Business Travel: Why it pays to upgrade

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Business travel: Why it pays to upgrade

Travel Policy

Two mature businessmen engrossed in their electronic devices while waiting in a corporate lounge

“First class”, “Business Class”, “Premium Room” might be what all your staff wants to hear when booking business travel, but there are some compelling reasons to approve that upgrade beyond “it would be nice”.


#1. Simple Maths

In many cases, the benefits associated with an upgrade, if purchased separately, add up to more than the cost of the upgrade. Imagine how frustrated your staff feels when they fill in their expenses forms and add up all the money they’ve paid for snacks, meals, business lounges, Wi-Fi connections and other extras separately, and realise their claim tots up to more than the upgrade would have cost?  Imagine all that extra leg room and quiet space they could have enjoyed – and how much quicker, simpler, and cheaper the expenses claiming and approval processes could be!  If you’re not sure that the extras really add up, ask your Travel Counsellor to use their expert knowledge to search creatively for the best deal for you.


#2. The Immediate ROI

The ROI of wellbeing is hard to measure and quantify, but certainly the extra hours of productive time are easier to measure.  Being fast-tracked through check-in and security, having access to quiet business lounges where you can get work done, and having more space and more facilities – like the all-important Wi-Fi connection – while travelling all make it far easier to get work done.  Instead of walking round the airport looking for a snack, your staff can find a quiet space with their laptop and wait for the food they’ve ordered to come to them.

And, of course, this all adds up to a much less tiring and stressful experience for your business travellers.  Which means, perhaps one of the most important elements of immediate ROI is how your staff are able to do a much better job when they get to their destination.

If you’re going to send someone halfway round the world to nail down a big sales deal, don’t you want them to be performing their best when they get there?


#3: The Long-term ROI

Economy fares might save your business money in the short term, but what do they cost you in the longer term? 

When staff are poorly rested, it isn’t only going to affect their performance on that trip. 

When staff are travelling frequently without the support they really need, it can affect tiredness, wellbeing, and morale.  The savings on flights, hotels, or train fares, suddenly pale into insignificance in the face of the costs of time off for stress and illness, and the increasing costs of your corporate health policies.


#4: A Productivity Booster

It’s no coincidence that productivity isn’t rising in an age of austerity.  If hunger is the best sauce, then hope – and feeling valued – are the best motivators.

By spending extra on travel and minimising the stress and inconvenience of the journey, you’re not only ensuring your staff are going to perform their best when they get to the destination, you’re making a powerful statement about how much you value their contribution.

Spending a bit extra on travel to ensure employee comfort, isn’t only demonstrating how you are fulfilling your duty of care obligations, it is showing staff you value them and the extra time they have sacrificed from their lives to make time for corporate travel obligations. 

When staff feel valued, you are rewarded with improved morale, increased productivity and boosted performance.


Is it time to review your travel policies?  What are your travel policies saying about the way you value your employees and the extra time they have sacrificed in order to make time for travel?  Could you be making smarter travel policies and buying in a way that offsets the cost of upgrades?

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