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It is often unavoidable to make a last minute booking for a flight while conducting the activities of your business. However, you should be concerned when your employees consistently make last minute bookings even when a trip was expected. According to data collected by Concur, any ticket booked less than 7 days to the travel date tends to cost a minimum of 44 percent more than tickets booked 15 days ahead. The travel management experts at offer the following tips that you can implement to save most of this money that is lost when employees book flights at the last minute.

Simplify the booking process. It is possible that your booking processes are so difficult to use that employees put off making a booking until they can’t avoid it anymore. You can fix this problem by working with a travel management company like so that they can avail better booking tools and also train your employees to use those user-friendly tools.

Consider smaller airports and alternative routes. For those times when a last minute booking is unavoidable, advise employees to look into alternative routes or smaller airports so that the ticket can be less costly than one booked at a larger airport.

Travel midweek. Another way to lower the cost of last minute tickets is by booking a flight that travels midweek instead of early in the week. Midweek flights tend to be more affordable because the majority of the business travelers will have left at the start of the week, so demand for tickets may be lower midweek.

Educate employees and enforce travel policy compliance. CrewFacilities also advises business owners to continually educate their employees about the importance of booking tickets well in advance of a trip. CrewFacilities can also institute a system to alert you each time an employee is making a last minute booking. You can then reprimand such errant employees and bring them back in line if the last minute booking was avoidable.

Reward policy compliance. You can also reduce the high cost of last minute bookings by rewarding the employees who are consistent in following the travel policy. Gift cards and extra days of leisure when they travel are examples of incentives that can motivate employees to comply with the travel policy. The money you save in this way will be far more than what you spend on the reward program.

The extra cost incurred on a single ticket booked at the last minute may not be huge, but those costs quickly add up over the course of a year. It is therefore advisable for you to engage a travel management firm like if you are consistently overshooting your travel budget because of last minute bookings. We will work to bring the expenditure down and your bottom line will no longer be dented.

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