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​Just the Ticket: How to prevent unused tickets from going to waste

May 05, 2021

Photo: Annete Lusina

Travel managers play a critical role in managing and recovering unused tickets for their company. But never before have they had to manage such a high volume of unused tickets as over the past year. During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, ticket cancellations went through the roof. Business Travel News reported that on a global basis they amounted to millions of dollars’ worth of airline vouchers or refunds.

Any company whose employees travel for business should focus on defining, managing and recovering funds from unused tickets, so they don’t expire and ‘go to waste.' Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, CWT worked with airlines in all regions globally, to process and update over 600,000 tickets as airline policies and expiration dates changed.

Minimize losses for your company and tackle the challenges of managing unused tickets in an effective way by following a few best practices:

  1. Use technology to your advantage

    Incorporating unused ticket management tools into your travel program is vital. Luckily, ticket tracking technology has dramatically improved with automated capabilities. CWT’s unused ticket technology, for instance, has an integration with various GDS’s and internal apps that allow clear visibility of your unused tickets. Tickets are tracked from the time of booking until they are used or refunded. This automated process helps improve efficiency, increase accuracy and reliability of the data, reduce the number of expired tickets, and ensures refundable tickets are not left unclaimed.

  2. Keep your travelers in the loop

    Make sure your travelers and travel arrangers are aware of any unused tickets before they expire. Automated messaging services create awareness of what unused tickets are already available before booking a new ticket.

  3. Reshape your travel policy

    Configure your policy to automatically apply an available unused ticket at any point of sale, ensuring no tickets go to waste. Through standardizing your policy and integrating technology to automatically allow name changes, travelers and travel arrangers can use all available tickets, thus saving the company money.

  4. Report ticket losses

    Even if you did your utmost to prevent ticket losses some tickets might expire before you are able to use them. Make sure to document these and report them to your financial team. In a best-case scenario, financial experts will be able to recoup a portion of the loss through any tax write-offs that apply.

By strengthening your unused ticket management practices, you will be able to save a lot of the value of your unused tickets and make it easier for your traveling employees to use flight credits for upcoming trips.


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