5 Airline Perks Business Travelers Love!

Whether you’re heading to the airport for business, pleasure or bleisure travel, being a frequent flyer is often time-consuming and stressful. But hey, don’t despair—there are quite a few perks that are offered by airlines these days, especially if you are part of a travel rewards program or have elite status. These five perks business travelers love can help make your trip more smooth and enjoyable; and the more you fly, the more you’ll learn how to take advantage of the latest trends in the airline industry.

1. Online Check-in and Boarding Passes

Most airlines offer free online or mobile app check-in 24 hours up to one hour prior to departure. You can print your boarding pass or receive it on your phone by email or text so you don’t have to find a printer. Using an app and checking your luggage at the curb can spare you the time and hassle of waiting in line at the check-in counter and save your company money; as some airlines have started charging for checking in at the airport.

5 Airline Perks Business Travelers Love! GTI Travel

2. Priority Boarding

Most airlines allow first class and elite status members to board first, which can ensure that you’re one of the first people on and off the plane. This perk can prevent you from having to gate-check your bag and is especially valuable if you need to make connecting flights on a tight schedule. So how do you achieve elite status? By signing up for airline rewards programs and credit cards. Travel planning companies have experienced and knowledgeable corporate travel agents who can advise you on which airlines are best when it comes to achieving elite status, and ensure that you receive all the travel benefits to which you are entitled.

3. Free Upgrades

Policies for upgrades on both domestic and international flights vary from airline to airline. Delta, United and US Airways give complimentary domestic first-class upgrades to elite members, and American Airlines offers upgrades to gold and platinum members every 10,000 miles. Your business travel planning company can find out what you’re eligible for before you head to the airport and book your upgrade ahead of time if possible.

4. Free or Discounted Lounge Access

Long layovers can take a toll on the health and well-being frequent business travelers. Airport lounges may offer complimentary shower facilities and other amenities that can make lengthy itineraries a lot more pleasant and much less stressful. Many airlines offer discounted or free access to elite members, and credit cards such as American Express Platinum, Delta Reserve and United Club cards may offer access even if you’re not an elite member.

5. Easy Same-day Changes.

There are many different reasons you may have to take off earlier or later, and changing a ticket last-minute can be a real hassle. Some airlines prioritize elite members for standby flights and may even make same-day confirmed changes free. Using travel management companies that have agents available 24/7 is a great way to avoid having to deal with making these eleventh-hour changes yourself. If you need to make changes at the gate, being polite and friendly to check-in and gate agents doesn’t hurt either.

Travel Expense Policy for Small Businesses: Guidelines for Smooth Implementation

Travel and Expense Policy Guidelines by GTI TravelCorporate travel can be a complex and expensive process, sometimes even more so for small businesses. Companies that have small business travel programs in place can avoid costly misunderstandings, save money and increase employee satisfaction when guidelines for travel are clearly outlined in writing. So what is the most effective way to develop and implement a travel expense policy for your small business? These simple guidelines can help you make a smooth transition and allow you to avoid some of the pitfalls that may arise during the implementation process.

Assess Your Current Policies and Procedures

Even if you already have travel policies in place, if they are not properly enforced they are probably not doing your company much good. If your employees travel for business, your company needs a travel policy that is clear and concise with simple procedures that are easy for them to understand and follow.

The task of building, improving and implementing a corporate travel policy can be complex and daunting. Seeking assistance from a corporate travel company that is well-versed in developing custom-designed travel policies for small businesses can give you new perspectives and ideas on what will work best for your company’s culture, budget and employees. A corporate travel company will assess your current system and your organization’s specific concerns and needs. They will analyze current data and advise you on how to improve or change policy, which can lead significant cost savings, efficiency and reduced stress.

How to Introduce a New Travel Policy to Employees

Although change is inevitable, many people are resistant to it, especially at work. A vital element of implementing a new travel expense policy for small business is how you present it to your employees. Building and carrying out an effective travel expense policy requires a lot of diligence, research, and communication on your part, and getting it right the first time will make it easier for everyone to adjust to adhering to new procedures, policies and guidelines.

Once your written travel expense policy is completed, disseminate it to your employees and give them some time to read it. Presenting the new policy in a positive way that makes the travel and expense process simpler will allow your employees to accept and adhere to changes more easily. If you are using a corporate travel agency to take care of all your company’s travel needs, make sure to let employees know that there are experienced designated agents to assist them with the travel planning and expense report process, which will take some of the weight of business travel off their shoulders.

Asking for feedback and ideas from employees who travel frequently can make them feel more involved in the process and lead to new ideas that may improve your corporate travel expense policies and procedures even more.

Want to learn more about building and implementing an effective travel expense policy for your small business? A corporate travel agency that understands the specific needs and issues small businesses face can provide comprehensive corporate travel management solutions that will save your company money and help make business travel smooth sailing for everyone involved.