Re: Using airline small business programs
We always ensure companies are signed up for the three big ones:
AA Business Extra, Delta Sky Bonus and United Perk Plus.
The TMC has to ensure their Quality Control software is loaded with them, and after a month or so int he program, run an audit of the miles/points being truly reflected on those corporate rewards program.
Then forget about it for a year
If you are working with a smaller agency, they will usually be more flexible and help you redeem those points/miles for a fee.
Just note that those airfare redemptions can't be serviced by TMC in a sense that if you decide to book all travelers on points for your holiday party, and there is a hurricane and now all tickets must be canceled, you are in trouble. Normally, TMCs have access to the airline backend systems, and routing people is relatively easy. With Points/Miles, they are just like you calling the rewards program support line, which at that time will have long hold times.
I have seen TMCs putting a rule that no more than 3 tickets can be redeemed for the same period. This prevents overpromising on service as realistically they can't help you during an emergency...