With many travel activities resuming in full force in 2023, the Stanford Travel team is looking forward to a new year full of possibilities! A small, but mighty crew with over 75 years of combined travel industry experience, this team focuses on providing high-quality support for Stanford travelers.
A collaborative effort
To ensure high levels of customer service, the Stanford Travel program team members work closely with multiple booking channels to support the wide variety of needs of Stanford travelers and travel arrangers. The Stanford Travel team has also developed partnerships with preferred suppliers to offer negotiated discounts, travel benefits, and exciting booking promotions, and to advocate for Stanford travelers.
In order to create the best end-to-end experience for Stanford travelers and travel arrangers, the travel team also works with campus partners on a variety of services:
- The Financial Support Center assists travelers and travel arrangers with travel expenses and policies.
- The Card Services team is available to answer questions about how to obtain, manage and use a Stanford Travel Card (TCard).
- The Business Expense team processes travel reimbursement expenses and monitors for compliance.
- The Global Risk Management team provides advice on international travel preparation, risk assessment, mitigation, and response for faculty, staff, and students.
Stanford travelers and travel arrangers are responsible for working with a travel booking channel to make, change, or cancel travel reservations, although the Stanford Travel team can provide support if issues arise.
Turning traveler feedback into improvements
In 2022, in response to ongoing feedback from campus, including results from the 2021 Client Satisfaction Survey filled out by approximately 2,200 faculty and staff, the travel team took steps to save money for travelers and departments by waiving Egencia agent-assistance fees, reducing FCM fees, and negotiating Stanford discounts at local hotels, effective in 2023.
Stanford Travel has also continually updated Fingate pages to make information easier to find, such as adding Egencia and StudentUniverse as systems pages accessible from any page on Fingate. In addition, the team has provided 35 department and campus training to inform travelers and arrangers about the Stanford Travel program.
In 2023, the team plans to add other airlines to the very popular United Corporate Direct (UCD) / Universal Connect program, add a robust groups/programs booking solution for program organizers, and host educational events, including the Feb. 8 Stanford Travel information session and a supplier forum this fall. And finally, as a result of feedback from Stanford travelers, the team is also excited to launch a new booking channel, Key Travel, this spring.
Take advantage of the program!
The biggest benefit to booking through the Stanford Travel program is the support the team provides. When COVID-19 began its rapid spread across and between countries in March 2020, the Stanford Travel team was there to help travelers get home.
Now, the team continues to help travelers when flights are canceled, or unexpected travel impacts occur. Here are just a few ways the team supports Stanford travelers and travel arrangers:
- Work closely with partners within the Stanford Travel booking channels to ensure a high level of customer service
- Negotiate supplier discounts
- Offer exciting Stanford Travel booking promotions, such as flight upgrades
- Advocate for travelers to assist with flight re-bookings, travel cancellations and unused tickets
- Attend to department meetings to answer travel questions and offer solutions
Stay up to date
The best way to stay up to date on travel information is to follow the Stanford Travel Slack channel to hear about promotions, program enhancement or travel alerts as soon as possible. Not a Slack user? Bookmark the Stanford Travel Updates and Hot Topics page for the latest program updates, or the Procurement Services Events page for educational events. Finally, the team is always available for support. Just submit a support request and an experienced team member will assist you right away.