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HSE Business Travel Unit
Unit 7, Swords Business Campus,
Balheary Road,
Co. Dublin

Phone: 01-8131803 / 01-8131828
Fax: 01-8131891
Email: btu@hse.ie

Frequently Asked Questions




What does the Business Travel Unit do?

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The Business Travel Unit (BTU) is a service to all employees of the HSE and will provide the following services for you.

  • International and domestic airline reservation and ticketing
  • International hotel accommodation
  • International car hire reservations
  • Ferry reservations
  • International, Eurostar and Eurotunnel rail reservations
  • Passport and Visa applications

These services will be provided to the HSE by a formally contracted Service Provider.

The BTU will also provide a Personal Travel Service to you, which will tailor your needs for personal travel in terms of budget or other requirements.

In addition to acting as your travel provider, the BTU will

  • Maintain all FT requests and information
  • Provide HSE management with periodic MIS reports


Who is the formally contracted Service Provider?

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A tender process has been completed to engage the services of a travel management service provider who will source and procure the most logical fare for the HSE. American Express (AMEX) has been selected as the HSE service provider.


When will it happen?

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A fully operational service will be in effect from Monday 27th November 2006. The BTU will be staffed by two HSE staff and will be trained by AMEX to the same standard as their own Travel Consultants.


What will be the benefits of the BTU?

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The service provided to HSE employees and clients will

  • Improve service quality
  • Standardise service
  • Realise savings
  • Facilitate MI Reports and ensure cost transparency and policy compliance
  • Travel security and HSE traveller emergency tracking


How will bookings be made?

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You can download an electronic Travel Request Form, complete the relevant details and once approved submit it to the BTU for processing. The BTU will issue the Travel Request to AMEX who will source the most logical fare on behalf of the HSE. Once the most logical fare has been found it will be advised to the BTU who will approve the fare and issue your tickets to you. Tickets will be issued to you either electronically or in paper form. For ease of transaction, we recommend you receive your ticket electronically.  Click on Booking Process for further information.

Where can I get my Travel Request Form?

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You can download the Travel Request form from the Documents and Forms section.

How can I submit my Travel Request?

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You can email, fax or post your Travel Request Form to us.

Phone: 01-8131803 / 01-8131828
HSE, Business Travel Unit,
Unit 7, Swords Business Campus,
Balheary Road ,
Co. Dublin.

Before you submit your Travel Request to us, it is essential that it is formally approved


How long will it take to process my query?

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We are committed to providing a first class service to you. Once we receive your Travel Request or query we will operate to the following service levels


Travel Query Response Times (hours)

Travel Area




Travel within Ireland and UK




Travel within Europe




Travel Outside Europe





How will I know a first class service is being delivered?

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Service Level Agreements will be entered into to ensure a first class service. Examples of SLAs between the BTU and AMEX are as follows

Telephone Service Factor
70:30 (70% of calls answered within 30 secs) 
Email Turnaround
Max 4 hours
Lost Call Rate
less than 3%
Complaints Cycle
5 Days


Can I still use my own Credit Card to make a travel booking?

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If you wish, you can use your own Credit Card to make travel bookings until 31st December 2006. After this date, you will not be reimbursed if you book flights on your own credit card. All requests for foreign air travel, hotel accommodation and internal domestic flights MUST be routed through the Business Travel Unit.


How will I receive my electronic ticket (e-ticket) and paper tickets?

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If you are travelling on an e-ticket, American Express Travel will email you your itinerary on which you will find your confirmation number.

Any postal delivery reservations must be received by 15:00 for next day delivery. For urgent tickets required outside these deadlines, special arrangements can be made and will be discussed during your call to the BTU. Please be assured that we will do everything possible to meet your requirements.

If necessary a ticket can be collected on departure, where you will be required to collect the ticket from the airline ticket desk at the airport.


What is the difference between electronic tickets and paper tickets?

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Electronic ticketing (e-ticket) is the most cost effective option; it is also the preferred method of ticketing for the HSE travel program. If the airline does not have the capability to offer electronic ticketing (e-ticket), we will arrange for a paper ticket to be posted to you.


What if I have an emergency and need to contact the BTU outside the normal operational hours?

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For Worldwide assistance, in the event of any travel related emergency please contact the American Express Emergency Travel Service on the number detailed below, details will also appear on your travel itinerary. Experienced travel consultants will access your flight and profile information and help with any emergency or last minute changes to your itinerary.

From outside Ireland: -+44 208 774 7355

This service is provided for emergency needs only outside the normal business hours of the BTU.


What happens if there is an emergency while I am travelling?

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If during normal office hours call the BTU for assistance. BTU staff will assist you and make any necessary changes to your itinerary. Outside of normal office hours please call the American Express Emergency Travel Service as above


Can a group rate be obtained if I am attending a meeting or conference?

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In the event that there are more than 10 travellers going to the same destination, the BTU will investigate the possibility of reduced group fares, which can provide significant savings. However, the BTU must be made aware of all travellers in the group at the time of the reservation and it must be noted that group fares can often carry additional restrictions and penalties.


What should I do if I want to make a personal holiday booking?

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Please call the American Express Holiday Travel Service on 01 6175555.


Can the BTU assist with obtaining a passport or visa?

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Yes, the BTU will inform you of any visa requirements when you call to make your reservation.As the process for obtaining a visa may differ depending on the time available, the BTU will discuss with you the best method of handling the application during the call.


Who do I contact if I have encountered a problem during my trip?

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Should you have any concerns relating to any part of your trip please contact the BTU as soon as possible and advise the nature of the problem, this then will be investigate and resolved to your satisfaction.


How do I obtain a refund for my airline ticket if my trip is cancelled or rescheduled?

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Please call the BTU to cancel your reservation prior to your departure to avoid unnecessary charges. The BTU will advise you of the appropriate next steps.

If your current agent has issued your ticket, please return any unused coupons directly back to them for refund.

If your ticket has been issued by American Express and is not required, or is partly used, then please return it as soon as possible to:
Business Travel Unit,
Health Service Executive
Swords Business Campus
Balheary Road
Co Dublin

*Please note that refunds cannot be processed without the ticket and that Rail refunds MUST be returned within one month of the date of travel or no refund can be given.

*Should you require a refund to be processed for an unused e ticket, please contact the Travel Team in Dublin who will arrange this on your behalf.

It is the responsibility of the Traveller to notify the BTU of any journey not utilised and to ensure that all unused documents are returned. Failure to follow this process will result in a delay or loss of any refund due and subsequent credit to HSE.



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