Finance News & Insights

2019 T&E forecast – and how to combat higher costs

Considering T&E is the second largest expense for most companies, CFOs always have to keep an eye on the business travel industry.  

What can you expect next? That’s what BCD Travel set to find out with its 2019 Industry Forecast.

The overarching takeaway: Costs are going to increase this year.

Take a look at what’s on the horizon for travel prices so you and your finance team can start working now to keep costs low.

Airfare

The forecast: Both business and economy class prices for regional flights are expected to increase 1%. And overall, the average ticket price will increase for both regional and international flights.

Tip: With travelers and managers, it can’t be stressed enough to book early. Just how early? Booking 22 days in advance is most common, says research from Egencia. It’s a good idea to revisit your policy to see if there are guidelines in place for when or how your travelers are required to book.

Hotels

The forecast: Hotel rates will increase 1%-3% in the coming year.

Tip: To counter the cost of general price increases, employees should see if other fees can be removed. Often, extra fees aren’t listed online, so experts say the best tactic is to have travelers call the hotel directly to see which fees will apply and if any can be waived.

To encourage travelers’ efforts, you and other leaders could recognize (via company newsletter, in person, with a gift card, etc.) those who get the most fees waived each year. It’s a win-win: You get to publicize the savings your finance team has spurred, and travelers receive well-deserved appreciation.

Car rentals

The forecast: A 2%-4% price increase is expected, as rental companies will raise their corporate rates in 2019.

Tip: BCD Travel recommends having everyone (travelers, approving managers and A/P staffers) take an extra look at receipts to make sure employees aren’t mischarged for unnecessary incidentals. For example, if there are one-day surcharges, they should check that those surcharges aren’t applied to multi-day rentals.

And in general, you may also want staffers and managers to remind travelers to read contracts carefully for any unexpected terms and conditions.

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