5 Major Costs Of Not Tracking Your Unused Airline Tickets

You work very hard with your corporate customers to help them keep travel costs within the budgets they set. Booking with preferred suppliers, searching for lower available fares, enforcing policy, and leveraging your ticketing discounts are important ways to demonstrate your value as a Travel Management Company.

However, despite your best efforts, tickets will be bought, paid for and cancelled – and your customers will spend money that will not result in actual travel. How much? And what can you do to help them with this? Read on to find out!

 1. Industry research suggests that 5%-10% of a company’s air spend will go to tickets that eventually go unused.


That number gets lower when talking about individual travelers and leisure travel, but let’s just focus on your clients for now: corporate travel.

If one of your clients spends $5 Million in air travel in one year, that means they could be leaving $400,000 of unused tickets on the table that goes straight into the airline’s pocket. Here is our breakdown of that company’s average estimated spend and savings by keeping track of those tickets:

5 Major Costs Of Not Tracking Your Unused Airline Tickets

2. Our research has shown that more than 80% of all unused tickets can be recovered through proper management.

Of course, it would be nice if that number was 100%! But some tickets just won’t be possible to recover. The airlines know this, but so does your client. Any recovery is better than none, but you want to make sure your clients see the absolute most recovery possible.  That 80% can result in real savings.

The example above of the company with $5 Million in air spend showed an annual savings of $235,530. That’s substantial!

3. In Q1 2019, airlines made a profit of $662.1 million dollars just from reservation change fees.

These fees can be a major deterrent for people from using their unused airline tickets.

Some people may just decide not to even deal with the hassle of changing that ticket. The very idea of sitting on the phone with an airline’s customer support might be more than enough to dissuade someone from using a ticket that has a $100 change fee associated with it.

4. Despite repeated attempts to get clarification, airlines have not divulged how much money they make from pocketing the profits from unused tickets.

Nor does it look like they will any time soon because the government does not require this. But it is estimated that up to a total of 5% of all tickets go unused (business / individual / leisure/ etc).

For an industry that made $32.5 billion in fares in just Q1 of  2019, (if all tickets were treated equally), that would equal around $1.6 billion in profit from unused ticket fares!

5.  Your Own Amazing Reputation!

If you are a travel management company, you need to reassure your clients that you can keep solid track of unused tickets and buffer their losses when the inevitable happens and a trip is cancelled. You want to look good and make sure they get the best service possible, right?

5 Major Costs Of Not Tracking Your Unused Airline Tickets

At this point, I’m sure you’re wondering what Cornerstone Information Systems can help you do about this. Well, you’re in luck! Our very own TicketTRAK solution is available and ready to help you save your clients some major money.

Not only does TicketTRAK keep a running inventory of how many unused tickets your client has  …  but if your client is looking to book a flight, TicketTRAK will notify you of any unused tickets on that account! No researching beforehand on the part of your agents! The system will simply prompt your agents to ask the client if they would like to use the eligible unused ticket in their inventory.

Contact us for more information on how TicketTRAK can help your TMC keep track of all of your client’s unused tickets today!

*Much of the financial information in this article comes directly from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and is completely available to the public.