Are You Getting the Best Corporate Airfares?

Be aware of poor advice

Book on Wednesday. The book is just before midnight. Shop around to compare airlines—book 57 days in advance. There’s no shortage of statistics and questionable advice on how individuals can secure the best price on air travel, some of which can be debunked quite easily. Unlocking the secret of securing the lowest fares at scale could mean significant savings for corporations. Here the key lies in corporate airfare tracking.

Understanding price fluctuations

However, airline pricing is complicated, with fares fluctuating 90 times between the listing and the flight day. The price can vary for many reasons. There’s supply and demand. If high demand is high, prices will likely climb, e.g., on peak routes and during holidays. And if demand is low, prices can be dropped to fill seats.

An airline also typically offers a certain number of seats per flight at discount prices. Then, once those have been sold, it moves onto the next pricing category with different thresholds for re-booking, cancellation fees, and flexibility.

Another significant influence on pricing is an airline’s competition. These days, airlines deploy advanced technology to see how their competitors price similar tickets in real-time. The airline can then adjust theirs accordingly to stay competitive.

Challenges with corporate bookings

Understanding the complex world of airline pricing is difficult enough.  Then, in business travel, having the flexibility to consider when to book a fare is rarely possible.  Corporate travel policies often state that travel should be booked within a specific time frame and offer guidance on booking complaint fares.  However, business trips are usually reserved when the need arises, which is unlikely when flights will be at their cheapest.

Lowest fares equal big savings on corporate travel spend

Imagine a business-class fare from London to New York in April. When booking in early March, your traveler secured a food of $4,000. However, two weeks later, the same ticket is sold for $3,500. You undoubtedly would have told your employee to wait to book if you knew this.

A recent study by JP Morgan found that companies spend an average of 1% of their total revenue on travel (2018 Corporate T&E Spend Benchmarks Report), or 10-12% of their annual spending budget. That’s a significant amount. So imagine being able to book all of your corporate travel fares when they are at their cheapest. That spending would decrease significantly.

A tiny percentage of travelers on any flight will have paid the lowest offered price for their tickets. Those who have will have booked at the right time and under the right conditions – probably because of luck. Everyone else will have paid higher prices, and most do not know how their purchase price compares to other travelers.

Savings after booking

The hard truth is there is no reliable way to predict whether fares will go up or down and when is the right time to book. This, coupled with booking travel to fulfill the needs of your business, makes it impractical to wait around in the hope of a price drop.

The good news is, today, your employees can book airfares at any time and still walk away with the best rate. How? Fare tracking and auditing services such as Oversee monitor the prices of flight tickets both within and beyond the void window. If the price drops, it rebooks you into that lower-priced fare. It’s as simple as that.

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The new brand builds on the company’s commitment to providing an all-in-one platform to optimize corporate travel spend and AI-powered automation tools for travel agencies.

The switch to a new company name comes during exponential growth for Oversee (formerly FairFly). Its outstanding customer base testifies to the business success of Oversee currently serving 29 of the Fortune 100, 86 of the Fortune 500, and 38 of BTN Corporate Travel 100 companies.

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