The true costs of self booking travel

self_booking.jpgShirley Le Roux, MD of TraveluXion gives SmartProcurement her take on the true cost of self booking and, in turn, what clients should be prepared to pay for ‘self-booked transactions’.

Self-booking tool vs. website booking

“One must first unbundle the concept of ‘booking on-line’,” says Le Roux.

Corporation’s transact on websites in a search of more cost effective options, albeit for leisure or corporate options - discount these type of transactions for the purpose of this discussion and focus only on business travel bookings.

Self booking for this purpose means that a company has access to a self-booking tool that enables them to preview, select, and finalise an itinerary of their choice – termed ‘online booking’. In most instances this is rolled out in conjunction with their Travel Management Company (TMC).

The clients’ specific travel policy and preferred suppliers are loaded into the self-booking tool so that a traveller is more aware and has greater visibility of options.

These transactions may be done directly by the traveller or a travel booker.

The costs involved

First step - understand and analyse the fees you are currently paying your TMC for handling all your travel requests – ‘offline bookings’ for the purpose of this discussion.

Online booking generates a lower TMC transaction fee than an offline booking: you have covered the process of quoting, selecting and finalising your transaction - reducing the workload on the TMC.

Consider which offline transactions you could effectively move to an the online process. Ringfence the offline transactions that remain and determine the fulfilment fees around these transactions.

Possible online transaction fees

As far as fullfilment is concerned, no doubt the contract with your TMC would show an online service fee.
Le Roux recommends that you further understand what happens in the instance where the booking is created online but is changed in an offline environment. What will your final cost of fulfilment be considering possible changes that may occur or additional segments that may be added to the itinerary?

Does the online technology you are utilising (or about to utilise) allow you to make the changes in the online environment throughout all stages of the booking process, before and after ticketing? Or are you required to do this offline and incur higher charges? Can you effectively measure the cost of change after your initial approval, e.g. your traveller sought initial approval for x amount, but changes his booking 3 or 4 times and the potential additional collection on the actual ticket could be zero (or it could have an amount), which is always visible, however, how much have you paid in service fees for all these changes?

Furthermore, does the self booking tool also charge a fee for usage: Passenger Name Record (PNR) fees for every PNR created on the particular self booking tool? How is this cost passed on to the Company and who is managing this cost?

Shirley_leRoux.pngWhat to do?

Have a candid discussion with your TMC.

The above steps all appear logical and should be relatively easy to manage. However, the process now becomes complicated and the company needs to ensure this is handled accurately and transparently and that all potential online and offline costs are explained at the outset.

What you may think is seemless and easy to fulfil may not be. Make sure you cover all possible travel scenarios and understand and agree on to how you are being charged.

The good news is that the TraveluXion application provides a Company with full visibility of all costs associated with transactions pre-trip, during trip and post-trip.

The solution allows various options around changes and TraveluXion will advise you on the costs around any configurable option you choice. Le Roux adds that TraveluXion’s solution does carry a cost for online booking which covers the costs levied by the provider of the self booking tool solution, is based on a created PNR and does not fluctuate or increase if amendments are made or segments are added.

With TraveluXion it’s simple: one PNR equates to one cost for the online booking, irrespective of changes or additions to the itinerary.

For more information on the application available and for TraveluXion’s assistance contact

Leave a comment

SmartProcurement Newsletter

Please enter your details below to receive the SmartProcurement Newsletter for FREE on a regular basis.

As part of the SmartProcurement Newsletter you will be receiving World Class Procurement News, Tools, Tips, Tactics, Procurement Training updates, Upcoming Events, and the latest Procurement Career Openings.

* Email Address:
* Title:
* First Name:
* Surname:
* Company:
* Country:
* Public / Private:


Career opportunites

Operations Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Supply Chain
Our client within the FMCG industry with a ...More

Warehouse and Distribution Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent
An exciting opportunity awaits for a Warehouse and ...More

Demand Planner

  • <500 000 Permanent
Get an opportunity to be part of one ...More

Procurement Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Procurement Officer / Specialist
An opportunity for a seasoned Procurement Manager, who ...More

Industrial Engineer

  • >500 000 Gauteng Industrial Engineer Permanent Procurement Consultant
An exciting opportunity that offers extensive exposure on ...More

Deputy Director: Procurement

  • >500 000 Contract Procurement Management Procurement Officer / Specialist Western Cape
Department of Economic Development and Tourism:Procurement Specialist, Ref ...More


  • >500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Projects / Category Management
(Total Cost to Company R750k – R900K) excluding ...More


  • >500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Projects / Category Management
(Salary: R 1.3M –R1.5M, dependent on level of ...More


  • >500 000 Contract Gauteng Procurement Consultant Projects / Category Management
Total Cost to Company R1mil – R1.2mil excluding ...More

Project Manager

  • >500 000 Contract Procurement Management Projects / Category Management Western Cape
 Description:A well-known retail organization is looking for an ...More


  • >500 000 Analyst Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management
Description:A leading infrastructure development group with strong presence ...More

Commodity Manager: Fuels and Lubes

  • Commodities Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management
 Ensuring continuity of supply in line with business ...More

Senior Facilities Manager

  • >500 000 Commodities Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent
(Total Cost to Company R800K – R900K) Johannesburg Our ...More


  • <500 000 >500 000 Gauteng Industrial Engineer Permanent Procurement Management
(Total Cost to Company R350K – R550K) JOHANNESBURGYou ...More

Supply Chain Analyst

  • <500 000 >500 000 Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist Supply Chain Western Cape
(Total Cost to Company R350K – R550K)  SOUTHERN ...More

Security Manager

  • <500 000 >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management Strategic Sourcing
(Total Cost to Company R350K – R550K) JOHANNESBURG This ...More

Demand Planner

  • <500 000 >500 000 Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Projects / Category Management
(Total Cost to Company R450k – R550k, dependent ...More

Procurement Specialist-Randburg

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Procurement Officer / Specialist
(Total Cost to Company R700k – R800k including ...More

Solutions Architect

  • >500 000 Gauteng Industrial Engineer Permanent Projects / Category Management
(Total Cost to Company R1.3Mil – R1.1Mil including ...More


  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management
(Total Cost to Company R850k – R950K including ...More