Travel payment done right: A day in the life of a travel company

The travel industry, with its numerous, various players, is complex. Your position as an agency, tour operator or any other travel company that organizes and enables travel places you in a unique position – one with a lot of potential but also a lot of challenges. Let’s take, for example, payment.

Payments often prove to be a major issue for all stakeholders. It doesn’t help how diverse it can be.

The travel payment conundrum

Individual travel, all-in holidays, city trips with friends over the weekend – for all these customer requests, you need to buy the ‘goods’. These can be flights, overnight stays, event tickets, transfers from the airport to the hotel, train tickets etc.

And then there the question of where to buy these goods: Do you buy with a destination company, directly from the low-cost carrier, from the hotel portal or via online platforms created specifically for your needs?

You get the picture – all you want is to make your end customer happy and provide them the opportunity to enjoy their holiday with an extraordinary experience. On the other hand, you want to get the most out of it for your business by being profitable and keeping administration costs low.

But is this possible with payment processes getting more and more complex?


We developed the AirPlus Travel Trade Payment Suite, our comprehensive payment solution tailored to meet the needs of travel companies, to help streamline your payment processes while improving productivity.

But let’s see how it can work in practice.

While no two days look the same, here’s a breakdown of the sort of payment challenges travel agencies often face on a day-by-day basis – and how our Travel Trade payment solution help you overcome them.


Flight and reservation booking

A typical day will naturally involve making flight reservations.

With AirPlus, you’re able to generate virtual cards and assign them specifically for this booking. These virtual cards have predefined spending limits and are valid only for the selected supplier, minimizing the risk of unauthorized transactions.

Integrated solution

As they can be integrated into popular ERP systems, virtual cards are able to be automatically issued for the booking – with additional data like the PNR (Passenger Name Record) or the booking reference being tracked and added to the statement. This makes it easier for the finance department to allocate the payment of the supplier to the end-user booking.

Ultimately, you’re able to effortlessly generate virtual card details during the booking process, saving time and eliminating the need to manually enter credit card details for each reservation.

Reduced risk

As our virtual cards are powered by Mastercard®, there’s no need to worry about risk of default. Your payments are secured, and so if the supplier is not be able to deliver the tour, hotel room, flight, train ticket, entrance ticket, or whatever else, they’ll get the paid amount back.


Invoice and reconciliation management

As the day progresses, the finance department focuses on managing invoices and reconciliation tasks. Thanks to our clearly structured collective electronic statements, these processes are streamlined, making their work more efficient.

Automated reconciliation

Jane, your finance manager, starts doing some admin work – the reconciliation of payments. This is easy, as payment data is automatically transferred to your platform and the electronic statements from AirPlus display all your customized transaction details and company metadata. This, in turn, simplifies the process of allocating booked travel services to customers.

Overall, the manual effort required for reconciliation is reduced. Jane can quickly review and approve the matched transactions, confident in the accuracy and reliability of the process.

And then there’s the reporting, which is not only accurate and reliable, but also simple.

Simplified reporting

After reconciling transactions, Jane uses all this data to create detailed reports that provide a comprehensive overview of expenses, payment trends, and supplier analysis. Thankfully, this data is transferred electronically in a format compatible with the company’s systems.

Equipped with this information, the finance team can make data-driven decisions, optimize budgets, and negotiate better deals with suppliers.


Efficient supplier payments

On the other side of the booking are the suppliers. And it’s time to tackle some supplier payments.

Digital payment for accommodation

Like with many travel agencies, you manage a portfolio of preferred hotel partners. With our Travel Trade solution, you’re able to pay agents digitally to book accommodations.

These payments are centralized, allowing agents to make bookings without relying on personal credit cards. This not only simplifies the payment process but also helps in tracking and managing expenses associated with each booking.

Effortless payment

At the end of the day, Lisa, the accounts payable specialist, initiates payments to various suppliers. With a few clicks, she schedules payments for airlines, hotels, and other service providers. The suite securely handles the payment transfer, providing peace of mind and ensuring timely settlement.

Optimizing cash flow

Yet another key benefit that travel businesses are keen on is the ability to improve cash flow. With the AirPlus Travel Trade Payment Suite, you get a payment solution that allows you to adapt your billing cycle to seasonal requirements. Thanks to centralized debiting and an individual payment term, you get more flexibility in when you pay – all while protecting your cash flow.


Ready to take control of your payments?

Payments are such a core part of travel companies and so getting it right can make all the difference, translating into time, money and stress savings.

From generating virtual cards to automating reconciliation and simplifying supplier payments, the AirPlus Travel Trade Payment Suite has transforms financial operations for travel intermediaries. This empowers travel agencies, tour operators and all other travel companies to focus more on delivering exceptional experiences to their clients, confident that their payment workflows are optimized and secure.

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