For the past three years, I’ve been organizing travel surrounding data collection trips for 10-15 people, with trips happening 5-6 times per year. I love the new travel system; my only wish is Pitt would have rolled it out sooner!
Before the travel system switch, managing all the details was painful—we had to have a travel agent book flights for us, and their rates were always high and at times they flat out forgot to book flights. Hotels and rental cars needed to be booked separately, and paid for on a personal card. It would take me one to two working days to sort out and manage all the details. Additionally, being required to use personal credit cards to pay for hotels and rental cars was at times financially debilitating. At one point after traveling to three data collection sites in 30 days, I had charge $6500 to personal credit cards before I saw any kind of reimbursement.
After the travel system switch, all these headaches have been resolved! Booking travel for multiple people is simple and succinct now that you can book flights, hotels, and rental cars in one space. In an hour I can do everything it would take me more than a day to do in the past. More importantly, we’ve been able to eliminate the need for travel advances for student and all-temp staff because we can easily pay for their hotel rooms when traveling. During our first trip with the new travel system, a flight transporting all 15 staff members was cancelled due to weather. In just 30 minutes on the phone with the Anthony Travel agent, I was able to re-book travel for all 15 individuals. With the old system, this would have been virtually impossible. But most of all, the travel card provides me with a sense of security when travelling. I know if there is a travel hiccup or some kind of travel emergency, I can easily pay for things for myself and staff. In the past, I would be constantly worried about how much money was available on a personal credit card if something were to go wrong.