Seven ways to save money on your business flights

By: Rachael Matthews

Date: 3 September 2019

A young business man works on his laptop in the departure lounge while waiting for his business flight

If you regularly go abroad on business, or you have employees in your team who do, you’ll know increasing business travel costs can have a huge impact on company profits. Spending money on business flights is a luxury most businesses can ill afford, especially in the current economic climate. Sometimes, though, it’s unavoidable - especially if you need to travel overseas to meet suppliers, potential new clients or overseas sales agents.

If you’re looking to reduce your company spend on business trips, here are seven ways to save money on your flights.

1. Plan ahead

It’s not always easy to do in business, with strategies changing and things needing actioning at the drop of a hat. But where possible, it’s always best to plan ahead. If you have teams, suppliers or clients in different countries that you know you’re going to need to see in the next few months, then get a date in the diary sooner rather than later and stick to it. The earlier you book, the cheaper your travel costs are likely to be.

2. Set up flight alerts

If you have plenty of lead time before you go on your trip, use a flight scanner to keep an eye on fares. You can see when they go up, when they go down and when will be best to book. If they’re more expensive than you’d like to pay when you first look, set up an email alert to notify you as soon as the price drops.

3. Fly off-peak

Where possible, avoid peak flying times and days. This is worth taking into consideration when planning in your meetings in the first place too. Tuesdays and Wednesday tend to be cheaper days to fly, as are early mornings and later evening departures. It might work out cheaper to stay an extra night in a hotel than fly back straight after your work is done.

4. Keep the number of passengers down

One thing that many businesses can be guilty of is sending more people away than is totally necessary. If a meeting requires three members of your team to attend, then so be it. But, if the job can be done by one employee, then only send that one person. There’s no point wasting money on superfluous bodies.

5. Reduce other costs

If more than one person is going on the trip, see if it’s possible to cut other costs. For example, do a car share to the airport, saving on fuel and parking costs. Even better - see if public transport is a cheaper option. Avoid any added extras that aren’t absolutely necessary, such as in-flight meals, extra baggage or airport lounges. Have a process whereby someone must sign off all expenses and consider setting a daily budget for meals and incidentals.

6. Pick the right plane cabin

If you’re facing a long day of travel and are then heading straight to an important meeting once you arrive at your destination, then you’ll want to fly in comfort. The same applies if you have lots of meeting prep to do during the flight too. As a general rule, certain situations may require flying business class, but if it’s a relatively short-haul flight and the timings are sociable, then there’s no reason why employees can’t travel in economy.

7. Keep meetings 'virtual'

Finally, the best way you can save money on business flights is by not going at all. If it’s not absolutely vital for someone to be there in person, then don’t attend in person. These days, it can be so much easier to hold a video conference call, a webinar or even just have a simple phone call or email chat and still wind up with the same results as if you’d been in the same room together.

If you can manage all, or at least a few, of the tips above next time you’re planning a business trip, you’ll soon start to notice the positive savings you’ll be making.

Copyright © 2019 Article was made possible by site supporter Rachael Matthews

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