Announcement: Contract Renewal

JC Travel Professionals is pleased to announce the renewal of its agreement and successful implementation of the Amadeus Selling Platform Connect, a leading global transaction processor and provider of advanced technology solutions in travel and tourism.

Justin Montgomery, General Manager Australia for Amadeus said, “We are delighted to renew our partnership with JC Travel.”

“In the coming years, we’ll be working closely with them to develop better technology for better journeys,” added Mr Montgomery.

“Our combined efforts toward innovation will ensure we keep pace with digital disruption, and meets growing traveller expectations.”

Managing Director of JC Travel Professionals, Freddy Mikhael, noted the renewal of the agreement is a “showcase of the strong partnership with Amadeus whom we trust to deliver the best possible solutions for our clients and for our business.”

“The Amadeus Connect technology provides our team with faster, more intuitive access to a greater range of travel content,” agreed Shady Mikhael, General Manager of JC Travel Professionals.

“It marries seamlessly with our OBT, Alienta, and only means greater service for our clients and better efficiency for our team,” said Mr Mikhael.

Top 3 Reasons Why People Avoid Business Travel

There are generally two kinds of business travellers – those who enjoy it and those who struggle with it! Love it or hate it, there are times when travelling for work can be overwhelming.

There’s sitting around waiting for flights, jet lag and being away from family and friends to deal with. Of course, there are ways to combat these issues, and having a good travel management company (TMC) on board will help.

Let’s take a look at the top reasons why people don’t look forward to corporate travel, and what can be done about it?


1. Personal challenges

Whether it’s four times a year or once a week, business travel involves leaving home and family, and often missing important personal events.

There’s also the risk of travel burnout. Business travellers have to contend with jet lag, then there’s the actual work. Meeting with people and constantly sharing meals means they need to be more ‘on’ than usual. If they aren’t giving a presentation or leading a meeting, they’re having to listen intently so they can report back. Generally, business travel involves a heavy schedule.

What’s the solution? A TMC can organise itineraries around personal commitments, and make sure there’s no wasted time between stops. Even better, they can intentionally arrange itineraries with enough downtime between meetings so travellers can recharge. TMC’s will also provide travellers with online access to their itineraries, which provide them with control and further ease to schedule breaks where possible.


2. The financial element

Many employees question whether travel is actually necessary. If they are travelling specifically to close a deal or meet with important clients, then there’s an obvious return on investment.

But today’s world is a lot smaller than it used to be. People can connect over email, social networks and Skype or similar apps. There are definitely times where meeting in this way is sufficient, yet companies still require employees to travel because they understand the benefit of face to face meetings.

When travelling, it’s often up to the employee to manage their expenses and the paperwork required. The admin is tedious and time-consuming, yet it’s necessary so the traveller can reconcile spend.

A TMC can help streamline the management of expenses. Request that all chargebacks for the big-ticket items such as flights, accommodation and car hire are handled by the TMC. This means all the traveller needs to consider are their personal incidental expenses.


3. Dealing with jet lag

Business travel can be physically demanding. Travellers need to cope with jet lag, and often struggle with getting enough exercise and eating well while on the road.

Companies can help employees combat this with some handy tips included with their travel policy. For example:

  • To ease the transition to a new time zone, suggest travellers maximise their exposure to daylight at their destination and take short naps if they feel tired. A TMC can also help by tailoring routes and stops to minimise jet lag.
  • Encourage staff to stretch in their seat and move around during the flight.
  • Once at their destination, suggest heading out for a short walk as often as possible.
  • Recommend that employees buy some healthy snacks once they get to their destination, and keep these on hand during the day to avoid purchasing junk food.


There’s no doubt that travelling for business can sometimes be hard. But by looking after your staff and using a TMC, you can improve the travel experience and boost the bottom line.

Are you looking to engage a TMC? Talk to us about the ways we can streamline your travel procurement and keep your travellers ready for more.

Our Journey to Improved Client Satisfaction with Alienta

Nowadays, a TMC is as good as the tools it uses. I can say that one of the best decisions I’ve made as General Manager of JC Travel, is arm the team with a new weapon. Its name is Alienta, and it’s the newest online booking tool (OBT) for corporate travel.

Before Alienta, we were using a global corporate OBT. As soon as I received a demo for Alienta, I couldn’t wait to make the switch.

Our clients have significantly benefited from the change. And I believe this has given us the edge over companies that aren’t using Alienta.

Here’s why.


Transforming the customer experience

Typically, OBTs don’t allow clients to book international travel themselves. They have to go through a travel consultant paying an “offline” service fee. While this can be costly, it also takes the power out of their hands. It makes them dependent on their travel agency for the best deals, itineraries and turnaround time.

Since making the switch to Alienta, our clients are able to book their own international travel online. They can have any international itinerary at their fingertips, at any time, for up to 18 legs.

I understand eliminating this pain point decreases our potential income. However, it never fazed me. The way I see it, when our clients are happy, it’s much easier to build a long-term relationship and acquire new customers. There’s nothing wrong with putting the power firmly where it should be, in the hands of the customer.


Solving pain points

While global booking tools are useful, they do come with certain limitations. There were three main ways our previous tools weren’t letting us meet our clients’ expectations.. the way we wanted to anyway.


1. Limitations around customising services

Many OBTs have a one-size-fits-all approach. They simply don’t take into consideration different company travel policies.

The inability to tailor our services to individual clients meant they weren’t receiving the bespoke attention they deserved. Alienta allows us to customise our services to each of our clients. It’s like the difference between getting a tailored suit and one off the rack at a chain store.


2. Lengthy delays dealing with system errors

With our old system, all errors had to be reported to the technology provider and it could take the team weeks to get an answer. This led to a great deal of frustration for clients, and made it hard for us to provide the quality of customer service we wanted. With Alienta, system errors are automatically sent to our team of consultants. This ensures swift issue-handling.


3. Slow implementation

In other systems, it could take anything from three weeks to a month to set up new clients. With Alienta, we can set up clients in hours or less than a week at most.


What do our clients think of Alienta?

Because Alienta has so many features, clients are able to do things they couldn’t using our previous tools. So far, the feedback communicated directly to myself, as well as the team, has been overwhelmingly positive. Here are some of the features our customers have commented on:

  • Easy personalisation to company travel policy and finance billing requirements
  • Logical navigation around the system, making it faster to find what you want
  • Simpler user log in process and general ease of use
  • Hotel searches populating in a display map as well as list form is one of the favourites
  • Easy transfer from the previous booking tool
  • The comfort of knowing that they can leave a note or question for the agency at any time during the process

Our clients can draft their own itineraries, save them, manage and use their airline credits through Alienta (a significant challenge with most OBTs).

Most importantly, our clients don’t have to deal with issues themselves. If an error occurs, it comes to us automatically. They don’t have to do anything nor wait weeks for errors to get fixed.

Because we can now save time on the booking process, we’re able to focus on the business and provide the bespoke level of service we promise at JC Travel.

I can vouch that Alienta is designed from a customer’s perspective, unlike other tools which are designed from a travel agent’s perspective. This is the core of what makes it valuable. It’s why Alienta fits perfectly with our philosophy of putting the customer first.


The Power of Booking Complex International Travel Online

There are many reasons to use a TMC for your corporate travel needs. However, relying solely on a consultant to book all your travel means giving control to someone else.

This might be fine for organisations with simple travel needs. Unfortunately, for others it can lead to headaches and additional costs.

The solution is using your TMC’s online booking tool (OBT) to book your own travel.  There are a number of advantages to taking this DIY approach, especially when making complex international bookings to several countries.


1. Fewer delays

Most TMCs provide tools for clients to book simple point-to-point travel online. For international and complicated itineraries, you usually have to go through the consultant.

One potential issue with this scenario is delays. After you submit a booking request, you need to wait for the consultant to get back to you. This is usually followed by back and forth communication while the details are arranged and fine-tuned.

When you can book your own complex international itinerary online, it’s faster. Most importantly, it reduces service fees and the margin of error between yourself and the consultant. You can book exactly what you need, when you need it and include any accommodation and car hire along the way.


2. Greater transparency

Another advantage to arranging your own international travel is transparency. When you rely on a consultant to make the booking, you rely on them to find you the best deals. This can be an issue if they’re remunerated based on the value of your itinerary versus the service they provide.

Unfortunately, there are some TMCs who will only show clients the fares that will give them the biggest commission. When you do it yourself through their OBT, you can see all the options available.


3. More control

You also see all routes available. A smart OBT lets you select a route and mode of transport that best suits your budget and schedule. You might find a faster or more efficient way to get from A to B. If a last-minute meeting comes up in Brussels while you’re scheduled to be in London, you can squeeze it in.

At JC Travel Professionals we use Alienta, an OBT with unprecedented flexibility and capabilities. It gives our clients the freedom and control they need to arrange point-to-point as well as complex international itineraries.

4. Offline support remains available

When you DIY, TMC consultants remain available to provide offline support, troubleshooting issues and answering any questions you might have.

By using your TMC’s OBT yourself, you get the benefit of comparing all the options. At the same time, you can save consultant fees and stay in control of your budget and schedule. If you do get stuck, help is always at hand.


Arranging your own corporate travel with support from a travel consultant really is the best of both worlds.

5 Things Your Boss Wants You to Know About Your TMC

Have you recently hired a travel management company (TMC) for your organisation? As with any business service, it’s crucial to assess how well the arrangement is working in the first few months.

Here are the five key things your boss really wants you to know about your TMC before you report back.


1. How satisfied are staff members?

When staff are making travel bookings, are they going through the TMC, or complaining about it? If service is poor and the system isn’t user-friendly, staff will book travel themselves, which will be reflected in the bottom line.

Another question to ask is whether employing the services of the TMC has made life easier for your business travellers. If this is the case, the TMC is serving its purpose. If not, it’s time to investigate further.


2. Has it saved the business money?

One of the primary reasons to engage the services of a TMC is to save on your corporate travel. Have the savings promised during the procurement phase been realised? Are the reports on spending readily available for analysis, and easy to understand? If your TMC’s system of reporting isn’t comprehensive or transparent, you won’t be seeing where savings are and where adjustments are needed.


3. Is the TMC going the extra mile?

Anyone can book a flight or hotel, but it usually takes a special service to procure those little added extras. Sure, the TMC is organising travel and finding the best deals, but is the company also going the extra mile? This might include securing upgrades, free Wi-Fi and included breakfast for travellers, and offering staff corporate rates for personal trips. If your TMC is going above and beyond for your organisation, great. If not, perhaps it’s time to renegotiate.


4. How well does it solve problems?

Travel is not without its problems. Flights are rerouted, accommodation changes and travellers may be stranded by natural disasters. How well is your TMC dealing with these sorts of issues when they arise? Are they on hand outside working hours for emergencies? A good TMC will be quick to respond to problems, and will handle issues calmly and efficiently.


5. The level of support

Is your TMC quick to help with forms and answer questions? Does it provide enough support in using the online booking system (OBT)? If your TMC isn’t offering ongoing training and tips on how you can get the most out of the OBT, you’re not getting value for money.


Using a TMC to streamline your corporate travel makes sense for the bottom line. However, it’s vital to analyse how it’s operating along the way, to ensure your organisation is realising the full benefits.

Features of an Efficient Corporate Travel Workflow

An efficient workflow is crucial to any business especially travel. Without a clear coporate travel workflow, you’ll experience frustration and delays, instead of a seamless and stress-free booking process.

Not all workflows are created equal. Here are a few features of an optimum booking workflow.

The right basics

While every organisation is different, the best corporate travel workflows share a few common features.

These include:

  • Integration with third party suppliers
  • Integration with company approvals processes and financial systems
  • Customisation to suit the individual company policies and timeframes
  • The ability to manage and approve travel from anywhere


Setting up associations

In corporate travel, it’s common for delays to occur while waiting for booking approvals. To speed up the process, you’ll need to set up associations with clear responsibilities. This is the cornerstone of an efficient workflow. It should be one of the first things you do.

Once the travellers, arrangers and approvers are set up, you can largely automate the approvals and booking process. Besides that, it’s important that everyone knows what they can or can’t book. This is where the corporate travel policy comes in handy.  A great online booking tool (OBT) will allow you to set up as many layers of travel policy as you need.


Centralised communication

Centralised communication is another feature of an efficient corporate travel workflow. The OBT should contain a record of all communication regarding travel bookings.

This means that if an itinerary is declined, the reason can be provided in the system. When there is a centralised communication system it saves going back and forth and keeps everyone in the loop. If you have a complaint or a question, you won’t have to have the same conversation with multiple people. This makes for greater transparency and clarity, not to mention faster resolution of problems.


Without a clearly mapped workflow it’s very difficult to manage your corporate travel effectively. If you’re thinking about engaging a TMC, make sure they have a clear, effective workflow mapped out.

Many TMCs take a one-size fits all approach to their client workflows, so look for one that’s flexible and adaptable to your needs.

If you’re looking to streamline your corporate travel procurement, talk to us about how we can help make the booking process faster, more efficient and cost-effective.

Top 4 Situations when a TMC Comes in Handy

There are many benefits to engaging a TMC to handle your corporate travel. From organising travel in one handy system to helping create travel policies, having a TMC on the books is a good investment. However, there are some specific situations where it’s extra handy to have a TMC on call.


1. When employees experience travel delays

Travel mishaps are unavoidable whether they’re the passenger’s fault or beyond anyone’s control. For example, missing a flight versus being fogged in. Either way, travel issues need to be tended to. Delays and mishaps are undoubtedly frustrating, especially for the traveller stuck in an airport or on the tarmac for hours on end.

However, working with a TMC means there’s a professional on hand. The TMC can handle any flight changes, hotel issues or even car situations should the need arise. Your travel managers can look for alternatives and book these, so you and your staff don’t need to worry about a thing.


2. When employees go rogue

Travel non-compliance is not all uncommon. Despite corporates having travel programs in place, bookings will be made outside of the policy, whether that’s by mistake or intentional. However, if this is happening a lot more than it should be, having a travel management company can help. With a TMC, reporting is ongoing and accessible. Therefore, you can keep tabs on what is going through the appropriate channels and what is slipping through the cracks.


3. When you need to understand your travel expenditure

Any business needs to understand where money is going. In most cases, travel is the third or fourth highest expense after wages. Using a TMC not only cuts the outright cost of travel, it also gives you access to reporting data. Consequently, you’ll have visibility of travel spend and areas where you can improve your bottom line.


4. When duty of care calls

Travel isn’t without risk, and you have a duty of care toward all your employees. The risks of travel can include something as common as a flight delay or more serious issues such as civil unrest. A TMC keep details and a status report of all your travellers. They will also be able to identify immediately if one of your travellers is at risk. A TMC will keep details for all company travellers, from flights, to hotels and car hire right through to tours, in one place. This means contact details can be found immediately and situations can be dealt with as quickly and calmly as possible.


It might seem easy to handle corporate travel yourself – after all, there are a number of booking websites available to help. However, these online websites don’t offer the security, data reporting and streamlined travel management a good TMC provides.

5 Selection Criteria for Choosing the Right Travel Management Company

With more businesses looking to outsource their travel management, the number of organisations offering corporate travel services is also growing.

But finding the right travel management company (TMC) for your needs from the multitudes offering their services can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Here are five things you should look out for when selecting a TMC to handle your corporate travel.


1. Smooth booking process

You want it to be simple and straightforward for staff to book their travel, otherwise the time they have to spend making travel arrangements will cost your business. A streamlined booking process that makes use of state-of-the-art online booking tools is the foundation of any good TMC.


2. Access to a vast range of carriers and products

The bigger the range of carriers, the more you’ll be able to compare and get the best possible deals on your corporate travel. Conversely, a limited range of carriers means fewer options and a higher probability of bookings being made outside your travel policy.


3. Transparent fee structure

You don’t want to be dealing with hidden costs when you’re working with a TMC. Make sure their fee structure is transparent and you know exactly what you’re being charged for. It’s also a good idea to ensure that when you cancel or change travel bookings, their online booking tool (OBT) displays any penalties or fare changes so you always know what you’re up for.


4. Built-in approval process

The approvals process is one of the differentiating features of corporate travel over personal travel management. Find a TMC with approvals workflows integrated in their online booking tool, so you can have the whole approvals process automated and save time.


5. Reporting on travel spend

Keeping track of travel costs is the best way to stop them getting out of control. A good TMC will be able to provide regular reports on your travel spend, so you can stay on top of your budget.


All TMCs are unique, just like your business. It’s important to find one that’s a good fit. The right TMC can save you money on your travel costs, keep you within budget and find the most efficient logistical solution to get your employees from A to B (and often C, D and E). They will have a workflow that suits your requirements and help you set up a travel policy if you don’t have one. They will also provide immediate support if something goes wrong.

By taking some time to find the right TMC using these criteria, you can stop worrying about travel and focus on developing and running your business.


Taking a Closer Look At The Technology We Use

The level of service has always differentiated the good travel management companies from the best ones. However, these days a vital factor has been added to the equation. You can now say a TMC is as good as its online booking tool (OBT). At JC Travel Professionals, we’ve struggled to find the best solution. We found that at all OBTs in the market had limitations holding our clients back—until we finally discovered Alienta.

More and more corporates are realising the benefits of using an integrated OBT. Unfortunately, not all of these tools are created equal. Because of the complexity of corporate travel, many off-the-shelf tools can’t cope with the intricacies involved. This leaves TMCs struggling to give clients the level of service they deserve.

Alienta is specifically designed to address a number of the common limitations of the existing range of OBTs. Here are some of the ways it helped us surpass our competition and benefit our clients.



Alienta gives our clients the flexibility to display and book complex trips with up to 18 legs. This feature alone is unheard of in our industry although in high demand.

Alienta also gives our multinational clients the power to integrate their global offices. We can set it up in multiple languages, using any currency. Most importantly, clients can make bookings from anywhere in the world.

Another great feature is how easy it is to make changes. Anyone who works in the industry (or travels) knows that modifying ticketed itineraries can be a nightmare. In Alienta, ticketed itineraries are incredibly easy to change online. Not only that, but there’s also complete transparency around fare differences and penalty costs.


Cost savings

Alienta allows us to find the best deals by combining all modes of transport. We can compare flights, trains, buses and even ferries to get the most efficient and cost-effective option for any trip, large or small.

Alienta also combines legacy airlines and low-cost carriers. It gives us the option to view and select each leg separately. This single feature can reduce the cost of a trip by over a third. Additionally, our travellers can store and use credits from different airlines.


Travel policy

Travel policies are one of the areas where corporate and personal travel differ. Creating and adhering to a company’s travel policy is a crucial part of arranging corporate travel. After adopting Alienta, our clients set up their exact policies. They had the flexibility of tailoring exceptions for groups, departments, individuals and so on. In addition, they now have various workflows and associations which automate the entire booking and approval process with 100% compliance.



We have clients from various industries with very different needs. Most of them need a customised solution. So you can understand our frustration when most OBTs were unable to cater for all complex requirements. Using Alienta, we can now easily configure markets, customise GDS flight searches or even create custom modules. For example, if a business needs to limit the number of staff allowed on the same flight for insurance purposes, we can do that. The sky is literally the limit with Alienta due to its flexible framework.



Reporting is one of the vital requirements we receive from all our corporate clients. Alienta makes reporting a breeze. It enables us to comprehensively report on travel searches and bookings. And to make life easier, Alienta can seamlessly integrate its data with various back office systems. This allows our clients to have all the information they need at their fingertips.


In recent trials, we’ve been able to transact over 98% of our corporate bookings through Alienta. It has revolutionised the way we manage travel, and the benefits are only going to increase. If you’re keen to know more about how we can streamline your corporate travel, contact us.

Why JC Travel Professionals – from the GM

Over the 10 years I’ve been part of the team, JC Travel Professionals has grown from a small family business to a large, multi-million dollar company. While many things have changed over that time, our core values and client-first approach haven’t.

I believe there are several key things that set us apart from many other organisations in the corporate travel industry.

Big business capability, small business values

Where we are today is largely thanks to upholding our values and having a great culture. In spite of the various ups and downs that come with growing any business to the size we are now, we remained strong and grounded.

Our core team has been with us for many years. They have invested heart and soul into maintaining our values as the business has grown. At every step, we’ve succeeded not to fall into the trap of many large corporations where the client becomes just a number.

We believe in exceeding our clients’ expectations. providing the best technology, finding complimentary upgrades and promptly following up on requests may be optional extras for many travel management companies in the market. With us, they are essential. Many of the clients who changed over from larger TMCs are overwhelmed with the level of personal service we provide.

We go the extra mile

One of our biggest differences is our focus. Our team is remunerated based on their level of service, not how much money they bring to the business. This immediately takes the focus off our bottom line and places it where it should be. The focus has always been on the quality of service we can provide to our clients. Our energy is invested in finding the best options for our travellers, not what will bring the biggest commission. We ensure our team has the time to go the extra mile for our clients.

Solutions tailored to client needs, not ours

At JC Travel Professionals, we know there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every client’s needs are different and every client has the right to a tailored solution that suits their needs.

By combining our service-based approach with our cutting-edge online booking technology, Alienta, we’re able to really listen to our clients to find out what they want and deliver the best and most suitable travel solution for their business. This is how we convert new customers into long-term happy clients.

Cost savings and transparency

In the travel industry, knowledge is power. Unfortunately, many travel consultants will choose to only show their clients the deals that will give them the biggest commission.

The online booking system we use allows us to offer greater transparency and access to costs. We present our clients with all the available fares and rates that meet their travel policies. This empowers them to better track and manage their travel expenses.

Our transparent approach is a rarity and highly appreciated by our clients.

Looking to the future

We have great things planned for the future and it has been my pleasure to be part of it. By using the best technology and having a customer-centric team, we’ll continue to exceed client expectations. As a team, we’ll endeavour to stay true to our values and I look forward to being part of it.