Businesswoman at ticket counter, road warrior, business travel expenses

You know who the Road Warriors are in your office. Perpetually OOO (Out Of Office), they are constantly canvassing the country with dreams of profitable quarters dancing in their heads. While this crew is vital to generating new business, it’s also vital to your company that they stay within your travel policy when they book their flights and hotels independently. 

But often they don’t - they go rogue. They make travel plans that benefit themselves first, company second, mostly out of habit and personal preferences. The key to changing these habits and getting your Road Warriors to play team ball is to understand where they’re coming from. So let’s fly a thousand miles in their shoes to learn more about their motives.

The Last Minute Booker

He’s known about the trip to New York for weeks, but he waits until the night before to book the flight, which will now be 60-70% more expensive. To him, it’s not about the money… the company will pay. He’s simply a procrastinator, like many of us are, and he doesn’t see the downside of booking later.

Solution: Educate him on the benefits of early booking, or have a dedicated travel manager or company complete the bookings on his behalf.

The Points Collector

This Travel Warrior loves booking her own journeys, because that means she can rack up bonus points and receive personal gifts or travel upgrades outside of the company.

Solution: Again, you can have someone else book her travel, but that will not satisfy the Collector. Instead, look for a travel management company that offers bonus programs or other ways to gamify the travel booking process. These programs reward your employees for booking within the travel policy, thus encouraging higher rates of policy adoption.

The Sneaky Upgrader

This one has grown accustomed to the finer things in life, and as such, he simply does not sit in the back of the plane with the commoners or sleep on the bottom floor of the hotel next to the coke machine. Instead, he uses the company’s good name (and good credit card) to upgrade, claiming later that he had no choice.

Solution: Take a hard line with upgraders when it comes to travel expenses. The CFO or travel manager must not only communicate the rules of any travel policy, but they also must enforce them. Make it clear that any employee can enjoy travel upgrades, as long as they pay for them themselves.

The common thread that connects all your Road Warriors is your company’s travel plan. They might not completely comprehend the company-wide benefits of complying with the plan, and you might not comprehend the damage their Warrior ways are doing. But there is an overall solution - create a travel plan that works equally for both sides. There are many components to a travel policy that can be altered to best fit your Road Warriors’ wishes and your overall company culture - components that travel management professionals know well.

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