Better Business Travel
Just about any executive of an organization expects to have to travel at some point in his or her career. Whether they enjoy that travel or not is up to you. As your company's corporate travel manager, you have complete control on how comfortable and enjoyable it is for your executives. The extra steps you take can make all the difference.
There are a few easy and simple ways you can make executive travel a more pleasant experience, and it won't add much to your already busy day.
Book Airfare in Business or First Class
Travel managers are always looking at the bottom line to stay within their budget, especially when it comes to airfare. However, airfare is one part of executive travel that you do not want to scrimp on. Pay the upgrade to business or first class so your executives will travel in relative comfort. No one likes to be cramped when they are traveling, especially if he or she is planning on getting some work done on the plane. Productivity can be next to impossible in coach. Ask your executive if he or she prefers a window or aisle seat and strive to book accordingly.
Additionally, if your executive has a layover, make sure he or she has a map of the airport on hand or loaded into his or her smartphone. Knowing where the executive lounge, smoking areas, and food venues are will help make the layover more enjoyable and efficient.
Monitor the flight information so you can advise your executive if the flight or connecting flight is delayed or canceled. If it is canceled, be prepared with new flight information immediately. The airline you booked with will help you in locating another flight. Remember to be firm during these negotiations.
Prep your Executives
Have a prep sheet prepared for your executive on the dos and don’ts of how to pack. Include the local weather forecasts so your executive can pack accordingly. This is especially important for an executive who is new to corporate travel. It is very easy to bring more than you need or to forget small but vital things. How often have you gone somewhere and packed twice the amount of clothes you needed but forgot your phone charger? Encourage the executive to pack light and use travel size toiletries so everything can fit into a standard carry-on. This will help defray the cost of the upgraded airfare and save the executive time waiting for bags in baggage claim or the hassle of lost baggage.
Hire Reliable Ground Transportation
Finding the cheapest ground transportation will save you money but can be at the expense of your executive. You get what you pay for, and paying a little more can net much better service. Thoroughly examine your options, check online reviews, and talk to other travel managers.
Keep the following in mind:
Is there a company that you have used before?
What kind of ratings do they have?
Do they cover this area?
Do they have a car available?
If they don't, do they recommend anyone else?
Comfortable Hotel Accommodations
In most cases, you will probably be using a hotel chain you have used in the past. Not only as a returning customer are you able to get discounts, but you also know what to expect. However, you can still cater to the needs of your executive. Does he or she like extra pillows? Towels? Perhaps a plate of fruit or snacks in the room upon arrival? Having these small details arranged can make a big difference for the executive.
If you are booking at a different hotel than you are used to using, you should still ask for the same small incidental preferences for the comfort of your executive. The hotel will do whatever they can to accommodate the guest to ensure future business. Make sure any hotel you choose has a business center and wi-fi available. There may be a fee for these services. Inquire and negotiate.
By spending a little more on executive travel, you'll be stretching your travel budget but the rewards will make up for it. Your executive will not be sore from a cramped flight, frustrated from late transportation, and tired from an uncomfortable bed. He or she will be able to conduct business feeling refreshed and energized, and prepared to seal the deal without any travel frustrations or distractions.image credit: imagerymajestic/freedigitalphotos.net