Topaz News


There was an interesting publication that came out recently suggesting that you are wasting your time negotiating discounts with airlines. Therefore, I conclude you should just stop. Cheap-o fares that have no corporate discounts attached to them are less expensive, so just stop working on those airline agreements and do whatever you want. Go play golf or hang at the beach. Maybe even have a cocktail, your life as a travel manager is done.

Oh, by the way, even Topaz data supports this:

(Coach Tickets)

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

Negotiated Fare

$295

$278

$306

$286

$311

Non-Negotiated Fare

$297

$249

$292

$277

$303

Variance

$2

$29

$14

$9

$8

Yet, if you do go to the beach instead of doing your job, well, you are not really doing your job. Because as long as airlines are willing to give you something for your business, and your policy is lowest logical airfare with a set of parameters, you will be saving your company money.

Lots of money.

Because this chart says nothing about what you would have paid if you did not have that contract in place. It said nothing about the concept of booking availability, and understanding exactly why a discounted airfare was used. This is the nuance that was forgotten in that industry paper - it just took values as they were written, not bothering to understand the forces behind the numbers. Then, go beyond that to the value your airline partners provide you by waivers and favors, status upgrades, and even last minute seat holds for those executive VIP's that need a seat held because of some business emergency.

In the end, understand what your numbers are and what they mean - and don't believe everything you read unless you really understand it. Or if I wrote it. Then you can believe it.

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