"There is no such thing as a low-priced ride with no strings attached”
When a company changes its travel policy in order to cut expenses the message is most often that in future the employees are traveling on Economy / restricted Class. Unfortunately, the order is very seldom followed by detailed information as to what this actually means to the travelers in the form of restrictions, and as a result there is a widespread belief that you obtain lower fares if reservations are made on Economy Class.
Due to several reasons it is a Utopian idea to imagine that all travelers loyally will back up about the Economy / restricted Class concept, among others:
Loss of 'status'
Reduced number of bonus points
None or limited access to airport lounges
Longer check-in time
Less free luggage
When the traveler then on top of that is not confronted with the many restrictions connected to low price travels until the time when the travel is ordered the attitude will typical be that the travel cannot be carried out on these condition i.e. "book a Business Class for me".
At this stage the traveler’s negativity towards the Economy / restricted Class problematic is directed towards the travel responsible/travel agency and if they are trying to refer to the stipulated travel policy the result will in the worst case be a conflict with the traveler.
To meet this unfortunate situation it is important to eliminate as many arguments as possible already before implementation of the new travel policy. In future, the travel agency should play a much bigger active role in cooperation with the company's management when the Economy / restricted Class concept is to be introduced to the travelers - preferably in an open forum where all the parties involved participate.
Resources should also be allocated to a more thorough prestudy where travel patterns and frequency for each department are analyzed. With the extremely varied rules connected to the flight fares there is a demand for a differentiated information material depending of the primary destinations. With this material the company may also be in a better position to evaluate to which extent the employees shall travel on Economy / restricted Class and where the largest savings are hidden.
How do you control whether the employees actually follow the stipulated rules?
One possibility is that the travel agency within agreed suitable periods reports the orders received to the department-/economy-responsible with an indication of which class has been ordered (pre-travel management). It is then up to the traveler to defend a Business Class order and the department responsible has the possibility of making objections before the travel has been made.
Whether the travel agency is to await approval before a ticket is issued must also be evaluated. It is however a heavy arrangement which might result in a fruitless hunt on a signature authorized person and ultimately in a conflict situation for the travel agency not being allowed to deliver the documents.
Preferably, you should end up with a "freedom under responsibility" situation; a concept which might be accelerated by introducing a form for Economy Class Incentive (Euroconomy Bonus), where the department/the travelers are credited part of the savings.