Rocketrip CEO Offers Advice On TSA Security, Saving Company Money
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We’re here to save a little money and time for that business traveler who is more than likely stuck in a very long TSA line at the moment. And it’s all thanks to Dan Ruch, CEO of Rocketrip.
Some of you corporate travelers are well aware of Rocketrip and have benefited from its service already.
For those not familiar with Rocketrip, it’s a solution for businesses to encourage wise and thrifty spending for its respective legion of road warriors.
Essentially, a budget is produced for the traveler to beat. When they do, they are able to keep half the savings in the form of items such as gift cards or donations.
It’s a symbiotic solution to beat back a rising problem in the industry. As we reported in March, Chrome River discovered that less-than-honest business travelers cost businesses about $2.8 billion per year.
Rocketrip is just one way to motivate the weary business traveler to be a bit more savvy in booking travel.
Ruch was nice enough to not only offer more on the service but also lend some overall advice to those very travelers that make up a major portion of the passengers flying all over the country: the corporate traveler.
With security lines and their egregious length being a major point of interest at the moment, we asked what Ruch would suggest to those about to depart for the airport.
READ MORE: What Stresses Business Travelers The Most?
The CEO has a four-point plan for success:
Know how far in advance to arrive: Some airports created more panic than was necessary by suggesting travelers arrive three hours before their flights. That's not so far off for international travel, but for most domestic trips, two hours should be enough. Monitor wait times using the "My TSA Wait Time Site." You can also utilize social media to estimate wait times. Tweet to @AskTSA, or your airport's twitter account, and also monitor the hashtag #IHatetheWait, which has become an unofficial bulletin board of warnings posted by travelers stuck in line.
Check-in online: Long lines aren't limited to TSA checkpoints. Avoid waits at the ticket counter by printing your boarding pass at home, or more likely (it is 2016 after all), loading it on to your phone.
Know what to pack, and what not to: The less you pack, the less you'll have to wait. Checking a bag will require you to wait in an additional line at the ticket counter, but overstuffing your carry-on will slow you down at TSA. Aside from the really obvious (don't pack fluids or banned items), consider traveling without your laptop. iPads can be a frequent business traveler's best friend.
Avoid peak travel times: Monday mornings and Friday afternoons are the busiest travel times, with Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings also seeing an increase in passenger volume. Flying early in the morning is a good way to avoid flight delays (which compound throughout the day), but keep in mind that security lines can actually be longest at this time.
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As for general tips for the newly minted business traveler, Ruch has more advice that will go a long way.
For the truly prolific flyer, you may just want to hone in on priority access, which is like traveling with a red carpet in front of you. Ruch states, "Business travelers are often frequent travelers, and therefore good candidates for several programs that allow expedited passage through security."
And to that end, there are a few things to consider, namely the TSA Precheck, Global Entry, Credit Card Enrollment and Priority Access.
The latter Ruch desribes as such: "Elite loyalty status lets frequent flyers access special security lines. Even if you're not 'elite,' you can access these lines for less than the cost of buying a first class ticket. Extra leg room / economy-plus seats typically will give you the same benefit, and many airlines allow you to purchase priority access for a $15 - 50 fee — this might be a good way to use up the last of your frequent flyer miles that won't cover the full cost of a flight."
Our questions took a turn towards Rocketrip and its place in the industry.
TravelPulse: As far as Rocketrip, how has your innovation helped the modern business traveler?
Dan Ruch: Rocketrip rewards business travelers for spending smart by letting them keep half of what they save their companies on trips. It's a perk with real value. In 2016, the average Rocketrip traveler has saved her company $118 per flight and $72 per hotel night, which comes to nearly 30 percent against what their trips were budgeted at. The employee keeps half those savings to redeem for stuff she actually wants, like cash and gift cards.
TP: What has been the reaction from corporate travelers and the companies that send them out on trips?
DR: We hear a lot that Rocketrip "just makes sense." It's really a simple concept: give business travelers a reason to spend company money as carefully as their own. Business travelers know how to travel in cost-conscious ways, and do so on their own. When planning a vacation, everyone shops for flight and hotel deals. With Rocketrip, business travelers practice those common-sense habits. They save by choosing coach, flying with the most affordable airline instead of the one with which they happen to have loyalty status, taking cheaper red-eye or early bird flights, choosing more affordable hotels (e.g. Courtyard by Marriott instead of the Marriott), staying at an Airbnb, staying with friends or family.
TP: What can we expect in the future for Rocketrip?
DR: Adding clients (we work with startups to Fortune 500 companies, and most of our clients spend $2 - $10 million on business travel each year). New hiring. We're a 40-person team based out of NYC. Product development: Refining our budgeting algorithm and adding new reporting tools for corporate travel managers.
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