Thanks to the introduction of ancillary airlines fees, corporations have been hard at work trying to understand the total cost of an air trip, determine policy on which optional fees should be reimbursed and ultimately how to do the required tracking of these fees.
From the beginning, Concur has been at the forefront of the discussion surrounding how to track and report ancillary fees. From involvement at industry task force groups to speaking at industry events and keeping abreast of the developments, Concur has been committed to provide the kinds of visibility into these fees that our customers need. Last July, Concur released the first version of the airline ancillary fee reporting through Concur Expense and Business Intelligence.
Setting Up Ancillary Fee Tracking
With Concur Expense, program administrators can set up this feature to enable the capture and reporting of airline ancillary fees. This feature starts with the Airline Flight Fees feature, which is activated per policy. First the administrator sets the flight fee currency and threshold amount, and then sets the flight fee expense type.
The Airline Fee Type Code field has been added to the list of fields available for Expense Entry forms and is used along with the Airline Flight Fees feature.
Concur Expense identifies a charge coming from an airline based on the imported company card transaction and the merchant code or employee entry. If a charge is under the company-defined amount, the expense type is automatically entered into the expense report as the flight fee expense type and the employee selects which of the sub-fee types relate to that entry. The administrator can also associate their corporate travel policy audit rules with each of the sub- fee types.
This allows employees to select one of the six sub-fee expense types in order to provide more detail about additional fees charged by the airline. The choice of sub-fee types are: Baggage, Upgrades, Seats, Airline Club, On Board, or Other. Three more fields, Ticket Change Fee, Onboard Entertainment and Priority Access will be added in an upcoming release.
Concur provides a set of standard reports for Analysis and Business Intelligence users that give insight into spend associated with airline ancillary fees. These standard reports, or your own customized reports, provide a breakdown of these fees by category, airline and employee—and also ties the fees to the original ticket number.
Turning on this feature gives our clients the ability to measure the overall spend impact of ancillary fees, establish audit rules on the fee types and have reporting at hand that will aid in policy compliance and vendor negotiations.
Concur remains committed to working toward making these fees even more easily trackable and accurate for our customers. As we continue to enhance reporting data, we are curious if having more actionable and accurate data is even something our customers want.
Do travel managers require this level of reporting? Will they use it? Should we continue to work with airlines, processors, banks and credit card companies so that ancillary fees are accurately and easily captured? Or is “good enough” really just that and our customers don’t have the time or need to manage to the level of detail that the industry has believed is required?