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TRAVELLER BEHAVIOUR


THE CASE: Delay repay criminality OUR TRAVEL DOCTOR: Anonymous


THE PATIENT: One service manager for a large charitable organisation was booking flexible, open train tickets through official accounts – and he was booking lots of them. They were purchased legitimately, but some tickets were never used. In fact, this manager had no intention of actually using them. Instead, he used a smartphone app


to identify journeys that were delayed. He then submitted online claims for compensation, personally racking up delay repayment on these journeys. So, the organisation was footing


the bill for the travel tickets, and then the train operator was footing the bill for the non-existent delayed journeys, mainly between Leeds and London. Claims of £1,500 were made and this went on for two years. An investigation by the British Transport Police uncovered the scam after suspicions arose because of the incredibly large number of claims.


THE CASE: Nasty outbreak of angry-itis OUR TRAVEL DOCTOR: Rosie Mohammad, head of travel, Pinsent Masons LLP


THE PATIENT: We deal with one particular frequent flyer who often has to change his itinerary because he enjoys his trips so much; he keeps on missing flights. He’s more than a little reckless, shall we say. On one occasion, this traveller’s


flight was cancelled from Asia to London because of his activities. Flights were then rebooked. Crisis averted! Or so we thought. The traveller then missed the next rebooked flight, because he was distracted at the airport bar! We then had to pacify him, as he


suddenly realised he needed to be home for an anniversary. We booked him into an airport hotel for the evening while working on new flights. On waking the next morning, and because he doesn’t have the best memory, the traveller made his way to the airport without checking his emails, contacting his PA or our team first. He assumed he was on the first direct flight home with his preferred carrier. On finding he wasn’t, he


buyingbusinesstravel.com 2019 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 89


contacted our team, and with much swearing and shouting, demanded to be booked on the next flight. Once he was reminded that his


TMC had attempted to get him home twice already and that his behaviour was the reason why he wasn’t already half-way home, he calmed down and worked with our team to choose the quickest available option to get him back to the UK.


THE DIAGNOSIS: The manager was eventually caught. Needless to say, he didn’t have a job for long, and isn’t likely to get another with his criminal record for fraud. At the organisation, the delay repay claim process was taken away from the traveller and is now done through the TMC. There are companies, such as Railguard, that can process delay repay claims as well. This removed travellers from the claims process, and the case itself was enough to make other travellers comply.


THE DIAGNOSIS: Yes, he apologised for his manner during a stressful period brought on by his rogue ways, especially when he needed our help in ordering flowers for his wife at home to apologise for his delayed arrival! For a tricky traveller, such as this one, being more forward thinking in your approach is crucial. Staying one step ahead of travellers is essential, as is being pro-active. We’ve also found that transparency between clients and our teams, improves loyalty.


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