Making Sense of Marine Fares
The well-documented downturn in the shipping and offshore industries has resulted in many companies switching to cheapest economy fares and using...
of Marine Fares
Why they are still relevant
in today's market
If you work in the shipping industry, you have probably heard of or travelled using a marine fare. The evolution of these specialist fares for the marine and offshore industry has been quite remarkable. The concept of marine fares originated in Greece for the shipping industry, as airlines identified the need for specialist fares for crews to meet their specific needs. But how have they changed? Why are these fares still relevant?
Why are marine fares still relevant in today’s market?
The well-documented downturn in the shipping and offshore industries has resulted in many companies switching to cheapest economy fares and using stricter crew change timelines in order to reduce travel costs that much further. The standard policy has moved to the ‘cheapest ticket on the day’, which is often non-refundable and offers limited baggage allowance.
With the recent trend of unbundled airfares, this offers yet another element to consider. Food, baggage and even pre-allocated seats are all an additional costs to these fares. If they aren’t requested at the time of booking, they can add considerable expense to the overall trip cost. As many seafarers do not have corporate cards and can be employed on a project basis, expenses can be difficult to manage. The question organisations might consider is at what level should their employee have to cover costs whilst travelling on behalf of the company? As the ‘cheapest ticket on the day’ continues to unbundle the amenities organisations should cover on behalf of their travellers, inclusive airfares like marine fares start to look more viable.
What percentage of your travellers are currently flying on marine fares?
In addition to unbundled airfares, notable travel trends include increased online and mobile booking functionality as well as traveller personalisation. Ensuring marine fares are accessible in an online format will help keep them relevant in our current market. Marine fares themselves also help to identify the traveller to the airline as someone in the maritime industry. Once identified as a frequent traveller or someone travelling for business, their overall trip experience is more likely to be tailored to their specific needs.
The unbundling of airline fares often means that for a seafarer, where baggage and flexibility is critical, marine fares may well be better value overall, despite the slightly higher initial price the fares are sold under. Time and cost savings will come into play as business volumes grow, crew rosters become more dynamic leading to increased ticket changes, and companies are re-focused on employee retention.
If you have new travellers within your business, or perhaps need to explain the concept of marine fares to your
colleagues, we have included a back to basics guide on marine fares and their benefits at the end of this piece.
For more information on marine fares, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How does ATPI Marine & Energy manage marine fares?
By partnering with airlines to ensure marine fares are a viable solution to our clients.
A number of airlines including British Airways, Air France and KLM were pioneers of specialist reduced fares for the industry in the late 1970’s and really grasped the specific needs of the market, playing a key part in its development and facilitating access of crews from Asia and Eastern Europe.
Over the years many other carriers have recognised the opportunity provided by the shipping, marine and energy industry. Only a small number of agents are entrusted with these fares by the airlines, specialists such as ATPI Marine & Energy must justify their inclusion in these programmes on a regular basis.
For 40 years we have helped airlines to recognise the value of ship’s crews to their business. As one of the largest travel management companies servicing the sector, we offer the widest range of marine fares, with over 80 marine fare airlines.
Our contracts are inclusive of both global and regional airlines, to guarantee our specialist fare coverage is the broadest in the industry. And since fare conditions are key, we work closely with airlines on ticketing time limits, refunds and cancellations.
We use a fare viewer system that finds the cheapest fares available globally, directing sales towards other offices where cheaper fares exist. Our technology allows for online bookings to be made using marine fare content as well, which highlights clearly what is ‘included’ as part of the Marine fare in direct comparison with the regular published fares.
These fares and bookings also integrate with ATPI CrewLinkTM, our solution that helps you manage your total travel workflow in one platform.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in learning more about marine fares or our specialised travel management solutions for the shipping industry.
Back to Basics
Marine fares e-guide
Let’s go back to the basics and review what marine fares are and their benefits to the traveller and organisations that use them.
WHAT are marine fares?
Marine fares are specialist contracts that airlines offer via select Travel Management Companies (TMCs) to help service the shipping sector, offering flexibility and multiple other benefits at significant discounts. These fares are usually fully refundable and changeable, allowing for the modifications that often occur in this fast-paced industry, without additional fees. Supplementary to the flexibility of the fares, they also generally offer an increased baggage allowance for the travellers.
WHO do marine fares benefit?
Designed specifically for the shipping sector, these fares offer benefits to both shipping companies and the travellers utilising them.
- Overall reduced cost in fares if travellers itineraries frequently change due to things like delays or changes of port
- Savings opportunities range from 20-70% off fares
- Baggage allowance is greater than most published fares accommodating for crew being away for several weeks
- Travellers still accrue points on their frequent flier memberships
- Usually travel on a high quality carrier with the usual benefits
- At times, the fares can extend to select family members of the eligible traveller
WHEN can I use marine fares?
The requirements for marine fares vary slightly for each airline, which is why it is the TMC’s responsibility to determine traveller’s eligibility. This is dependent on the traveller’s job role for each trip and the size of the ship. If the traveller is going to a ship where their work is tied directly to the overall functionality of the ship, generally they will qualify. A seaman’s book will usually be required. Checking this eligibility, automating letters of permission where required and advising any other necessary documentation is an integral part of ATPI Marine & Energy’s booking process. This ensures airlines are comfortable that the fares are going to the right people and corporations know they are getting the best deals in the market.
Note: some carrier’s fares also cover the smaller vessels used by the offshore and alternative energy industries. Ask for details.
WHERE can you travel on a marine fare?
You can fly on marine fares all around the world. Fares fly from, via and to London globally.