4th Quarter Corporate Travel Update

4th Quarter Corporate Travel Update

As the year winds to a close, many corporate travelers find that this is the toughest time to travel. From weather delays and cancellations, to Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah travel windows, low fares are nonexistent and seats are scarce.  One bad snowstorm and all bets are off – you could be stranded in a worst case scenario.

As low fares are very hard to come by in 4th Quarter, when booking your upcoming business trip, it is worth comparing the nonrefundable fare with the refundable fare.  In many cases I’ve seen lately the difference is negligible and worth the extra dollars to purchase refundable fares. Here’s why:

  • Coupled with status, a higher fare base means the airlines will re-accomodate you before the lower fare tickets.
  • You have more flexibility to cancel without paying for and holding a ticket (that will require paying the $150 change fee when you exchange your ticket) if the weather forecast has the possibility of a bad storm.

When you are on the road and even think you will encounter a cancellation, you should contact your travel consultant about protecting you on an alternative flight and get a jump on the best choices as soon as this occurs to you. If you are dealing with a last-flight-of-the-night situation, you may want to also enquire about hotel availability near the airport – typically these rooms sell out in seconds once cancellations are confirmed by the airlines, and many of the hotels have rooms ready to block for the carriers and their staff.  Being a road warrior isn’t easy; you need to strategically plan and have several contingencies ready to go should you find yourself in a potentially bad situation when in transit.  Travel smart!

 By Debra Burman-Gisby