How to Prevent the Top 10 Things that Go Wrong on Business Trips

by Daniel Nikulin
Woman travelling for business checking the departures screen

It’s prudent to be preemptive, and the Travel Managers at Flight Centre Business Travel are a wise bunch. Avoiding things that often go wrong on business trips takes experience, foresight and know-how, and it’s exactly what they demonstrate daily. 

Still, predicaments do arise and that’s just the nature of travel. When they do, FCBT’s lemons-to-lemonade attitude makes the best of any (almost) botched business trip. Here are the top 10 things that go wrong on business trips and how you can prevent them from happening.

Hint: all ten have the same solution. 



A business trip can easily start off on the wrong foot if you are paying more than you should be for it, and a sure way to get soaked at the till is by booking too late. Airlines have advance purchase requirements to get their best fares, and the more notice you can give them, the better for your budget. 

Man booking a trip online

An expert Travel Manager will assess your business travel objectives and help you plan. Do you travel to an annual conference or trade show? Got a regular monthly meeting out of town? In all of these situations, Travel Managers will advise you on the optimal time to book your trips to get the best fare.  



When travelling for business, comfort is key. Arriving at your destination well-rested and comfortable makes a world of difference, something you don’t realize until you spend hours in the middle seat or when you skip a meal. And have you ever tried to recoup missed frequent flyer points? That’s no fun either.

Aisle seats on a full flight

Every FCBT account includes detailed profiles of the company’s travellers, including favourite seats, any special in-flight requests, frequent flyer numbers, preferred airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, and more. Leave it to your Travel Manager to book you the perfect business trip with all the bells and whistles, every time.  



Do you know what’s worse than being stuck in the middle seat? Being denied boarding altogether due to missing or insufficient travel documents. Forgotten or expired passports, unissued entry visas and even inoculations that aren’t up to date can all ruin a trip before it even begins. 

Man filling out a visa application

FCBT Travel Managers are know-it-alls. They know your passport number and when it expires, which countries require a visa for entry and the nearest Travel Clinic for those last-minute travel shots. They’ll always have your back.



To save time not having to wait for checked luggage, business travellers often fly with only a carry-on. They are also the most surprised when they find themselves on a plane so small that even their carry-on has to be checked, slowing them down yet again. 

Business traveller packing for a business trip

Your Travel Manager will tell you all about the equipment you’ll be travelling on and can even provide you with a packing checklist. They know which flights allow a free checked bag and which will take your cabin luggage away from you at the gate, and book you on the right plane every time. Baggage rules aren’t sexy, but knowing them is. 



In an attempt to save money, business travellers will sometimes forego a non-stop flight for one with a touchdown or even a change of planes en route. While their intentions may be admirable, they may not be weighing their options well enough. Just how important is your on-time arrival at that meeting again? 

Frustrated business traveller impatiently waiting for flight

To connect, fly direct or non-stop, that is the question. Travel Managers seriously weigh those options for you, understanding the value of each. They know the history of a route and can view a specific flight’s on-time performance record. They can make an expert judgement to make your trip run smoother. Trust the experts.



Some airline hubs like to believe they can transit passengers with less than an hour between international flights (to be fair, most of the time they do). Some routes, at certain times of the year, are renowned for cancelling flights due to the seemingly always crappy weather, creating misconnections that strand passengers regularly. Do you know which ones? 

Rushing through the airport to not miss a connection

Travel Managers know all of the problematic airports, whether to fly you into JFK, Newark or La Guardia and how to best help you in the event you still end up missing a flight or getting delayed. You could be relaxing in an airport lounge instead of waiting at a customer service counter.



The conference you’re attending is at the hotel next door but no one told you that on the Las Vegas Strip, that’s a 45-minute walk away. Hey, you booked in a hurry. How were you to know? The worst part is that it doesn’t have the gym you wanted (under construction), the Wi-Fi is slow and the service, terrible. Ah, well. Live and learn!

A couple at the front desk of a hotel

The good news is that this could be the last time you stay where you shouldn’t be staying. The bad news is that on top of the lousy service, the lack of amenities and bad location, you probably also lost out on a free room upgrade, late check-out and other perks, with FCBT’s SmartSTAY program. You know what to do.   



It was the deal of a lifetime – until you had questions.  

Business traveller frustrated by poor customer service

In our world of online travel agencies (OTAs), great deals come and go, but sadly, poor customer service is an all too common reality. What good is a ‘good deal’ if you can’t get any help with it? FCBT can find you the same great price but backs it up with people (not an overseas call centre) you can actually speak to. What a concept!



Let’s face it, unless you’re a fan of brutal hold music, changing an airline ticket can be hell. Endless hold times, minimal availability, exorbitant change fees and lacklustre customer service can all leave a bad taste in your mouth, especially when you’re trying to make that meeting. 

Waiting at customer service to change an airline ticket

Leave it with your Travel Manager. You could be perfecting your presentation in an airline lounge while you wait for your new flight instead. Besides, they love hold music!



When travelling for business (and pleasure), having sufficient insurance to cover health, baggage and the cost of your trip is essential. Ask anyone who’s endured the financial burden of travelling without and needing it. Still, purchasing travel insurance is often an afterthought for many, while some forget to buy it altogether.

Traveller filling out a travel insurance questionnaire

FCBT can easily set up annual medical (and more comprehensive) plans, automatically covering your every trip in a year. In addition, the SmartCare program covers everything else, including natural disasters, strikes, civil unrest and political threats, and transport to a home hospital of choice for all FCBT customers requiring medical treatment. It’s smart. Be smart, too.   


When business travel brings its problems, Flight Centre Business Travel brings solutions. Murphy’s Law dictates that whatever can go wrong, will, and when it does, it pays to have a good Travel Manager by your side.   


Learn more about Flight Centre Business Travel and how it can better your business now. For a free consultation, call 1 866 940 0217 today.

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