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Pros & Cons of using Corporate Traveller

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albatross710

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This year I was introduced to Corporate Traveller through a business colleague. For the past 15 years I've always booked my travel directly after researching and getting the best arrangements for my needs.

For the last couple of months I've been using Corporate Traveller, a division of Flight Centre. Plenty of people seem to use them for their business travel needs. At this stage, once my current itineraries are completed I'll be saying farewell.

What have people found are the pros and cons of CT?

So far I've found them expensive. While they are quick to provide the bookings I need, they haven't done any value added suggestions. I do find that they are efficient at adding their booking fees (+$85 for international booking).

I've also found reduced flexibility with itinerary changes. Usually I just make these online direct with airlines.

Now I look at Qantas Acquire and see that some of the bookings they've made don't attract Acquire points even though I paid them the same prices as booking direct with Qantas.

Maybe I'm not in their target market or just not extracting the value from their services.

I would love to hear if others are getting value from them, any ideas on what I can do to extract better value.

Alby
 

Steady

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albatross710,

Your experience with this type of company is useful to me. I have been looking at using a corporate booking agent for a little while but could not see where the value would be for me to outsource this task at the premium they charge.

As for the lack of Aquire earn I am with you. I have voiced my confusion as to who the Aquire "business" program is really aimed at when it seems any product purchased from a program partner on a company account is not eligible to earn points :-/
 

defurax

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At my workplace it seems that the vast majority of people are happy to send an email or call one of the corporate travel agents we deal with and accept whatever itinerary they are sent back (usually 2, so they feel they have a choice).
I am not like that, and I always send them the exact itinerary I want and they almost always say they "can't find it in their system", to which I usually answer something like: "why don't you go on expedia.com and book it". I am not a travel agent, I don't know how Galileo and Sabre work, but I know that the client is always right and I'm amazed by the arrogance displayed by some of these travel agents charging $100 to $150 to do something I can do online in 5 minutes.

The only time I think the fee is justified is for very complex itinerary. Of course most people don't care about their travel arrangements and are happy for TAs do deal with everything.
 
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Shano

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The company I work for, as of a couple of months ago, use CT exclusively for all corporate travel, including flights, rental cars and accommodation.

This was done essentially as a means to more accurately capture and monitor travel spend.

The company negotiated a discount with VA for pushing a certain % of flights through them (we previously had a choice between QF &VA) this discounted rate is available through the Serko booking portal.

We have achieved some savings on some rental cars and some accommodation, but had negotiated good rates with other hotels that CT couldn't match.

So in terms if overall savings it would be negligible, but helps our accounts department capture all spending.
 

RooFlyer

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From the OP:

Now I look at Qantas Acquire and see that some of the bookings they've made don't attract Acquire points even though I paid them the same prices as booking direct with Qantas.

That's odd. Trips booked by my TA (mid sized firm, corporate + private traveller clients) all credit to Aquire. I wonder where your points went?
 

BAM1748

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Have used them on and off over the years, they seem as good any other agent doing a similar job.

Pros: just drop an email saying you want to be in Moab Utah next Thursday and hey presto it's done. It can also be handy when making changes once the trip has started.

Cons, not always best fare of the day type stuff.

You should stick with them until January, so you can partake of their client Christmas party where they have a few freebie door prizes. :D

Matt
 

serfty

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That's odd. Trips booked by my TA (mid sized firm, corporate + private traveller clients) all credit to Aquire. I wonder where your points went?
Hmmm ... I would suggest that checking the ABN attached to one's bookings is in order when using CTA's.
 

ftm

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Hmmm ... I would suggest that checking the ABN attached to one's bookings is in order when using CTA's.

+1

I wasn't aware that the booking source made a difference. More likely that the code was either omitted, or entered incorrectly.

Is it possible to put in for a retro claim?
 

albatross710

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Thanks for the feedback.

I acknowledge that they are easy to deal with and the booking process, once set up, has been working smoothly and with ease. I can imagine at a large corporate that would be good.

I'm thinking that I do too much optimisation of my travel arrangements myself to make it worth while. I don't know how to code into any software "I'll go via Korea for a one night stopover unless i can go via a SIN lining up with some random event. But if it can leave BNE on the 9am that's better unless it is a Saturday in which case 10am is OK etc etc etc.' My travel arrangements are not just getting from A-B as much as getting maximum utility from the trip.

Alby
 
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