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Business Travel Vacation Travel

Know Before You Go

These days, airlines are charging a fee for everything – Luggage, snacks, entertainment, onboard Wi-Fi, even blankets and pillows!  Here’s what to expect from the top domestic carriers.

AIRLINE LUGGAGE SNACKS & MEALS ENTERTAINMENT WI-FI BLANKETS & PILLOWS PHONE BOOKINGS
Air Tran $15; $25 $1; $6 No Fee $7; $12 N/A $15
Alaska $15; $25 $0; $6 $6; $12 N/A N/A $15
American $20; $30 $0; $10 $2 $7; $12 No Fee $20
Continental $20; $30 No Fee $1; $12 N/A No Fee $15
Delta $15; $25 $2; $8 $2; $6 $7; $12 No Fee $20
Frontier $15; $25 $3; $6 $0; $8 N/A N/A $25
JetBlue $0; $30 No Fee $5; $15 N/A $7 $15
Southwest No Fee No Fee No Fee N/A No Fee No Fee
United $15; $25 $6; $9 No Fee $12 No Fee $25
US Airways $15; $25 $3; $7 $0; $5 N/A $7 $25
Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

Claim Your Seat- Know Your Rights

The majority of airlines offer travelers the opportunity to reserve seat assignments on flights prior to departure. With today’s automation, they also offer an opportunity to “check in “ online with 24 hours of departure. Every traveler should be sure to that seats assignments are selected on all flights and check in online. Flights are so often very full and this helps insure your reservation will be honored. When flights are full, the traveler who doesn’t have a seat assignment is the one who could be singled out to be denied a reservation. If you have a confirmed electronic ticket receipt , and have reported to the boarding gate by the appropriate boarding time, then the airlines should provide you a reservation. The Christopherson confirmation of your itinerary will provide this proof of reservation. Be sure to have a copy of it with you, either in paper or electronic form. This confirmation holds valuable information that may be required by the airline, car or hotel staff that are looking for your confirmed reservation. There are easy links to help with the advance check in online. The itinerary also will show that your membership numbers like frequent flyer membership numbers have been sent to the vendors in advance. For a smooth travel experience, be sure to know your rights and have the appropriate confirmation information for your reservations.

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

Lowest Airfare; Guarantee or Fiction

Can anyone really offer you the lowest airfare for your flights? You bet, but you need to understand what that means and what it doesn’t mean. Most travelers that shop the various online travel sites have experienced frustration and confusion when a low airfare is available one moment and gone the next or they find a lower airfare after they made their purchase. That’s why a travel management company with the right tools and knowledge can guarantee the lowest fare. They work with and understand the following. Airline inventory control and yield management departments have created a science of maximizing revenue for each flight and every seat on those flights. Based on inventory history, which is defined as the actual load factor at the time of departure, airlines track and model the performance of each flight , each day of the week in the summer versus the fall and based on this data create a yield management model for that specific flight. The model includes increasing or decreasing fare availability as certain inventory triggers are reached irrespective of how near or far away the date of departure. If demand is high there is little change, however, if demand is low then the lowest airfare can change two or three times daily.
Additionally, there are differing distribution channels used by each airline that affect the available content (seat & fares) based on fees charged the airline for each booking by the distribution company. These distribution companies include Global Distribution Systems (GDS) (Apollo, Sabre, Worldspan and Amadeus), airline hosted web sites, online travel sites (Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity), and auction web sites like Priceline. Each of these distribution channels have differing agreements relating to what content the airline will provide in relation to the cost of distribution. In other words, some sites have the lowest fares of an airline and others may not. A new entrant into the online airfare pricing options are the metasearch engines such as Kayak and Voyji. These guys create what is being referred to as virtual databases. They take the travelers request, pass it to differing travel databases and then compile the results as a list of options that when selected the traveler is “deep linked” to the web site page offering the airfare. I’ll stop here because I’m sure you get the picture.
With all that said, Christopherson Andavo Travel employs the use of 3 GDSs and industry tools that search all travel databases for the lowest fare available at the time of request. This in-depth fare search is performed with each request to your Christopherson Andavo Travel team; and this we guarantee.

Categories
Vacation Travel

MOAB – Utah’s Adventureland!

I’ve been a travel agent for over 12 years and have traveled the world. However,  I have never been to my own backyard Moab, Utah.  The great outdoors (for those who know me) doesn’t really appeal to me – camping, bugs and stuff. But this was a chance to combine the best of both worlds. A few nights stay at a nice hotel and an overnight stay on the river with guides that do all the cooking and cleaning. We took the whole family and the value of everything included and the professionalism of  our guides made this trip a wonderful adventure for everyone.  Contact us in the Vacation department for information on this and travel all over the world, because we’ve been there – even to Moab, Utah!

Categories
Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

ValueLogic® – a savings report card from your travel management company

Wouldn’t it be nice to know how diligently your TMC is working to maximize your travel investment? Well…it’s working for customers who use Christopherson Business Travel to manage their travel program. Through our partnership you clearly see how we save you money. We backup our claims of saving you money in hard data. You get more than just our word that we are the cost-effective business travel partner of choice. You are provided with monthly, easy-to-read ValueLogic® reports that show you where and how Christopherson saves you money.
On a timely basis, you have the unique opportunity to review critical information:
• Airline, car, and hotel savings
• 25+ quantifiable categories of savings
• Average savings per itinerary
• Voided ticket savings
• Airbank® ticket management savings
• Savings displayed on each travelers itinerary
• Summary and/or detail reporting format
ValueLogic® helps you assess your ROI and shows you the real savings you gain by partnering with Christopherson Business Travel.

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

The Accidental Software Company

AirPortal®Provides the business traveler a single point of access
We never set out to be a software development company. The old adage “necessity is the mother of invention” played out for us here.
The genesis for AirPortal® came from the banking model. It occurred to us that everyone can access their banking transactions from one log-in. Whether you transact your banking on-line, use the drive-up window, go inside the bank, use the mail or do it with electronic transfers, you can always find all of your banking transactions in one place.
Conversely; access to your travel bookings is fragmented, depending on how and where you book your travel. AirPortal® was developed to match the convenience which on-line banking provides. It provides the business traveler a single point of access to all of their travel itineraries and data anywhere at any time.
Christopherson Andavo Travel, “The Accidental Software Company” has now built 11 proprietary travel technologies which have improved the travel management services for our 800 corporate clients across the U.S.
www.christophersontravel.com
www.christophersontravel.com/business/technology/airportal/

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

Expense report assistance and other things.

It’s the end of the month and it’s time to get that expense report completed. You’re sitting there in your home office going through your receipts and you realize that you don’t have a copy of your itinerary from your last trip. You look at your clock and you realize that it is too late to call your travel agent to get it. You desperately go through your old emails trying to find it, alas, it’s not there. Now how do you file your expense report without it?
If you have ever experienced this frustratation I have a solution for you. Christopherson Business Travel’s AirPortal product has a number of features that make it very useful to the business traveler. One of the features is that you can access and print out all of your current and past dated itineraries, thus allowing you to track all of your travel.
Other features include the ability to see what unused or partially used tickets via AirBank, you have outstanding and what their original value was. This allows travelers to insure that they don’t miss out on utilizing the value of any unused tickets.
For a demo of what AirPortal can do for you, go to: www.ChristophersonTravel.com and click the link for the AirPortal Demo.

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

Contracted rates in AirSelect®

We all know how much value a dedicated travel agent can bring to your company’s travel program. But have you ever tried to get a comprehensive list of flight options over the phone? It takes a lot of time and isn’t very practical.
That’s why we developed AirSelect®. It allows the best of both worlds – a full service agent and flight pricing matrices that make it easy to choose your flights.
Recently we added support for any and all contracted rates – corporate, state, and federal government.
We have two different views, one that is more price centric (and more familiar to those who use some of the on-line leisure sites) and one that is more schedule based.

Categories
Travel Management

Passport booklet vs. Passport card

Now days everyone that travels should own a passport. The government gives you an option of a regular passport book or a passpot card. The passport card is less than half the cost of the passport book, however it has limited use. You can apply for one or both.
The differences:
U.S. PASSPORT BOOK – Valid for international travel by air, sea or land.
Validity:

  • 10 years for adults
  • 5 years for minors under 16
  • Size: 5″ x 3 1/2″

Cost for first time applicants:

  • $100 for adults
  • $85 for minors under 16

Cost for U.S. Passport Book Renewal:

  • $75 for adults

U.S. PASSPORT CARD – Valid when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry. Not valid for international travel by air.
Validity:

  • 10 years for adults
  • 5 years for minors under 16
  • Size: Wallet size

Cost for first time applicants:

  • $45 for adults
  • $35 for minors under 16

Cost for U.S. Passport Card renewal:

  • $20.00 for adults

Both cards purchased at the same time for first time applicants:

  • Adults: $120
  • Minord: $95

For additional passport information: http://travel.state.gov

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

Think Green! No more printing Boarding Passes on Delta!

Mobile check-in saves time at the airport by letting you check in from your PDA or web-enabled cell phone up to 24 hours prior to departure. It’s the fastest, most convenient way to check in!
STEP 1. Visit mobile.delta.com.
STEP 2. Submit your confirmation number, credit card number, SkyMiles number, or eTicket number at the “Check in” screen.
STEP 3. Download your mobile boarding pass.
STEP 4. Show mobile boarding pass to TSA Security and gate agent for scanning.
Mobile check-in has been implemented at:

  • New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Memphis (MEM)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC)
  • Cincinnati (CVG)

Original article from Delta

Categories
Travel News

Experience The Difference: Christopherson Travel Expertise

The experience of our travel agents and our reputation with the airlines helps us save our clients money each and every day.

  • A traveler needed to make a change on a flight and called saying he thought he would just buy a new ticket. He was advised by his Christopherson travel agent that he actually had funds available on his reservation and instead of spending an additional $280.00 for a new ticket, his cost was only $50.00.
  • Another traveler was looking for flights to Washington D.C. and his agent recommended a schedule to a nearby airport that was half the cost.
  • Another customer was looking for discount seats for four people to San Francisco and could only see a price of 220.00 per person from Denver. With the help of an agent, they secured the flights for 149.00 per person.

There is a Christopherson Travel agent that has expertise for travel to any destination. Many of our agents have 10, 15 or 20 years experience in the industry and can help plan a trip whether the destination is domestic or international.

Categories
Travel Management

Travel Agent Working from 30,000 feet

Christopherson Business Travel is known for its’ amazing agents who go above and beyond expectations to serve our clients needs, but one agent recently took that to a whole new level…30,000 feet to be exact.
Our agent Jack was on a cross country trip which required a connecting flight. After sitting on the tarmac for an hour at his departure city he knew he would never make his connecting flight. Once his flight finally took off and rose to 10,000 feet he was allowed to access his electronic devices and connected his laptop to the new in-flight WiFi service. This allowed Jack to connect to our computer reservation system and re-accommodate himself on a later connecting flight.
The passenger next to Jack noticed what he was doing and asked if he could help him with his misconnection. Soon the concerned passengers across the aisle were soliciting his expertise as well. Jack is a frequent flyer and had been upgraded to first class on this flight. In a short time he had worked out travel arrangements for all 12 of the first class passengers. Conveniently 6 of them were Christopherson customers so the task was especially smooth.
Once the flight attendant learned what the onboard Christopherson agent was capable of she had him assisting her with all the concerned passengers in coach as well.
Although you may not find Jack or another Christopherson agent on your next delayed flight, you are just a click away from connecting with one of our agents via our exclusive AirPortal® or your with your email service.  No longer do you need to wait until you land to find out what your options are.
With U.S. airlines working night and day to outfit their planes with in-flight wireless access you too can have our travel management services at 30,000 feet.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News

Economic Downturn Perpetuates TMC Consolidation

The current economic downturn has perpetuated the TMC consolidation which has been happening during the past decade.
There is a natural consolidation process which occurs in economic downturns. We have seen this taking place in the major markets we operate in; Salt Lake City, Denver and San Francisco. We have also seen the consolidation trend taking place at the national level.
Christopherson Andavo Travel’s ranking at #14 in the BTN Annual Business Travel Survey is reflective of our own growth through consolidation.
A review of the Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC) statistics as of 5-31-09 shows the following trends:

  • There were 29,486 ARC locations as of 5-31-2001
  • There are 16,695 ARC locations as of 5-31-2009, a reduction of 43%
  • ARC sales are down 26% for the first five months of 2009
  • ARC locations are down 8% for the first five months of 2009
ARC Processing Data ? YTD as of May
2009 2008 2001
ARC Locations 16,695 18,084 29,485
Total Sales $28,007,936,882 $37,714,073,290 $34,052,812,000
Total Transactions 59,622,069 68,926,509 80,982,177

 

% Change
2009 / 2008 2009 / 2001
ARC Locations -8% -43%
Total Sales -26% -18%
Total Transactions -13% -26%
Categories
Travel Management

Four Things For Summer Travel

As the summer travel season heats up and travelers encounter crowded, often oversold flights, sold out hotels, and overbooked car rental agencies, delayed flights, etc, I just wanted to remind travelers of a few basic things that will help them cope with the problems.
First, bring your patience with you when you travel.  This means rather than blowing up when the first thing goes wrong, take a deep breath and let it out slowly.   We, as a society, are almost always in a hurry to get to our destination and as such, we tend not to be patient when something delays us.  However impatience is often our enemy when something does go wrong. 
The second thing you should bring is your sense of humor.  Let’s face it, if you sit back and watch your fellow travelers, you will see a lot of funny behavior.   Also, humor can defuse a lot of potentially bad situations and turn them into something positive.
The third thing you should bring is your compassion. Have a little compassion for the employee of the travel company that you are dealing with. I promise you that the gate agent doesn’t want your flight delayed any more than you. So remember that all the passengers and the gate agent are in this mess together.
The fourth thing you should remember to bring are your manners. If there is a problem and you need help, you will get far more help when you say “Please” and “Thank You”, then if you start off yelling at the person who is going to help you. After all, you are asking for help, which implies that you need something from this person. Most folks seem less inclined to help someone who yells, curses or is abusive to them. So start out nice and polite. Being polite doesn’t mean that you have to take whatever they offer you however it does mean that you are more likely to get a helpful solution to the problem rather than a stone wall. And remember if being polite doesn’t work, you can always resort to yelling, screaming, etc. after you were the nice person. It’s much harder to go the other way.
So have fun traveling this summer and remember your travel agent is there for you.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

AirPortal®, now served with Rearden Commerce

Travel is a pretty data intensive industry. There is a lot to keep track of. One thing that makes it even worse is that the data and systems are so disparate (um, that would be disparate, not desperate – although one could argue at times they are both, hehe).
You have your itinerary in one system, your booking engine in another, your corporate reports in yet another. It just keeps going.
That’s why we developed AirPortal®. We want to provide a single login for all your travel needs.
Where it makes sense, we also want to provide you access to other tools directly from AirPortal®. That’s why, if your company chooses, we can integrate AirPortal® directly with any of four world-class, on-line booking tools: ResX, GetThere, Cliqbook, and now Rearden Commerce.