Policies are a bundled set of restrictions & permissions that allow you to define how your travellers can search & book trips, but also how they travel and how much they spend. A good travel policy should consider both the cost and well-being of the traveller. Only the super admin is allowed to set up policies in your organization.
Setting up a policy for your team members is fairly straightforward once the required setup is clear (see below to learn more). Once ready, make sure to,
- Create at least 1 group, invite users, and add managers to the group. Without managers, no one can approve any booking requests.
- Set up your policy in a way that suits your company workflow
- Assign users or groups to the policy.
That's it! Your travellers are now ready to start booking flights or hotels. If a policy is assigned to the group that a traveller is in, they will automatically follow that policy when booking.
How flight policies work
To create or change a policy to go Manage -> Policies & Rules and hit "add" or click on an existing policy. There are two types of policies that you can set up. A policy for flight bookings and for accommodations.
When you create a flight policy you'll have few options to select from. Some of them impact how flights are booked (approval flow), and others are filters that prevent travellers from bookings specific flights.
Depending on your company's workflow, you can decide to set up an approval workflow. When a specific booking goes through an approval flow, a manager typically has to approve a booking before it can actually be booked. A few ways to set this up in policies:
1. All flights require approval: This is likely the most straightforward. When enabled, travellers can only request for a flight to be booked.
Meaning that a traveller can only request a booking to their manager. Only once the manager approves the booking will it be paid and the booking issued.
If this is activated, you will not be able to create exceptions for the policy.
2. Total flight budget: If you want a bit more flexibility, you can also customize your approval work based on a specific budget range. For example, if your travellers typically book flights under $300, but never over $5000 you can set it up like this:
In this example:
- Flights below $310 will be considered "in the budget" and are immediately paid and booked whenever a traveller selects it.
- Flights between $310 and $5000 will require approval before they can be booked.
- Flights above $5000 will be completely hidden from search
3. Advance days booking: When enabled, travellers must book at least X days before departure. If they book their flight after that, the booking will go through approval first.
Example: You've set a 5 day advanced booking threshold
- John tries logging in on Monday 1 June and books a flight with a departure date on 7 June -> No approval is required since the time between booking & departure is 6 days.
- Amy booked a flight on Monday 2 June, with a departure date on 4 June -> An approval request is going to the manager before the booking actually happens.
You can read more about the approval workflow here
Search result settings
If you want to prevent your travellers from booking specific flights, you can make sure they don't show up in their search results by enabling filters. In your policy you have the option to filter out:
- Exclude Airlines: exclude specific airlines if you don't want your travellers to be able to book them.
- Smart budgets: this gives you some additional cost control. When enabled only flights up to a percentage (%) of the lowest-cost flight will appear.
Example: Let's say that you set your smart budget to 30%. Whenever someone searches for a flight and the lowest cost flight available is $100, all flights above $130 will be hidden from the results.
- Cabin class: set the highest allowed cabin class that travellers can book.
Another way to customize your policy is by adding exceptions to the policy. You can add combine 3 different types of exceptions:
- Flight duration
- Trip type (international/domestic)
- Flight route (departure/arrival location)
Please do note that exceptions can only be created if the main policy is NOT "All Flights/Hotels Requires Approval".
When you combine these, you can basically define the exception which will allow you to set the allowed cabin class and booking budget:
In this example: Whenever a flight is more than 8 hours and international and from Singapore to Amsterdam, the maximum allowed cabin class is First Class and the requiring approval budget is increased to $500, and flights over $10,000 will be hidden from search.
This exception overrules the generic policy. So if the policy typically would hide all first-class flights, they would now appear.
NOTE: Policies will ONLY work if they are assigned to users. Scroll to learn how to assign policies to users and groups.
How accommodation policies work
Similar to flights you can add accommodations policies as well. The settings are largely the same. The only difference is that you don't have airline-specific filters but instead you'll have hotel star ratings available.
With star rating, you can adjust the policy settings individually for each stars. With this setting, you refine further what is allowed to be booked by your traveller. You can adjust the settings so that only 3 and 4 stars hotel are shown, while hotels with 1 and 2 stars are hidden from search, and hotel with 5 stars require approval before booking.
When it comes to exceptions, you can set up an exception based on a location (City or Country) that will impact the hotel star settings and the approval, as well as hidden from search budget settings.
How train policies work
With trains, you can adjust the budgets and approvals similar with flight and hotel policies. Adjusting the budget will then change what seat class can the traveller choose during booking.
The budget setting will directly affect what is available to the traveller. If the seat class price is above the allowed budget, then the traveller will not be able to select the class, and will see a message saying "Out of policy".
Additionally, the seat class filter in the train policy will only filter high speed train seat class filters. The options are:
2nd Class and lower
If you select 2nd Class and Lower, then the traveller will be able to book any seat (including sleeper) in the regular train, also standing and 2nd Class in High Speed train.
Assigning policies to travellers and groups
By default, policies won't affect any users until they are assigned to them. You can decide to assign policies to individual users or assign them to entire groups.
Do note that a user can only be part of 1 policy so if a user is part of a group that is already assigned to a policy, this user can't be assigned to another policy anymore.
Check out this video below for a quick run-through on how to assign a policy to you.