How To Negotiate Business Travel Booking Rates With Hotels And Airlines

Business travel is a good way for companies to grow, but it can be challenging to keep track of costs since the rates keep going up and bills pile up so quickly.

This year, travel managers expect increased business travel, with 78% of travel managers anticipating that their company will take 22% to 55% more business trips in 2023 than in 2022. Considering this, leading companies want the best deals for their business travel booking. After all, negotiated discounts help you with savings in your corporate travel management

Here, we will show you how to get the best rates with your preferred travel suppliers.

Options For Negotiation

Option 1. Talk to your TMC or Travel Manager

Your travel management company(TMC) has powerful negotiating skills since they regularly network with travel-related vendors. This advantage is even more true if they are leaders in the market. They have the power to help you get the best deals. They can often negotiate additional discounts and frills with the corporate hotel rates and pass them on to you.

Option 2: Meeting With the Service Provider Directly

If you want the best deal on your business travel booking, you can also negotiate directly with the hotels or airlines. 

  • Ask to meet with the service providers or booking director – most hotels or airlines have a head of corporate sales. 
  • Show them all the benefits of partnering with your company. 
  • Let them know how many and how often your company needs their service. 
  • Be aware of any extra costs not included in the contract. 
  • Carefully check the terms and prices to ensure you don’t get any surprises in the bills. 
  • Keep an open and honest accessibility channel with your hotel and airline contacts. They may go the extra mile if you maintain a good business relationship. 

Tips To Negotiate Corporate Rates With Hotels and Airlines

Here are the tips you need to take to consider when negotiating the best deals with preferred hotels and airlines for your business travel booking:

1. Understand the travel pattern and the volume of business you can assure your service provider per year.

2. Negotiate corporate hotel rates and airport rates in advance with suppliers based on your employee travel frequency.

3. Once you agree to the rates, your employees can benefit from the discounted rates on hotel accommodations and flights.

4. In most cases, your employees may need to use their company code while making bookings.

5. Once your employees share their identification, they can use the negotiated rates.

6. The terms and duration of the discounted rates will depend on what the service provider has agreed with your company.

7. Depending on your company policy, you can take advantage of discounted rates even when your employees travel for personal reasons.

8. Corporate rates not only help you save money on business travel booking system  for your employees, but they can also help you keep your travel expenses under control.

9. Corporate rates may come with several perks, such as flexible bookings, date changes, frequent flyer miles, and reward points when you book your hotel or flight.

Steps To Negotiate The Best Corporate Hotel Rates For Your Company

Choose a Reliable Travel Consultant

The travel consultant can ensure your company gets the best deal on flights and hotels. Most travel management companies do this by building relationships with the entire supply chain of their travel partners.

Your company need not stress about corporate travel management. The travel consultant manages your travel negotiations effectively by contracting rates within your budget. That way, there is no wasted time or money.

Range Criteria

Most companies have employee eligibility based on executive designation. Therefore, you can negotiate with hotels according to your employee eligibility. Consider that it also depends on your business volume.

So, you can select the service provider based on your business volume and employee eligibility criteria. For example, if you are a large company, you can choose a big hotel chain or airline. But if you are a small business with a low volume need, you can select a medium category that fits within your budget range.

Volume and Budget

Mapping your corporate travel management is about understanding the flow of your travel expenses. Do regular checks and gather enough data to understand your spending and where it is going.

Consider the locations your employees travel to and the hotels they prefer. One way to predict how much volume you can commit to the airline or hotel is to track your business travel booking. 

Verify the data collected and compare your annual stats to your most recent hotel data. Armed with this information, move forward with your negotiations.

Freebies, Reward Points, and Incentive Schemes

Check out the loyalty programs and see if your employees can get discounts, free hotel nights, and other perks. See if you can get deals when using business or company credit cards. Many hotels provide a complimentary breakfast, welcome drink, WIFI, etc. Check if your corporate rates include these frills.

If your business has a big contract with an airline, ask for frequent flyer miles. That way, you get rewards like discounts and perks for being a good customer. You can also give your employees or business a credit card with cashback on the air miles you get.

Consider This While Negotiating 

  • Make realistic commitments to win a deal and jeopardize your relationship with the supplier.
  • Negotiate with several suppliers to avoid being vulnerable to one vendor.
  • Consider adding value to your travel program with other projects and reducing spend in different ways.
  • Back each negotiation with reliable data to commit based on previous demand and volume.
  • If you are too cautious, you may sell yourself short and avoid missing out on deals.

The Bottom Line: Make Wise Business Travel Booking Choices

When negotiating, remember this point, service providers want you to sign a contract because you are generating a high-volume business. That is your leverage.

When you travel on a business trip, play it safe and see if you can negotiate for a lower price or other benefits as an employer or business owner.

Choosing a travel management platform like ITILITE is the best decision for corporate travel management. Not only will you get the most value for your money, but your employees will also be able to focus on their work without worrying about hotel stays and flight plans.