Corporate Travel Management Companies: How to Choose the Best Provider for Business Trips

When and why it makes sense to implement managed travel

  • the most convenient itineraries and fast booking via global distribution systems (GDSs);
  • specially negotiated airfares and hotel rates, perks, and extras — unavailable on metasearch engines, online travel agencies (OTAs) and airline websites;
  • visibility of spending;
  • on-trip assistance; and
  • post-trip reporting.

Global TMCs: investing in technologies and expanding reach into smaller companies

  • implementing corporate travel policy,
  • day-to-day operations within a travel program,
  • ensuring traveler safety,
  • crisis management,
  • credit card management, and
  • travel and expenses (T&E) data management.
Comparison of the world’s largest TMCs.

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT)

Lola reporting dashboard. Source: Capterra
  • Amex GBT Mobile App for assisting a business traveler,
  • Expert Auditor for pre-trip auditing,
  • Peer Travel Insights for comparing your corporate travel program against your peers,
  • Premier Insights for analyzing traveling data and spotting potential saving opportunities,
  • Green Insights for measuring carbon emissions during travel, and
  • Expert Care for risk management.

BCD Travel

  • tripkicks — a tool that helps to reduce corporate travel spends,
  • VATBox — a tax compliance solution,
  • Freebird — a disruption management tool that allows travelers to instantly buy an airline ticket in case of a flight cancelation.

CWT

CWT evolution. Source: Voyages D’Affaires
interface on mobile, PC, and tablet. Source: Travel Daily

FCM Travel Solution

  • Approve for streamlining travel approvement processes,
  • Profile for accessing the information on your business traveler,
  • Booking tool,
  • Secure Dashboard for risk management operations,
  • Expense management platform, integrated with a company’s finance system and FCM’s booking tool, and
  • Analytical and reporting technologies.

Corporate travel booking platforms

  1. dealing directly with a technology provider — which is the cheapest option, but it entails complexities with software implementation, and it often offers poor support;
  2. via a TMC that closes service gaps, taking on technology maintenance and all needed support. Not for free, of course. TMCs charge fees for their intermediary operations as well as per booking made through the platform.
Comparison of the frequently mentioned and fast-growing travel management platforms.

Egencia

  • Ability to manage all travel operations from a single platform
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Integrations with Outlook, Google Maps, Uber, expense management and reporting tools
  • Issues with cancelations, rescheduling, and any other changes (you have to call the Egencia office)
  • Sometimes more expensive than direct booking via other platforms
  • Extra charges for support from local employees
Egencia booking platform dashboard. Source: YouTube channel

SAP Concur

  • Ease of tracking and reporting expenses
  • Numerous connected apps like Uber, Lyft, etc
  • Ability to snap pictures of receipts and upload them to the app
  • Training required to start using the platform
  • Performance issues
  • Clunky user interface

TravelBank

  • Easy-to-navigate interface
  • Quick booking process
  • Ability to snap pictures of receipts and upload them directly to expense reports
  • No way to book multiple flights or rooms at once
  • Issues with rebooking
  • Fee-based rewards program
TravelBank booking feature. Source: TravelBank.

TravelPerk

  • Slick UI
  • Accessible customer service
  • A lot of details about booking
  • Higher prices than on the other platforms
  • Issues with booking changes (agent contact required)
  • Lack of budget accommodations and no integration with Airbnb
Search Flight functionality by Travel Perk. Source: Capterra.

TripActions

  • Convenient filters for sorting through flights and hotels
  • Quick and simple booking process
  • Great customer support
  • Limited options for non-hotel facilities in certain areas
  • Some cheaper flights and hotels available while booked on search engines, OTAs, or directly from airlines
  • High extra fees charged for cancelations and rebooking
Admin dashboard and travel mobile app interfaces. Source: TripActions.

TMC selection criteria: which solution will fit your business needs

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store