Travel glitches have been frequent within the past month, and they can surely burden a company and their traveling employees -- costing extra dollars and wasting precious time.
We’ve seen a number of airline issues this year -- and many due to outdated technologies. Just this summer, Delta Airlines canceled nearly 2,000 flights due to a three-day-long computer system outage.
At the Vienna Airport, more than 100 flights were canceled on Aug. 28 due to issues with “automated flight data transmission.” Regardless of a speedy recovery, travelers were left stranded until the problem was eventually resolved.
All over the world, airport and airline issues are causing chaos and frustration to travelers. A most recent case yesterday has multiple British Airways flights delayed at a number of U.S. airports due to a glitch in the airline’s check-in system. Phoenix, Atlanta, Seattle and San Francisco were of the affected airports hit with delays.
Although these computer outages might tarnish the reputations of major airlines, it’s important for businesses to reduce their risks from any travel hiccup. There’s little you can do to completely avoid the issue, but there are a number of precautionary steps and alternatives companies can take to mitigate risks of their traveling employees.
Check out these helpful tips before you send your employee off on their next business trip.
1. Change your business policies.
We can’t foreshadow the next big airport glitch or change the way an airline operates. But Bruno Santiago, CEO and founder of Biz Airlines, explains how changing company travel policies is vital to adapt to the changing travel climate. Company policies should focus less on cost thresholds and limits, and more on factors that influence productivity, such as on-time flight performance, check-in times and TSA and boarding processes.
Thorough research and airline comparisons are a good place to start.
2. Make data-driven decisions.
Let’s face it: We don’t all have time to research and figure out the most optimal plan for efficient air travel. That’s where helpful tools and websites such as Biz Airlines come in.
These websites help companies and travelers collect data that will help drive their decisions to ensure smooth sailing when traveling. The sites collect and compile information such as on-time performance of certain airlines, potential weather issues and check-in and TSA and boarding efficiencies.
3. Stick to one airline.
Sticking to one airline can also help relieve any travel-related stress and even elevate one’s overall experience, Bruno says. Say you’re stuck in the airport due to a flight delay, if you’re a member of a good frequent flier program, you can spend your time in one of the airline’s VIP lounges.
In addition, priority check-in and boarding, rewards and other program perks help alleviate travel stress.
4. Use a private jet.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to fly private. Although there may be higher upfront costs, chartering a private plane for important business trips can be a good idea. If your company can afford it, invest in a company plane, but for the majority of other businesses, jet-sharing is an option.
The check-in, security and boarding processes are quick and simple. And, “There’s less risk for major system outages, like the big commercial carriers face, and in the long run, this option can save time and money,” Bruno says.
5. Sign up for Global Entry status.
Say goodbye to the lines.
If you have employees constantly flying across international borders, encourage them to register with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program -- which gives qualifying travelers an expedited customs process. The program allows “expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival into the U.S.,” as stated on the Dept. of Homeland Security’s website.
A background check and in-person interview can get you in the program.