3 easy ways manage unused tickets and extend your company’s travel budget


The best way to cut costs in your company’s travel spend is to reuse the value of airline tickets for trips that have been cancelled. Unused airline tickets represent cash in hand, money you’ve already spent, and should be used whenever possible in order to optimize your travel budget. We have found that, on average, 3-7% of a company’s annual travel spend is wasted on trips that are cancelled and the ticket values go unused.

Chart of dollars wasted on unused airline tickets by businesses

That’s real money leaking out of your company’s travel funds and into the waste basket. You need to pay attention to that slow and constant leak that could be significantly impacting your company’s profitability.

There are a number of reasons why tickets go unused

  • Travelers aren’t aware of the ‘use it or lose it’ rules adopted by the airlines in recent years, which require you to cancel a ticket before your flight departs in order to keep your ticket’s monetary value.
  • Travelers forget, or the person arranging their travel isn’t aware, that they have unused ticket credits sitting out there that can be used for their next flight.
  • There is nobody keeping track of tickets that go unused when travelers book across multiple websites like Expedia, Travelocity, and across the airlines’ websites.

So, what can your company do to minimize the waste?

  • Educate your employees – Many experienced travelers are well aware of airline policies regarding change fees, but may not realize that cancelled tickets can be reused within one year. They may also not realize they have to cancel their tickets prior to the original flight’s departure to keep the unused ticket’s value. And, travelers should be made aware of the significant financial impact to your company’s profitability when multiple tickets are going unused across your company.
  • Centralize your travel bookings – Make sure all of your company’s tickets are booked from one central travel website that tracks and reports on the status of your ticket credits. Companies may be reluctant to require travelers to book in one place as it is human nature for travelers to want to control booking their reservations wherever they want. But by bringing all of your travel together, you have a single point of contact to help you, and track and alert you when there are unused ticket credits available to be used. And, with BHive Travel’s exclusive Bookit service travelers can still search for flights at their favorite travel websites and email their flight to B-hive to purchase that flight from your company’s centralized travel website.
  • Keep track of your unused tickets and hold your employees accountable. We have found that when travelers are notified that they have unused tickets on file, they are open to reusing them even if they are not on their preferred carrier. When travelers know they are being held accountable, they will abide by their company’s requirement to reuse the unused ticket values.

B-hive automatically tracks and alerts your employees when they have unused tickets, for free

On average we see that B-hive customers unused ticket reuse rate exceed 90% because B-hive makes it so easy to keep track and your employees and their travel arrangers don’t forget about using those unused credits. That means a company spending $1M a year in travel could recoup over $60k annually by tracking and reusing unused ticket values with free B-hive business travel website. Now, that’s a sweet deal.

Money businesses save resusing unused airline tickets

B-hive automatically checks and tracks the status of all tickets booked through your company’s business travel website.

  • When a ticket goes unused, we display the unused ticket credit and expiration date to the traveler or their travel arranger right on their B-hive home page, so they always know when there is outstanding credit to be used.
  • We send email alerts when unused tickets are about to expire (at 90, 30, and 14 days prior to expiration).
  • As a travel manager for your company, you have instant access to unused ticket reports that show you the outstanding unused ticket values for all travelers at any given time.

With free unused ticket tracking and alerts with B-hive, travelers are proactively made aware of their unused tickets so they use the tickets that your company has already paid for before spending more booking a new ticket.

Travel managers can hold travelers accountable with their company-wide unused ticket reports. And with regular email alerts advising travelers when ticket credits are about to expire, reusing these tickets becomes a matter of routine, and waste is eliminated.

How to reuse your unused tickets with B-hive

Airlines require that the reservation must be cancelled before the originally scheduled flight departs, or all ticket credit value is forfeited. If you know that you will not be able to make a schedule flight, call your B-hive travel experts or the airline directly to cancel your flight BEFORE it is scheduled to depart.

When you are ready to book your new flight, contact your B-hive travel experts and they will apply your unused ticket credit to your new flight booking. The unused ticket credit can then usually be applied towards future flight reservations within one year. Most airlines will charge a change fee when the new ticket is issued, and the remaining unused credit may be used towards the new ticket value.

Download our guide for current airline rules and change fees here

Download this tip sheet on managing unused airline tickets in PDF format

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