Often when finance leaders or travel managers hear of TripLink, they think of open booking, i.e., enabling business travelers to book wherever and however they want, outside of their company travel program. But in reality, rather than helping your business travelers get around the rules, TripLink can help you regain control. So, let’s dispel some myths about TripLink and open booking.
Myth #1: TripLink requires adopting an open booking travel policy.
The truth: Even Concur customers with the strictest of travel and expense policies are seeing value in TripLink precisely because it delivers benefits without requiring a change in policy or endorsing direct supplier bookings. With TripLink, you can monitor compliance with your organization’s policies even when travelers book in non-traditional channels, the same way you can for bookings made directly in Concur Travel.
Myth #2: TripLink replaces your managed travel program.
The truth: TripLink enables your existing program by allowing you to manage all of your company’s travel, not just the portion booked through the traditional channel. You realize the benefits of your travel program -- like discounts and duty of care -- on bookings that have historically gone completely unseen. And with direct booking data, Finance and Travel departments get visibility and the power to negotiate deals and discounts, which ultimately brings cost savings.
Myth #3: TripLink puts business travelers at risk, because they’re not protected by real-time duty of care and their TMC cannot support them.
The truth: The exact opposite is true. TripLink significantly reduces your company’s duty of care liability by allowing you to apply your existing duty of care and assistance programs to travelers who have booked outside of the traditional travel program. And our partner TMCs are including TripLink itineraries in their standard reporting, QA processes and agent desktops.
Myth #4:TripLink enables and encourages my travelers to spend more with my non-preferred suppliers.
The truth: In fact, companies are foregoing millions of dollars on negotiated discounts because their travelers are booking direct with their preferred suppliers today. With TripLink, when your travelers book directly with preferred suppliers, they automatically get your negotiated corporate discounts, and you can enforce your preferred supplier policy, too. Just as important, your supplier-direct bookings are part of your standard Concur reporting, so you can negotiate with all of your spending leverage.
Myth #5: Most large, well-managed travel programs don’t have a direct booking problem, especially not with air travel.
The truth: Direct booking is a large and growing problem. Two-thirds of Concur customers with more than $5mm in air bookings see more than 20% of air booked direct with suppliers. In the case of hotel and car, it’s more than 50%. For smaller customers, the problem is even larger. And these numbers are growing each year for all customers. This is a widespread problem affecting the vast majority of Concur customers.
One of the challenges all finance and travel departments face is that employees sometimes book outside of approved channels, making it impossible to enforce travel policy, duty of care programs or realize corporate discounts. TripLink helps you solve that problem by enabling you to manage all of your travel, not just the travel that you’re seeing today. And that is true regardless of your travel policy.
Learn more about Concur TripLink.
Tim MacDonald leads the company’s T&E Cloud initiatives such as fostering an ecosystem of partners to create value for clients, their employees and the travel suppliers who support them as well as developing Concur's data science capability and product offering. Mr. MacDonald’s travel industry experience prior to Concur includes senior vice president & general manager of Expedia US, chairman and president of luxury travel provider Classic Vacations and vice president of product management at Hotwire.