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Show, but do not allow booking, builds trust with business travelers 

September 26, 2023
By Andrew Sheivachman
Categories Travel Management

While it may be tempting to hide travel options from your employees that you don’t want them to book, we believe it’s best to present ALL options to keep employees from shopping around on consumer sites and booking out of policy. 

Showing travelers all options, even if they can’t book them due to your travel policy, improves trust, traveler satisfaction, and reduces travel program leakage.

This is why Spotnana developed a feature named “show, but do not allow” which enables a travel admin to gray out selected travel options in our Online Booking Tool (OBT) and prevent them from being booked.

Here’s why the ability to show travel options but not allow travelers to book them if they are out of policy is a powerful tool for your program.

Why travelers book out of policy

Research shows that forty percent of travelers have booked out of policy and often do so to save their company money, find hotels closer to a meeting, or stay in a safer and more convenient location.

This phenomenon is usually the result of travelers not seeing the best options in their designated OBT or finding that their preferred suppliers are missing altogether.

If travelers can’t trust what they see on their OBT, they are likely to book on consumer sites to get a better experience and more options. They will likely end up paying more for the same trips, even if they think they are saving their company money, by missing out on corporate negotiated hotel rates and preferred airfares. 

Travel managers are widely aware of this reality, with one-in-three saying access to content is their biggest pain point with their OBT in 2023.

Why do booking tools have missing content?

Missing content happens for a number of reasons. Booking tools force travel managers to hide content because they don’t support the ability to show travel options that are out of policy. Travelers perceive that they aren’t seeing all the available options they should and choose to book out of policy instead.

Most OBTs lack the ability to display traditional EDIFACT-based content from a GDS alongside NDC offers from direct connections with airlines. This is a major factor when the price and availability of an airfare does not match between an OBT and a supplier-direct booking site. 

There are commercial and economic factors at work, too. Travel management companies (TMCs) will hide or bias content to meet volume commitments in their agreements with suppliers instead of providing the best options to travelers. It’s common for TMCs to remove airlines from availability to force travelers to book with the carriers that pay the most money through volume-based incentives like override payments.

How Spotnana builds trust with travelers

Spotnana is built on modern technology that gives travelers the ability to see all travel options, even if some are outside their travel policy.

We give travel managers the ability to define what is out of policy through configurable rules and also show, but do not allow booking, for  travel options that companies want to block under all circumstances. 

Travel managers using Spotnana can restrict bookings in numerous ways:

  • 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. 

Travelers can toggle off the visibility of out-of-policy options, as well, to only see those that are in policy.  

This functionality is vital to building trust within your travel program that travelers can always find the best prices and options while booking in policy. When travelers have confidence that they are seeing the best travel options, they have no need to shop around or book outside their travel policy.


Spotnana allows travelers to see all travel options even if options are out of policy.

All of Spotnana’s global content is subject to our powerful Policy Engine, which includes dynamic policies and the ability to set granular policy rules for departments, groups, and individual users.

We don’t hide or bias content; Spotnana’s Policy Engine puts travel managers in complete control of what their travelers can see and book.

Want to learn more about how bringing travelers the widest array of travel content can transform your travel program? Get a demo today.