UCL News


UCL and Clarity Travel Management: An update for staff who are travelling or planning to travel

24 May 2022

We are aware that users are experiencing difficulties with our travel provider, Clarity Travel. Clarity have committed to improving their service and there are several recommendations to consider when arranging travel.

A train to Luton pulling into a station

We are aware that users are experiencing difficulties with our travel provider, Clarity Travel. This is a sector wide challenge impacting all the main travel management companies and is driven primarily by a lack of experienced staff. In the case of Clarity and UCL, the resource issue is further exacerbated by a current spike in UCL demand coupled with airline cancellations due to staff absences, and an underlying lack of staff following the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people left the travel industry.

Clarity have committed to a recruitment drive and dedicating more resources specifically to UCL to help resolve these issues, but there will inevitably be a lag while Clarity recruit and train new staff.


Whilst we bear this in mind, we continue to be demanding of Clarity and are working with them to overcome the issue. Please keep the following points in mind when arranging travel

  1. Consider if you really need to travel – our Carbon Footprint will increase significantly if travel returns to pre-pandemic levels.
  2. Book travel well in advance.
  3. Ideally book online using the webtool. For any issues, please call Clarity rather than emailing as this will extend booking times.
  4. For delayed response times, please email travel@ucl.ac.uk for support. We have an escalation process for urgent responses.
  5. The travel policy has been amended to allow a wider range of exceptions that can be authorised within faculties, which allows some local flexibility should it be required.


Market dynamics have shifted and this is impacting pricing. It is no longer cheapest to book more than 30 days out. The best value for booking is currently:

    • Air: 15-30 days out. (E.g. The top spending route is London-San Francisco, those booked in Economy in advance of 30 days paid an average of £771.63 and those booked within 15-30 days paid £577.82).
    • Hotels:  8-14 days (Domestic and International) and 15–30 days (Europe).

We are seeing very low levels of staff actively triggering the price match guarantee – if you have found better prices elsewhere, we encourage you to flag it to Clarity.