Airlines Overlook an Obvious Cost Cutting Solution: Automating Employee Travel Tickets While Oil Prices Break Through $135/ Barrel Threshold

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Airlines overlook an obvious cost cutting opportunity that could save them millions annually: automating employee travel. ID90 Technologies (ID90T) provides innovative online and Interline e-ticketing and NIET solutions for airline employee travel via its advanced web based Interline Fare Calculator ® (IFC). ID90T facilitates immediate cost savings for the airlines and unprecedented conveniences for their employees, in the world of 100% e-ticketing.

If ID90T helps serve our highest HR purpose by providing employees with previously unavailable and unheard of conveniences, and saves us money, we consider it 'The Ultimate Keeper of the Employee Experience.'

While airlines "say" they are 100% compliant with the IATA's 100% e-ticketing mandate that went into effect just weeks ago, they're not, according to Tristan Schukraft, Managing Director, ID90 Technologies (ID90T). "This month's deadline saw the majority of airlines overlooking the automation of their employees' interline tickets, because those tickets fall into the 'non-revenue' category," he says.

While employee tickets are considered "non-revenue" for the airline (they don't make them money) - they nonetheless cost airlines a considerable amount of money. "It's easy to see how the non-revenue side of the business would be last to be considered, but airlines are losing out on new revenue through cost savings at a time when fuel could surpass $200/barrel in the next year, leaving the airlines in even more dire straits," says Schukraft.

According to Schukraft, ID90T has been rigorously signing up airline partners to automate their employee travel with the world's only 100% customizable ASP (Application Service Provider) ticketing-solution for non-revenue travel. While many airlines are dedicating budgets to "develop their own system" which will take years to implement and millions for R&D, ID90T's solution has been available since January of 2007 and is free of cost to every airline. "Why re-invent the perfect solution when we have already done it, and offer it at no cost to the airlines?" says Schukraft.

ID90T business is often generated by Human Resource Directors who understand that interline travel is the most important perk that is offered to airline employees, some of whom rely on such travel to get to and from work. Says Karen Miles, V.P., Human Resources & Administration, ExpressJet Airlines, which employs over 9,000, "No one believed that technology existed that could basically address every one of our challenges and not be massively expensive. No one thought anyone could deliver such a robust product in time, but ID90T did."

According to Miles, in addition to financial challenges, airlines face HR challenges in attrition and retention. "If ID90T helps serve our highest HR purpose by providing employees with previously unavailable and unheard of conveniences, and saves us money, we consider it 'The Ultimate Keeper of the Employee Experience.'"

The IATA e-ticketing mandate has complicated how employees receive travel on other airlines by limiting the ability for the employing airline to self-ticket for their employees, and eliminating the flexibility of being able to use one ticket on multiple airlines.

"Though we've been pushing the ID90T solution for several years, it is now just occurring to more airlines that the time has come to automate employee travel with the motivation of saving money and streamlining their operations. Since there has been no industry consequences for airlines that do not automate their employee travel, the drive to automate has been ignored, but now airlines are realizing the time and expense of maintaining two separate processes. Remember, now many airlines will no longer have paper ticket stock at the airport counters," says Schukraft.

Schukraft explains that the process is cumbersome. "Some airlines have made efforts to provide automation for their employees when traveling on their own airline, but when it comes to offline travel (employees of one airline traveling on another airline); it remains a costly process leaving a long paper trail." Often hidden, there is a real cost for maintaining employee travel which includes:

  •     Merchant fees and other bank fees which can be in excess of 5%
  •     Paper ticket stock
  •     IT development,
  •     Administration required manually issue and refund tickets
  •     GDS and Reservation system fees

According to Schukraft, airlines' most costly expense for employee travel is reservations. Because airline employees travel stand-by, they call reservations multiple times to list, relist and finally check flight loads, which they check an average of 26 times. This takes agent time as well as creating additional communications costs charged by each airlines reservation system and toll-free telephone provider. Based on current usage, employees perform 13 searches for every ticket requested, and these extra "hits" can be eliminated by using ID90T as all flights searches are preformed within ID90T's stand-alone system.

ID90 Technologies offers not only a cost saving opportunity for the airline, but bells and whistles never experienced previously by airline employees. "No more wasted time standing around airports; instead employees can enjoy online check-in, text message updates on flight delays, instant online refunds, flexibility to apply credit from past flights to future flights, and an easy to use flight research tool complete with pricing and so much more," says Schukraft. "ID90T allows each airline to customize most every aspect of the tool, from the labels, languages and even the color," says Schukraft.

"Airlines could be achieving much higher employee morale while saving millions of dollars in annual savings that these interline travel privileges produce. Unfortunately, the real cost of airline employee travel is often hidden and spread across various departments within each airline, and we are hoping more financial managers begin cashing in on lost savings opportunities when they most need them most. "

ID90 TECHNOLOGIES, LLC (ID90T), provides innovative online and Interline e-ticketing and NIET solutions for airline employee travel via its advanced web based Interline Fare Calculator ® (IFC). ID90T facilitates immediate cost savings and unprecedented conveniences for airlines and their employees, in the world of 100% e-ticketing. Visit http://www.ID90T.com.

ID90.COM is an established online interline travel resource that provides travel content to airline employees everywhere with more than 18,000 discount on hotels, car rentals, attractions and much more. Visit: http://www.ID90.COM

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Melissa Lande

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