Corporate Travel

Corporate travel management has grown increasingly complex in recent years. Travel managers are tasked with cutting travel budgets without sacrificing service quality, while competitive pressures are forcing carriers and other suppliers to simultaneously cut services and increase fees. Ever-changing service offerings by carriers, the imposition of surcharges and fees, carrier alliances, alternate distribution channels, and confidentiality and data protection issues all pose risks to companies whose employees travel for business.

Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi’s Corporate Travel Group understands these risks and works closely with clients on all facets of their managed travel program. Our attorneys are highly regarded for their thorough, methodical and diligent review of all details in travel agreements. As one of the few law firms with a practice group that focuses on corporate travel, our industry knowledge helps us identify and mitigate risks attendant to contracting for business travel services.

We regularly advise our clients on policy drafting, travel management company agreements, preferred carrier agreements, corporate card negotiations, meetings and events management contracts, RFP development and negotiation, data and privacy issues, and technology agreements. Some of the specific services we provide in these areas include:

Travel Policies
  • Assist in establishing complete corporate travel policy guidelines
  • Assist in developing protocol for increasing adoption rate of online booking tools
  • Recommend procedures to enforce corporate travel policy
  • Help enlist support of senior management in achieving goals

Travel Management Company Agreements
  • Establish checklist of essential agency services
  • Assist in negotiating financial terms
  • Help ensure adequate reporting and accountability
  • Encourage use of budgets as means of cost containment
  • Establish service level agreements
  • Introduce performance-based financial incentives
  • Advocate use of technology to control costs and enhance service

Preferred Carrier Agreements
  • Advise in selection of preferred carriers
  • Work with client in establishing achievable goals
  • Limit recourse against client if goals are not achieved
  • Coordinate reporting requirements with data consolidators and travel agencies
  • Incorporate internal travel policies into agreement
  • Minimize risk to client in the event of carrier's bankruptcy
  • Negotiate "soft dollar" benefits
  • Ensure prompt loading of negotiated discounts and fixed fares
  • Address data privacy and confidentiality issues

Corporate Card Agreements
  • Limit liability for certain categories of expenditures
  • Negotiate back-end rebates and “soft dollar” benefits
  • Assess features of card products relative to intended use
  • Advise on data collection and reporting services

Meetings and Events Management Agreements
  • Evaluate financial models, including full-service and menu pricing
  • Negotiate corporate card spend benefits, supplier rebates and overrides
  • Negotiate limitations of liability resulting from attrition and event cancellation
  • Draft license and IP provisions for event management software
  • Draft service level agreements to ensure timely provision of back-up data and post-event reconciliation

RFP Development
  • Review client needs and goals
  • Prepare legal RFP document for dissemination
  • Participate in RFP negotiations
  • Review RFP returned comments
  • Negotiate extensions of agreements with incumbents, when required
  • Draft form agreements for use in RFP

Data and Privacy Issues
  • Align airline reporting requirements with data protection laws
  • Negotiate agreements for data consolidation and pre- and post-trip reporting
  • Develop internal policies and consent forms to ensure compliance with relevant privacy laws
  • Ensure retention of data ownership by client
  • Establish operational and contractual safeguards against improper use of data
  • Negotiate technology agreements governing data collection, processing and dissemination

Technology Agreements

We negotiate the full range of technology agreements used in a managed travel program, including:
  • Software for pre- and post-trip reporting
  • Online booking tools
  • Agreements for e-fulfillment of tickets
  • Software for monitoring compliance with preferred carrier agreements
  • Tools for tracking unused electronic tickets
  • Software used to achieve connectivity with global distribution systems
  • Fee allocation software