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BTC Reports Increased Interest in Air ConsolidatorsNovember 13, 2008 By: George Dooley
The Business Travel Coalition released results and analysis from a first-of-its-kind survey of 152 corporate travel managers (CTMs) from 13 countries regarding the use and efficacy of air ticket consolidators in managed travel programs. The survey was conducted in response to increased interest among travelers and CTMs.
“In these hard economic times we can expect, and are indeed seeing, employees looking outside managed travel programs for lower-priced air tickets," said Kevin Mitchell, BTC chairman. "In particular, those employees authorized to travel business and first class are often actively looking at consolidator fares, spurred on in some cases by favorable press reports. It’s not unusual, for example, for a $10,000 fare, available via a corporate travel program, to be offered by a consolidator for $5,000."
CTMs can spend considerable time investigating the efficacy of using consolidators, and in turn, responding to travelers and senior management teams can be time-consuming, and not without some risk if the analysis is not thorough and credible. According to the BTC, the purpose of this survey was to provide a sound analysis to include global best-practice regarding the use of consolidators; the current level of use of consolidators in corporate managed travel programs; the benefits of using consolidators; and where consolidators are being used by CTMs and how are they being integrated within the travel program.
Sample results from the nine-page report include:
* 37.3 percent of survey participants have noticed increased interest regarding consolidators from among their travelers.
* 27.8 percent of those using consolidators are purchasing first class tickets
* 77.8 percent business class and 61.1 percent economy class.
* 37.5 percent of participants who use consolidators report net savings of under 20 percent from negotiated fares
* 37.5 percent report savings of 21 percent to 30 percent.
For a free copy of the BTC survey results and analysis go to http//businesstravelcoalition.com/ctm_survey.html.