For Some, Travel Policy Isn’t Black And White

Atlanta – Travel policies range from simple and suggestive to complex and mandated but travel manager Michelle de Costa argued they need a “gray area so people can make the right choices for themselves.” Others try to make gray areas closer to black and white by stratifying polices based on traveler profile. Formerly Sapient’s director…

Pressured On Travel’s Value, U.S. Entertains Exceptions To Spending Controls

Under pressure from federal workers, some members of Congress and travel industry groups, the Obama Administration has loosened up a bit on the severe travel spending cuts mandated in 2012. The White House Office of Management and Budget in January formerly relaxed the controls, though only slightly. Federal travel volume growth returned last year after years of reductions, according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Advocates are pleased with…

Non-Reimbursement: Teeth For Policy, Illegal In California

Denying reimbursement when employees violate travel expense policies is an option that some think sensible and others call draconian. But plenty use it. In a September 2014 Global Business Travel Association poll, 45 percent of North American and 31 percent of European travel managers indicated non-reimbursement was a consequence of travel policy violations at their organizations. Non-reimbursement policies…

Energy Sector Taking Its Belt-Tightening Turn

When crude oil prices in 2008 peaked at around $140 a barrel, then-Continental Airlines president Jeff Smisek said oil and gas clients were “living large and flying all around the world up front and spending money like drunken sailors.” The global financial recession shortly thereafter hit prices hard, but oil rebounded to more than $100…

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Automation Breathes New Life Into Traveler Incentive Programs

Well before gamification became a corporate travel buzzword, companies had straightforward ways to reward travelers for booking cheaper flights. Traveler incentive programs that share savings with those who book coach airfare when business class is acceptable are challenging but not uncommon. Now, a variation on the concept appeals to companies without robust travel-management programs and policies. Point-of-sale price benchmarks guide…

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Point-Of-Sale Benchmarks Add To Visual Guilt

[UPDATE, March 8, 2017: Concur decided to “phase out” the Price to Beat feature, according to Rocketrip. The two companies announced an expanded partnership. More info here.] More than a decade ago, U.S. businesses started saving significant money due to what travel professionals called visual guilt. Mainstream by 2006, the notion is that when travelers…

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SAP CEO: Why Have Travel Policy When Employees Can ‘Maybe Get A Better Rate’?

SAP CEO Bill McDermott sees Concur’s TripLink supplier-direct program as a replacement for corporate travel policy. In an interview published last week by Re/code, McDermott responded as follows when asked why SAP is paying about $8 billion for Concur: “Every company has a corporate travel department, but no one wants to work with it. You can…