VC10er
Topic Author
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U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:54 pm

I'm aware of the fact that AA, DL & UA have corporate and government contracts and rely heavily upon them to fill Business and even First Class seats. (The last post I could find on corp contracts was a 2008 thread, and the topic was somewhat different)

I was curious, of the big 3 who has what business contracts and government.

Also, does United take the largest chunk of Gov due to their Dulles hub?

My old company (British), which had about 160,000 employees around the world had for the UK and US, British Airways and Virgin as United in the USA. There were many exceptions however, ex: if I had to go to Singapore, I was allowed to fly Singapore due to United NOT having a non-stop.

So, I'm sure Delta must have Coca-Cola etc, but often wonder which of the 3 have secured which mega corp or gov contracts?

Then there is the issue of how happy heavy fliers feel about being tied to one. I was told United created Global Services as a sweetener for top execs and decision makers...which probably supported paid First on sUA.

Thanks
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
CHI787ORD
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:05 pm

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
3 have secured which mega corp or gov contracts

UA has McDonalds, AON, and Kraft from what I know in Chicago
 
VC10er
Topic Author
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:24 pm

Wow, McDonald's and Kraft are so global, what great customers!
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
jetwet1
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:30 pm

You will also find that the really big companies would contract with more than one airline.

Anyways, 2 companies ago, it was AA for domestic and most European cities, except London which was VS until 2012, when that switched to AA as well.

Last company was DL on everything, but we also had a the Corp jet which ran a weekly shuttle.
 
747400sp
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:34 pm

I would not be happly with my company, telling me which airline I could fly. I do not want to fly on an US carrier overseas, out of protest over service and equipment.
 
jetmatt777
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:42 pm

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 4):

I would not be happly with my company, telling me which airline I could fly. I do not want to fly on an US carrier overseas, out of protest over service and equipment.

They are paying for it. I'm sure your company will allow you to purchase your own ticket on a different airline, out of your own pocket.

If they are buying it, they will tell you who to fly.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
bond007
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:14 pm

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 4):
I would not be happly with my company, telling me which airline I could fly. I do not want to fly on an US carrier overseas, out of protest over service and equipment.

Welcome to corporate America!

In many, if not most large corporations you are restricted to booking your flights on a third-party website, which contain that companies' pricing rules and airline restrictions. They may only allow a certain airline(s), and only show fares below a certain price.


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
jetmatt777
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:39 pm

Quoting bond007 (Reply 6):
Welcome to corporate America!

Welcome to "the real world".

If the boss (I.E. the company) is buying you lunch, you can't demand he buy you the absolute premium meal, when he is going out and getting a medium priced lunch for everyone.

Since your company is buying your ticket, you can't complain too much. If you want to buy your own seat with your own money, I'm sure you're welcome to.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
bond007
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:41 pm

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 7):
Since your company is buying your ticket, you can't complain too much. If you want to buy your own seat with your own money, I'm sure you're welcome to.

Trust me, I wasn't complaining at all. Simply explaining what happens in most companies.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
VC10er
Topic Author
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:45 pm

It seriously NOT just corporate America, it's big corporations everywhere. My ex mega-company was British and the CEO was Knighted by Her Majesty!

My big client was also UK and was more strict: BRITISH AIRWAYS, unless you lived in Singapore for this client, in which case they had a contract with for all flights except for the UK, then from Singapore you had to fly BA. My client based in London was once BA's #1 customer just a few years ago. Perhaps still are.

My old employer wouldn't allow you to buy your own ticket with your money, reason being that my company got the best rate from United for all flying other than LHR and in return they had to promise to a certain number of flights, or quota they had to make. Also, a J ticket which would go for 7k to Europe (or Brazil) was only $3.2k. Although one thing I could never figure was I couldn't buy a business class ticket for personal use at the company rate, even on UA, and that it would have counted towards their quota?

American companies are not incentivsed to improve to BA or LH standard, to a large degree, until such time as negotiating with a corporate giant and the corporate giant says "look, your business product sucks and we have other airlines willing to match your price with a far better flying experience at which time said airline further drops price or presents the NEW seats and service plan with a timeline.

After the Great Ression of 2008, companies dropped First Class as an option for its most senior executives. This is called an austerity measure for a multi millionaire , but if they have "decision maker" status, they will always get into F on a 3 class aircraft.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
VC10er
Topic Author
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:55 pm

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 7):

The point I was making above is that "some" companies will allow you to buy your own and use their corp discount and others won't. It all depends on the contract YOUR employer has. My company had an AMAZING deal with BA, Virgin Atlantic and United. I stuck it out on United as it made me Global Services and then United was pretty darn good at customer service.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
bond007
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:01 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 9):
It seriously NOT just corporate America, it's big corporations everywhere

No, I should have used a better term ...it was just that we were talking about large US corporations  

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
glbltrvlr
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:20 pm

Quoting bond007 (Reply 6):
In many, if not most large corporations you are restricted to booking your flights on a third-party website, which contain that companies' pricing rules and airline restrictions. They may only allow a certain airline(s), and only show fares below a certain price.

Yep. I work for a Fortune 50 company and that's exactly how things work. We used to have contract rates with certain airlines for certain routes/regions and worked with a corporate travel desk to purchase tickets under those rates. We could book personal travel if we used a person credit card.

If we do have corporate rates now, those are a closely held secret. Instead, we get to use a travel portal run by a third party that filters the published rates based on our position within the company. "No J/F for you, droid." When I've checked with the airline, the rate is no different than what is offered publicly.

I assume if we still have corporate agreements, there's some sort of rebate handled at the corporate level based on actual spend with that airline.
 
thaiflyer
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:32 pm

I work for very big oil company and our travel is done via a agency.
Luckily we can use every carrier (except some which are on the black list due to safety issues).
When i need to travel i just provide the travel agency with my flight numbers and they will book it.
The basic rule is that the requested flights should be the first direct flight possible and it must be convenient in regard of the travel time.
And all is in business class.
 
tommy767
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:44 pm

We user Concur (which uses Worldspan database), which is backed by an agency that we can call to do our tickets if needed.

The new policy is whatever is cheapest. If you chose a carrier that is more expensive, it needs to be approved by your manager. I had to go to ATL in Jan and I got stuck between flying AA or UA - DL was so overpriced it was out of the question.

This is after last year where the company wouldn't monitor ticket costs and most would fly DL which was overpriced into the corporate HQ hub.

A company I worked for before in NYC had many of it's employees long loyal to AA with DL as secondary and UA third (NJ people flew UA.)
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
UA444
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:48 pm

I'll bet AA scores a lot of Toyota flying since they're moving their US HQ to Plano just outside of DFW.
 
roseflyer
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:09 pm

The days of big corporate contracts with airlines are going away. Most large companies use a third party such as concur for travel and expense. It is cheaper to outsource it to a third party company than try to handle travel and expense in house. Often opening up travel to any airline lowers cost. Concur lets a company decide specific parameters to control cost and then allows the traveler (or their assistant) some flexibility. Most companies allow a traveler to book any flight within 10% of the lowest price option within a time frame to allow some flexibility for routes, airline, etc. Concur allows that parameter to be set. It also allows limits on who and when business class can be used etc.

There are individual agreements still in place. There are some routes that support business travel with unique city pairs (RDU-LHR, NGO-DTW for example). The days of exclusivity contracts are quickly going away with the latest generation of 3rd party travel agent options. It is very difficult for an airline to guarantee having the lowest price option or even a competitive price.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
ordbosewr
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:11 pm

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 4):
I would not be happly with my company, telling me which airline I could fly. I do not want to fly on an US carrier overseas, out of protest over service and equipment.

I work for a large US based technology company and we have contracts with all 3 of US majors.
I can pick (based on which is cheapest, we are not to select based on mileage programs but solely on price). When I first moved to NJ, Continental was not a preferred carrier but I could still book them if they offered a non-stop that a preferred carrier did not. I had some strange international routing then, but not much domestically.
I can pretty much fly most airlines I want, but when you fly internationally it gets more complicated because they review all tickets to ensure you are getting the cheapest fares, that means they could bounce you around. Sometimes it is as simple as changing the booking to be on a different airline code for the exact same flight.
Either myself or my colleagues have flown, Air France, Air India, Singapore, Cathy Pacific, Lufthansa, Swiss, Alitalia, Virgin, ANA, Qantas, etc.
At one time the only airline I was told we couldn't fly was BA, but that has softened and some of my UK folks now fly them occasionally.
 
csavel
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:53 am

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 4):
I would not be happly with my company, telling me which airline I could fly. I do not want to fly on an US carrier overseas, out of protest over service and equipment.

I work for a mid sized NGO and we often have Government contracts. We are not allowed, by way of our contract to fly a non-US airline overseas unless there is no US airline that flies there. Even then if a US airline goes part of the way (Say your destination is Africa and you can fly a US airline to Europe) you have to take that and forgo a non-stop. Sorry Arik and Ethiopian. This often means when there is a code share (Say Delta code sharing on KLM metal) we are required to buy the ticket from the US airline - even if the non US airline is cheaper and it is in fact the exact same flight on the non US airline. Has happened to me. I took KLM to Uganda once, and had to buy a Delta ticket (which put me on the KLM flight to Amsterdam), which was 1,000 more expensive.

This isn't NGOs or government contractors stupidly wasting taxpayer money, this is NGOs and contractors *required by law* to waste taxpayer money. It is called the "Fly America act."

In all fairness it has gotten better since I think about a year ago, since so many non US airlines, contractors and NGOs have complained, and the EU threatened retaliation. If it is a code share on a non-US airline and the ticket would be cheaper having it ticketed on the actual airline flying, we can do it now - sometimes.
I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.
 
ridgid727
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:57 am

Quoting CHI787ORD (Reply 1):
UA has McDonalds, AON, and Kraft from what I know in Chicago

UA and LH also have Allianz
 
chrisp390
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:00 am

I was watching the Apple event today and thinking the same thing. I assumed they would probably use UA but they kept showing the AA app in the event demonstrating what it could do which led me to believe maybe they use AA? Do most tech companies in SF use UA or is it fairly balanced between the US3?
 
threeifbyair
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:00 pm

Like others in corporate America, my employer has contracts with several airlines because we have nationwide operations, but we don't have deals with UA or WN (which is highly unfortunate for the Denver office). Fares are equivalent to the public; I assume the contracts have some sort of rebate on the back end.

We use a 3rd party travel portal that is configured to select a "preferred" routing (from what I can tell, it picks the cheapest route that meets your departure time parameters and is on a contracted carrier). You can buy any ticket on a contracted carrier that is within $100 of that preferred routing without incurring the wrath of the travel admins. If you can get a nonstop that is more than $100 above the "preferred" routing you can make an argument for a business need.

Most of the time it works out ok, once you figure out how to set up the parameters to cut out long layovers. So far I've only had to do 2 trips that were sub-optimal
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:38 pm

I work for a large national company that buys a significant amount amount of air travel. We have offices in most major cities. Because of this we have preferred contracts with UA, AA, DL, and WN. The carriers that people use if often a function of the dominant carrier in the market. People in ATL, DTW, MSP are almost all DL. DFW, MIA - AA. IAH - UA, etc. Only those people in market like ORD, NYC, or LAX really split their travel between airlines.

Like above, we utilize a dedicated travel website/portal through a 3rd party that is configured to pull viable routing that meet the departure parameters.

Our preferred carriers are the US3 WN. There are specific contracts in place for each. Hub-captives fly the hub airline in that city. Some people have the ability to pick and choose based upon their market.

We have the ability to fly with whichever makes the most sense, but are governed by corporate travel policies.
Lowest cost that meets the business requirements is the standard. Often the flights we need to take are dictated by the schedule of meetings so there is a lot of leeway here. Example I say I need a flight after 5pm, yet its $200 cheaper to take a 4pm flight I can and will still select the 5:30pm flight because I have meetings that require me to take the later flight.

Cost difference for nonstops or shorter transit times can be taken into account. Usually it requires the price difference to be $500+ to justify a connection over a nonstop - due to lost time, risk of mis-connection, and lost productivity.

I can also justify more expensive flights so I do not have to depart before 6am or arrive after 10pm if it makes sense.

Our contracts generally do not give us access to the lowest fare buckets, however we do realize significant savings on full Y/B/M fares - refundables, business fares, or full-fare economy, plus significant discounts on F/J/C tickets. So it evens out, and frankly due to the nature of our business the majority of tickets get booked less than 2 weeks before departure.
 
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STT757
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:44 pm

UA has Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Merrill Lynch, Prudential (and others) at EWR. They used to have their own separate corporate check-in area.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
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Tugger
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:48 pm

Quoting bond007 (Reply 6):
Quoting 747400sp (Reply 4):
I would not be happly with my company, telling me which airline I could fly. I do not want to fly on an US carrier overseas, out of protest over service and equipment.

Welcome to corporate America!

In many, if not most large corporations you are restricted to booking your flights on a third-party website, which contain that companies' pricing rules and airline restrictions. They may only allow a certain airline(s), and only show fares below a certain price.

  

Quoting glbltrvlr (Reply 12):
If we do have corporate rates now, those are a closely held secret. Instead, we get to use a travel portal run by a third party that filters the published rates based on our position within the company. "No J/F for you, droid." When I've checked with the airline, the rate is no different than what is offered publicly.

I had to use Concur and my old company even went so far as to negotiate rates without FF miles accruing for the droids.... though for some reason they stopped doing that and reverted back.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 14):
We user Concur (which uses Worldspan database), which is backed by an agency that we can call to do our tickets if needed.

The new policy is whatever is cheapest. If you chose a carrier that is more expensive, it needs to be approved by your manager. I had to go to ATL in Jan and I got stuck between flying AA or UA - DL was so overpriced it was out of the question.

I had to take a Delta flight with similar conditions and had a 4 HOUR layover between flights in ATL. Of course Delta had a flight leaving every hour to my destination but each one was about $100 higher than the next as the layover decreased.... Made me really dislike my company (and Delta - they had seats on all the flights leaving earlier but would not allow the change with out the fee of course - very annoying even if I get "the policy"),

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
Productivity isn’t about getting more things done, rather it’s about getting the right things done, while doing less. - M. Oshin
 
blueflyer
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RE: U.S. Big 3 And Corporate Contracts

Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:06 am

My employer negotiates contracts in house and they try to find every single saving possible. We have front-end negotiated prices and back-end rebates; city pair deals, regional carve-outs and systemwide agreements. Most contracts are with a single airline, but we also have a contract encompassing several carriers in an alliance for TATL flights.

Transaction, compliance and monitoring is handled by a third-party provider. We have an extensive policy we need to abide by. Surprisingly, price is not a significant factor, at least directly. Some carriers are designated as preferred (rarely on a system-wide basis though) and whenever we have a choice, we must fly them over a non-preferred carrier. The policy has specific exemptions to revert that order (for example, if someone flies out in the morning for an afternoon meeting and the non-preferred has a non-stop that saves X hours over the preferred carrier's connecting flights). Not coincidentally I'm sure, preferred carriers are almost always the cheapest option.

Other factors, such as need to depart/arrive according to a specific schedule, length of trip or available cabin are also codified, as are exceptions to fly a carrier we have no relationship with whatsoever.

In the recent past, some travelers would try to game the system by scheduling appointments at origin and destination so that the only viable option was a non-stop on a non-preferred carrier over connecting flights on a preferred carrier. Eventually they were told in no uncertain terms that should such practice continue, it would come up at their next performance review unless their supervisor had given prior authorization for the meeting schedule.
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