The Death of the Travel Professional

By Deane Barker on August 16, 2005

Travel managers feel threat of extinction: Much like the Internet is slowly killing off the travel agent, it’s apparently going to do the same for the corporate travel manager.

Two years ago, Akamai dumped the agency for an online travel management company, Expedia Corporate Travel, to set up a Web site. “It’s faster, cleaner and easier to use,” he said. “I’ve only had to call an agent twice since it’s been up.”

I had a travel manager when I worked for CitiGroup. When I moved to my next company, there was none and we just used Expedia or whatever. It was so much easier that way. I didn’t see much value to a travel manager.

With this, is the entire concept of a “travel professional” going away? Is there still a place for a travel agent, in or out of a corporation? When was the last time you used one?

I suppose if I was looking for an African safari, I’d call an agent. But for a regular business trip when you just need tickets…not so much.



  1. “and we just used Expedia or whatever”

    So it was worth your time to do this instead of the job that you were being paid for? Hogwash!

    I had a side-row seat for a GE medical equipment repair person who was forced to book all of her own travel AND to justify any ticket over $100. This burden made her job essentially undoable and she found a smarter boss.

  2. I travelled every week for 7 straight months using a corporate travel manager. It was completely worthless though for I woud always check on the travel options via Expedia and then airlines directy to pick the times that worked best for ME…based on 2 factors…1) the meeting and times and 2) what I wanted to do after them…leave right away, meet someone else, etc…

    The travel manager was great though for delivering the paperwork…saved me printing it,

    Unless you are at the VP (possibly Director level) or a major corporation, you have the time to check you flight and hotel details.

  3. So it was worth your time to do this instead of the job that you were being paid for? Hogwash!

    It took more time dealing with the travel office than it did to just book it. Compare five minutes on Expedia to four phone calls, two emails, and a walk down to the office to sign for the tickets.

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