In a move that’s shocking because it’s sensible, corporate travel managers are pushing business travelers to make decisions that aren’t stupid. In the past two years, 75 percent of companies in North America have changed their travel policies, with cost-cutting a major motivation. First and business class have become more and more elite in the white collar set, thanks to more restrictive policies, in an effort to put more business travelers in the sky at as low a cost as possible.
But, the need for cost containment isn’t resulting in idiocy. Rather, employees are being told to look for the “lowest logical fare.” Basically, this is “the lowest-priced fare that doesn’t cause travelers to take wildly circuitous routes, cause them to miss important engagements, incur an extra night in a hotel or lose productivity,” reports USA Today.
The report continues:
North American companies, which spent an estimated $48.7 billion on airline tickets in 2009, could save almost $30 billion combined annually if they instituted and enforced stricter travel policies that required non-refundable tickets or the lowest logical fare. That’s according to the survey’s publishers, Egencia and the National Business Travel Association Foundation.
Christophe Peymirat, vice president of global marketing at Egencia, Expedia‘s corporate travel arm, observes, “Based on our research, companies … can save as much as 38% by encouraging travelers to be flexible.” Departure times two hours before or after the desired flight and less-expensive connecting flights (rather than non-stop) are ways this could happen.