Flying on a shoestring? Running low on Avios points? Not to worry - Gate8 has scoured the business blogging world for the advice of corporate travel managers, and compiled an expert checklist to beat the downturn as you hit the skies.
1. Get the timing right - The cheapest times to fly are the end of August through to September and the December-January period. At these times consumers are worn out on travel and bookings simply come to a screeching halt, this according to Jolee Goularte, travel manager at Align Technology Inc.
2. Be nice to the gate manager - Business travel managers agree that the person on the gate has the final say in who gets on a plane. These are the ones who are given control moments before departure, and who have the power to improve your seating or allow boarding passes onto busy flights.
3. Corporate travel managers can negotiate your flier status - Companies increasingly negotiate to have a certain number of employees on Bronze, Silver and Gold flier tiers, without necessarily having accumulated the necessary miles.
4. Be prepared for Last-Minute Opportunities - Travel light, using wheeled hand-luggage if heading for a short trip (Gate8, perhaps?!), and load up your mobile phone with travel apps. You need to be on the pulse in order to grab hard-to-find, last-minute deals.
5. Make use of the airport lounge - Ensuring a comfortable executive experience, but also a less obvious point of contact with airport staff. The desk staff in the lounge are designated problem-solvers and this strategy can avoid undesirable queueing experiences.