What is a Business
A business travel agent is similar to a ‘normal’ travel agent (as in, the kind you might see on the highstreet advertising holidays), but there is one main difference: instead of selling leisure travel, a business travel agent organises trips for people travelling in a professional capacity.
Business travel agents often start their careers as leisure travel agents, but are attracted to the prospect of something more specialised and challenging.
Rather than working with random members of the general public, a business travel agent is more likely to have specific clients, which could be either representatives from certain businesses, or the actual businesses themselves, depending on the operation. A business travel agent typically spends time sourcing new clients, and servicing the clients they already have.
Why are Business Travel Agents needed?
Like any profession, business travel agents exist because there is a market for them, and they are needed for all kinds of different reasons.
Saving companies time and money
Probably the most important reason business travel agents are used is because they save businesses an enormous amount of both time and money. Business travel agents use their expertise, contacts and all-round travel savviness to arrange complex itineraries with minimal fuss and for the best price.
While many business travel agents operate as freelancers, with their own client base, others - like the Travel Experts at FCBT - are part of global travel conglomerates, and their clients benefit from the almost infinite accompanying perks, like special relationships with airlines, meaning access to fares no one else can see.
Providing a security net
It’s not uncommon for people who’ve never arranged a business trip from start to finish to assume there’s not much to it - perhaps a couple of flights bookings and hotel reservations. But those in the know do indeed know that that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What happens, for example, when a plane is delayed, meaning a missed connection? Or if it’s cancelled altogether? Or if there is a last minute change of schedule, and the traveller needs an additional day in-destination, perhaps to secure the deal of a lifetime?
For the uninitiated, things like this are hugely stressful, and it’s rarely clear whose responsibility it is to fix the problem. Conversely, when working with a business travel agent, for them it’s just another day in the life, and they’ll be able to quickly make alternative arrangements, often at no additional cost. If you choose FCBT to organise your business trips, you’ll benefit from a 24/7/365 helpline, on which you’ll never be left waiting for more than three rings before being put through to someone who’ll fix whatever needs fixing.
Understanding Travel Policies
Most companies that send their employees away on business trips have a Travel Policy in place (and if they don’t, they should - FCBT can provide a template, if you’re interested!), but the issue with such documents is that there’s no guarantee employees will take everything onboard and abide by all the rules. And if they’re booking their own travel, it’ll often be too late before anyone realises.
However, it’s a central component of a business travel agent’s role to be 100% across different travel policies, and to only book travel that satisfies certain criteria. So business can relax knowing that there’s one less thing to worry about.
When is the best time to use a Business Travel Agent?
We always recommend using a business travel agent for any kind of international trip, any kind of overnight trip, and any kind of trip that involves more than one employee travelling for work. The more variables there are to any given business trip, the more carefully it needs to be organised, and the more likely there is to be problems which need a stress-free fix.
Where can I find a Business Travel Agent?
FCBT employs business travel agents, or Travel Experts, up and down the UK, in locations stretching from Leeds to Manchester to Birmingham to Dublin to London. The best thing to do is phone up, at which point you’ll be asked your UK location, and then you’ll be put through to your most local office. From there, our Travel Experts will make everything a breeze, and you’ll never look back.
Need help with your business travel arrangements?
If you are looking for a new travel management company then get in touch for more information about what we can do for you.
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