Flightchats 3bblog Post

FlightChats: Why Travel Context Matters to Travel Management Companies (TMCs)

In this episode of FlightChats, Robyn and Meara talk about the players that support corporate travel: Travel Management Companies (TMCs). Historically, TMCs focus a lot on the booking and ticketing phase of travel as well as producing post-trip reporting and analysis. However, during the day-of-travel, it gets a little more difficult for them to support travelers.

They face the challenge of keeping track of a traveler throughout their journey and providing a variety of services to travelers, should they need them. TMC agents are the ones sitting by the phone hoping nothing goes wrong. But all they can do is wait.

If the phone rings, then they’re going to be there to support the traveler; however, they have no lead time and it’s getting tougher to fulfill that commitment. Luckily, the technology and data that powers their communication with travelers is transforming the way TMCs can do their jobs. That is where the value of understanding travel context lies.

For example, in the event of a flight delay, understanding travel context can really help TMCs become more proactive about offering services to the traveler-in-transit. Since travel context gives TMCs a view into how a delay is impacting each individual traveler, they can easily ensure they’re providing the right information to the right person at the right time.

Turning agents into guardian angels

Travel context helps TMCs understand that a piece of information can have a different influence on each traveler’s trip so they can take the appropriate action to support those travelers in advance. Agents can easily identify the high-priority issues that are affecting their traveler or could significantly disrupt the flow a trip. For example, they can immediately identify travelers who will miss their connection and book them on another flight. The traveler will get a phone call, email or text from their agent notifying them of the change before they even land.

It’s a major service differentiator and it makes the difference between traveling as a managed traveler or traveling as an unmanaged traveler. Travelers want to know that someone has their back and travel context is the key to empowering agents with the information they need in order to do that.

Helping agents sort through the noise

If an agent is managing a 10-minute delay, then they don’t want to send notifications on every single change affecting all of their travelers all the time. Typically, agents have to mentally process all of those changes and figure out which ones to pay attention to. It can be difficult for a single agent to sort through all that noise; however, travel context helps them focus on just those issues requiring their assistance or identify those opportunities where they can offer an elevated level of service to VIP travelers.

In our next FlightChats video, Meara and Robyn will be talking about the impact of travel context on corporations. Thank you for watching! Please subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss a FlightChat.