Terror threat: Adjusting corporate travel policy

RADNOR, PA - Business Travel Coalition (BTC) today released results of a survey of travel managers designed to determine what travel policy changes and other support travelers are receiving in light o

Terror threat: Adjusting corporate travel policy

RADNOR, PA – Business Travel Coalition (BTC) today released results of a survey of travel managers designed to determine what travel policy changes and other support travelers are receiving in light of news of a major terror threat.

Given the new intelligence suggesting that al Qaeda may launch attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere during August, and attendant embassy closings and travel warnings, BTC wanted to seek to understand steps organizations were taking or considering taking with regard to adjusting employee travel policy.

BTC conducted a survey over 2 days from Sunday, August 4 through Monday, August 5. Some 63 government, university and corporate travel managers from 8 countries participated. These results are preliminary and reflect the thinking and decisions of organizations in this first week of heightened security. Additional surveys will be taken as developments warrant.

No organizations are currently planning travel policy changes regarding home-country travel. 28.6 percent of organizations do plan to alter near-term policy regarding international travel; and just 10 percent of organizations plan to adjust meetings-related travel. Among the changes travel managers say they will be making to policy are a temporary ban on travel to countries where embassies have been closed; a mandated review of all travel plans to assess alternatives; and an elevated travel approval process.

Travel departments are also increasing the frequency of travel advisories, reviewing crisis-contingency plans and communicating the link between policy compliance and traveler safety. Travel managers need to know where travelers are in a time of crisis and to be able to efficiently communicate with them. A majority of travel managers (57.9 percent) are concerned about the future tracking of travelers’ whereabouts during a crisis because under the International Air Transport Association?s Resolution 787 proposal, when a traveler needs to change an international itinerary after a trip begins, there could be multiple airlines sitting on disparate pieces of the Passenger Name Record in their respective systems.

Specific Survey Responses

1 – WILL YOUR ORGANIZATION THIS WEEK MAKE TRAVEL POLICY CHANGES REGARDING INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL?

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71.4% – No, will likely NOT make policy changes at this time
28.6% – Yes, WILL likely make policy changes

2 – IF YES, WHAT POLICY CHANGES ARE UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL? (CHECK ALL THAT APPLY)

0.0% – Temporary ban on ALL international travel until improved understanding or resolution of threat

50.0% – Temporary ban on travel ONLY to countries where embassies were closed

50.0% – Mandated review of all travel plans to assess alternatives (e.g., delay the trip, replace with video conferencing, etc.)

50.0% – Elevated travel approval process

3 – WILL YOUR ORGANIZATION THIS WEEK MAKE TRAVEL POLICY CHANGES REGARDING MEETINGS-RELATED TRAVEL?

90.0% – No, will likely NOT make policy changes at this time
10.0% – Yes, WILL likely make policy changes

4 – IF YES, WHAT POLICY CHANGES ARE UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR MEETINGS-RELATED TRAVEL? (CHECK ALL THAT APPLY)

33.3% – Temporary ban on ALL meetings-related travel

100.0% – Temporary ban ONLY on meetings-related travel to countries where embassies were closed
66.7% – Elevated approval process for new meetings

5 – BEYOND TRAVEL POLICY CONSIDERATIONS, WHAT ADDITIONAL STEPS MIGHT YOUR ORGANIZATION TAKE? (CHECK ALL THAT APPLY)

68.8% – Increase frequency of travel advisories
68.8% – Increase communications linking policy compliance to traveler safety & security
43.8% – Review internal crisis-contingency plans
43.8% – Review travel management company crisis-contingency plans

6 – This terror threat and potential worldwide disruption of business travel itineraries underscores a fundamental and significant problem with the International Air Transport Association?s (IATA) Resolution 787 that would create a new global business model for the pricing and sale of airline tickets. The problem is, under the IATA model, when a business traveler needs to change an itinerary after a trip begins there could be multiple airlines sitting on pieces of the Passenger Name Record, or PNR, in their respective systems. Is this a significant problem? What do you think?

26.3% – Strongly Agree

31.6% – Agree
36.8% – Undecided
5.3% – Disagree
0.0% – Strongly Disagree

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