What Are Business Travel Agents?

What are business travel agents and what do they do?


Business travel agents are both companies made up of travel experts or independent consultants that completely manage travel arrangements for another company or individual's work purposes.


Also known as travel management companies (TMCs) and corporate travel providers, there are hundreds of business travel agents and a couple of thousand individual consultants working for themselves today in the UK alone.


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what are business travel agents?


Saving You Time and Money


There are clear attractions and advantages in using business travel agents – most significantly because it will save you time and money. Due to their expertise and contacts in the travel world a business travel agent doing his or her job will find you the very best deals. An experience agent will have excellent product knowledge (e.g. airline classes and hotel rooms). Bigger agencies should also have access to discounted airfares and ancillary services.


Dedicated Consultants & Traveller/Company Profiles


Another reason to use business travel agents is that they will get to know you and your employees well. Most business travel agencies will build company and traveller profiles and assign one of their staff to specific customers, so that travelling for business arrangements become swift, precise and simple. This means any individual or company's specific requirements can be met every time without repeatedly going over them.


These can include such needs as a certain employee who always prefers a specific seat number, non smoking room or frequent flyer processing. Similarly company profiles ensure that travel policies and airline loyalty programs (e.g. On Business with British Airways) are strictly adhered to upon every booking.


These are the sort of arrangements that can take up a lot of time and energy – and yet can be important in order to make a business trip run smoothly and successfully.


Fully Comprehensive Service


In addition to making flight, ferry, rail, car hire and hotel reservations, business travel agents can arrange requirements such as passport and visa procurement, travel insurance, risk assessments, exchange rates, chauffeurs, parking, boat and private plane or helicopter travel, and also find and book anything for any spare time such as a theatre show or sporting event. Then, if you or your business needs a venue for the trip, your agent will find the most suitable one and book it for you.


Online Booking Tools & Traveller Tracking


An increasing number of business travel agents also now have online self-booking tools. This means a business can make their own travel and hotel bookings if they wish. As well, they may have an app that can help with this and update information as and when it occurs, and that also provides plenty of useful information on places to be visited and allow for such as taxi booking. It can also send alerts should an incident like a natural disaster occur in the city or country where you or an employee are at that moment.


Traveller tracking can also be offered: useful for your business to see where an employee is and to be able to offer better assistance if there is any sort of emergency or a travel delay somewhere along the journey. It means a company can look swiftly to find out where all their business travellers are at any one time in real time.


This makes contacting them much easier – and ensures nobody will, for instance, disturb an employee or colleague in the middle of the night (where they are) just before that crucial breakfast meeting they have…