News & Media

Carpe Diem !

By Martin Rockman, Founder & Director at VMR Travel
19 Apr 2020

There is no time like the present!

Last week we talked about how the Corona Pandemic overcame us and what we did to be at your side. We saw how valuable our services to you our clients are and the role we will be playing in the future.

But the future maybe a while away at least where travel is concerned and business travel in particular. So where does that leave us right now?

While there is little we can presently do in providing travel solutions to you this is an almost ideal time to do a little housekeeping and to strengthen our mutual understanding.

Our clients are mostly direct clients but we also serve those coming through to us via corporate online booking tools such as Concur or KDS. In fact our relationship is equally close and supportive but based on different requirements.

One of the most important missions at the moment is the update of client data. For example we are currently approaching all our clients offering free profile update sessions: Zoom meetings are available for those direct clients using our profile tool EMBARK giving an opportunity to re-familiarise with the profile tool, learning about new features and in particular check if the existing profiles are still correct or in need of updating while simultaneously adding new profiles.

Our online booking tool team (OBT) is running bi-weekly sessions for users and key bookers with a view to strengthen user confidence for online booking tools like Concur. We demonstrate the tool for new starters, explain the features, capabilities and also the limitations and let users get acquainted with the tool. We also discuss corporate travel policies stored in the tool with travel managers and offer dedicated courses to learn more about how travel policies influence searches and bookings and how the processes can be streamlined.

At the same time we offer our clients review meetings to discuss the performance of their OBTs. Are they happy, do they miss features and where would they like to see improvements. We run those meetings online together with our OBT team in the US and we are proud to say that they are proving highly successful.

Travel policies are also on the table at the moment. Many travel managers have already approached us and asked how we can support them with the upcoming changes. While we do not know yet how the travel industry is going to reshape itself after the end of Corona it is clear that change will come. So we offer online townhall meetings chaired by our charismatic account manager Francesca where we invite all participants in an open forum to discuss their idea of future policies and the needs those new policies will have to cover. The goal is to create a reference document for future use when we need to discuss changes in detail.

In the US our IATA team have created a string of Zoom meetings to inform and discuss changes in the airline industry. These meetings are open to clients and consultants alike and are designed as an interactive podium giving all of us the opportunity to participate in an open and constructive way. Depending on the success of these forums they will be repeated with new information becoming available.

Last but not least we offer personal consultations to our travellers . We have been asked to help with the review of frequent traveller and hotel loyalty programmes and it turns out that often travellers have enrolled in two or more frequent flier programmes within the same alliance and are missing out on benefits. More importantly though at the moment is the question what happens to your membership status while you are not able to travel? Some airlines have extended their deadlines and will review tier levels in a year or even two years only while others have simply lowered their annual requirements to retain status levels. Which is it for you? What do you need to do to retain your status ? We can help you as we have the latest updates on all the programmes.

And don’t forget prior to Covid we were also offering a very competitive status matching incentive at Virgin Atlantic for all those keen frequent travellers of other airlines that wanted a well deserved change. We expect that to be reinstated after Corona so ask us for details !

Of course this is also the right time to look at your hotel loyalty memberships. Is it worth dropping one to prefer another to get those rewards you have been hoping for? We are looking at that for you and will give you impartial advise.

It is amazing what you can do when you have time. Since there is no time like the present let’s be proactive and make the most of it!

Business Travel is not going anywhere, it is here to stay – and so are we!

Ask us what we can do for you and how we can improve YOUR travel experience. Francesca and I are here to answer all of your questions and help you to prepare for the travel season 2020 and beyond!

Stay Home & Stay Safe !

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