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Monday, 22 March 2010

Hotel bill extras: do you know what's being charged?

An interesting news item has emerged from across the Pond. In the state of Minnesota, a bill that would have prevented state employees from staying in hotels that offered pay-per-view adult films that included degradation or violence has been kicked into touch.

While we are making no judgments here at Conferma on the rights or wrongs of this decision, it raises an interesting point. How do travel managers ensure that what their company’s business travellers charge to their hotel bills is both acceptable and within the corporate policy?

In-room movies are big business – thought to generate several billions of dollars a year – and while many business travellers are probably relating to George Clooney in the business traveller film Up in the Air, many others are watching adult movies.

It’s not just about adult movies either. It could be any additional charge that a traveller puts on their room, be it the cost of using the minibar or doing their monthly laundry using the hotel’s in-house service.

This is where using the Conferma Settlement Plan (CSP) comes into the picture. By ensuring that every hotel payment is reconciled with its related booking, companies can check to see that the actual spend equals what was booked. Deviations from policy can be quickly identified.

As you may have seen last week, the availability of CSP is set to become wider too. We have just announced a partnership to offer travel management companies and hotel booking agencies using travel payment provider AirPlus the ability to do hotel direct billing.

The AirPlus Conferma Hotel Settlement Solution will be available to AirPlus’ UK customers from the end of April.

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