GBTA: Findings of 2nd Annual Corporate Travel Policy Benchmarking & Insight Study

GBTA Foundation and Egencia Unveil Findings of 2nd Annual Corporate Travel Policy Benchmarking & Insight Study

GBTA Foundation and Egencia Unveil Findings of 2nd Annual Corporate Travel Policy Benchmarking & Insight Study

PR Newswire

Study Shows That Only 21% of Travel Managers are Currently Tracking Ancillary Fees

Forty-one percent of those that do not track these fees, plan to in the next 12 months

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and BELLEVUE, Wash., Aug. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The GBTA Foundation, the research arm of the Global Business Travel Association, and Egencia®, the corporate travel arm of Expedia, Inc., today released the 2011 Corporate Travel Policy Benchmarking and Insight study, evaluating travel management trends and policies across North American and European organizations and assessing travel policy effectiveness overall.  New to this year's study are findings around ancillary fees, which account for eight percent of total travel spend.

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"GBTA Foundation research has shown that although business travel continues to rebound from its recession lows, it is growing at a much slower rate than we would like to see," said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. "The importance of a carefully managed travel program has never been more important. The 2010 study clearly established the effectiveness of travel policy to help organizations minimize corporate travel costs and we expect this year's report will be even more effective now that we have points of comparison."

Based on best practices and insights from 651 primarily North American travel buyers, the study takes a comprehensive look at policy mandates versus guidelines, consolidation, booking procedures, class of service, advanced purchase, pre-trip approval, groups/meetings and emergencies, ancillary fees, among other issues – all of which comprise variables that make travel difficult to standardize.

"Egencia is constantly speaking and engaging with our customers, and one thing is clear – one size does not fit all, and the best travel program solutions are custom-tailored to each company to meet their unique needs, whether that be advanced reporting technology to track spend or a robust offering of preferred rate hotels," said Mark Hollyhead, Senior Vice President, Egencia Americas. "These hand-crafted programs paired with keen industry insights will allow companies to maximize cost savings and innovate for future industry changes."

Ancillary Fees
The 2011 survey collected information on if and how companies are tracking ancillary fees, finding that only 21% of travel managers in 2011 are currently tracking these fees.  Those that do track them rely on data from internal expense reimbursement systems (81%), corporate charge cards (53%), or Travel Management Companies (TMCs)(23%). Of this 21%, it is estimated that ancillary fees comprise just over eight percent of total travel spend. For a company that spends $40 million on business travel, this accounts for $3.2 million in ancillary fee spend.

Travel managers said that they are most likely to reimburse travelers for the following ancillary fees for air and hotel:

  • Air: will reimburse for baggage fees (91%), itinerary changes (73%), in-flight meals (47%), and in-flight Wi-Fi (35%).  Fewer organizations will reimburse for preferred seating (13%), priority boarding (8%), or in-flight entertainment (3%).  
  • Hotel: will reimburse for parking (89%), internet access (84%), airport shuttle (70%). Fewer companies will reimburse for late check-out (24%), early check-in (23%), fitness center (21%), mini-bar (9%), and entertainment (4%).

Of the 79% of travel managers that do not track ancillary expenses, 41% plan to in the next 12 months, and another 6% believe they will within the next two years.  Five percent believe it will take longer than two years or will never happen, and 42% confessed that they do not know.  

Enforcing Travel Policy
Sixty-one percent of respondents said travel policy is more a guideline than a mandate, and 72% percent said there are few to no consequences for policy violations. The study suggests that organizations could dramatically benefit from better enforcement. The 2010 Corporate Travel Policy: Benchmarking and Insight study found that stricter policies could equate to nearly $30 billion in savings.

Lowest Logical Fares (LLF)
The study also explores policy standards around LLFs, which represents the lowest fare that is consistent with a corporation's travel policy.

  • Booking Windows: 78% of 2011 survey respondents include windows in their policy, with 56% of respondents requiring travelers to consider lower fare alternatives departing up to 2-hours before or after their originally preferred departure time.
  • Connections: 57% of respondents require travelers to accept connections when savings are available.
  • Non-Refundable Fares: 70% of responding organizations report that they take advantage of these fares by directing travelers to accept non-refundable tickets whenever they are available. This is a slight increase from the 68% reported in 2010.
  • Advanced Purchase: There was a 6% increase year-over-year in respondents whose policy instructs travelers to book their airfare at least seven days in advance.

Class of Service
Only 10% of organizations allow travelers to upgrade to first or business class (aka, 'premium class') on flights within North America.  However, 33% authorize business class on flights to Europe, 32% to South America, 42% on flights to India, Africa, or the Middle East, and 47% on flights to Asia-Pacific.  While these percentages are substantially unchanged since 2010, there was a 5% decline in companies that do not allow any premium-class air travel, from 47% in 2010 to 42% in 2011.

The complete 2011 Corporate Travel Policy: Benchmarking and Insight study is available through http://www.gbta.org/Lists/Resource%20Library/Forms/Foundation_Research_and_Surveys.aspx.

About the GBTA Foundation
The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world's premier business travel and corporate meetings organization. Collectively, GBTA's 5,000-plus members manage over $340 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its network of 17,000 business and government travel and meetings managers, as well as travel service providers, with networking events, news, education & professional development, research, and advocacy. The foundation was established in 1997 to support GBTA's members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the GBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The GBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, see gbta.org and www.gbtafoundation.org.

About Egencia, an Expedia, Inc. Company
Egencia is the fifth largest travel management company in the world. As part of Expedia, Inc., (NASDAQ: EXPE), the world's largest travel marketplace, Egencia helps businesses get ahead by offering the only truly integrated corporate travel service. Egencia's industry expertise helps drive results that matter, delivering meaningful advancements that have a real impact. By combining a powerful offline and online service, Egencia delivers a complete corporate travel offering supported by global market expertise and a best-in-class technology platform.

For more information, go to www.egencia.com.

Egencia and the Egencia logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2011 Egencia, LLC.  All rights reserved. CST # 2083922-50

SOURCE Global Business Travel Association

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