Booking Travel Through an Online Booking Tool vs a Live Agent

When it comes to booking corporate travel for yourself or others in your company there are several options available. Depending on the scope of the travel arrangements you need to make and specific circumstances you may find that using an online booking tool is more convenient than booking through a specialist travel agent. There are of course pros and cons to both however.

At Traveltrust we offer our clients a best of both worlds solution. Our expert travel managers can manage every element of your travel requirements, offering a truly bespoke service, or you can utilise our online booking tool to manage arrangements yourself whilst still accessing our exclusive rates with partners. Which path you choose will depend on your needs and below we have outlined the main differences between using the online portal and booking via an agent.

Booking Travel Through an Online Booking Portal

All Traveltrust clients are provided with access to our specialist booking tool powered by Cytric. This easy-to-use platform provides one-stop access to booking of flights, hotels, trains, airport transfers and even car rental, all in one place. It’s an incredibly powerful and efficient tool that simplifies the process of managing travel arrangements and works brilliantly for users looking to organise their own travel as well as for those making bookings for groups.

Much like using price comparison websites to compare fares, with the Traveltrust booking portal users simply need to select the required destination and dates of travel to be quickly presented with a selection of appropriate options with competitive rates from our travel provider partners. A really nice feature at this point is that the tool will automatically highlight any major events in the area at the time of your proposed trip. This can be very useful for judging how busy (and therefore expensive) a particular route will be on a given date. It’s also handy for confirming you’re heading to the right place at the right time if your reason for travel is the highlighted event in question!

Additionally the system will provide up-to-date Covid travel guidelines for the selected destination, ensuring you’re fully aware of any possible restrictions that may impact your journey. This has naturally been incredibly valuable in a world still impacted by the pandemic that began in 2019.

Advantages of Using an Online Booking Tool

Once your organisation is set up in the Cytric platform you should have all the required information (names, date of birth, passport number etc.) for all of your prospective passengers stored in the system, along with any related frequent flyer program account details. This not only speeds up making bookings on a regular basis but also ensures you’re always maximising your points earning potential, which can deliver significant savings further down the line.

What’s more the portal dashboard allows for easy management of your itinerary along with those of any others you’re travelling with or have made bookings for. At-a-glance access to all currently booked flights and hotels for staff members can simplify compliance and adherence to your company travel policy. In fact the system can be set up to send alerts should bookings be attempted that don’t fit within policy guidelines, recommending alternative options that would fulfil the given criteria.

Where the online travel booking tool works best is for journeys where you have a very definite idea of the exact time, date and destination for a short haul trip. If there aren’t many variables to your proposed travel arrangements then it can be the quickest and most cost-effective way to book your travel.

Booking Travel Through a Dedicated Offline Travel Agent

For long-haul trips or journeys that are a little more complex than a routine return flight to and from a single destination, using your dedicated Traveltrust agent is like having a personal concierge service to handle every element of your trip for you. Your experienced travel manager will be able to save you time working out the specifics of more complex journeys whilst also providing you with negotiated fees from airlines and hotel groups, offering savings over regularly advertised rates.

It’s also worth utilising the specialist knowledge of your travel manager who will have the skills to be able to identify and arrange the most cost effective route for your journey, particularly where you might have a multi-destination trip. Because indirect flights (with a stopover) are almost always cheaper than direct routes, if you need to visit two destinations within the same trip, knowing the airlines serving both destinations can help identify considerably better deals to complete your chosen journey. These deals are typically harder to find on regular flight aggregator websites so it pays to lean on your offline agent to get the best rate for you.

For bigger group bookings it can be easy to underestimate the amount of time required, not to mention the stress involved, in organising everything for everyone involved. This is precisely where your travel manager will come into their own, providing hassle-free personal and professional service that leaves you free to focus on what you do best.

Like to Know More?

If you’d like support with managing your business’ corporate travel requirements we’d love to help. Just get in touch to learn more about our specialist booking management portal and friendly team of expert travel management agents.