Do you need to travel?
Reconsider the need for travel. With ongoing and rapid improvements in technology and internet bandwidth, there is increased availability of video conferencing streams such as webinars. Please consider using video conferencing, teleconferencing or telepresence before undertaking travel. Virtual conferencing, such as through GovTEAMS is more cost effective for your entity and will lower your entity's carbon emissions.
Better Booking Practices
- Book like a private traveller – book cheap, less flexible fares wherever possible.
- Fly in the cheapest class or a cheaper class where possible.
- Compare prices between Airlines offering the same routes.
- All official travel bookings must be made through QBT. Significantly reduce your QBT travel booking fees by using the OBT. For example:
- The Transaction Fees for OBT booking are four times cheaper than domestic Consultant-Assisted Bookings;
- The Transaction Fees for OBT bookings are 12 times cheaper than Simple International Consultant-Assisted Bookings;
- An OBT provides full fare visibility and generally people book cheaper fares when they can see them;
- Plan your trips and make ‘bundled’ bookings on the OBT. Book all elements of the trip – such as air, car and accommodation – online and in one transaction. For information on Transaction Fees, please access the secure Travel Community on GovTEAMS or contact WoAG Travel.
- Consider whether the fares and condition in the lower fare categories will meet your business needs.
- Use less flexible (and potentially cheaper) tickets for your outbound flight if the timing of your appointment is unlikely to change.
- Use a more flexible ticket on your return flight if the timing for conclusion of your appointment is unclear or likely to change, as meeting may over-run and if flexible tickets have been booked changes can be made.
- For international travel, use the International Online Quoting Tool to obtain an unlimited number of quotations. A minimum of three quotes should be obtained for all international trips.
- Do you know what baggage allowance the traveller requires? The absolute cheapest fare may not represent value for money if baggage has to be purchased at an additional cost. The Australian Government Travel Guide provides guidance on fare types and included (where applicable) baggage allowances.
- Remember, when selecting a fare, it is NOT appropriate to consider:
- Preference for jets or full-service airlines;
- Access to airline lounges;
- The accumulation of airline benefits such as loyalty reward points or frequent flyer points.
- Establish benchmarks for Lowest Practical Fare and International Best Fare compliance. Aim to increase your use of the cheapest fare month-on-month.
- Where possible, use fares currently held in credit. Not sure about the pool of Credits, ask your entity travel manager or QBT. Share credits across cost centres to allow a greater uptake of credit within your branch, division, group or entity. It may be cost effective to pay a small fee to the airline in order to access an air fare credit rather than booking a brand new ticket. Remember, if credits are not used within 12 months (subject to airfare conditions), the value of the credit will be forfeited to the airline.
- The condition for ‘No Shows’ (not turning up for a flight) varies from airline to airline and fare types. To avoid the possibility of forfeiting a fare, your travel itinerary will include timeframes for possible changes for your booked flights. Please ensure you are aware of these conditions before considering changes.
- Depending on your entity's Accountable Authority Instructions (AAIs), moving travel from Business fare class or fully flexible Economy to cheaper less flexible Economy fares can provide savings.
- Use the OBT to book your travel. The OBT is the cheapest and most efficient booking process for domestic and international travel.
- Consider your traveller’s entire schedule. Is a rental car or hotel required? Book all travel elements at on the OBT in one transaction – a ‘bundled’ booking.
- Save fees – go online whenever possible.
- Need to a make a change to a flight? Log onto your OBT and process the changes – pre or post ticketing. In most instances, you do not need to contact QBT by phone. Contacting QBT by phone to make changes to an existing booking can result in additional booking fees being applied.
- Need to add an element to a trip? Log onto your OBT and add the new element or create a new booking (subject to points of ticketing for airfares – see point below). Contacting QBT by phone to add elements to an existing booking can result in additional booking fees being applied.
- Has the flight been ticketed? Check the airfare’s conditions included in the itinerary for important information on the points of ticketing.
- Use the OBT to make bundled bookings – this is the most cost effective form of booking The OBT will provide the traveller with a single itinerary capturing all elements of the trip.
- Accommodation can also be booked directly on the AOT portal and via the AOT call centre. QBT may also contact AOT on your behalf to arrange accommodation reservations.
Tips for making Accommodation bookings
- Book as early as possible to maximise inventory availability and savings opportunities.
- Use a contracted accommodation provider wherever possible, to streamline the booking process.
- Book rooms flagged as 'Instant Confirmation' properties to guarantee your accommodation booking.
- For locations where there are no contracted accommodation providers (On Request), use the online non-contracted booking tool on the AOT portal.
- Be flexible with your accommodation options - the usual hotel you stay in may not be the best value, keep your options open and consider other accommodation providers that may provide better value for money in a similar location.
- Cancel bookings as early as possible - ‘No Shows’ and cancellations may attract a cancellation fee.
- Enable AOT's Savings Tool to report on savings achieved and identify further savings opportunities.
- Consider authorising AOT to identify the entity name of the traveller(s).
- Notify AOT as early as possible of any cyclical or regular regional/remote travel and accommodation needs.
- Notify AOT as early as possible of any preferred non-contracted accommodation providers and if available, any known rate or booking information.
- Use your OBT to make bundled bookings that include vehicle rental from Hertz. This is the most cost effective form of booking and can provide the traveller with a single itinerary capturing all elements of the trip.
- Vehicle rental can also be booked directly with Hertz via their Portal. Booking your vehicle directly with Hertz does not attract a booking charge (stand-alone vehicle rental bookings with QBT can attract a booking fee).
- Book the smallest sized vehicle that suits your practical business needs.
- For rentals of more than a few days, consider picking up your vehicle car from an off-airport or city location rather than an airport location to avoid paying location fees.
- Consider using short-term vehicle rental instead of taxis if it suits your business needs.
Overview of the WoAG fare structure – Domestic and International
- The Arrangements consist of three domestic airlines and 17 international airlines.
- Finance’s Air Travel Guide (the Guide) provides an overview and background if the travel arrangements. It also provides a step by step process and tips on how to make air travel bookings. The Guide is regularly updated. Please contact WoAG Travel if you require a copy of the Guide, noting that is only available to Participating Entities.
- Entities are able to select airfares from non-panel domestic airlines. For example, for travel to remote or regional areas of Australia that are not services by the larger domestic carriers such as Qantas or Virgin Australia or their Subsidiaries.
- Entities are also able to select airfares from non-panel international airlines where the airlines to airfare types meet the business need of the traveller. These fares must meet the requirement of the IBF policy and value for money considerations.
What are the difference domestic airfare ticket types and their conditions?
Domestic Airfare Ticket Type
Fully Flexible (Economy)
* Ticketing Time Limit (TTL) are deadlines set by the airlines by which the time of the ticket(s) must be issued. The TTL varies from fare to fare but generally ticketing must be completed within 24 hours or 72 hours, 7 or 14 days after reservations are made.
Are you aware of the conditions of the airfare you are booking?
Some key points to consider every time you need to book travel:
- Familiarise yourself with the Lowest Practical Fare and International Best Fare Policies and comply with the conditions of the LBF and IBF policies.
- Check your entity's travel policies and associated Accountable Authority Instructions, including approval processes.
- Check all fares that are available and ensure that they meet the business needs of the traveller.
- Book fares as early as possible for greater access to a range of discounted fares.
- When selecting a fare, start by looking at the deeply discounted fares and work up through the fare categories from there.
- In general, there is greater certainty about a traveller’s arrival time at their destination. Book the cheapest airfare possible on the outbound sector. If the traveller’s schedule at the end of the day is more fluid, consider an air fare with a greater degree of flexibility that will allow a change to an earlier or later flight. Again select an air fare that provides the necessary flexibility and suits the business needs of the traveller at the lowest possible price.
- Be flexible with your times;
- Demand is higher at the most popular times to travel and therefore seats may not be readily available, which means prices may generally be higher than at less popular times.
- Peak times for travel are Monday to Friday – 7am to 9am and 4pm to 7pm.
Fares are cheaper outside of these times. If a traveller can be flexible and travel outside peak times, then there are savings to be made.
Tips for managing fares held in Credit
- Understand the fare condition before booking travel.
- Reduce future travel costs – activate the robotic application of available credits to new trips booked on the OBT.
- Seek refunds for all unused fares wherever possible - even if only taxes can be refunded.
- Maximise the uptake of available credits by making credits broadly available for re-use - at branch or divisional level (subject to airfare conditions).
- Monitor closely the accumulation of credits and be aware of credits at risk of forfeiture to airlines.
Notify your QBT in writing as soon as practical when travellers move out of your entity.