A Letter To My Fellow Travelers

To my fellow travelers,

I have been in your shoes. I have been a buyer of business travel, and I am well aware that managing business travel is only one of the pressing issues on your plate. Please allow us to make your life more manageable. That is our commitment to you, to make this one slice of your life better. I am honored that you would take the time to consider working with us. We have prepared a long time in anticipation of this moment.

I have been in the business of travel management for a long time, but years ago I was a business traveler and managed a travel budget from the customer’s side of things. The insights I gained during those early years still have a profound impact on how I see the world. I know the importance of travel for business, and I know the anguish of things gone awry. With that in mind, the following are a few thoughts on how I would be a business travel customer today:

If I were in another business, I would use us (Hess® Corporate Travel) to manage my business travel because:

  1. As a business owner, I employ highly trained and highly compensated staff members who have better things to do than to play amateur travel agent with time that they should be devoting to our main business. Asking staff members to be their own travel agent is not unlike asking them to change their own oil to “save” a few dollars.
  2. I would want my travel management company to be my advocate. I would expect Hess to consider all of the options (including internet sites, airline sites, and regular GDS access) to find the best value. I would realize that many times, the pricing will be similar to what I would find if I spent the time to search all relevant avenues, but (see #1) my time is worth something. I would also expect that about 1 time in 5, my advocate will find a way to save me a bunch of money, far exceeding all the fees I pay.
  3. I would use Hess’s extensive management reporting to ensure compliance with our travel policy, to identify areas for improvement, and to consolidate our buying patterns for the purpose of negotiating with vendors.
  4. I would take considerable comfort knowing that a Hess Price Assurance™ staff member will go the extra mile. He or she will check multiple times all the way to the day of departure, re-price each ticket after I buy it, and reissue the ticket if I can save some money.
  5. I would take additional comfort knowing that a Hess Lookin’ for Trouble™ team member will review my travel from the day of departure until I return to head on problems (including weather delays, equipment changes, canceled flights, etc.) before I find myself in a pickle in some distant city. Hess’s Lookin’ for Trouble™ protocol is a lifesaver for hundreds of travelers each week.
  6. I would rely on the Hess Ticket Goalie™ to help me get value out of my unused tickets. I know that they check every ticket, including the ones I self-book on their Concur system.
  7. I would really like the fact that even though it is a top 50 U.S. business travel agency (Business Travel News), Hess Travel is nimble in its care for customers and will pay attention to my needs. I would be confident that I will never be thrown to the wolves in some telephone call center or told to fix my own problem on the internet.
  8. I would like the fact that after-hours emergency calls are managed by members of the Hess team and that I have confidence that they will always have my back. In a tough situation, this one is worth half my kingdom.
  9. I would enjoy the warm feeling that comes from not being just a number, because I know that Hess Travel is one of an increasingly rare breed that is not trying to force me into a call center, not trying to save money by having their phones answered by an irritating automatic system, and not trying to make me do my own travel work.

Happy Travels,

Alan H. Hess
President / CEO
Hess Corporate Travel