Orbitz for Business: Supporting The Mission!
As universities face decreased endowment funds and resulting budget cuts, the importance of efficiently monitoring and controlling travel expenses has become a paramount priority for all academic institutions. Yale travelers and departments are asked to take advantage of the Orbitz for Business (OFB) booking tool to assist them in this endeavor. Since 2005, when President Levin’s task force selected OFB to streamline travel processes and provide savings opportunities, over 38,000 airline tickets have been purchased through OFB. The financial benefit to the university has been extraordinary. In FY12 alone, over $2.5M in savings and cost avoidance were generated through the use of OFB and Yale Travel Services’ preferred supplier contracts.
Benefits of using OFB:
- Complete Travel Management Solution
- Seamless online and full-service travel agency capabilities with airline, hotel, car rental, and black car inventories
- Amtrak reservation fulfillment
- Group air travel
- Reduced Costs
- Low transaction costs; $7 online & $22 full-service (currently absorbed by Travel Services)
- No charge for hotel, car rental, and Amtrak bookings
- Competitive fares, easily viewed and accessed
- 24-hour courtesy cancellation of non-refundable tickets!
- Profile storage of cancelled and unused non-refundable tickets for future utilization
- Extensive Travel Choices
- 455 airlines offered, including Jet Blue and Southwest Airlines
- 45,000 hotel/lodging properties, including the university’s exclusive negotiated discount rates
- Yale’s four preferred car rental companies
- Customer Service
- Itineraries added to you Outlook calendar
- 24/7/365 telephone customer service with Care Alerts to your designated mobile device, and/or email address
- Dedicated, professional domestic and international travel agents with supervisors available when needed
- Creation of unique profiles for each employee with their personal travel preferences, individual frequent flyer numbers, qualifying elite status, credit card account numbers and ability to link to designated travel arrangers
- Website navigational support and training when needed
- Yale’s exclusive negotiated discounts are built into the tool and automatically applied
- Pricing matrix allows users to view options, and construct trips by selecting desired segments of the itinerary
- OFB exclusive “low price guarantee” hotel rates purchased in bulk for deeper discounts
Why support OFB?
The Internet has provided opportunities for all travelers to search multiple web sites for fares and reservations. The airlines’ dynamic “yield management” system and the myriad of distribution outlets make this a daunting and time-consuming experience. While there is no single web site that will categorically offer the lowest fares 100% of the time, extensive benchmarking of the university’s OFB site tell us that overall the site is more than competitive in its fare offerings. Additionally, surveys that are conducted each quarter throughout the community validate the fact that Yale’s users are extremely pleased with OFB. In the long run, travel management consultants recommend the use of the managed travel program and the resulting economies of scale gained as a Best Practice for reducing costs. All reservations booked outside of OFB are not recognized as a Yale purchase and, therefore, dollars are lost at the negotiating table. Yale’s existing agreements produced over $2.5M in savings in Fiscal Year 2012. In the future, as we become more successful in capturing the bulk of the university’s spend through OFB, our discounts will improve and additional savings will be reflected.
- Time is money. Do you consider the cost of your time when searching multiple sites into your calculation of savings?
- Are you paying unnecessary transaction fees to your travel agent? OFB fees are not charged to your department.
- One-Stop Shopping. Save time and streamline your reservation confirmations for air, hotel, into a central site and add to your Outlook calendar.
- Lost business negatively impacts the university’s discounts. The sum of the parts is not greater than the whole when you consider how your purchasing habits are negatively impacting the university’s future discount agreements and the potential savings that could be gained for Yale as a whole.
- Do you reuse your non-refundable tickets purchased directly on an airline web site but cancelled due to a change in travel plans, or do they go unused? OFB will automatically remind you that your tickets are available.
- Have you ever tried to make last-minute itinerary changes, request refunds, or report poor customer service with reservations made directly on consumer web sites and/or direct with the airlines and hotels? OFB has professional agents to assist you 24/7/365
- In times of emergencies will your department know how to reach you? OFB will send Care Alerts to keep family, friends, and colleagues updated on your travel plans.
Thank you for your understanding and support of OFB; please let Travel Services know (2-9962) if we can assist in any way.