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Anonymous31 Jan 2012
Hello, I apologies if this topic isn’t exactly Travel Industry related but I’m a University student studying a Computer Science degree and my final year project is to develop a Travel Policy Management System.
The plan is that a large company’s (XYZ Corporation) Travel Manager would use consolidated data as a means to automatically generate a travel policy that is then sent out the travel providers.
So if their discounted or negotiated fares with airline Example Air being the preferred airline, required them to sell 400 passengers New York to London a new Travel Policy would be generated once they had met that target. Making another airline the new preferred carrier.
This would be an automated process, but I don’t want to bore you with those details.
My question 1 is: Is it feasible that a contract between a corporation and the airline which details the negotiated fares and conditions can be formatted in a way that enables me to write a program to import this into a database?
My question 2 is: Do Travel Agents who specialize in corporate travel have systems that would allow the import of a travel policy in electronic format?
Many thanks31 Jan 2012
With regards to question 1, deals between corporates and airlines can take many forms but typically will involve a level of market share commitment on a given route, and or total spend thresholds. The nirvana for a travel manager is that when you have achieved a certain threshold, to have any furture business switched onto alternate carriers where benefits maybe greater.
This assumes of course that the corporation can ‘mandate’ to its travellers which airline to travel on. Many corporations wont or feel they cant do this for a varierty fo reasons.
But to go back to the question, yes it could be imported into a system and in addition, if I was a travel manager who had this technology, I would use this as a negotiation tool with my airlines as a way of demonstrating to them that I can actively drive business to them.
Question 2. If the policy is simple then there is no reason why these cant be inmported into the agency from office scripting and policy system. policies are never simple though, often allowing travellers freedon to choose between carrier in certain instances (difference in fare between company preferred and personal preferred for example).
Hope this helps and good luck!31 Jan 2012
Whilst not addressing your questions directly, the ability to track and project spend by routes or sectors real time would greatly aid travel managers in negotiating better deals with airlines. So often offcie in different countries are on different systems, different currencies and some only know what they have committed to once the flight has happened and the billing cycle has rotated. Trying to tabulate total spend and project accurately is veru difficult due to poor data availability and manipulation.31 Jan 2012