Angered by dynamic pricing
Travel managers and agents are openly doubting the value of deals signed by corporates with suppliers.
A leading travel managers and an executive of a hotel booking agency both said they were "not worth the paper they were written on."
Bernadette Basterfield, head of international travel at JP Morgan-Chase and Todd Kramer, vp global corporate sales for HRS, gave their views at a forum in London yesterday (May 12) attended by 95 delegates.
It was jointly organised by Management Solutions UK and the Association of Corporate Executives (ACTE).
Ms Basterfield told the forum: "I am frustrated by yield management control by airlines and hotels and I look at deals more critically and wonder if they are worth the paper they are written on."
Mr Kramer echoed the point, adding "how do you get access to good deals and keep people in the policy."
Earlier Ms Basterfield said that there had never been better times for travel managers.
"These are testing times but great times as travel management is driving its value to senior management and to our business.
"I am talking about at JP Morgan a machine wash of travel policy that we see made around GDSs and SBTs and how we generally now have mandate where we did not have them before."
She cited the area of control over taxi use which a year ago senior managers did not wish to discuss with her but now are eager to do so.
Mr Kramer said economic recession had made travel different but there were still opportunities.
"We have the opportunity to completely re-look at how we do business travel, how are we booking, managing, reporting on it?" he said.
He cited meetings as an area where there were great opportunities.
"How do we manage these meetings and help people get to the right venues at the right time?
"Many corporates are taking a hard look at meetings spend. But the challenge is that they don't know where to start. Mostly it is done department by department and presents the biggest challenge I have come across."
Mr Kramer said that video conferencing was a great tool but there were problems scheduling its use. "How do you manage where people are going to be and what facilities people use?
"I think we shall see more and more control put in here and more focus on finding hotels where corporates can negotiate day rates for meetings. I think that is the future," he said.
But Eric Bailey, senior manager for global travel for Microsoft, said that although there was a "big push" for video conferencing, he did not see it as a total substitute for travel.
He said the use of video conferencing and travel were both means of increasing your communications.
"We can communicate better now. Things that you used to have to do in person, you can do virtually now," he said.