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Uncover the real cost of your business travel

It’s a story we’re all too familiar with. A seemingly simple business flight becomes an exercise so costly that’s almost worthy of its own corporate card.

While the fare may be set, it’s those additional unforseen items that really begin to add up. Taxis to and from the airport (particularly if the airport is out of the way), additional meals when the flight times don’t agree with your schedule, transfer fees for last-minute itinerary changes … The list goes on. All of a sudden, that quick business trip requires a hefty return on investment.
So when you book your company’s travel, are you looking at the true cost of your business travel expenditure?

Are some low cost carriers sending you to Timbuktu?

All business travellers know that time is their most precious commodity. So while some low cost carriers might offer ridiculously low prices to fly to an out-of-the-way airport, the true cost is much higher. The productivity time lost in travelling to the final business destination (not to mention the cost of the taxi to get there) far outweighs any benefits gained by a few airline dollars saved. When you’re selecting your flights, make sure your airline is flying on key business routes, so your travellers can get the most out of their working day. Look for hubs around business critical destinations to give your travellers more options and greater convenience.

Are legacy carriers stripping back their services?

Legacy carriers are now catching on to something low cost carriers have known for a long time: that the bells and whistles of a full service flight are simply not required for a short hop between European capitals. So many of them are stripping back their full service offering to a no-frills service, where extras are paid for on top of the base fair. The only catch? Their flights still simply aren’t cheap enough to compete with low cost carriers. So be sure to check when you’re booking a legacy carrier that their usual services have not been eliminated from your ticket price. (Even if not, perhaps really assess whether a full service breakfast and 30kg of checked luggage is required for a day trip?)

Have you thought about what you really need?

When travelling for business, there are some things that are non-negotiable. Like speedy boarding (to maximise every minute), free route changes (for those inevitable last minute requests) and mobile technology (to avoid printed itineraries of yesteryear). So when looking for an airline partner, make sure they’re providing you with the basics of what your travellers expect. These necessities should be included (without exception) in every flight booking, to maximise the traveller experience, while ensuring unexpected charges don’t pile up.

There’s no question that business travel adds value. But to extract more value from every travel dollar, you need to assess the true cost. It just makes business sense.

Anthony Drury
Head of Business, easyJet

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