Why does the university encourage faculty and staff to book their travel through Travel Guard when we can just use other travel sites like Orbitz or Expedia?
Travel Guard provides full service for travelers which include emergency services available 24/7 by calling 1-877-879-2142. Examples include flight or hotel rebooking due to weather or medical emergencies, assistance obtaining medical care and prescriptions needs while traveling, assistance replacing travel documents due to loss or theft.
The university's administrative procedures are also streamlined when airline tickets are purchased via Travel Guard since the expense is directly charged to the University, eliminating the need for requesting and processing employee reimbursements. If a traveler needs to cancel the ticket, Travel Guard then works to obtain the largest refund possible from the carrier and credits the refund directly to the university. Travel Guard monitors airfares after tickets are purchased and, if a ticket amount decreased, they will capture the savings for the university. Travel Guard also offers a low price guaranty that they will provide a $50 coupon to travelers if they find a lower airfare for the same airline, date, and flight on another website within 24 hours of making their reservation.
Finally, Travel Guard provides monthly reports of how the university travel dollars are used but can only capture data for the travel booked through their service. The reports provide useful information for managing travel expenses and will be used to negotiate with frequently used airline carriers and hotels for discounted pricing based on volume.
What are the fees charged by Travel Guard?
If looking for flights on other travel websites such as Orbitz and Travel Guard, why am I seeing flights on the other websites that I don't see on Travel Guard? And why do flights that I sometimes see on these other systems appear less expensive than the price I see on Travel Guard?
Travel Guard's reservation system is designed for business travel which means it will display the flights that best fit the search criteria and efficiently utilize the traveler's time. For example, it will likely not show flights with connections requiring a 15 minutes or 6 hour layover, the first because it's a hopeful, but unreasonable expectation of time required to catch another flight, the second because it's not an efficient use of the traveler's time. Travelers using the Travel Guard system may search for flights either by price (this the default setting) or by schedule. Travelers should be able to find flights that are aware of (either from other search engines or past experience) by entering the specific schedule times to Travel Guard and searching by schedule. This method will not show pricing upfront, however, but after the departure and return flights have been selected.
The initial prices displayed on other sites such as Orbitz do not include taxes while those on Travel Guard do. If travelers find the same flight on another site that really is less expensive than the one provided by Travel Guard, they should call 1-877-879-2142 to obtain the less expensive price. If travelers see a lower price for a flight they have booked within 24 hours of purchase, they should immediately contact Travel Guard for the $50 credit guarantee described above.
What if the hotel rate provided through the conference I'm attending is better than the rate I see on the Marathon site?
Conference rates are frequently booked years in advance and in lieu of the economic turmoil of recent years, it is highly recommended that travelers first check the hotel rate available from Travel Guard. If it is more than the conference rate, travelers should enter the information regarding the conference name and rate to the comment field when making their reservation and Travel Guard will obtain the conference rate on the traveler's behalf.
What is the best way to make reservations for a group of people traveling together?
If arranging travel for a group (10 people or more traveling to same destination on same dates), please call the 1-877-879-2142 number and notify the customer service representative that you are making reservations for a group. You will be forwarded to Travel Guard's group travel team which specializes in these arrangements. The Travel Guard online reservation system should not be used for group travel. Travel Guard's fees for group travel are as follows:
- Request for proposal/quote (will be applied towards booking if made through Travel Guard) - $100
- Domestic groups of 10+ passengers - $35/person
- International group of 10+ passengers - $50/person
If I'm trying to resolve a problem and receive less than satisfactory service from the customer service agent I speak with at Travel Guard, what should i do?