Business travel is an essential part of many industries, enabling employees to attend meetings and conferences, negotiate deals and expand their horizons. However, it's no secret that business travel often comes with its own set of challenges, particularly for those booking the business trips.

The process of travelling itself can be time-consuming, and when delays or disruptions occur, it can throw a wrench into your carefully planned itineraries.

There are many factors to be aware of as the bookers to help you, your company and your travelling employees be prepared for delays and disruptions to business travel bookings you’ve made.

What are possible travel disruptions?

While there are many ways to prepare for upcoming business travel, there are factors that may arise that could lead to delays or disruptions for your travelling employees that are unavoidable. These include but are not limited to:

  • Flight or train delays
  • Lost luggage
  • Last minute cancellations
  • Visa or immigration troubles
  • Sudden medical issues or illness
  • Personal emergencies

How to prepare for the unexpected during business travel

Business travel often involves navigating through various uncertainties, making preparedness for the unexpected a vital aspect of a successful trip. Being prepared is the cornerstone of business travel in your company. Here are our tips for how to prepare for unforeseen circumstances during corporate travel:

  • Create a detailed itinerary and contingency plan.
  • Consider taking an emergency response training
  • Allow for unexpected costs in budgeting and travel allowances
  • Keep up communication
  • Elect a designated emergency response contacts
  • Take health and safety measures

3 tips to help manage business travel disruptions for your company

Equipped with the knowledge of potential disruptions, here are our top practical tips to navigate travel disruptions effectively:

  1. Stay informed and plan ahead. Regularly check for travel updates, weather forecasts and potential disruptions in travel routes. Stay proactive and adjust your plans accordingly to minimise delays.
  2. Utilise technology. Leverage travel apps and platforms that provide real-time updates on flights, weather and traffic. These tools can assist you in making informed decisions and adapting to changing circumstances.
  3. Maintain communication. Communicate with airlines, accommodation providers and other relevant parties or contact the support page of the business travel management tool. In case of disruptions, having good communication channels can help you swiftly reorganise your plans.

Mitigating the financial impact of business travel delays

From rescheduling fees to additional accommodation costs, travel disruptions often come with financial implications. We’ve explored some strategies to mitigate the monetary impact of travel disruptions:

Comprehensive travel insurance

Business travel insurance is specifically crafted to offer coverage and safeguarding for employees embarking on work-related travel. When seeking insurance for employees, ensure it encompasses essential aspects such as emergency medical evacuation, comprehensive medical coverage, reimbursement for trip cancellation or delay, coverage for misplaced or delayed baggage and accessible 24-hour emergency assistance.

Preventive budgeting

Include a buffer in travel budgets to account for unexpected expenses related to delays or disruptions. This buffer should be a reasonable percentage of the total anticipated expenses, ensuring that it's adequate to handle various unexpected costs without derailing the entire budget. This financial cushion offers peace of mind, allowing for adaptability in dealing with the unexpected and maintaining financial stability throughout the journey.

Contingency planning

Develop contingency plans for possible disruptions, outlining the associated costs and strategies to minimise financial losses. This planning phase should include a thorough assessment of risks and the development of structured plans outlining the steps to take in case of various disruptions. Each potential disruption should be analysed in terms of its impact, cost implications and necessary actions to minimise financial losses. Contingency plans should be well-documented, easily accessible to relevant personnel and regularly updated to align with changing circumstances and business needs.

How travel risk assessments can help managing delays in business travel

By conducting comprehensive risk assessments, businesses can prepare strategies to mitigate these issues, ensuring minimal disruption to the travel itinerary. From alternative travel plans to contingency measures, being proactive in managing potential delays is crucial in maintaining the efficiency and productivity of business travel. Utilising our travel risk management tools, companies can access detailed insights and implement strategies to alleviate the impact of travel delays, allowing their teams to stay focused and on track.

How traveller tracking and risk alerts can help managing delays in business travel

In the realm of business travel management, an indispensable feature for managing delays and disruptions are real-time traveller tracking and alert systems. Business travel management tools offer precise tracking, enabling organisations to monitor the movement of their employees during their trip and provide instant alerts regarding potential delays in flights or transportation, empowering companies to adapt their travel plans promptly.

By utilising these capabilities, your company can efficiently manage travel delays, optimising travel itineraries and ensuring that employees reach their destinations without significant interruptions.

How to prepare travellers for travel delays and disruptions

  1. Provide the option to choose top-rated airlines – while, of course, mishaps still happen to top airlines, lost baggage and delays cannot be avoided. With a top-rated airline, waiting time is typically lower to resolve these issues.
  2. Inform travellers about trackers for your baggage – have travelling employees slip a Bluetooth tag into their bags to help track and locate them while travelling for business.
  3. Encourage travellers to pack their essential items in their carry-on – important documents, passports or identification cards, laptops and other devices needed for work plus their chargers should all be in travellers’ carry-ons in case their checked luggage goes missing during travel. That way employees can conduct business as usual in lieu of any luggage loss.
  4. Encourage travellers to stay informed and prepared – stay updated on travel advisories, weather forecasts and potential disruptions. By doing so, you'll be well-prepared for potential delays, enabling timely adjustments to the traveller's itinerary. Have a contingency plan in place to adapt swiftly to unexpected changes.

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