To a travel management group, the introduction of basic economy pricing is not just a budget friendly seating class, but an opportunity to balance travel spend with travel experience. Tell us, what are you willing to sacrifice in effort to get the lowest possible price?
While reflecting on his legendary career as an astronaut, John Glenn said, “As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind – every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.”
Interesting point, isn't it? As a business travel manager, you are tasked with sending members of your team out into the world to accomplish important business objectives. You arm your warriors with knowledge, training and purpose... but make budget cuts that affect their overall travel experience.
The irony is that cutting costs in business travel can end up costing more. In basic economy, you will end up paying separately to select seats and use the overhead bin... and aren't eligible to use your earned upgrades.
Keeping these items outside of travel policy may not be the answer either- a recent NY Times article (here) shed some honest light on how some business travelers are being forced to pay out of pocket for items outside of travel policy that are, in actuality, necessary to the overall comfort and productivity of a business trip.
In addition, when it comes to unanticipated challenges, being a bargain shopper puts you in a position where the airline or hotel is not inclined to take care of you.
To a frequent and savvy business traveler, these sacrifices to the travel experience will eventually add up and begin affecting their work ethic. (Trust us, we've seen it happen... and low productivity and/or employee turnover can cost a pretty penny).
The solution is never black and white, which is why it's so important to take a consultative approach toward what is best for your organization and its travelers.
We love consulting. If you need some travel management advice on balancing travel spend and travel experience, let's start a conversation!