If there was ever a topic corporate travel managers and their travel management companies (TMCs) can agree on, it’s how painfully frustrating manually matching travel waivers to disrupted flights can be. It’s a time-consuming undertaking at the best of times. The process can be haphazard at the worst of times. The additional layers of communication between airlines and TMCs to apply a waiver can make you—and the traveling staff you are trying to look after—feel like you’re flying blind.
When COVID-19 began disrupting operations, airlines worked swiftly to address the challenge of re-accommodating passengers. They issued a flood of new waivers for flights canceled because of the crisis. Cirium data shows the increase of 165% for waivers in effect rapidly surged from the week of Jan 30 (62 waivers) to the week of March 30 (171 waivers). When we compared the week of March 23, 2020—the peak of total COVID-19 related waivers globally—to the same week in 2019, we saw over a 10-fold increase in active waivers.
Together we are more resilient.
What makes this new process harder than matching active trips?
It really is all in the details when it comes to travel waivers. The details that connect a waiver to an unused ticket break down across several areas. You need to know the date and time elements for the ticket, what was scheduled, the actual cancellation details and more. You must also know where to look through the waiver details to parse out the date ranges for how long the waiver is in effect. Finally, if you want to verify the qualifications for any regulatory refunds, you need to check against applicable regulatory policies. Typically, to qualify for refunds or compensation, you have to compare when the airline canceled the flight against when the traveler canceled the trip.
How Cirium’s travel waiver solution works
Through our early analysis of applicable waivers for unused tickets, we are looking at identifying the following insights:
- Details for each potentially applicable waiver matching a canceled ticket
- Identification of which canceled tickets are potentially eligible for US DOT refund
- How can this data be easily consumed by TMCs for processing refunds
If you’re concerned about how to approach your plan for recovering hidden costs, you can work with your TMC, or technology partners, to gather additional information.
For further information, connect with us here.