European online travel management platform, TravelPerk has launched FlexiPerk, a new product that gives business travellers unprecedented flexibility to cancel and get a refund on any booking – hotel, trains, airbnb, car, and flights (including bookings with LCCs) – at any time, for any reason. It says FlexiPerk is “the first part of our new push to bring innovation to the market, to give business travel products that are designed for travellers who deserve a better experience”.
Currently in beta, FlexiPerk has been trialled by Sumup, Picnic, and other customers, saving an average of 26% for each business versus the cost of flexible fares and last-minute cancellation fees., according to TravelPerk. It says the platform “brings a new level of disruption” to the pricing structure of an industry that is “still dominated by outdated solutions that make business travel unnecessarily expensive and painful for both traveller and company”.
Business travel plans can regularly change, but travel is traditionally anything but flexible and any flexibility comes at a price, generally a significant one at that. Most business travellers and employers have experienced this first-hand, and as a result have also experienced the stress and expense of unpredictable schedules.
TravelPerk’s own data shows that more than one fifth of business trips are subsequently postponed, rearranged, or cancelled. Currently, travel managers and buyers have to make the brave decision between expensive “flexi-fares” offered by corporate travel providers, which can on average cost almost two thirds more than standard fares, or risk losing bookings or navigating complex and time-consuming refund processes.
That is where TravelPerk sees FlexiPerk as the problem solving solution, making every booking refundable automatically and giving business travellers freedom with bookings, for a 10% booking premium.
After subscribing to FlexiPerk and selecting travellers (up to eight per booking), for a 10% fee on each trip, every element (up to eight) within that trip (flight, hotel, car, train) is eligible for a refund, making every booking made at least 90% refundable with just a single click, simply opening the app and tapping the cancel button. TravelPerk says its dedicated team will then ensure a refund in as little as seven days.
Like everything, there are some caveats. There are refund limits of EUR5,000 per passenger and EUR30,000 per trip, while presently changes mid-trip are not covered. TravelPerk says that everything is refundable up until two hours before departure and similarly, if you’ve not checked into your hotel, and it’s before 4pm on the first day of your stay, it’s refundable. But, if you’ve booked a return flight and have already taken the outward journey, the return journey is not refundable and if you’re three nights into a five night stay, the remaining two nights are not refundable.
“We believe that the launch of FlexiPerk is the biggest development in the business travel industry in more than a decade,” says Avi Meir, co-founder and CEO of TravelPerk.
“It 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 adds.