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Company Travel - AA.com or 3rd Party Site?

Company Travel - AA.com or 3rd Party Site?

Old Aug 27, 2019, 3:00 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: PHX
Programs: WN Companion Pass/AA Plat Admirals Club/SQ Solitaire
Posts: 138
I use the AmTrav A2B tool. It is free AND you can have them VOID the ticket within 1 business day just like an agency! Plug in your FFY, Discount codes, etc. and you are golden. Air and car work very well (and includes WN if you need it). They do have discounts on AA, UA, and some carriers. I still do hotels direct online or call the property directly.
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Old Feb 13, 2020, 10:22 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: TBD
Posts: 841
Originally Posted by bo94114
I use the AmTrav A2B tool. It is free AND you can have them VOID the ticket within 1 business day just like an agency! Plug in your FFY, Discount codes, etc. and you are golden. Air and car work very well (and includes WN if you need it). They do have discounts on AA, UA, and some carriers. I still do hotels direct online or call the property directly.
My employer recently switched over to AmTrav A2B, and I am considering booking through them but am wondering how the charge comes through and specifically whether I would get 5x on my Amex Platinum despite it not being booked direct, as I heard the charge comes through from the airline (e.g., AA). I'm looking at a TATL J flight and it is ~$2,000+ less than AA.com. If it doesn't code correctly for my Platinum, then I'd use my CSR for 3x.
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Old Feb 13, 2020, 10:24 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Austin
Programs: AA Platinum 4MM; Marriott Titanium; Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 333
Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge
Go with the aa.com. For work I'm forced to use CWT. Their search feature sucks and I swear the prices are lower on aa.com. Since I'm MIA based I book near 100% with AA. What I have to do is search for the flights I want on aa.com then spend 10 minutes on CWT rooting around for the flight I want.
Google Flights is also a great way to find the exact flights you want, quickly. I've found it to be easier and faster than aa.com.

--woodstock
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Old Feb 13, 2020, 10:54 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Maryland Eastern Shore
Programs: AA: PP, MM/LTG | UA: SLV | Bonvoy LT Ti | HH Diamond | IHG PLT | Avis PC | National Executive
Posts: 1,072
Originally Posted by JoeWoodstock
Google Flights is also a great way to find the exact flights you want, quickly. I've found it to be easier and faster than aa.com.

--woodstock
ITA is the back end of GoogleFlights and has some much better options for searching (carrier, alliance, routing, and fare code preferences/exceptions). GoogleFlights has some of the features of ITA, but not all; since Google owns ITA, I am hopeful they integrate its features more fully before eventually taking it down (assuming they will eventually do this).

That said, GoogleFlights will let you do an open-ended search (i.e., specify origin, dates, cabin and number of pax ; get options/prices for destinations matching the input); as far as I know, ITA can't do that. But then, this isn't very useful for business travel, so...

also, depending on the complexity of your search and quality of your connection, ITA can be pretty fast.

cheers!

Last edited by AAir_head; Feb 13, 2020 at 10:58 am Reason: remove hashtag and correct spelling
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Old Feb 13, 2020, 11:05 am
  #20  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 27,408
Originally Posted by CLTUSCAPTIVE
My company requires us to use Concur too, and I agree that it is awful. It has a tattletale feature that reports to your company whenever you buy an airfare that costs > $100 more than "the lowest comparable fare". The problem is, the lowest comparable fare is usually a one-stop on Delta with a five hour layover in Atlanta. I have to use Concur for airfares but always book hotels directly on the hotel chain's site. The rates are always lower than on our travel portal.
Yes, Concur can be a headache but there are usually tricks to get around the restrictions, like narrowing the departure window or (at least in NYC) specifying which airport (e.g., LGA vs. EWR). The violations can be annoying, but there's usually both a drop-down option for an explanation and room for free-form comments. "Prefer nonstop" or something like that is definitely one of the options. That said, it comes down to the company's travel policy. A strict travel policy may still require a connection if the savings are more than $XX. (Personally I think that's penny-wise pound-foolish) Or if it shows an EWR departure as lowest logical cost (which it seems to do sometimes even if I specify JFK or LGA), you could reject any cheaper EWR options due to additional ground transportation costs or inconvenience.

As annoying as it can be, just letting employees book their own travel without any oversight can be risky and ultimately end up costing more than TA fees. Corporate TA's also serve other functions -- they can warn if too many employees are on a single flight, which isn't usually a good idea from a business continuity perspective (our policy limits it to 10, or less if it's very senior employees). And if there's some sort of major event, they'll know exactly who is where and needs to be notified (e.g., I was in London when the tube was bombed, and got a call from the corporate TA inquiring about my safety).
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