Airlines have been slow to develop applications and other technologies for direct marketing to their corporate customers. But the situation is changing rapidly.
In the coming months, expect a flood of direct promotions, in the same vein as those already launched by major hotel chains, warns the business travel consulting firm Advito in its Forecast for Industry 2017 . Delta Air Lines has already kicked off this strategy by launching its mobile application and loyalty program. Advito advises travel managers to be vigilant.
When airlines go directly to business travelers, this can directly threaten their corporate customers, that is, those who buy travelers’ tickets. Here are Advito’s five tips for travel buyers to counter the negative impact of direct marketing on their programs:
- Keep a close watch on the direct marketing efforts of the airlines. Find out if your employees are the target of promotions that could encourage them to get out of the company’s travel policy.
- Trade against the current. Ask your preferred carriers to provide your travelers with the same benefits and benefits as you offer directly to travelers. Lobby for benefits such as Elite status equivalencies, free checked baggage, or early check-in.
- Give the right tools to travelers. Encourage travelers to adopt business applications such as BCD Travel’s TripSource. They will have more options than with the application of a given provider, while respecting the travel policy of their company.
- Do not derogate from your travel policy. Think twice before allowing your travelers to book directly with airlines. You risk compromising your ability to negotiate preferential terms; to pay more for your air tickets; and to breach your duty of care to employees on the move.
- Chat with travelers Encourage them to stick to your program with incentives and ongoing engagement engagement that makes it easy for them and the company to book through the program.
For more in-depth data and analysis, download the Advito 2017 Industry Forecast. Want to know how to make this data work for your travel program? Contact your BCD Travel Account Executive or email Advito at firstname.lastname@example.org.