New disruption benchmarks: Freebird saves travelers 4 hours when flights go awry

Business travelers keep moving during flight disruptions with Freebird, one of the travel technologies in BCD Travel’s SolutionSource® marketplace.

Providing business travelers the tools to rebook their disrupted flights saves more than four hours, on average, every time a flight is disrupted, according to a recent data analysis by Freebird, a BCD Travel SolutionSource® authorized partner.

What’s more, companies can reduce the total business impact of each flight disruption by $1,500, on average (based on employee time and airfare costs), when a traveler uses Freebird to rebook a disrupted flight. To calculate these savings, Freebird’s data researchers analyzed over 225,000 U.S. domestic flights taken in 2018 by business travelers from more than 100 companies of all sizes, all using Freebird.

Improve traveler experiences by minimizing disruptions

Here’s how Freebird works. A BCD Travel client integrates Freebird via the SolutionSource platform. That enables the client’s travelers to use Freebird to rebook flights during disruptions. When a traveler’s flight is at risk of disruption, that traveler is automatically contacted by Freebird. Any rebookings are made in the BCD queue to maintain duty of care, ticketing and reporting.

Behind the scenes, Freebird draws payments for the new flights from a pool of funds the corporate travel program has set aside to buy just-in-time air tickets that can solve their travelers’ disruption problems.

Freebird’s data not only highlights potential savings, but also offers insights into business traveler behavior during disruptions. In 67% of the rebookings analyzed by Freebird researchers, travelers opted to fly on a different airline to get to their destination in less time. Almost a fifth of travelers (19%) even changed their originating or destination airport to help them stay on the move.

In 67% of the rebookings analyzed by Freebird researchers, travelers opted to fly on a different airline to get to their destination in less time. Almost a fifth of travelers (19%) even changed their originating or destination airport to help them stay on the move.

Prepare for disrupted flights anytime, anywhere

What’s causing these business trip disruptions? According to Freebird’s analysis, 48% of all flight disruptions happen because of missed connections; 30% are linked to canceled flights; and 22% are due to significant delays caused by bad weather, airline equipment or staffing problems and airport traffic or security delays.

The takeaways: Travel programs that rely heavily on connecting airports could suffer from higher flight disruption rates. And bad weather is only one of many disruptors, so programs should look for ways to mitigate flight disruptions all year round.

“Our clients want happier and more productive travelers. That’s why the traveler experience is so important to us at BCD Travel. A business traveler’s time is extremely valuable, and a flight disruption can ruin their plans,” said Irina Matz, director of SolutionSource. “With Freebird, the traveler can select an alternative flight to get to their destination on time—all with the touch of a button.”

Learn more about how BCD Travel eases traveler disruptions—even during hurricanes. And ask how BCD can help your program add innovations that improve savings, insights and traveler experiences.

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