What are the pros and cons of booking your business travel online? In the digital age, when it comes to booking travel, going the online travel agency (OTA) route seems to make sense. But while great in theory, there are a few drawbacks to the DIY-approach to booking corporate travel. We compare booking with an OTA to booking with a business travel management company.
OTAs and business travel management companies both offer travel expertise. The main difference is that OTAs are generally experts in leisure travel, not business. While leisure travellers are more focused on recreation, business travellers are more focused on work.
Business travellers have different needs. Using an OTA can be limiting in terms of meeting the needs of your unique travel team. Business travel managers can navigate that and remember those for the next trip, too. Business travel management companies understand the needs of business travellers, so you can focus on your work, not on travel logistics.
Both OTAs and business travel management companies offer competitive deals, but FCBT can offer exclusive deals that others don’t have access to. FCBT has global buying power afforded by its parent company, Flight Centre Travel Group. This means that FCBT has access to some of the best negotiated air, hotel, and car rental contracts available so that you can benefit from the savings passed on to you.
Convenience is being able to access what you need when you need it. When you need to book last-minute travel, both OTAs and business travel management companies can offer convenience and solutions in an instant. But in addition, FCBT offers a physical shop to walk into and a dedicated travel manager to call, text, email or speak to in-person. FCBT makes sure you’re getting the consistent, reliable service you deserve to make sure your needs are always met with convenience. Booking with an OTA isn’t as convenient for business travellers, compared to just getting a Travel Manager.
24/7 Customer Service
Around-the-clock customer service is pretty much a travel industry standard today, especially since travellers in need can be all over the world at any time of day. OTAs generally offer 24/7 customer service but may have to direct your call to the airline or hotel to deal with directly.
Business travel management companies offer 24/7 customer service and Duty of Care, as a minimum. At FCBT, you have a dedicated and experienced Travel Manager, so should you need assistance at any hour, the manager or a member of their team, versed in your business, is at hand. With a Travel Manager, you have an ambassador to be on hold with an airline so you don’t have to miss your meeting.
Do you prefer to book your business travel with an OTA or with a business travel management company? If you’re still on the fence, talk to one of our FCBT Travel Managers for a free consultation.