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6 ways to know your travel program is out of date

October 12, 2023
By Andrew Sheivachman
Categories Travel Management

In corporate travel, improving your travel program can be hard if you are working with partners using a dated technology stack.

The benefits of modern technology make it easy to improve your travel program and provide better experiences to travelers while saving on travel costs.

Here are six ways to know if your travel program is out of date and can benefit from an upgrade to a modern platform.

Your travelers can’t access NDC content or benefit from seamless servicing for NDC bookings

In the old world of business travel, relying on EDIFACT-based air content from Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) provided a wide inventory of choices to travelers.

Today, NDC-based content direct from airlines is essential to providing the widest range of flight options alongside amenities and loyalty entitlements.

While some legacy platforms have bolted on NDC fares through the GDSs, most do not make NDC fares available or have the ability to display them side-by-side with EDIFACT-based fares in an online booking tool (OBT).

Spotnana not only displays EDIFACT-based and NDC fares side-by-side in our OBT, providing the widest array of inventory to travelers, but provides access to amenities, seat selection, and loyalty entitlements at the time of booking.

If your travel platform can’t provide easy access to NDC fares from airlines like American Airlines United Airlines, and Lufthansa, while making it easy for travelers to select seats or get upgrades based on status, your program is missing out on cost savings and traveler satisfaction.

You don’t have deeply configurable policy options

A smart travel policy is vital to achieving the goals of your travel program. Your program may be out of date if you are setting broad rules for your travelers because you don’t have the ability to create customized and dynamic guidelines for different offices, groups, and employee types.

Spotnana offers dynamic lowest logical fare capabilities, for instance, which lets travel managers determine how lowest logical fare calculations are made for different types of bookings. You can give more wiggle room on price for intercontinental flights, for instance, or redeyes to improve traveler experiences. 

Travel managers using Spotnana can set policy rules in numerous ways:

  • Show, but do not allow, booking – allow travelers to see options that are restricted by policy rules
  • Supplier – specific airlines and hotels can be blocked based on the type or level of service they provide.
  • Geography – travel managers can restrict specific countries and block specific travel modalities by country due to health and safety risks or other concerns.
  • Airline fares and cabins – some companies prefer to not allow travelers to book basic economy fares or first- and business-class cabins.
  • Hotel rate types – travel managers can block room options that are non-refundable, require prepayment, or require a deposit. 
  • Hotel keywords – rooms with specific keywords like “honeymoon suite” can be easily blocked.
  • Car types – travel managers can block luxury, convertible, and recreational vehicle rentals.

With next-generation policy functionality, and full compatibility with negotiated fares and rates, it’s simple to transform your travel program with more robust policy rules.

Your travelers can’t change or cancel trips without agent help

If you are still living in the legacy world, it’s common for travelers to have to call or email your travel agency whenever a trip needs to be changed. This leads to a headache for travelers and extra service fees for your travel program, cutting into your savings each year.

A modern travel program empowers travelers to make their own changes, without the burden of additional service fee costs.

Spotnana, for instance, allows seamless changes and cancellations for bookings made on our OBT, putting travelers back in control. Since travelers are making changes in the same OBT they used to book, they will always stay within policy and have access to the widest array of options to choose from. 

When agent help is needed, our travelers and agents use the same system, ensuring your policy is enforced. 

It takes weeks to get actionable insights on the state of your global program

If your travel program spans multiple countries, you probably have a data problem on your hands. It can take weeks to reconcile spending and trip data once a month is over, and you may be paying for a third-party service to cobble together monthly reports from fragmented and incomplete data.

Spotnana deploys as a single global instance of our platform, which can be used by your entire global program. With Spotnana, travel managers can access real-time global spending and trip information from a centralized dashboard at any time.

You don’t have an easy way to offset your program’s carbon emissions

Research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) shows that sustainability is taking on a newfound importance for travel programs in the U.S.

If your program can’t track its carbon emissions, your travel program is out of date.

Spotnana tracks all your program’s carbon output for flights and rail trips, allowing you to instantly produce reports and set policy rules for flights based on CO2 output per flown kilometer. Travelers see the carbon impact of their choices when shopping, as well, raising awareness that leads to reduced emissions.

Spotnana Carbon Removal allows travel programs to permanently offset their carbon emissions for a low price, making it simple to modernize your out-of-date program with an eye on the future of sustainability.

You can’t easily manage or track unused airline tickets

Tracking and using unused airline tickets is a major time sink for travel managers using dated travel technology. Modern systems automatically track the value of credits received by a traveler and make it easy for them to apply their credits to future flights.

Spotnana provides full unused ticket management functionality for both EDIFACT-based and NDC fares with visibility into ticket credits for both your program at large and individual travelers at the time of booking.

Want to learn how an upgrade to Spotnana can boost traveler satisfaction and savings for your program? Get a demo today.