3 Best Ways to Save on Business Flights in 2020

Published by Parker Schlank on October 7, 2020 for Tempore

Best Ways to Save on Business Flights

Whether you’re a solopreneur, a startup, a small business, or even a mid-sized enterprise, you’re probably missing out on the top hacks to save money on flights.

With advanced airline algorithms and the proliferation of metasearch, long gone are the days when you could scour the web for a deal. In fact, not only is searching for flight deals taking valuable time away from your most important objective, generating revenue for your business, now in 2020 dynamic airline pricing is likely increasing your overall cost just through the simple act of running multiple searches for the same route.

To navigate through the turbulence, we have assembled the 3 best ways to save real dollars on the cost of airfare.

Double-Dip and Earn "Business" Miles for FREE

One of the best kept secrets in the travel industry is that major airlines offer programs which allow your business to earn miles for flights. These "business miles" are earned in addition to any miles your individual employee travelers are already earning... and they are completely FREE!

While it’s typically a party foul to double-dip, when it comes to business flights it’s one of the best ways to save! Simply put, you are earning miles for your business AND your employees are still earning their individual miles whenever they fly... hence the "double-dip."

If you're thinking "what's the catch?" it's important to understand that airlines actually want to build a relationship with your business. Why? Competition. They want your company’s loyalty, and they are happy to pay to earn it. These business loyalty programs, often referred to as affinity programs, are free to join and use. Check out some of the top airline Business Miles programs:

Delta SkyBonus

SkyBonus is a travel rewards program for small to mid-sized companies that turns every business travel dollar your company spends into SkyBonus points.

American Business Extra

The Business Extra program provides real value to loyal companies with at least two flyers in the form of reduced travel expenses on American flights.

United Perks Plus

United PerksPlus, a complimentary corporate program designed to reward small- and mid-sized enterprises for business travel on United and their alliance partners.

These programs afford you the ability to earn miles on every single dollar spent on those airlines. So take a few minutes to sign up and start saving today!

Implement Fare-Monitoring

Inherently we all understand that flight prices fluctuate constantly. A ticket we need to book today may be more expensive tomorrow, but the price could also drop suddenly and cost significantly less. These price fluctuations can be particularly dramatic with international and business class fares. While a significant amount of factors impact why airline prices change, trying to predict the best time to book your trip can be a challenge.

Implement Fare Monitoring

One of the best ways to circumvent the price fluctuation gauntlet is to implement a fare-monitoring tool. You can book your next flight with the peace-of-mind that if the fare does drop, you’ll be notified and have the opportunity to rebook. In a normal environment, one has to contend with change fees from the airline, which can often make it cost prohibitive to rebook the flight and capture any price differential.

However in the era of 2020 everything has changed. To maintain customer loyalty, many airlines have removed their change fees, presenting a unique opportunity to monitor and capture this type of pricing arbitrage more frequently. Given the pace with which prices fluctuate, using an fare-monitoring solution is going to be the most effective approach to capture these tangible savings.

Many accredited business travel software platforms and agencies offer this type of fare-monitoring capability as part of their solution.

Get Access to Negotiated Discounts

You’re most likely aware of the term Public Fares when it comes to searching for flights. These fares and prices are what you will find using traditional consumer search such as Google Flights, Expedia, and the airline’s own website. What you might not be aware of is the term Private Fares. These are non-public discounts that have been put in place by large travel agencies, as well as enterprise-sized customers, negotiated and contracted directly with the airline.

You may have even encountered a Private fare before when conducting a Google Flights search. Have you ever seen the “Book with a travel agent” prompt? That option is usually associated with a price considerably lower than what the airline is advertising on its own website.

Book with a travel agent private fare

Private fares are almost never ubiquitous, applying only to certain fare classes, under particular conditions, on competitive routes. They can however add up to material savings over time for those who travel frequently.

Getting access to these fares and prices can be as simple as partnering with an accredited business travel provider. It’s important to include questions around Private fares when conducting due diligence on a potential partner. Inquire what percentage of their customers typically see benefit from these fares, whether the fares are available to all customers, and verify if they can provide detailed reporting on the savings realized over time.

In the case of Tempore, our users have seen the benefit of Private fares on over 40% of the flights originated through our platform, accounting for tens of thousands in hard-dollar savings.

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