Corporate TravelThe company guarantees clients a 90% refund on any booking changes or cancellation.

TravelPerk shakes up business travel with new refund option

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One in five business trips are cancelled, rescheduled or postponed, according to TravelPerk’s data.
One in five business trips are cancelled, rescheduled or postponed, according to TravelPerk’s data. Photo Credit: anyaberkut/Getty Images

With the new “FlexiPerk,” TravelPerk guarantees its clients a 90% refund on any bookings – for flights, hotels, private accommodations, car rentals and trains - that are changed or cancelled for any reason.

One week ago, in announcing its latest round of US$60 million in funding, TravelPerk co-founder and CEO Avi Meir said, “We have big ambitions for the next phase of our product development, which will see us quickly bring new offerings to market.”

Now, just seven days later, the company is launching what Meir calls “the biggest development in the business travel industry in more than a decade.”

With the new “FlexiPerk,” TravelPerk guarantees its clients a 90% refund on any bookings – for flights, hotels, private accommodations, car rentals and trains - that are changed or cancelled for any reason.

Clients that opt in to FlexiPerk pay a 10% fee on top of each booking.

Cancellations are made with one click in the TravelPerk platform and then the client receives a refund of 90% of their travel cost – but not the 10% fee – and TravelPerk handles the cancellation with the supplier.

There's one stipulation: To be refundable, cancellations must be made within certain time limits, such as two hours before a flight and by 4pm on the day of arrival for a hotel.

Pain management

The company says its own data shows that one in five business trips are cancelled, rescheduled or postponed.

“The issues around flexibility and changes are some of the biggest pain points,” Meir says.

“If you think about the difference between a flexible and non-flexible rate for exactly the same product, it is on average 60% more expensive. This is a massive amount of money to pay out of a travel budget to get flexibility. That’s what we are trying to solve here with only 10% difference in cost.”

The company says several of its customers have tested the product, resulting in a savings of 26% on average compared to the cost of flexible fares and last-minute cancellation fees.

"At Picnic, we’re growing really fast and have a truly international team with people flying in from around the world. But growing so quickly means plans change all the time,” says Elise Baeriswyl, people associate at Amsterdam-based online supermarket Picnic.

“Before FlexiPerk, we had to either pay expensive changeable fares or go through the headache of getting refunds from airlines. Now we can book anything with the peace of mind that we'll get our money back if plans change."

For now, opting in to FlexiPerk automatically enables it for all of a company’s employees, but Meir says it is developing the ability for clients to limit it to specific segments, for example executives or sales staff.

TravelPerk says it currently has about 2,000 customers, and Meir says he expects strong interest FlexiPerk. Those that opt in can also opt out with notice of at least seven days.

“We try to keep people in the platform by delivering great product, not because of a contract. Same as the main platform - you like it, you keep using it, you don’t, you opt out,” he says.

Meir says the company is working on many other new products that will be released in the coming months.

“[FlexiPerk] marks a change in the status quo of business travel’s pricing structure - and is a key development in our long-term strategy, which is focused on not just playing catch-up with the flexibility and convenience of consumer travel - but actually surpassing it,” he says.

TravelPerk’s recent US$60 million in funding brought its total Series C round to US$104 million. The latest capital came from existing investors Kinnevik, Partners of DST Global, Target Global, Felix Capital, Sunstone and LocalGlobe.

The company has raised nearly raised almost US$134 million since its launch in 2015.

Source:PhocusWire US

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