings clearly point to the fact that 'out-of-policy decision making is common among business travellers' with percentages varying depending on the country:
  • France: 65%
  • United States: 59%
  • U.K: 52%
  • Canada: 52%
  • Germany: 49%
  • Australia: 47%

So why are people choosing to ‘go it alone’?

“I booked out of policy because it was so much easier,” says Mallika Chaudhuri, former design manager at Hey Trends, a Turkish based fashion company. “It used to take ages and hundreds of emails to use the in-house system and I also felt that things got lost in translation. So I booked flights and hotels for me and the team on my own.”

In the on-demand age of globalisation, consumer online tools are winning out over preferred travel vendors, because for many, like Chaudhuri, it’s simply more efficient.

The backlash is that companies are losing out.

As more young, less experienced, tech savvy travellers working for smaller companies veer further away from the ‘dinosaur age’ of using in-house systems, companies are increasingly losing money and failing to ensure compliance.

The study shows that those who book out of policy often end up taking longer trips, staying at more expensive hotels and booking higher class air and train tickets. Out-of-policy travel choices are costing companies thousands.

France, for example, has an increased annual travel cost per out- of-policy traveler, of over 15,000 Euros with the U.K, spending an added 1,400 pounds (1,900 Euros) per person per year and Australia, at the bottom of the ladder, still spending 2,600 AUS (1,700 Euros).

Not only does going out-of-policy affect a company’s financial bottom line, it also plays a role in employees’ productivity. Those who ‘did it themselves’ using OTAs (online travel agencies), spent more time – usually company time – comparing costs and booking flights than those who went through the in-house system.
“I've gone out of policy on occasions where desired flight times weren't available or I could source a better rate myself,” says a senior manager at a leading software company based in the U.S. “I would also use it when I wanted to stay at a hotel that wasn’t part of the available inventory.”

According to the study, hotel accommodation tops the list for out-of-policy travel, followed by air/train tickets. When staying at a hotel, there are various ways business travellers go out-of-policy including:
  • Ordering room service 24%
  • Staying at a non-preferred hotel 13%
  • Getting in-room entertainment 11%
  • Staying an unnecessary extra night 10%
  • Staying at a more expensive/higher-class hotel 8%
  • 39% of these travellers state the choice is for personal reasons
Yet at the core of people’s motivations to go out-of-policy is the lack of fresh and agile solutions coming from their employers. When companies fail to keep-up-with advancing technology, problems arise. In this day and age, online travel technologies have not only driven greater transparency, but also more competitive shopping and pricing. OTAs and similar platforms are providing employees with the know-how to book, travel and spend the way they feel most comfortable, regardless of their employers' policies.  Companies need to adapt to this world and offer new solutions that empower employees to make the right decisions independently that work for both the company and the traveling employee.

This post was written by Javier Suarez, CPO and Founder of TravelPerk. TravelPerk is an all-in-one travel management platform where companies can budget, book and manage all of their business trips in one place while saving 30 % travel costs and 80 % of your time.

They are looking forward to exhibit at the Business Travel Show, to meet old and new customers, partners and other innovators in the industry. Connect them via or Linkedin ( and Javier Suarez)and meet at the Business Travel Show - register now at 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016


In 2015 ground transportation has been one of the most discussed topics in the business travel industry circles. For many years technology constraints related to difficulties in integrating content to GDS and self-booking tools were keeping the ground transportation out of corporate travel sight. However, in the current era of digital breakthroughs, service and technology providers have discovered opportunities for embracing the challenge. TMCs have shifted the focus on uncovering the potential of the business opportunity and customer delights, and travel managers have realised the importance of ground transportation for keeping track of all business travel elements and achieving savings.

Despite the fact that service and technology providers, TMCs and travel managers have the common interest in bringing the ground transportation to a whole new level, there is still a lot of room for improving cooperation.

As the travel managers retain the buying power, they are exposed to a great variety of emerging technologies - incorporated in the TMC offering or stand-alone solutions, providing access to one mode of ground transport or several at the same time. While every solution has its own strengths, it is important for buyers to understand, what it is that they prioritise the most and find the right balance. There are few questions to consider, for example:

- How well is the solution integrated with tools for booking and buying business travel? Solutions integrated with booking flows and back office systems positively influence expense management and provide other benefits of automated reporting and booking. Such technology integration usually means that the solution has been approved by TMCs, which gives it additional layer of trust.

- How global is the solution? Partnering with service providers, there is a possibility to skip the technology intermediaries and negotiate directly, but it would usually mean the adoption of stand-alone solutions from multiple suppliers worldwide. It is a good choice, if the organisation buying travel operates within boundaries of certain geographical area. Globally operating solutions or aggregator platforms provide access to hundreds of destinations and suppliers from one window, and may be a better option for multinational corporations looking for standard solution. Global solutions and aggregators have different perceptions of safety and regulations, which should be carefully examined, when selecting a solution of your choice. Aggregators may also prioritise partnering with the preferred service providers, if the travel buyer has a preferred brand in a certain area.

- How fast can the solution be adopted? User-friendly interface and mobile responsiveness will speed up the solution adoption among business travellers - easy booking and cancellation are at the base.

When developing taxi and airport transfer booking engine at Cabforce, we have emphasised the role of cooperation. We have closely worked and continue working with travel agencies, business travel buyers and suppliers. This allowed us to develop the solution, which reflects the needs of the global travel industry: in terms of the content, the distribution technology and the passenger experience. The content is represented by hundreds of certified taxi and airport transfer providers worldwide available through one booking platform - an aggregated content of the fragmented taxi industry. The second element is the distribution technology: the content is distributed via innovative integration (e.g. workflow and back-office system integration, profile and payment) into major travel booking tools, such as Amadeus Selling Platform™ and Travelport Smartpoint™, as well as the leading corporate self-booking tools, such as Amadeus e-Travel Management™ and KDS Neo™. The last element is the passenger experience, which is built on such components as 24/7 customer service, standardised pickup procedures across all the suppliers, electronic vouchers and receipts.

This blog post was written by Janne Aarniovuori, Head of Agency Solutions at Cabforce.

Visit the Cabforce stand (B844) at the Business Travel Show to discuss partnership opportunities and learn how they can help you optimise the taxi and airport transfer booking processes and costs. Register now at 

Cabforce is a technology and services company providing global travel industry with taxi and airport transfer booking solutions. Cabforce partners with hundreds of certified transfer providers to deliver unified service with fixed rates in over 400 destinations in over 70 countries worldwide. With Cabforce travellers, corporate travel arrangers and travel agents can pre-book taxis and airport transfers just like flights and hotels.