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Business Travel Executive Showdown: Computers VS the Travel Agent

All Transportation Travel Blog

business travel executiveTwenty or thirty years ago it was commonplace for business travel executives to use a travel agent to arrange all the details of their trip, including air travel, a rental car, corporate limousine service, lodging and even meeting locations. Travel agents would take care of all the details, put the entire trip itinerary into a package and then charge the entire proposal in one bill. The traveler would then have everything in place and would just have to worry about being on time per the dates and times of the itinerary.

Digital Quicksand

Today, the Internet and automated services have taken over much of the travel scheduling business, providing most of the same tools travel agents used to have exclusive access to. That said, it doesn't mean that business travel has gotten easier to manage. In fact, it may be more difficult now for the average user.

Sorting out a business travel itinerary can be a bit of a time-consuming exercise. One has to go through choices and choices of flight times and paths. Car rentals depend on travel needs, so if a traveler is not sure what he will need in a car it's likely he will have to size big, possibly spending more than necessary after the fact. Accidental duplication corporate limousine service reservations happen often as well. Lodging is an array of hotels and motels with questionable quality ratings that are all over the Internet but don't seem to have real people commenting. So many times a hotel choice can be a complete guess in the dark.

business travel executiveTravel Agent Benefits

Travel agents provide an inside benefit of knowing which areas to stay, what airports to fly through and which hotels had a good reputation or a bad name and bed bugs. Much of that was due to the fact that good agents also did a lot of traveling themselves to rate places, resources, amenities and more. They in turn would use this information to guide their customers to the best choices. Today's business travel executive scheduling their own itinerary loses those benefits immediately with just the computer approach.

Business Advantages

There are still travel agents, but they are a dying breed as everyone wants to manage their own trip under the impression they will save money. In fact, many business travel problems can be avoided with using the right agent. Further, travel agents also provide an inherent benefit of cost control for a company if the client lays out the acceptable parameters from the start. Travel agents provide a gatekeeper function for a business, allowing it to know where its people are traveling and when, as well as for an acceptable cost range. These benefits are often overlooked with the ease of the Internet.

So the next time your company is examining its travel costs and wondering how to get a better control of business travel expenses, consider the use of a travel agent. They are not a luxury, but rather a considerable advantage for your business.

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Posted on May 29 2014

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