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The Future of Business Train Travel in Europe

The Future of Business Train Travel in Europe

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Samantha Shankman

4 Jun 2020
6 minute read
Blog Image // The Future of Business Train Travel in Europe

There are more than 2,500 train stations spread across the UK and tens of thousands of train stations spread across Europe. Each station represents the opportunity for a new business relationship, a spark of inspiration, or a fated handshake that seals a deal.

Business train travel is quickly becoming a more popular option amongst business travelers in the UK, around Europe, and across the world -- and for good reason. The benefits of traveling for business by rail are numerous and often solve for the frustrations associated with air travel or road trips.

Here at Navan, we support business train travel for so many reasons: The ease of purchasing tickets, the comfort onboard, the ability to work or rest, the speed, and - of course - the sustainability factor.

12 Reasons Why Train Beats Plane for Short Business Trips

1. Free Wi-Fi is usually available and stable throughout the train journey empowering business travelers to make the most of their travel time.

2. Seats on trains are wider, have more leg room, and are better suited for resting or working.

3. There are different class seats and train times available for purchase, however, the price between regular and first class or a morning or afternoon ride does not fluctuate as much as it does when booking certain ticket types on a plane.

4. Business travelers can easily carry their luggage onboard the train with them whether it is a small briefcase for a day trip or a larger suitcase for a multi-day business trip.

5. There is usually a wide selection of snacks available when traveling by train. Certain first class tickets will include a meal delivered directly to your seat.

6. There are tables and power points for devices available at each seat onboard most trains, which means business travelers never have to worry about losing connection or running out of battery when traveling for business by train.

7. It is sometimes necessary to combine business rail travel with a flight if combining two or more business trips. Most train lines connect to major airports making it easy to transfer or extend a business trip.

8. Business travel by train is a more sustainable way to travel than car and plane. While traveling for business is an important part of building relationships and spreading a mission, it is important that business travelers make good choices.

(Navan empowers customers to achieve carbon neutral operations through their travel management program by offering them the ability to opt in to receive [carbon impact data]) at the corporate and traveler level to address increasing climate concerns. Company-wide reporting is available inside Carbon View in the Navan Admin Dashboard.)

9. Business train travel is often a much more cost-effective way to form in-person connections than buying tickets for short-haul flights or renting a car. It is also possible to purchase season tickets or purchase tickets through an enterprise account in order to save money in a way that just is not possible with air travel.

10. A train ride (especially in business class) provides a better overnight experience. Sleeper cars make an overnight journey more comfortable than a 4 AM wake-up to rush to the airport for an hour flight. With early morning arrival times, business travelers can wake up, freshen up, and greet the day with energy.

11. Trains are faster than cars, especially when going short distances. It would take double the time to drive from the center of London to anywhere within the immediate region instead of taking a train.

12. Booking train tickets provides more flexibility for the business traveler. There are often many train times available and some companies allow passengers to change the time of their booking with minimal added fees.

Benefits of Traveling in a Group

Rail is the absolute best option for a team or any group of two or more colleagues traveling together for business. Business train travel makes it easier for groups to coordinate around logistics and gives them the ability to plan and communicate while in transit. The complications around airport security and the position of train seats makes it too hard to have meaningful conversations when traveling together.

Duty of care is a particularly important issue right now -- especially when it comes to health and safety as business travel resumes after coronavirus. If business travelers have spent time with colleagues recently then they’ll be more comfortable sitting close to them while traveling rather than being seated next to strangers.

Business rail travel is often the fastest and safest way to get from point A to point B and meet a client, sign that deal, or brainstorm a new solution.

The way companies are traveling for business is changing. Employee expectations of how they book train travel plays a huge part in this. Travelers expect the same consumer-like user experience from the technology they’re using at work as they do at home, a challenge long welcomed by the corporate travel industry and travel management companies across booking tools.

At Navan, It’s our mission to provide a corporate booking tool that delivers a modern, personalized experience across transportation and accommodation, whilst offering unrivaled inventory. Our expanded rail offering provides our travelers with more choice and access to 26 different carriers across the UK and all Deutsche Bahn rail companies to ensure that they can get where they need to be when it matters the most. This is only the beginning of our rail offering expansion and we are prioritizing our next moves to continue to deliver a best-in-class booking experience across Europe.

Our continual efforts to explain business train travel benefit our customers through our unified user-first vision that delivers unrivaled inventory, price parity, and the promise of scaling Navan rail offerings.

Overall, customers can expect to see:

* A modernized rail travel booking tool with a next-generation storefront

* The ability to self-serve through modifying or canceling bookings

* The option to retrieve eTickets for journeys

Across the UK and Germany, trains are essential to business travel. Rail makes short-distance travel even more convenient, cutting drive time in half, excellent wi-fi for that on journey preparation and it’s also easier on the environment in terms of CO₂ emissions when it comes to longer trips.

We expect to see train travel evolve over the next few years as the more sustainable alternative to air travel. At Navan, we are dedicated to supporting the global traveler, and offering UK and German trains to all of our customers is just the beginning.

UK and German Trains, Now Available on Navan

The Navan travel platform supports the purchase of train tickets through our consumer-grade booking experience. Today, all travelers from around the world are able to see and book available routes, classes and times that are found on consumer websites on both web and mobile apps.

When booking train tickets through the Navan platform, business travelers will continue to receive global support, integrations with their calendar and live notifications, while their corporate travel admin receives the insights that are crucial to keeping travel safe and secure.

Navan will continue to expand our rail services throughout Europe, offering the routes from providers like Deutsche Bahn, SNCF, Renfe and more.

What to Expect When You Buy Tickets on Navan

* Access to UK train routes, times, cabins and seats

* Ability to book for yourself and colleagues

* Railcards can be added, making trains a more competitive solution

* Option to mix fares and classes when booking

* Select e-tickets or collect from any station with a ticket machine

* Tickets will auto-sync with your itinerary and calendar

* Free global support

From Manchester to Birmingham to Newcastle to Leeds, train services empower business travelers to get where they need to go efficiently and effectively. They can skip the traffic jams, reduce their concerns around COVID-19, and get work done on the way to forging that important in-person connection. Navan is here to support you all the way.

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