How to get corporate flight discounts
Corporate flights can come with a heavy price tag. As an organization that relies on business travel, these costs quickly eat up a significant portion of your company’s business travel budget.
Most airline companies offer their clientele a corporate discount on flight booking, especially if your employees are frequent fliers. Offering corporate flight discounts results in a win-win situation for both the airline and the customer.
Airlines benefit from better customer loyalty and more business, while their customers benefit both from air travel discounts, and knowing that they’ve found an airline that they can depend on for reasonable flight deals.
Here, we’ll go through several tips to help you get the best corporate flight discounts for your business travel needs.
See how to save money when booking business flights
How corporate flight discounts work
A large majority of airline companies offer corporate flight discounts to regular business travel customers. Corporate flight discounts are intended for use by companies whose employees travel for business only.
Very often, airlines offer corporate customers different flight packages that include different levels of service, and varied corporate flight discounts.
For example, an airline might provide three tiers of corporate flight packages (these could be “bronze”, “silver”, and “gold” packages). Generally, the higher your company’s membership level, the better corporate discount on flight booking you’ll receive. The higher the tier, the better the advantages -- these could reward flights after a certain amount of flights have been booked, or upgraded seating to business class.
Once you’ve selected your company’s preferred tier or have negotiated your corporate flight discounts rate with the airline’s travel manager, you’ll usually be issued with a membership number or code, or access to a client portal to make future bookings.
Travel programs that offer corporate flight discounts also help provide organizations with insights into their employees’ travel information so that they can initiate cost-saving initiatives and improve both their travel expense policy (see our travel expense policy template) and corporate travel policy.
How to score great corporate flight discounts
Securing corporate flight discounts is a great way to keep costs low, especially if your employees fly regularly for business. However, while many corporate flight discounts programs are aimed at large businesses, smaller businesses can also take advantage of them.
Below, we detail some of the ways businesses can take advantage of corporate discounts on flight booking.
1. Use a travel management platform
A travel management platform helps your organization’s travel manager book, track, and analyze business travel. Some of these platforms will have a travel inventory of corporate flights. They will have established access to corporate discounts on flight bookings since they will have already formed strategic partnerships with many different airline companies.
2. Choose a smart corporate credit card
When choosing a corporate credit card for your organization, make sure you take stock of their perks and privileges when it comes to booking corporate flights, such as how much you need to spend to earn how many points, and what these points can get you.
The majority of corporate credit cards also offer discounts on corporate hotels, car rental, and travelers insurance. Weigh up what’s important to your own organization, and take advantage of the corporate flight discounts available via your credit card provider.
3. Be loyal to frequently used airlines
Be as consistent as you can with which airline companies you use, especially if your employees make regular air travel journeys to the same place. Loyalty points soon add up, and can be applied to future bookings as a form of corporate discount on flight booking.
4. Compare airlines and rates
Don’t settle for the first price you come across. Reach out to several airlines, detail your needs, and ask them to at least match, if not beat, the best offer on airfare pricing you’ve been given so far. Many companies may also offer special promo deals for new customers -- be sure to check in case these aren't listed on their websites.
5. Be willing to negotiate
Sometimes, old-fashioned negotiation is the key to winning corporate discounts on flight bookings.
Identify the airlines who provide the necessary flights. Then, get in touch and emphasize the benefits of partnering with your business -- explain how many flights your employees make on an annual basis and what volume of business you can offer.
Make sure any deal you are offered coincides with your corporate travel policy and doesn't contain any hidden service fees, waivers, cancellation fees, or change fees before agreeing to any formal agreement.
How to use TravelPerk for optimized corporate flight management
Using TravelPerk as your corporate travel management platform allows you access to the largest inventory for booking corporate flights. We also have integrations with global distribution systems Amadeus and NDC, online travel agencies Expedia, and metasearch engine Skyscanner.
Not only does this reduce the amount of time you spend platform-switching to compare the best prices on airline tickets when booking travel, but it also helps you narrow down the best options for corporate flight discounts.
Plus, TravelPerk also offers a VAT recovery service. Did you know that businesses lose billions each year due to unclaimed VAT on travel costs? Our VAT recovery service can help you save up to 20% of your annual travel budget with our VAT calculator that offers an accurate VAT refund estimate.