Workshop: travel managers provide insights into buying flights

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Flugtickets von Pro Sky – Foto: PRO SKY AG

Tags: Corporate Travel Manager Purchasing

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What motivates travel managers and buyers when it comes to buying flights? Pro Sky brought decision-makers from travel management around a table to talk about this exciting topic. A lively discussion took place and solutions for challenges within flight-buying were developed together. We would like to present the most important findings to you.

Hotels, hire cars, flight tickets and more – travel management takes care of lots of very different travel details, figures and decisions. Every segment has its own requirements. Pro Sky discussed what specifically motivates decision-makers when buying flights with participants at the BME Congress TRAVEL, MICE and MORE. Both the status quo in the companies and tips for optimisation were exchanged as part of this. Here are some of the most interesting findings:


Controlling total flight expenditure

  • Extra costs due to ‘unbundling’ occupy many travel managers and buyers. Precise data is collected (credit cards, travel expense reports, etc.) so costs can be controlled. For optimisation, it can help to exclusively negotiate total costs with airlines and define in the travel guidelines precisely which ‘extras’ are assumed.
  • How can you achieve data transparency with regard to the various airlines? Airline evaluations can help, but should not be the only data basis as the airlines sometimes do not take into account important cost factors and, for instance, only document the ‘flown revenue’. Other sensible data sources include the partner travel agency, credit card transactions and evaluations by travel expense reporting software.
  • Almost every company buyer finds it a challenge to control the expenses for flights across all areas of the company. Often, volumes e.g. arising due to group flights to company events are not recorded and controlled - which also makes negotiating total revenue difficult. Specialists like Pro Sky know ways of making the most of this additional potential and advise companies in this field. 


  • Companies have very different ways of defining how many employees can travel on the same aircraft. However, even if a limit exists, it is not always controlled and observed. Sometimes even the top management tends to set flexible limits.
  • The responsibility borne by Procurement and Travel Management when it comes to selecting airlines should not be underestimated. Pro Sky thus recommends relying on objective and professional sources for assessing airlines. Ideally, external advisers should develop a joint strategy together with Travel Management and internal stakeholders (such as corporate security). 

Groups and event flights

  • For group flights to company events, a well-founded needs assessment is essential in order to achieve the best results. For instance, Pro Sky can develop various scenarios on request that can then be compared by Travel Management/Procurement according to their own criteria.

Solutions for companies with small volumes of flights

  • Companies have already come together to form associations so they can buy flights together. However, it should always be noted here that no anti-trust concerns can be registered.

Private jets

  • Travel managers/buyers would like more cost transparency and comparative values in order to be able to better control booking decisions. Pro Sky has thus developed and offers, for instance, its own databases with benchmarks.