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Reigning in the Rogue Business Traveler

8 APR 2014

This week, the CTC blog tackles the issue of open-booking – a habit of maverick travelers who make their own hotel and flight arrangements rather than following official company protocol. Some professionals enjoy the rewards points they bank when booking through private channels. Others prefer to explore popular peer-to-peer sharing options unavailable through pre-established corporate arrangements. Others firmly believe they can save their company money by finding last minute deals online. The blog post, Reigning in the Rogue Business Traveler describes an apt example:

Sain Godil, a Montreal-based financial analyst who travels quite often for work, says he’s willing to spend hours booking his own flights and hotels – all just to “save the firm a bit of money.” This is the common refrain of the rogue business traveler, the conscientious employee who bypasses the corporate policy in order to pinch a few pennies. And now that self-serve booking options have expanded to include providers like Airbnb and Eatwith, travelers can circumvent agents and industry professionals, opting instead to sleep and dine at the home of a local resident.

However altruistic their motives may be, rogue travelers can pose problems for company money managers. CFOs often find that when comparing expense sheets, the deal-hunter ends up spending more money than she would have with the company policy. Also, diverging from the policy means alienating carefully cultivated relationships with hospitality providers – and sacrificing valuable leverage when sitting down to broker next year’s deal.  Ultimately, experts agree that there is no definitive solution to prevent open-booking, but predict that more user-friendly apps and software will help win back road warriors who crave a more customized travel experience.