For business travellers a seamless journey is paramount, it was a high priority before Covid struck, but is now ever more important. Though how do you strike a balance between reducing touchpoints whilst still having personable support when you need it? Ultimately though, from the planning and booking process to the trip itself, having a stress-free business trip is most definitely welcomed. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed this entirely, from the way we book, undertake, and return from business travel with one of the biggest changes being the concept of “Contactless Travel”.
If you’re wanting more of a contactless business travel journey, then we have a few top tips to help you reserve your face-to-face contact for that all-important business meeting.
We would always recommend you have the expertise of a Travel Management Company in place, whether booking by phone, email or using an Online Booking Tool. As we emerge from Covid the support you get from a travel expert is vital and a consultant will guide you on best practice from an initial consultation, arrange for testing and getting all your documents. But fear not, you don’t need to leave your desk, it will all come to you. It’s a complex travel landscape. So reserve this as an important element where you do need human interaction but no touchpoints!
Apps and virtual tickets on your phone are not a new thing for Business travel, but instead of allowing extra time at the station to purchase a skinny latte from your favourite barista, it’s now making sure you can clear airport procedures so have everything stored in Apple or Android Wallet if you can and if you can manage with carry on baggage you’ll move through so much quicker and avoid the baggage handling. they’re now eliminating a touchpoint along the business travel journey. E-tickets also offer an excess of benefits for business travellers from security to flexibility cost to convenience. They also offer the standard assurances of the outdated paper ticket, such as seating choice, travel time options, and other flexibilities.
Rail E-tickets benefits
- Unlike M-Tickets (Or ‘Mobile tickets), E-tickets are ready to use immediately and do not need to be activated.
- Once downloaded and stored to your portable device, you do not need an internet connection to access your ticket.
- E-Tickets are fully transferable from one phone to another
- Faster and easier, you can purchase your E-Ticket beforehand, no need to queue at the station or ticket machine to purchase.
- There is no need to queue to collect tickets at the station
- You can’t lose E-tickets, unlike paper tickets.
- The tickets for your journey are stored in one place, on your mobile device.
- By choosing to download your E-Ticket means you don't need any supporting paper at all, much better for the environment.
- Unlike buying at the station, you can book ‘advance tickets’ using this method, which means you can save to 70% on your rail journeys.
Flights & Airport Transition
Airlines and airports are adopting touchless tech to keep passengers safe and satisfied following Covid-19 and it looks like it’s here to stay. This seamless technology may look different at every airport but most of the time it begins with facial recognition at check-in and baggage drop points. Passengers at some airports can scan their boarding passes using their mobile devices with some airports operating smart cameras to capture passengers’ biometric data at check-in, which is then shared at control points such as security, border control, lounges, retail stores and boarding gates. Identification using QR codes enables travellers to enrol to this only but once.
Baggage fees and other costs can also be handled by scanning a mobile application with payment information, as well as for food orders and either virtual or in-store shopping. And when they reach the gate, travellers can be individually called to board instead of waiting in long lines, thus enabling the social distancing essential to safety.
#3 Getting Around
Fresh thinking innovators such as Uber have completely shaken up the travel industry by giving travellers an exciting and fully contactless way of travelling. As of 2021 Uber operates in 85 countries and is a firm favourite for Business Travellers. Completely contactless from start to finish, Uber works by using a mobile app to book, pay and track journeys. Just be sure to take the appropriate travel PPE depending on each country’s rules.
Good Travel Management has partnered with Diamond Air International to offer their customers access to a reliable, and fast, COVID-19 testing service which will help travellers to travel safely and reduce quarantine time when returning to England.
Click HERE and enter code Good5 at checkout to save 5% on your next PCR Test with Diamond Air International.
For anyone wanting full control of their journey, some Hire Car companies have also introduced “Contactless Car Renting”
Not only does it save time in the queue waiting to pick up a car but also alleviates any worries about hygiene especially following COVID-19.
You simply make a reservation with the team or via your booking tool, head to the specified stand at the rental location that you made a reservation for, scan your confirmation details and scan or enter the confirmation number and choose the car you would like within the category of the class you have booked, collect the car keys from the stand and enjoy your business trip.
Hotels are really upping their game when it comes to reducing touchpoints for travellers, Contactless Check-In services are available for guests with some Hotel chains either via secure email link and/or touch screen pods (in some more technologically advanced accommodations) Keyless Entry (where available) is not only environmentally friendly but is one less thing guests need to physically handle as with a press of a button on their phone, guests can unlock their doors.
For guests not wanting to order food at the restaurant in the evening, they can order room service directly delivered outside the room. Some hotels around the world also have “Robot Service” yes you read correctly…… Robot Service. Around since before the pandemic, Robots have been providing personalisation to a guests stay. Hotel Brands who provide this service at some of their chains include Hilton, Aloft and Crowne Plaza to name a few.
As seen by Strategic Account Manager Andrew Sison here, Hotels are reducing touchpoints such as TV remotes which are sanitised and sealed in a plastic bag to ensure they are safe to use, whilst complimentary hand sanitiser and single-use cups are available.
#5 Doing Business
When it comes to it though, doing business, whether practically or for meetings, does require face to face contact. So, reserve these for the most important ones and make sure your business is not losing out. Research shows that the lack of business travel has impacted the UK economy massively, with billions of pounds in lost sales and income due to the inability to travel, fulfil contracts, install, or repair goods and build relationships. But you can do this and look to keep as safe as possible by taking measures to travel as touchless as possible but knowing you have a friendly and knowledgeable on the end of a phone when you need it.
So, what do you think? Will you be adapting to a more “Contactless” way of travelling for Business? The travel sector is working hard to put in place the safety measures and standards to rebuild traveller confidence with minimal disruption helping to leave business travellers feeling comfortable and safe whilst travelling.