Public fares are those available to everyone. Then there are the fare savings that come from using a travel management company. And then there are the savings that Wexas can offer. Travel buyers often use a range of methods to secure fare savings such as booking earlier, comparing fares on different carriers, perhaps flying by an indirect route rather than directly to the destination or taking advantage of an agent’s negotiated fares.
Save even more with Wexas
As Product and Operations Director at Wexas, David Warne is responsible for airline partner relationships and negotiates Wexas’ fares and commercial terms.
"We get all the fares available to both to make sure clients have a full range of fares which a lot of other corporate agents don’t.
"As a leisure operator we have access to all the special offers. Lots of airlines do short sales such as five-day for leisure travel to a certain destination. Occasionally business travellers will benefit from these flash sales. While the ticket conditions tend to be inflexible, price alone can make them very attractive.
"Similarly, ’inclusive tour’ fares – offered predominantly to tour operators to allow them to assemble tour packages – can be used to create business packages. These fares are generally lower than other fares in the market but come with different conditions, some of which are not favourable for business travellers but some are.
"Hotels sometimes provide lower ‘inclusive tour’ prices too, so potentially a business package will get the traveller a lower air fare and a lower rate at a hotel. Such packages aren’t completely flexible but have some elements of flexibility that can work for the business traveller."
David quotes the example of a recent client booking to show how large the savings can be with an Inclusive Tour ‘business package’ fare:
"The published fare for a premium economy cabin return journey to Boston at the time of booking was £2,227. We booked a business package for the client with three nights’ accommodation for a total of £1,065 using the same flights. There are differences in rules and conditions but there was a huge saving of more than 50%."
Not-for-profit and charity fares
Wexas also offers special fares which some carriers make available to passengers in selected areas such as the not-for-profit sector.
UK registered charities have access to specific discounted fares. Marine fares are available for anyone with a 'seaman’s book' travelling to or from a vessel as well as with certain other employees in that sector, for example entertainers aboard cruise ships. These fares represent great savings and sometimes also include additional baggage allowance and greater flexibility.
Another way in which Wexas Travel Management clients can save money is British Airways’ Business Bespoke programme. A fully flexible return business class fare to New York can cost £6,092 plus taxes, while a Business Bespoke Flexible fare starts from £2,570 (London City) plus taxes or £4,257 (Heathrow) plus taxes. And the Business Bespoke also benefits from short term additional discounts during certain periods - for example, at the time of writing, the New York (Heathrow) fare was further reduced to £3,630 plus taxes.
And when British Airways promotes its popular free one-way upgrade to first class offer when buying a business class ticket, clients who use Business Bespoke can also enjoy a lower-priced version of this offer.
There is no minimum volume required for a company to benefit from Business Bespoke fares so smaller SMEs which haven’t built up volume on a particular route can qualify for discounts straight away.
Wexas will also pro-actively manage a client’s British Airways OnBusiness rewards, as well as other airline company loyalty programmes, to ensure that the client gets the most value from the scheme, I.E. redeeming their company miles for the optimum journeys/times of the year to maximise the value of redemption miles. David says:
We managed to save one of our clients £35,000 by steering them to the optimum use of their miles. That saved them almost 9% of their annual spend.
David also points out that OnBusiness clients obtain increased reward levels when they use an American Express Business Travel Account facility as their payment method.
Get in touch today to find out how to reduce your travel costs.