Our travel booking pilot started on 23 September and the two-person team booking our domestic and non-training related travel (currently for NHQ) are Hannah Bonnett and Jo Philpott.

Jo has been in the travel industry for 20 years and for the last seven of those she managed the Groups and Events division at Orbit, our travel provider. As part of this role she looked after all of Fire and Emergency’s deployment travel and organised UFBA events.

Hannah has been in the travel industry for 12 years and came to Fire and Emergency after three years as a team leader with Executive Travel, part of the global Flight Centre group. Hannah also worked at Orbit six years ago.

They both say that while they are still feeling their way, they are enjoying their new roles at Fire and Emergency.

“It is interesting being at the ‘other end’ of the booking process. We both used to work for the travel provider and now we are the client but our industry experience means ‘we get it’.

There are new travel booking guidelines and processes to follow as part of the pilot and Jo says people have been understanding about the need for the team to sometimes ask questions.

“We may ask about the flight or accommodation they have chosen or if they have checked the guidelines that apply while the pilot is running. The guidelines are new so it is possible some people are not aware of them.”

Hannah says it is important that Fire and Emergency people check the new processes before they book their travel and accommodation.

“There are quite a few things to get familiar with as well as the guidelines including defining what necessary travel is and a new online travel booking request form.

“There is also a four-week amnesty in place after which all bookings will need to be made 21 days ahead of travelling. The amnesty ends at 5pm on Wednesday, 21 October.”

Hannah and Jo say people should feel free to pop in and see them on the 12th floor of NHQ or call or email. They are happy to go through bookings and costings and can help check things with you, for example, that your accommodation is adequate.

Information on the travel improvement project, the guidelines, and contact details for Jo and Hannah are on the Portal.




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