Travel is usually more hectic as you approach Christmas. According to a report by Concur Technologies (Nasdaq: CNQR), a SaaS company providing travel and expense management services to businesses, waiting until the last-minute to book your business flight could be a very costly move.
Last-Minute Travel Costs for Small Businesses
Concur conducted a study that looked into last-minute business travel costs and patterns, comparing trends across the globe, fare classes, industries and age groups. The study found eleventh-hour bookings (i.e. those tickets booked less than seven days prior to departure) average 44 percent higher in cost than the same ticket booked 15 days in advance.
So, for example, a round-trip ticket costing $489 booked at least two weeks out could cost you $704 if booked in seven days or fewer, says the SaaS company.
Concur also found cost premiums on last-minute domestic travel booked less than eight days in advance are highest in the U.S. Travelers who booked at least eight days in advance paid 39 percent more than the same ticket booked 15 days in advance, the highest compared to Canada, U.K., France and Germany.
This data can help your small businesses make better decisions around holiday travel bookings and flights.
End-of-year Travel Bookings and Management
Most last-minute business travel occurs in June and November. Concur says this happens because many companies’ fiscal year ends in June or December, which often necessitates a last-minute dash to close deals and get business in order before year’s end.
The best month for last-minute travel in the U.S., however, is June. Historically, this is the time when premiums average about 8 percentage points lower in comparison to the overall flight costs. January and August are the months with the highest premiums on last-minute travel.
Setting business travel policies that encourage employees to travel more on the least costly months, and book flights at least eight days prior to departure can lead to great savings. Concur says businesses can save on average $148 per ticket by adding such a guideline.