Using miles for your company? Maybe easier than you think!
Ravindra Bhagwanani, Thierry Prunier,06 October 2016

Our last article has generated curiosity and interest from many of you, thus we thought that the best was to turn the floor to an expert as Ravindra Bhagwanani Managing Director at Global Flight

More and more companies are tempted to look into one of the last areas of widely untapped, though potentially highly rewarding savings potentials: Frequent Flyer miles. The logic they apply is that if a company pays for duty travel, any discounts resulting from that should belong to the company, even if these discounts bypass via individual Frequent Flyer accounts of their travellers. All countries, where corresponding court decisions to clarify that question exist - such as Germany -, have subscribed to that logic in favour of companies and incorporated into their respective legislations.

A simple 3-step process allows you to realise these savings, which usually situate in the area of 10% of air travel costs and come obviously on top of all other reductions companies already realise today:

Program selection

There are more than 200 FFPs (Frequent Flyer Programs) out there and many of them are linked between each other, giving you a choice of typically 15 to 25 different programs for all major airlines. You should well consider which programs to choose in front of that freedom as the differences can be tremendous. Crediting the miles to the program of the airline you actually fly on is often not the best choice.

For instance, travelling in Business Class from Paris to Hong Kong as base member, you need 9.57 paid roundtrips on Air France as Flying Blue member in order to have sufficient miles for an award flight on the same route in Business Class. Crediting the same Air France flights to the Alitalia program, you can get the free flight after only 5.02 flights. And if you choose Cathay Pacific with a points credit to the Air China program, even 3.96 paid flights are sufficient.

Operational processes

Make sure that the savings are not lost in operational processes. Consider how to coordinate with your TMC or do it simply yourself. Tools like the administration software FFP Manager (www.ffpmanager.com) with its automated account updates and real-time availability check for award flights make this task indeed very easy - for all sizes of companies.

In a nutshell, if you join Ravindra Bhagwanani in the logic that it is not the duty of your company to pay holidays of your travellers, but are rather interested in a lucrative manner to realise more savings, FFPs are certainly for you!

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