Concur Higher Education Leadership Forum

A group of travel managers, procurement specialists and human resources professionals gathered in Washington, DC to share best practices and lessons learned within their community. Concur led the event which showcased its solutions and how to best deploy their technologies. A selection of travel suppliers was also in attendance to update the group on their companies’ latest developments and 2020 road map.

Future of Air Travel

Michael Boult of Travel Leaders Corporate participated on a panel discussion about changes in the airline industry and specifically, questions around NDC (New Distribution Capability). Although there were no simple answers, there was wide agreement that 2020 is an ideal time to start thinking about customizations that universities would need. Representatives from carriers – including Delta, American and Southwest – addressed how each carrier is approaching a transformative period in the airline marketplace.

As Boult noted, Travel Leaders Corporate is on the NDC board and will help determine distribution strategies and weigh those consequences for their customers. For their clients in higher education, it’s a time to think ‘how this will impact me?’ and issues like cost and service requirements. Considering the NDC developments that have already been enacted in Europe, American air customers find themselves right in the middle of the skirmish for the future of how tickets and ancillary services are sold.

While the future of airline ticket distribution is still being written, a few outcomes seem inevitable. Travel managers can expect to see a base fare packaged together with services and fees like baggage, Wi-Fi or seat upgrades. Knowing that a bundled offering is likely on the horizon, it’s a great time to poll your travelers or find out which services are considered valuable and important to them. For example, a university sports team that checks luggage and equipment on every trip would benefit from a pre-paid luggage option. Knowing these concerns and requirements will help your case when it comes time to negotiate your supplier contracts.

Among the other topics covered at the event:

  • Transparency of Spend
  • Policy Compliance
  • Sustainability: Ditching Paper & Printing
  • Value Your Travelers: Time: Cost vs. Benefit vs. Time

Travel Leaders Corporate has deep experience in providing travel fulfillment and services to universities and higher education systems of all sizes. Our expanded international network allows Travel Leaders Corporate to provide coverage and continuity of service to their clients’ professors and athletes as they travel globally.

Get in touch with us to discuss your travel program.