Our goal is to make your job easier, whether you are new to Christopherson Business Travel or Concur Travel, new to managing travel, or you are a seasoned professional.
To this end, we queried our account managers, support specialists, and business development managers to find out which questions travel managers are asking most frequently.
1. What is the difference between Christopherson and Concur?
Christopherson is a travel management company (TMC) that provides clients with a consultative approach to travel management, including developing and refining travel programs and policies to meet an organization’s travel goals and budget. Concur is software as a service (SaaS) that provides a website for booking travel. As a TMC, we provide clients with access to this website, which is also referred to as an online booking tool.
Essentially, Christopherson is the bridge that connects Concur to the global distribution system (GDS), a large computer network and reservation tool where air, lodging, transportation, and other travel vendors upload their inventories for booking purposes.
Clients access Concur by either logging into Christopherson’s proprietary AirPortal platform, which integrates with Concur in the cloud, or by logging into Concur directly, depending on account configuration. Although clients use the Concur tool, we provide support for it, regardless of whether the booking is made online or through one of our travel advisors.
2. What is Christopherson’s relationship with Concur?
Concur ranks its TMC partners according to their proficiency with the online booking tool. Our Elite Partner status, which is the top tier in the Concur program, means that Christopherson (1) provides clients with the highest possible integration with Concur, (2) provides in-house Concur-certified support, and (3) offers travel management expertise and reporting tools that complement Concur’s functionality.
3. How does Christopherson provide technical support for Concur?
Christopherson supports our Concur customers with the specialized expertise of our online support team and online technology team.
Online Support Team
The online booking tool is intuitive and user friendly, but if travelers have an issue while booking travel they are directed to Christopherson’s online support team, a team that was specifically formed to help travelers navigate the booking process. The team’s purpose is to help every traveler become comfortable and proficient with using the online booking tool so they can make their own reservations.
The online support team also assists travelers with error messages, which saves travelers time and alleviates frustration. Team members provide tips that enable travelers to get their desired results when booking online, such as teaching travelers to return a broader search result and then narrow it to locate their desired options.
Online support can be obtained via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (888) 535-0179.
Online Technology Team
Our online technology team operates behind the scenes to ensure that automated processes function correctly. While we expect that every reservation proceeds smoothly, manual intervention is occasionally required.
As needed, team members will open a case with Concur and work with their technical team to resolve an issue so your travelers can continue working on their own projects.
4. How can travelers prevent issues when using Concur?
Our support teams recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox with Concur, as they are more reliable than Internet Explorer.
Also, clearing the temporary data cache and cookies from your computer or mobile device often resolves issues.
5. Do you support Concur Expense?
While Concur’s Travel and Expense tools are fully integrated, the Expense module is supported by your organization or in direct partnership with Concur. Our teams support the Travel module, as detailed above.
6. How does Concur handle travel policy?
Concur facilitates enforcement of travel policies by allowing custom definitions of the following:
- rules for each travel policy, such as approval hierarchies, authorized vendors, and spending limits;
- actions to take in the event of policy violations;
- exceptions that merit overriding the approval workflow; and
- role-based security within the application.
Concur uses visual guilt features to guide users to select airlines, hotels, and car suppliers that are within policy. Users are notified when a travel segment is out of policy in several ways:
- In-policy options display a green checkmark and can be configured to include messaging to guide user selections.
- A yellow triangle denotes when a segment is set for reporting or manager approval purposes.
- A red stop sign signals that the trip cannot be booked online.
Clients may customize the messaging that explains violations and company policy. This configurable solution not only allows clients to control policy rules across their organizations but also gives them the ability to create unlimited policy rule groups by location, role, department, and more.
7. How can I encourage travelers to book within policy on Concur?
The easier planning is for travelers, the more likely they are to comply with policy. There are several methods you can use to increase compliance:
- Filter choices. The tool can be configured to display only your preferred vendors and highlight your preferences, so the options offered to travelers are all within policy.
- Direct choices. Instead of limiting the content a traveler can view, you may opt to direct their choices using behavioral science. The visual guilt approach suggests to travelers that they reconsider out-of-policy choices by displaying messages encouraging them to stay within policy and alerts that their selection is non-compliant.
- Demonstrate safer choices. Showing your travelers how Christopherson’s SecurityLogic tool provides them with travel alerts and allows location tracking in case of emergency is also a valuable reminder that staying within policy is a safer choice and booking off-channel carries inherent risks.
8. How can trips booked in Concur be funneled to managers for approval?
Concur’s approval tool can be configured so that a ticket will not be issued until the booking is within policy parameters or has been approved by a designated manager. When there is a policy violation, travelers will be required to select reason codes and provide comments regarding the violation for notification, approval, and reporting purposes.
All travel policy violation comments, reason codes, and the policy-compliant options presented to the traveler but not selected are routed to the approving manager via email. Upon notification, the approving manager can accept or reject the trip via email, browser, or the Concur Mobile application. If no action is taken, the reservation will be held until the ticket time limit forces trip cancellation.
Policy rules can also be configured so that reservations within policy are also forwarded to the traveler’s manager.
9. What should be included in a Traveler Profile?
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations require that a traveler’s profile contain the traveler’s name (must be identical to the name on the driver license), gender, date of birth, and one contact telephone number. Additional profile information can be chosen by you and your travelers.
We recommend that travelers customize their profiles to include all travel preferences, frequent-traveler program memberships, preferred method of payment, and traveler number for TSA PreCheck. The name used for travel program memberships must also match the traveler’s ID.
Encourage travelers to verify their profile information before booking to proactively eliminate errors that can delay the process, and remind them that profiles must be updated using the Concur web version and not the mobile app.
10. How can I delete a Traveler Profile?
Travel managers can deactivate Traveler Profiles in AirPortal and the AirPortal 360 mobile app. You may also contact Christopherson and we will deactivate profiles for you.
11. What mobile apps are available for Concur?
- Concur Mobile. This user-friendly mobile app allows travelers to book travel and view reservations. If travelers have the Expense module, they can also manage receipts and expense reports on mobile devices.
- TripIt. Concur integrates with the free version of the TripIt app. When your profile is connected to TripIt and Concur, you can view your trip plans on any web-enabled device and access features like airport maps and neighborhood safety ratings.
- TripIt Pro. Integration with Concur’s premium service paid app, TripIt Pro, includes additional features like real-time flight alerts, airport navigation assistance, and automated distribution of travel-plan updates to your designated recipients.
12. How do you guarantee reservation accuracy?
Christopherson uses Concur’s mid-office quality-control tool, Compleat, which automatically checks reservations for errors at milestones during the booking process and runs hundreds of other intelligent processes. Compleat is used when tickets are booked online or through a travel advisor.
13. Can I streamline booking repeated trips to the same destination?
If your travelers regularly go to the same destination on the same flights, you can save time by building a company travel template to use for that particular trip. The air, car, and hotel search criteria will default to your template settings. Only travel administrators can edit company templates.
14. What is the best way to book the same trip for several travelers?
If you are a travel arranger for other employees and/or guests and have two or more travelers heading to the same destination who want the same itinerary, you can save time by using the “clone a trip” option.
15. How does Concur handle traveler data?
Credit card and transaction data are handled by Concur and the GDS, both of which are payment card industry (PCI) compliant. These data are encrypted within Traveler Profiles to meet PCI standards.