Corporate travel management solutions make business trips easier to book, manage, and track. In addition to saving companies time (and headaches) through 24/7 travel support, they also save companies money by aggregating flight, train, hotel, and car rental inventories across consumer sites.
Choosing the best travel management solution is a critical decision for a growing company. This page focuses on two popular corporate travel and expense management platforms, Lola.com and Concur, diving into common use cases and product differentiators to help you decide which solution is the right fit for your business.
As the #1 rated travel management platform in Capterra, Lola.com is a lightweight, cost-effective travel management solution for growing US-based companies, including Drift, Flywheel, Allego and hundreds of others. Customers praise Lola for its intuitive interface, powerful reporting tools, and world-class 24/7 support. Additionally, Lola’s transparent flat-rate pricing with no transaction charges and access to negotiated fares (through deep industry partnerships) make it a perfect choice for budget-conscious companies.
Concur Travel is a legacy enterprise-level travel and expense management software. With a 4.2 rating out of 5 on Capterra, Concur offers a traditional travel and expense platform with tight controls on spending. Concur travel management system can be a sufficient solution for large, established businesses looking to maintain tight controls over travel spend management with little interest in flexibility and innovation.
Despite Concur’s legacy in the travel and expense management software industry, several competitors have entered the game, introducing more alternative travel management solutions. Due to their confusing pricing and clunky user interface, many companies have left Concur in search of other travel management solutions. Concur competitors include corporate travel management software, white-glove business travel agencies, and even in some cases unmanaged travel. The Concur expense reporting capabilities are strong, but their poor customer service and clunky user interface make their product challenging to use for many companies. Concur competitors have stepped up to fill these gaps.
Corporate travel management software companies provide all of the necessary resources, tools, and integrations for managing travel, while limiting exposure to things that take up extra time and money. These business-focused platforms prioritize ease-of-use when it comes to booking travel, reporting on travel spend, and accessing support while on the road. Plus, the best travel management software options operate with flat-rate subscription fees, so the finance team knows exactly how much they will be paying — no surprises.
Corporate travel agencies are another alternative to Concur Travel, especially for larger, financially stable companies interested in a white-glove service. These competitors gain leverage over Concur by offering an end-to-end travel service. Corporate travel agencies can advise on business trends, create a policy that works for your company, negotiate discounted rates, and report on your business’s travel. But, all of this comes at a pretty steep cost.
Unmanaged travel is the last-resort option. This is likely the alternative companies choose when they feel overwhelmed by travel management, frustrated by their experience with Concur Travel, and don’t know where to turn. Unfortunately, this is also the option that wastes the most time and money. Unmanaged travel means no control over travel spend, zero insight into expenses, and leaves employees to fend for themselves when travel plans get disrupted. Luckily, there are better Concur competitors out there that can — and do — make the business travel experience more enjoyable, transparent and easier to manage.
While there are several companies that provide fast and easy ways to book travel, Lola.com is a top competitor of Concur because of its ease of use, flat rate pricing, and world-class travel support. Concur services traditional enterprise companies (like Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and IBM), while Lola focuses on SMBs and growing companies looking for a lightweight, intuitive travel management platform.
Lola.com streamlines the entire business travel process. Employees can compare options and book reservations without leaving the product. Administrators can see where and when employees are traveling, and can easily book travel on behalf of employees using their saved traveler profiles. Traveler profiles include all of the necessary information to make a flight reservation, as well as specific preferences, like airlines, aisle vs. window seat, hotels, and more. Integrations with Expensify (and other expense management platforms) and corporate credit cards give finance teams total visibility into company travel spend — and makes expense reporting a breeze. For growing companies seeking more control and visibility over travel spend; a flexible, easy-to-use product; and superior travel support, Lola is the best alternative to Concur.
Lola.com receives consistently higher product reviews, including a 5.0 rating on Capterra, compared to Concur’s 4.2 rating.
Lola’s reviews are full of praise for the travel support team. One reviewer even said “The 24/7 concierge service has legit been a life saver and is definitely worth the price of this portal by ITSELF.” Lola customer Steve Isom, VP of Finance at Flywheel, said “Not only does Lola meet the needs of the finance organization but it actually leads to a really really good experience for the traveler, so you’re winning on both sides.”
Conversely, reviews on Capterra describe Concur customer service teams as “outsourced and unqualified to do much more than read from a script,” or impossible to get ahold of in the first place. Other reviews describe Concur software as “not friendly,” “unpredictable,” and “poor quality,” while reviews describe Lola’s platform as “an easy, simple and functional interface” and having “everything in one place.”
While some corporate travel management services operate on annual subscriptions, most charge for each transaction (e.g., $10 per trip per traveler). In addition to booking fees, TMCs operating on a transaction model charge additional fees for customer service, rebookings, and cancelations. Since this unpredictable pricing model can accumulate significant individual expenses, making total cost exorbitant, companies should prioritize subscription services.
Lola.com and Concur differ significantly in pricing strategies. While Concur doesn’t share its pricing details publicly, Lola’s pricing model is outlined clearly on the website. Lola’s subscription price is transparent and flat, based on the number of employees in a company.
With its single, predictable annual fee, Lola’s pricing model ensures a stable travel management expense. Unlike most corporate travel solutions, Lola.com doesn’t charge additional fees, making it easier to budget for and better positioned to win market share.
Lola.com’s annual subscription tiers:
is personalized depending on your company's use of optional services, including the number of your company submits. For their , starts at $8 per , and the minimal fee for purchasing for the first time is about $1,000. For additional services, like advanced-reporting and third-party integrations, the cost goes up. While the model might work for larger, more stable enterprises, varied and unpredictable costs make budgeting impossible. Concur also doesn't offer any further pricing information for Concur online. They use a local sales rep system, and specific pricing information is only exchanged between sales reps and prospects.
In addition to its higher review score and transparent, predictable pricing model, Lola differs from Concur in a few key areas.
Concur is essentially an expense management software that built a travel management. Comparatively, Lola was founded by the visionaries who started KAYAK, and the platform’s intuitiveness and consumer-caliber interface reflects this travel industry expertise and heritage. Customers praise Lola for being a lightweight, user-friendly Concur competitor.
Lola’s innovative, fast-paced product development ensures that its platform consistently improves and incorporates customer feedback into new features and functionalities. Many of the “products” that Concur offers for an additional price are actually features that Lola already provides, including approvals, real-time data tracking and expense reporting.
Fast and effective customer service
Due to their size, Concur uses a ticket based system to provide customer support. But when you’re facing a travel emergency or a canceled flight, you need immediate help — not a support ticket. At Lola, our world class customer service team is available to provide real-time, hands on and proactive support to each traveler via chat and phone. In fact, interacting with our customer support team is often noted as one of the users’ favorite parts of using Lola.
Transparent and predictable pricing
Lola’s pricing model provides a clear and upfront cost, with no hidden fees. Many former Concur customers report frustration with additional costs and switched to Lola for an easy to use travel management system that would help them save money. Unclear pricing methods make accurate budgeting and forecasting nearly impossible. Lola’s flat-rate subscription costs are an awesome option for SMBs that need to see exactly how much they will be charged, and plan accordingly.
Corporate travel management is the process of using either software or a travel agency to book, manage, and track business travel. Travel management helps employees execute business trips in a fast, easy, and cost-effective manner by aggregating comprehensive flight, train, hotel, and car rental inventories across consumer sights and providing 24/7 customer support. It also helps travel managers monitor company wide travel. Additionally, travel management minimizes travel expenses by empowering finance teams to easily enforce travel policies and instill budget caps, provide consistent booking policies, and track spending through intuitive software and data-rich spreadsheets.
Growing companies need their employees to travel to develop business, open new markets, manage projects, attend conferences, and meet clients. The more companies grow, the more their employees travel. Businesses can strategically leverage corporate travel for growth by using management software to decrease how much time and money travelers spend on executing trips. Employees will regain workday time previously spent scrutinizing hotel options or expediting flight delays; finance teams will regain budget formerly, and haphazardly, spent on overpriced bookings through a structured expense management solution.
To summarize, the main benefits of a corporate travel agency are:
When selecting a corporate travel service, a business should consider how well that service:
Despite the legacy of Concur as an expense platform, Lola.com is the highest-ranked corporate travel management software. Started by travel visionaries, Lola.com offers the most useful features, excluding additional fees and an outdated interface. Through this user experience and exemplary customer service, Lola.com truly makes corporate travel management as easy and enjoyable as possible.