Business Travel Travel Technology

What You Need to Know About Unused Airline Tickets

One of the biggest conundrums COVID-19 caused for travel managers was the deluge of unused airline tickets. As the pandemic spread and business travel was cancelled at an alarmingly rapid pace, companies and organizations of all sizes saw their accounts of unused credits balloon far beyond normal. The question on every travel manager’s mind then became: How do we track and manage all the unused airline tickets? How do we make sure we don’t lose those funds?

A Solution for Managing Unused Airline Tickets

Keeping up with the various airline policies for cancellations, refunds, and exchanges can be confusing at best. Compound that with the airlines’ frequent changes to and extensions of those policies during this time of coronavirus and travel managers have a recipe for a potentially significant loss of funds.

Because managing unused airline tickets even in the best of times can be difficult, Christopherson built AirBank. Travel managers can use AirBank to successfully track the entire lifecycle of unused tickets to ensure their reuse, save money, and eliminate waste. AirBank is accessible via AirPortal, our integrated software platform for travel managers and their travelers.

As airlines continue to revise their rules in response to the pandemic, AirBank remains up-to-date. Every shift in expiration (per airline, per ticket date, per travel date) is being extracted and applied to the tool’s tracking. 

How does AirBank work? 

When a flight is cancelled, unused ticket credits, including valid partial credits, are immediately available in AirBank. AirBank then comprehensively manages your unused tickets in the following ways:

  • Audits tickets to confirm whether they were used and determine any unused value
  • Automatically captures your unused tickets in a centralized database to prevent their loss 
  • Updates unused ticket status continuously
  • Reports all unused tickets
  • Enforces the use of unused tickets

At any given time, travel managers can see all unused tickets and, with our AirBank widgets, can also drill down from a company-wide view of all unused tickets to single transactions for greater detail.

Ensuring the Reuse of Unused Tickets

Both travel managers and travelers can see unused tickets via their respective AirPortal dashboards. This allows and encourages everyone to be active participants in the reuse of those funds.

To ensure reuse, AirBank is integrated into your travelers’ booking options. If a traveler books with one of our full-service travel advisors, AirBank prompts the agent at point-of-sale to use the available ticket. If the ticket was not used, AirBank requires documentation of the reason. AirBank also integrates with Christopherson’s online booking tools and prompts travelers who book their own tickets.

AirBank also sends email reminders to individual travelers and travel managers 120, 60, and 30 days prior to ticket expiration. 

If you have any additional concerns about managing and reusing airline tickets, we welcome your questions. We are here to deliver the tools and support you need to manage a stress-free business travel program and help you successfully begin traveling again.