SOS - What To Do When Business Travel Goes Wrong

Man standing in airport tapping his phone

4min read

Published 5 December 2023


Ever had a perfect business trip? You know, one where every traffic light was green on the way to the airport, there wasn't a missed or cancelled flight, the seat next to you was empty, you arrived on time and so did your luggage, your hotel room had the best view in the house, your client didn’t change the meeting time, and for some inexplicable, joyous reason, you didn’t have a single IT issue once the entire time... 

It’s stuff dreams are made of. The reality is, travel problems can happen, and even the best laid plans can unravel. To help you navigate these situations, we've compiled a list of the top things that can go wrong on a business trip and the actions you could take to remedy them. 

Of course, our top tip is to work with one of our dedicated Travel Managersthey’re the experts at problem solving travel challenges when they do occur and avoiding the pitfalls in the first place. Plus, we’re available 24/7 through our local emergency assist teams, who have access to our customers’ information and preferences. 

Top things that can go wrong when travelling for work and how to fix it

We asked Brigid Hourigan, Business Leader, Flight Centre Business Travel, to draw on her vast experience and come up with a list of the main things that can go pear shaped when you're on a business trip, and to provide some possible solutions. 

Brigid Hourigan, FCBT Business Leader
Brigid Hourigan, FCBT Business Leader
Brigid Hourigan, FCBT Business Leader

Flight Delays or Cancellations

Action: Breathe! Stay cool and check your updated flight's status, and immediately contact your Travel Manager for alternative arrangements. We’re there for you 24/7 and we can quickly assist with rebooking, finding the next flight or finding alternative transportation and accommodation.

If your flight is delayed and you don't have a Travel Manager, and you wish to keep travelling, talk to an airline representative at the gate and ask to be put on the next available flight. If it's a long delay, overnight accommodation may be arranged for you (depending on the airline's policy). If the flight is cancelled, and you decide not to travel, you may be eligible for compensation.

Lost Luggage

Action: Report the loss to airport airline staff immediately, file a claim, and contact us. To reduce the chances of lost luggage, we suggest you travel with just a carry on whenever possible, but if you need to take checked luggage, pack essentials and personal belongings in your carry on luggage. And remember, always keep your luggage receipt on hand.

Using AirTags or similar tracking devices for your luggage can provide some peace of mind, making it easier to find your bag should it go missing. Plus, it's kinda fun telling the airline where you bag is when they don't know!

Accommodation Issues

Action: If you didn't book though a travel management company and your hotel room is subpar or overbooked at check in, calmly request a change to more suitable arrangements. This could include an upgrade or getting a room at another nearby hotel. Make sure you ask for any suitable compensation including travel to another hotel.

Thanks to our HotelsPlus program, our quality preferred accommodation partners and our experienced Travel Managers, this isn’t a problem that Flight Centre Business Travel customers need to experience!

Need help with your corporate travel arrangements?

Our Travel Managers are dedicated, experienced and knowledgeable. When you work with Flight Centre Business Travel, you’re choosing peace of mind. Direct access to the same person, who gets your business – and its travel needs – inside and out. 

Health Emergencies

Action: Got a bad case of food poisoning? Or something more serious? If needed, get medical help pronto. Contact your Travel Manager and let them know what’s happening, as they can suggest local healthcare facilities and provide valuable advice.

Remember, travel insurance is a must, so before you go travelling for work, talk to us about our partnership with Covermore and how we can ensure you’re well protected from big medical bills while you're away.

Lost or Stolen Passport

Action: Get straight onto the Australian Passport Office (DFAT) and advise them of the situation. Report it to the local police station and get a report. You could also visit or contact your embassy/consulate.

When you partner with Flight Centre Business Travel, your dedicated Travel Manager can walk you through the whole process.

Lost Mobile Phones

Action: Losing your mobile phone is like losing a limb. As a backup plan, you can use messaging apps via your laptop, and get busy with email. Having a backup handset is ideal, but not always practicable.

At Flight Centre Business Travel, we can contact your workplace to let them know that you’re OK if you can’t.

Corporate Businessman On Phone In Hotel
Corporate Businessman On Phone In Hotel
Corporate Businessman On Phone In Hotel

Cultural Misunderstandings

Action: Heading overseas? Research local customs and etiquette in advance and be respectful and open-minded when you’re on the ground. If it all goes pear shaped, your Travel Manager can help you navigate the situation thanks to our network of local contacts.

Weather Conditions

Action: It’s always a good idea to keep track of weather forecasts before you travel. Talk to us if you think there could be a problem so that a plan can be put in place. If you are caught in an unexpected event or natural disaster, our Travel Managers can assist quickly with the best solution to alternative arrangements and back up plans.

Data and Security Breaches

Action: When you’re on the road, always use secure and trusted Wi-Fi connections. Enable two-factor authentication and avoid accessing sensitive information on public computers.

If a problem occurs, flick your mobile to airplane more/flight only, run anti-malware and anti-spyware software on your device, change passwords, or (if your device is backed up) run a factory reset.

Stress Less on Your Business Trip

At Flight Centre Business Travel, we can’t promise every work trip you take will be perfect, but we can make sure you avoid the common pitfalls. Plus, we're experts at solving travel problems and pointing you in the right direction when issues arise. We take your safety and comfort personally, and our experienced team is always here to help.

We hope these tips help you handle the unexpected and stress less if last minute problems occur while you travel for work!

Get in touch to learn how Flight Centre Business Travel can help streamline your business’ end-to-end travel program and make your travel for work easy, or call us on 1300 797 826 today. 

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