Category: News

Atlas Travel Service recognised as a ‘Deloitte Best Managed Company’ for 2nd year in a row!

16. Mar 2018 - News

Atlas Travel have been awarded a Deloitte Best Managed award for the 2nd time in 2018, following a lengthy re-qualification and judging process in which the complete performance of a business is assessed, moving beyond finances to such areas as operational excellence, strategy, and human resource processes.

The awards event in Dublin’s Convention Centre on Thursday 15th March marked the ninth year of the Deloitte Best Managed Companies awards programme, in association with Barclays Bank Ireland. The awards were attended by over 800 people from the Irish business community.

Stephen Mc Kenna CEO of the Atlas Travel Group noted that “Atlas Travel are delighted to have picked up a Deloitte Best Managed award which recognises the contribution of all our team and the collective effort in driving change in Corporate travel management with innovative solutions and servicing concepts.” This award recognizes that contribution from everyone in the company.

The Deloitte Best Managed Companies programme, in association with Barclays Bank Ireland, promotes and recognises excellence in Irish owned and managed companies. It is the only awards scheme on the island of Ireland that considers a business’ performance from every perspective. Entrants to the programme will compete for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices.

Anya Cummins, Partner, M&A Advisory, Deloitte commented: “The companies shortlisted for our 10th annual awards include some of the most successful indigenous Irish companies in the market. Some have been in business for years, others are newer, but all have succeeded in driving their businesses forward through recent challenging years. There are new challenges on the horizon including the uncertainty around which Brexit scenario will transpire, which continues to linger in the public discourse. With our shortlisted companies deriving one quarter of their total sales from exports, this is a very pertinent issue for them, and highlights the importance of strong management teams.”

About Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards
The Deloitte Best Managed Companies programme, in association with Bank of Ireland, promotes and recognises excellence in Irish/Northern Irish owned and managed companies. It is the only awards scheme on the island of Ireland that considers a business’ performance from every perspective. Entrants to the programme will compete for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices. Programme sponsors are Bank of Ireland, the Irish Management Institute and the Sunday Business Post. For further information, visit www.deloittebestmanaged.ie.

St Patricks Weekend 2018 – office closed Monday 19th March

14. Mar 2018 - News

Please be aware that as St Patricks Day 2018 is this Saturday the 17th of March, our offices will be closed Monday 19th March as this is a national Irish Holiday.

In the event that you have to make urgent travel arrangements on Monday 19th March – please telephone our ‘After Hours Emergency Travel Service’ on +353 1 679 3000 or +44 1908 009 011.
Please note that all calls to our Emergency Travel Team will be liable to an Out of Hours fee for use of this service in addition to our normal transaction fees. We therefore recommend that you should only use this service on Monday for emergencies. We suggest that you should endeavour to contact us in relation to all known travel plans on Thursday or Friday this week or from Tuesday onwards.

Please also be aware that if you do need to contact our Emergency Travel Service during severe weather events etc., you may experience delays due to the resulting high number of calls.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you, and your friends and family a Very Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Storm Emma Update

2. Mar 2018 - News

Please be advised that due to the Status Red Weather Warning currently in place for Leinster, Munster and Co. Galway until 1800 hours today Friday 02March, Atlas Travel will continue to work to our contingency plan which has been in place since yesterday to ensure continuity of service for our clients.

At this time all flights to/from Dublin Airport are cancelled until tomorrow 03March, Cork, Shannon and Kerry Airports are closed and there are also some severe weather events happening in the USA.

We thank you for your patience and endurance during this challenging time. Our thoughts are with passengers stranded overseas who are trying to get home. Unfortunately, flight cancellations and airport closures due to extreme weather are events that are completely outside our control. At this time, we can only try to get passengers travelling on the next available flight options but these options are limited and demand is very high. However the decision to cancel services, is not taken lightly and is always based on putting passenger safety first.

Due to the high volume of cancelled flights – we would kindly request that where possible, please only contact us for travel in March. Please hold any requests for travel from April onwards until next week when this weather event has passed. Many thanks in advance for your co-operation in this matter as this will ensure that clients with urgent needs can be facilitated on a priority basis.

If you are scheduled to travel in the next few days and wish to change your flights, we would urge that you contact us soonest i.e. today during working hours so that our daytime team can assist you, as our Out-of-Hours teams are working to maximum capacity and you may experience long delays.

We are continuing to monitor this situation and will keep you informed.

Dublin Airport Update

1. Mar 2018 - News

Aer Lingus has confirmed that it will suspend its flight operations at Dublin Airport from 15.00 today Thu 01March due to the bad weather. It plans to resume flight operations on Saturday morning.

Ryanair has said it will suspend flight operations to and from Dublin Airport by 16.00 today. It plans to resume operations on Saturday morning.

All other airlines are suspending operations from about 15.00 today.

Line of Duty

25. Feb 2018 - News

Duty of care clearly topped the list of priorities for every corporate travel manager in 2017 and is likely to be top of the agenda in 2018 – and for goodreason. It’s more than a legal obligation, it’s the promise businesses make to their employees to keep them safe. The best employers devote a lot of time and resources to ensuring their travel policies, programme and processes are robust enough to keep their employees protected, wherever they are. But it’s not a straightforward task and it’s certainly not sufficient to simply check employee itineraries to see where people are. Some 40-50 per cent of employee travel is booked outside of corporate systems, creating gaps in travel data.

Business travellers are also becoming increasingly aware of the challenges around travelling to certain locations and they want to make sure that they – their family, friends and colleagues – can
feel secure about their safety, especially if something goes wrong.

An increase in incidents around the world is making it more imperative for travellers to be traceable – and to have the connectivity required to check in and mark themselves as safe. In this context, businesses are increasingly being forced to reassess their responsibilities when it comes to employees and their travel: For example, the European Court of Justice ruled in 2015 that travel to work counts as working time4 . As more and more employees travel to an increasingly wide range of locations, the businesses they work for are facing new challenges when it comes to issues such as health and safety and duty of care. And while none of this may come as a surprise, it does come at a time when terrorist attacks and natural disasters are at the front of many travellers’ minds.

The first step is to target the problem at source by understanding why employees are not using the company’s booking tool. These days, travellers expect the same user-friendly tools and experiences in their business lives as they enjoy in their private lives and if the self booking solutions don’t match up then that should be the first port of call to look to address leakage.

Given the tools available today employees should be able to go in, conduct a quick door to door search and find the right flight, hotel, train or alternative transport they need at the preferred rates from the business’s travel management company. At Atlas Travel we have invested heavily in self booking solutions that work and will ensure you provide your customers with the duty of care that they need in 2018, so they don’t need to book elsewhere.

Storm Ophelia Duty of Care

25. Nov 2017 - News

Atlas Travel have just launched their latest ebook with an example of Storm Ophelia and an example of duty of care in the digital Age. Worth the read and here is a snapshot with our experience in engaging with corporate customers who were affected at the time.

Situation
In October 2017, Storm Ophelia threw the plans of thousands of people travelling to and from Ireland into disarray with many flights in and out of Ireland cancelled as a result of the weather conditions. Ryanair, EasyJet, Aer Lingus and Flybe all grounded dozens of flights, with a total of 180 flights cancelled at Dublin Airport.

Outcome
We worked with our customers to account for travellers and helped those affected around the clock. All business travellers were accounted for and either returned home safely or continued their travel safely. On that day we managed over 700 calls to our contact center in Dublin, inquiries increased by 174% with 130% additional hours worked to alleviate customer issues.

It is especially in times like this that we truly support how Atlas Travel steps up, mobilises your staff and is relentless in making sure that your employees are contacted and communicated with in times of need.

Approach
Atlas Travel Increased staffing levels in all regions to handle large call volume and reschedule all flights affected on behalf of its corporate customers. Helped travellers around the clock.

This is one example of how we strive to drive relevant duty of care solutions for our corporate customers.

About Atlas Travel
Atlas Travel is a modern travel company who have driven change and innovation in travel for over 50 years. We are a next generation corporate travel management company with a difference.
The Atlas difference is our ability to deliver smart solutions coupled with our commitment to deliver the highest quality personalised serviced while helping companies transform their travel programme.

We are an Irish-owned and managed company who have been recognised by Deloitte as a “Best Managed Company 2017 and 2018” and have been voted “Best Corporate Travel Management Company” in 2015 & 2016 by the Irish Travel agents association and “Best Travel Management Team” at the Institute of Travel Management Awards 2018.

We look forward to working with you to assess your needs now and into the future. We have extensive experience of working with customers to facilitate transition to a new service and we would greatly appreciate the opportunity to manage your travel programme.
Experience the Atlas Travel difference for yourself.

Planes, trains and gains.

15. Nov 2017 - News

Planes, trains and marginal gains.

Marginal gains in corporate travel can improve your bottom line by up to 25%.

Whilst reading about Paul Dunne’s recent triumph in the British Golf Masters, I was reminded of a programme a few years ago explaining the meteoric rise in Irish Golf in the 90’s and early 2000’s and the subsequent challenges in finding the new heroes in Golf of which Paul Dunne is clearly one of those. One of the key factors in Dunnes approach is the concept of the ‘aggregation of marginal gains’ an approach employed by many in the sporting professional right now and driven from a philosophical level by sports psychologist and a leading sports performance director David Brailsford.

Brailsford believed that numerous 1 percent improvements across everything to do with the training, recovery and diet would add up to significant improvement. Brailsford took his theory to the next level even applying it as far as ensuring the the athlete took his or her’s normal pillow to overnight hotel stays! As mad as this sounds, Brailsford’s ‘aggregation of marginal gains’ approach can equally apply to business. By making small improvements, the compound impact can be seen on a company’s P&L and if you apply this concept to corporate travel procurement the results can deliver impressive results.

At Atlas we have looked at how companies measure the success of a business trip compared with the objectives and how those are measure and we now turn our attention to whether we can make small improvements in behaviour that will have an inordinate improvement on the bottom line. The main objective is to nudge business travellers behaviours while also improving their experience while at the same time reducing total trip costs.

Through our reporting solutions and smart booking solutions Atlas Travel seek to reduce costs at every step of the process. There is a multitude of criteria and data you can look to to both improve the business traveller experience while seeking to reduce costs. Examples include trying to influence travellers across a while range of criteria and influence their behaviour marginally by reporting and simulating key behaviours.

  • What if over 80% of the business travellers accepted the lowest airfare?
  • What if travellers on average booked travel 14 prior to departure?
  • What if we could drive online adoption to 80%?
  • What if they accepted a suitable hotel alternative to their personally preferred one?

Our reporting solutions and reward metrics enable us to measure, and actively drive improve behaviour which marginally add up to sizeable gains.

 

Travel goes next generation

9. Oct 2017 - News

Today’s business travellers have higher expectations when it comes to booking corporate travel. They want intuitive and easy to use platforms and service solutions. Traditional Travel Management Companies (TMCs) and Corporate Online Booking Tools (OBTs) haven’t kept pace, leading to challenges in adoption, policy compliance and ultimately, spend visibility and control.

So what’s the solution?

Corporate OBTs need to be as good as, if not better, than their consumer counterparts. Give employees tools that are easy to use and reflect the user experience that they are accustomed to so
there is no need for them to go outside of the programme.

Ease of use

In contrast with booking a holiday, a business trip is generally based on an event, like a client meeting or conference. We don’t expect our business traveller to book it in the same way as he or she would browse their next holiday. Instead, a successful online booking tool (OBTs) fundamentally comes down to asking just three simple questions:

> Where does my journey begin?
> Where does my trip finish?
> When do I need to be there?

OBTs need to offer comprehensive travel content. They need to include all content from all the suppliers that travellers are permitted to use; otherwise those travellers will look elsewhere. Therefore, the tool must be capable of integrating content from multiple types of providers (air, rail, car, ground transportation, hotels) through direct connections as well as through
global distribution systems (GDSs).

Other requirements include a street view of the destination, an estimate of the total cost of a trip, a pre-approval process and a possible integration with an expense tool, all of which has a direct impact on adoption, productivity as well as compliance and spend control.

The Business traveller wins
Booking travel through consumer sites means business travellers spend hours researching, booking and then managing their business trips. It may seem convenient but quickly becomes a chore
and it’s not what they’re paid to do. Next generation OBTs empower travellers to book a fully priced, compliant and approved itinerary in a few clicks. They no longer need to figure out how to get to meetings, the best route, the best mode of transport, the nearest hotel or how long it will take and because they booked within the managed program, they are safe in the knowledge that changes and disruptions can be taken care of, even or especially when they are on the move. Our solutions are designed with a mobile first approach and work across any device at any time.

A successful online booking tool should meet the distinct needs of both the business and the business traveller.

 

THE BUSINESS TRAVELLER NEEDS
> Tools that are as easy to use as those they use outside work.
> Convenience to book travel anywhere and on any device.
> Access to wide range of travel content.
> An easy way to comply with a companies travel policy.
> Timely updates to travel arrangements while on the move.

THE BUSINESS HAS TO:
> Control, reconcile and forecast travel spend.
> Reduce unnecessary travel. Seamlessly integrate data back into
office systems.
> Know where employees are in case of an emergency.
> Provide tools and processes that increase employee productivity
and satisfaction.

The Business gains
Effectively managed travel programmes hold many benefits, particularly helping to control what can be for some companies the third largest area of spend. Giving employees an OBT tool which meets their needs ensures higher adoption rates as well as:
> Control of business traveller choice at point of sale.
> Keeping travel within designated booking channels.
> Ensuring all data is captured.
> Protecting your employees while travelling.

Travel managers benefit
Travel and procurement managers negotiate hard with suppliers, so implementing tools which encourage, rather than force travellers to book with those suppliers, contributes to reaching deal volumes and may help in future negotiations. The next generation of OBT’s offer all the benefits of managed travel, while meeting the needs and expectations of today’s workforce.

At Atlas Travel we’re passionate about improving business travel. We believe in providing ease and convenience, because arranging, managing and procuring travel should be easy. Through innovation and insight, we’re reinventing business travel. To find out more,

Contact Regina Gregan
Mobile :  353 (087) 9969452
Email : rgregan@atlas.ie

Passionate about People

25. Sep 2017 - News

In the age of chatbots, AI and other extreme advances in personalisation Atlas Travel truly believes in a more personal friendly concept of service that is winning customer loyalty, referrals and even a few hugs along the way and is helping to shift some of the focus from pure tech to a hybrid concept of smart solutions and the front of the house servicing that corporate travellers need.

If you’d like to know how a potential travel management supplier will treat your traveller when they’re left high and dry  after their flight is cancelled then look no further than how that company treats their own staff. Many leaders in emotional intelligence, believe that “if you look after your staff they’ll look after your customers” it really is that simple when it comes to business travel.

Alternatively to having the supplier’s present at your business, you could combine their presentation with a site visit and have the suppliers present at their offices, trying to catch a glimpse of supplier during the procurement process is an ideal opportunity to get a feel for the company. Sales people typically wax lyrical about their organisation however an onsite visit will give you an insight into whether their ethics run deeper that the paper they are written on. Question your prospective Travel Management company (TMC) about their perspective values. If you’re going to get the best service then it’s vital that your choosen TMS is proactive in bringing these values to life through everyday workings of their business, particularly when it comes to how they engage and motivate their staff.

When it comes to business travel, a culture that cultivates employee engagement may spell the difference between a half hearted cut and past phone call and a problem solving, tailored service in which the agents will go the extra mile to look after your road warriors.

At Atlas Travel our mission is “to enhance every customer experience” through a combination of smart solutions delivery and exceptional service 24 x 7 and we strive to exceed the expectation wherever  we possibly can.


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