• Caroline Donough

So Your Boss' Preferred Flight is Fully Booked. Now What?

In my experience as an Executive Assistant, fully booked doesn't necessarily mean sold out. Bookings are merely that - bookings - meaning that seats are booked pending payment. And if not paid for by their deadline, they get released.

To my knowledge, not many companies book air tickets themselves. Most companies (certainly the ones that I've worked for) maintain an account with a travel agent and book with the travel agent (as they offer benefits like flexible booking options, credit terms, visa application assistance and other helpful services). I'd imagine so does your employer.

So if your boss' preferred flight is fully booked, try this:

Ask the travel agent to find out if that flight is waitlistable. If it is, ask them to:

- Waitlist your boss on that preferred flight, and at the same time...

- Book him on the next best flight (in terms of price, seat class, timing and so on) without paying for it yet, and make sure your boss is fine with this alternative.

That way:

- Should a seat become available on his preferred flight, great! He'll get to travel on it and the alternative booking can be released.

- If not, at least he'll still get to travel on the alternative flight.

A gentle word of caution, though:

If you're tempted to bypass the travel agent and try doing this waitlist-and-see thing yourself, don't. Monitoring a waitlist and a separate booking that's contingent on the outcome of that waitlist is subtler than it seems. The travel agent is better equipped to manage any complications that could arise, so let them handle it.

Hope this helps.


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