Unused tickets. Two words that have the power to strike fear (or at least annoyance) into the heart of any air traveler. If your company coordinates a lot of business travel, unused tickets likely keep your accounting department up at night, covered in a cold sweat.
The main problem with air travel is that you typically have to plan your trip and book your tickets well in advance, but plans made so far out rarely go off without a hitch. People get sick, weather gets bad, and meetings get moved. It happens!
So what can you do when you end up with a handful of unused tickets that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars? Well, for the average consumer or company, not much. Many times, even when you are able to use the ticket for a different flight on the same airline for the same person within a year (a lot of qualifications to meet!), by the time you pay the change fee, it ends up costing more than the ticket is worth.
However, if you have a travel management company planning your trips for you, changing plans on the fly is suddenly not the hassle and expense it once was. Here’s how our agents at Professional Travel make unused tickets work for you:
Put it on file for future use
First, when a reservation is cancelled, we will put it on file electronically for future use. The next time an agent goes to make a reservation on the floor, they will see the ticket and attempt to apply it on a flight through the same airline rather than purchasing a brand-new ticket.
Then, if the existing ticket cannot be used, the agent will thoroughly document the reason why. We will continue to make good-faith attempts to apply the ticket throughout the year it is viable. This is one of the ways in which Professional Travel is proactive and accountable when handling unused tickets.
Prepare in advance for ticket expiration
When the quarter in which an unused ticket is set to expire begins, an agent will reach out to discuss upcoming travel plans with your company. If the original person named on the ticket will not be traveling that quarter, the ticket will then be considered for name changes (being used for a different traveler). While there is an additional cost involved with name changes, the fee does not usually exceed the original cost of the ticket. A travel management company can be crucial here as consumers can’t typically perform name changes themselves.
The ticket will go into an electronic pool, and agents will double-check any new reservations against that ticket until it expires. If a trip can be planned using the same airline for another traveler in the company, the unused ticket will be applied first. In this way, Professional Travel makes every effort to get you the full value from unused tickets.
Are unused tickets a minor inconvenience or a major problem for your company? Contact Professional Travel to stop them from adding up!
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