“Customers paid airlines in the United States a total of $2.5 billion in cancellation fees in 2012, up from $915.2 million in 2007, according to the Transportation Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.”
If you caught Joe Sharkey’s “On the Road” column in the business section of The New York Times, that statistic alone might have raised an eyebrow. Brace yourself, though: 2013 will probably bring in an even heftier figure due to last April’s further increase in cancellation fees among most of the major domestic airlines.
However, cancellation fees only tell part of the overall story. Many of those canceled tickets end up being tucked away in email folders, slowly doomed to run out their year in purgatory before losing their value completely.
With a little planning and organization, it could be fairly easy for an individual traveler to keep track of his or her canceled tickets. But what happens when you compound that activity across hundreds, even thousands of travelers across an organization? The prospect of keeping track of unused tickets becomes more complex. Add to that the fact that non-refundable tickets often go for less money than tickets that can be fully refunded. As a business, how do you balance the cost of non-refundable fares with the sometimes time-consuming task of tracking unused tickets?
For CWT clients, fortunately, the answer is easy. Our proprietary CWT Document Bank provides a centralized solution to keep track of unused non-refundable tickets. Fully integrated with our clients’ online booking tools, as well as with the reservation technology used by our travel counselors, CWT Document Bank automatically monitors all unused tickets.
Once a traveler cancels directly with one of CWT’s travel counselors, the ticket’s value becomes immediately available for reuse. If the ticket is cancelled online, the value is ready to go within 24 hours — faster than the usual wait of 48 hours through traditional methods. The unused tickets are then made available to your travelers, highlighted for immediate use.
CWT Document Bank also works with our reporting technology to show our clients when, where and how tickets are being cancelled and reused. Our program managers can then use that data to help clients adjust their travel policies to reduce cancellations or even negotiate better contracts with airlines for greater flexibility and overall savings. CWT Document Bank takes the bite out of cancellations, providing an efficient solution to get the most out of every travel dollar you spend.