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The Egencia guide to COVID-19 and business travel

We’re here to help you understand how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting the travel industry and what you can do to manage business trips and your travel programme. Whether you’re a traveller, travel manager or contemplating a move to a new travel management company, we’ve pulled together valuable information to help you navigate business travel and build your corporate travel programme during this time.

How can we help?

Manage business trips:

What you should know before and after booking your trip.

Manage travel risk:

Implement business travel risk management best practices through traveller communication, compliance, and reporting.

Prepare for post COVID-19:

Optimize your travel programme, policy, and traveller risk management to prepare for a return to travel.

Manage business trips

  1. When can I travel for business again?

Use your country’s public health services and government websites and the websites of the country where you’ll be travelling to determine when it’s safe for you and your business travellers to get back on the road — The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommendations.

No matter how or where you travel, we recommend following the advice of local government and health officials which may include practising social distancing, wearing a face mask, and frequent hand washing. Some companies may have travel guidance that goes above and beyond local recommendations or requirements.

When it comes to international travel, some borders are starting to open up. Before planning your trip, make sure to read any travel advisories on country entry requirements. Use this pre-travel safety checklist to help you plan for your trip.

  1. What are the current travel restrictions?

In response to COVID-19, many countries have revised entry requirements for travellers. These vary and may prohibit travel or require quarantine after arrival. The requirements also frequently change, so it’s best to review these policies and Egencia Travel Advisor before booking and again immediately before travelling. Travel restrictions can also vary between states and countries.

  1. What are the policies for car rental, hotel, and flight cancellations?

Many airlines, hotels, and car rentals have issued special, flexible cancellation policies if you need to change or cancel your travel plans. Read about these policies to see how you can manage your bookings.

  1. How can I modify or cancel my trips online?

You can modify bookings online or in the mobile app by logging in to your Egencia account. If you need to cancel a trip, this video will walk you through the steps you need to take.

  1. If it is essential business travel, how can I protect myself or my business travellers?

Business travellers should read these six tips for a safe trip and download this checklist to find out what business travel safety tips you should consider before embarking on your next business trip. You can also log in to your Egencia account to access the online news page.

  1. How do I manage airline refunds and credits?

Cancellation policies differ and some airlines have issued refunds in the form of credits. For information on airline refunds and credit, contact your account manager. Here’s how you can redeem unused tickets.

  1. Is travel insurance available?

Allianz, a member of the Egencia Advantage Program, provides air travel insurance for travellers. Allianz travel protection plans generally do not cover coronavirus-related losses, including government-imposed travel bans or other travel restrictions related to COVID-19. It’s highly recommended to find out about any restrictions prior to purchasing airfare.

  1. Can I stay at a hotel during COVID-19?

Hotels around the world are implementing enhanced health, cleanliness, and safety measures. We’ve updated the hotel booking experience online and in the Egencia mobile app to allow you to see the health and hygiene measures and cleanliness programs hotels have in place.

Manage travel risk

  1. What is the duty of care guidelines and how do I manage risk during COVID-19?

With traveller safety top of mind for every business travel manager, here are some best practices to follow on travel risk management for your travel programme. The Egencia® Travel Advisor lets you access country-level information to inform your international and domestic travel policy settings.

Customers can log in to the Egencia® Travel Advisor to get what they need.

Establishing an internal communication strategy for travellers is equally important. Get tips from travel managers and global business leaders on how to best communicate duty of care guidelines to travellers and stakeholders.

  1. What are the things I should do or avoid doing for business travel management?

Read these business travel tips and recommendations from veteran travel managers and Egencia account managers to help you optimise your business travel program during this time and prepare for when your business travellers get back on the road.

  1. How can I support traveller safety at my company?

From instant policy updates to immediate and urgent communications, there are a lot of ways you could — and should — be supporting your employees when they travel. Use this business travel safety checklist to see if your current travel management company (TMC) or in-house programme is helping you provide the best possible duty of care for your travellers.

Be sure to share the pre-travel safety checklist with your corporate travelers to help them feel prepared and confident when travel resumes.

  1. How can I use travel reporting to monitor the impact of coronavirus?

Egencia Analytics Studio can help you monitor air travel and hotel bookings to track the financial impact of COVID-19 on your business. We also provide travel management consulting to help you measure your travel programme’s efficiency.

In the event you need to instantly locate at-risk travelers, the Egencia Traveller Tracker lets you view current and future bookings. You can also review traveller itineraries from the past 30 days to assess where your travellers have been.

Prepare your travel programme for post COVID-19

  1. How do I prepare my business travel programme for post COVID-19?

Your corporate travel programme will likely need an overhaul to address changes to business travel once the COVID-19 crisis subsides. From defining new objectives to planning your communication strategy, follow this step-by-step guide on how to redesign your travel programme or find out how travel managers are preparing for the future of travel

  1. How should I adjust my corporate travel policy in a post COVID-19 world?

Ensuring you have a comprehensive business travel policy in place is more crucial than ever. As you prepare to get your travellers back on the road post COVID-19, use this business travel policy guide to support the needs of your organisation and your corporate travellers.

  1. How can I prepare for future business travel?

The travel industry is facing ongoing, unprecedented challenges and we’re quickly learning how to approach them safely and with vigilance. Egencia Travel Advisor delivers information on country-level data and health and safety standards that can help you make informed decisions in your return to travel.

Many corporate travel managers are also planning for how their people will travel safely once business travel resumes. Hear from other travel managers on the steps they’re taking to prepare their travel programmes and travellers for business travel and see how suppliers are changing the way their organisations are addressing travelling for business, from focusing on flexibility to making health and hygiene a priority.

Travel managers can join the Egencia Connect Community to talk to their peers about what they’re doing to prepare for a return to business travel.

  1. What risk management best practices can I implement in my business travel programme for future travel?

Make sure that you have destination risk approvals in place as part of your travel policy. Remind travellers to keep their contact information up to date and let them know how you’ll communicate with them while they’re away.

  1. Is having a corporate travel management company (TMC) in place a good idea during COVID-19?

Having the right TMC in place is more important than ever before. A TMC can help to provide solutions for the travel needs of a business, and the right TMC can help you to navigate any changes impacting business travel. Businesses need their TMC partner to listen and innovate quickly to support traveller safety, risk management, spend visibility, and savings. Find out more on what your business should be looking for when selecting a TMC.

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If you didn’t find what you’re looking for, there’s more information in our Customer Help Centre

Business Travellers: COVID-19 Help Centre

Corporate Travel Managers: COVID-19 Help Centre

If you’re not an Egencia customer, learn more about how we can help you optimise duty of care and protect your travellers.

Looking for a travel management company that can increase travel risk management, policy compliance and more? Contact us today.