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Travel Management Travel News Vacation Travel

Uncovering Hidden Travel Fees

Nearly every day we are hearing about new fees imposed above and beyond the advertised cost of airfare, car rentals & hotel rates.  These fees increase revenue for the airlines, car rental companies & hotels, but are they legitimate fees and are the charges always accurate?  Do we always receive the services that these fees are charged for?  Are these charges necessary?  Regardless of the answers to these questions, once these fees are implemented, it is very unlikely that they will ever disappear.
For corporations who are reimbursing travelers for business travel expenses and for individuals who are paying for leisure travel, it is wise to know what you are being charged for and if you are obligated to pay these ‘hidden travel fees’.  You should always read the fine print when making travel arrangements and then be ready to dispute any charges that are billed incorrectly.
Listed below are some, but not all, of the fees that we have been seeing recently~

Airline Hidden Fees

  • Baggage fees (try packing all you need in carry-on luggage or if possible, ship your luggage to your destination, via FedEx 3-day service, UPS or FedEx Ground, it can be much cheaper than paying the airline)
  • Fees for NOT checking in on-line
  • Mandatory curbside service fees

Hotel Hidden Fees
(In 2007 the hotel industry took in 1.75 billion in fees alone)

  • Mandatory bellman fees or fees for holding luggage
  • Hospitality fees
  • Resort fees
  • Surcharges and gratuities can be added to your bill automatically
  • Early departure fees
  • Fees for in-room safes even if they are not used
  • Some mini-bars have sensors that record when an item is moved and you can see charges for items you did not partake of.

Car Rental Hidden Fees

  • No-show fees are now being charged by many rental companies
  • High priced fuel costs if you don’t fill-up before returning the car
  • 1 hour late may result in a full day rental fee
  • Energy recovery fees charged to cover the companies cost of doing business
  • Fees for early returns or arranging in advance to drop off on a later date

To save money and frustration with your billing process, be sure to check ahead of time for what you are being charged for.  Be assertive, and ask before making your reservation, for fees you will be charged that are not disclosed up front.  Review your bill closely and dispute charges that you feel you are not obligated to pay.  You can always check with your Christopherson Andavo Travel Agent or Account Manager to better understand these hidden fees.

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Travel News

Thanksgiving

On behalf of the management and the employees of Christopherson Andavo Business Travel, we would like to thank all of you for your support, your business and your encouragement over the past year.  We would like to take a moment and reflect on all the things that we have to be thankful for this year starting with our clients and extending to our vendors, our employees, our management and ending with our friends and family.
We wish you all a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

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Vacation Travel

Botswana Zambia Independent Travel Ideas

The Okavango Adventure from $3448*

14 days

This tour is recommended for healthy, active participants looking for an adventurous holiday.

Day 1. Livingstone to Kasane. Early morning depart Livingstone (a pre-night is recommended) and travel across the Kazangula Ferry to Botswana to our lodge situated on the banks of the Chobe River. Chobe is famous for its beautiful scenery, magnificent sunsets and abundance of wildlife and birdlife. Overnight Chobe Safari Lodge or similar (2 nights)
Day 2. Chobe River – Kasane. Today is spent on an early morning game drive in the Chobe National Park and a sunset game viewing boat cruise on the Chobe River.
Day 3. Makgadikgadi Pans. Driving via Nata we overnight on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans. Our accommodation is in traditionally styled Bakalanga huts with en suite showers situated amongst the giant and ancient Baobab trees. Spend the afternoon enjoying the surrounding area and the evening relaxing around the fire in the Lapa.
Overnight Planet Baobab or similar.
Day 4. Okavango Delta. Arriving in Maun by lunchtime we fly by light aircraft into the Okavango delta. This 20 minute scenic flight gives an amazing aerial view of the Delta. Our camp is situated in the heart of this untouched and pristine wilderness area. Overnight at Oddballs camp (or similar).
Accommodated in permanent tents with shared ablutions (3 nights).
Days 5-6. Okavango Delta. The days are spent with our private guide exploring the wonders of the Okavango delta by mokoro and on foot. Early morning and late afternoon excursions take advantage of the natural beauty on offer. Relax in the evenings listening to the many sounds of the African bush.
Overnight at Oddballs camp (or similar).
Day 7. Maun. Arriving back in Maun by light aircraft the rest of the day is free to relax and re-charge after the time spent in the Okavango Delta.
Overnight Maun Lodge or similar.
Days 8-9. Okavango River. We enter the Caprivi Strip where we spend the night set amongst the lush vegetation overlooking the Okavango River. Enjoy sunset on the deck or a swim in the famous “river pool”. The following day is free for optional excursions (own account) such as bird walks, game drives, mokoro excursions.
Overnight Ngepi Camp Treehouses or similar.
Days 10-11. Kwando River. Continuing through the Caprivi Strip we spend the following 2 nights at our lodge overlooking the wild Kwando River. Elephant and Hippo can be viewed from the deck overlooking the river. An afternoon boat excursion and game drive are undertaken in search of the many wild animals that inhabit the BwaBwata National Park.
Overnight Namushasha Lodge or similar.
Days 12-13. Livingstone/Victoria Falls “Mosi-Oa-Tunya” The Smoke That Thunders. We travel across the Zambian border to Livingstone to view Victoria Falls – without doubt one of the greatest and most spectacular sights in Africa. Days are spent at leisure to browse the local markets, to experience the many optional activities on offer in the adrenalin capital of Africa including white water rafting, bungi jumping, microlighting/ airplane or helicopter flights over the Falls, rhino walks, elephant back safaris, and to visit the Falls (own expense).
Overnight Protea Hotel Livingstone or similar
Day 14. Livingstone – Departure. Tour ends after breakfast.

DEPARTURES:

Minimum 4 people, maximum 16
2010: Jan 11; Feb 15; Mar 15, 29; May 3, 17; Jul 12; Aug 2, 18; Sep 1, 15; Oct 4, 20; Nov 8, 22; Dec 6.

PRICE INCLUDES:

13 nights accommodation, all en-suite except for nights 4, 5 & 6 where there are shared ablutions. Flights Maun – Delta – Maun, meals as indicated by BLD, Mokoro & bush walks in the Okavango Delta, Chobe game drive & boat cruise, game drive in Kwando.

NOT INCLUDED:

Airport transfers (a pre-tour hotel night can be booked in Livingstone and return airport transfers may also be pre-booked, enquire for details). Lunches & dinners own expense (except days 4, 5 & 6). A meal package including 6 buffet style dinners can be pre-bought. This must be purchased before departure alternatively clients will have to pay cash for dinners. Drinks, mineral water, gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Categories
Vacation Travel

Where to go next!

TOP US CITIES – 2009 TRAVEL & LEISURE SURVEY RESULTS ARE IN. Travelers were asked to rank 30 cities across the country in over 55 categories ranging from culture and restaurants to hotels, nightlife, and shopping.
CULTURE

Museums/Galleries Theater
  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. New York
  3. Chicago
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Boston
  1. New York
  2. Chicago
  3. Minneapolis
  4. Providence
  5. Houston

FOOD

Best Restaurants Bar & Grill’s/Cafes
  1. New York
  2. Chicago
  3. New Orleans
  4. Las Vegas
  5. Los Angeles
  1. New Orleans
  2. Seattle
  3. Portland, OR
  4. New York
  5. San Francisco

HOTELS

Luxury Hotels Resorts
  1. Las Vegas
  2. New York
  3. Chicago
  4. San Francisco
  5. Miami
  1. Orlando
  2. Phoenix / Scottsdale
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Honolulu
  5. San Diego

NIGHTLIFE

Live Music/Concerts Cocktail Hour
  1. New Orleans
  2. Nashville
  3. Austin
  4. New York
  5. Las Vegas
  1. New Orleans
  2. New York
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Miami
  5. Chicago

SHOPPING

Luxury Stores Boutiques
  1. New York
  2. Chicago
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Las Vegas
  5. Houston
  1. New York
  2. Santa Fe
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Las Vegas
  5. Houston

Categories
Travel Management

Airline Fees, Alliances and Saving Money

Airline alliances – what is the fuss all about? Besides the ability to earn a free ticket by flying virtually any airline in the world is there really any benefit to knowing which alliance you should belong to? Well, consider this: “How to make consumer-hated airline fees more digestible” was the subject of a three-day meeting earlier this month of the Ancillary Revenue Airline Conference in Huntington Beach (fancy speak for a gathering of airline executives and businesses that serve the industry interested in finding ways to offer coach passengers separate products and services typically offered as part of the ticket price for business and first class passengers). The New York Times estimates that airlines collected $USD 10.25 billion in such fees in 2008 – a staggering 346 per cent increase over 2006. CLEARLY – fees are here to stay and more likely than not will spread to more services offered by airlines.
Understanding airline alliances – who partners with whom and who offers reciprocity – is one way you can avoid paying the fees being levied against the normal traveler these days. OneWorld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance ALL waive ancillary fees for their preferred customers.
To learn more about how to leverage your airline memberships while keeping a little extra money in your pocketbook over the holidays, call Christopherson/Andavo Travel and our trusted travel advisors will be glad to answer your questions.

Categories
Travel Management

Full Service vs. Online

I often get into discussions with people concerning travel and how they book it.  There is a tremendous range of choices and reasons given.  I thought I would share with you some of what I’ve heard.
Some of the reasons given as to why people book online include wanting to be in complete control of their travel plans or to pay a lower fee and in some cases people travel to the same destination repeatedly and don’t need any professional assistance to book their trips.  All of these are valid reasons to book your own travel.   What is often overlooked is what you get by booking online through an agency such as Christopherson Andavo Business Travel vs.  Orbitz or an airline website.  Orbitz and the like, provide you with schedules, cars, hotels and pricing, so does Christopherson Andavo Business Travel.  We also provide reporting, we track unused tickets for you via our AirBank system, our corporate clients have access to an emergency line 24 hours a day, clients can view their all of their reservations and itineraries, past and present utilizing AirPortal.
Christopherson Andavo Business Travel is a full service agency.  Our agents have a tremendous amount of experience and expertise.  When you book online, you are responsible for making sure that all the details are correct and that everything is booked correctly.  When you use a full service agent, the agent will make sure that the details are taken care of.  This includes making certain that your name on your reservation matches the ID that you will be presenting at check in and that you have a place to stay and that it is booked at the correct rate, if you need a car, that it is booked, using your corporate discount number and your individual number that permits you to bypass the counter.  In addition, the agent will work hard to get you the best seat assignments possible, they will utilize our exclusive technology to check for lower rates on your car and hotel prior to your scheduled departure.  They also will advise you of ways to cut costs or to get more value for your money.  For example, many people think that Southwest is always the lowest priced airline in a market.  The reality is that it frequently isn’t and other carriers may off a better deal.  Or that when flying from the USA to Marseille, that if you book on Delta.com, you can’t get seat assignments on the Paris to Marseille leg, however if you book that flight as Air France, who actually operates the flight, you can get advance seat assignments.  Other suggestions may include staying one more night in order to qualify for a discounted fare or to spend an extra $100.00 to get a fully refundable fare instead of having a nonrefundable fare that comes with a $150.00 change fee.  The agent will remind you that you need a valid passport for international travel and that you may need a visa to visit or transit a specific country.  As was recently reported, a couple going on their honeymoon to Russia, who had booked with one of the big online ticketing companies, were not advised that they needed passports and visas and thus ended up stuck in Germany for a couple of days while arranging to get a visa.  They thought that they would save a few dollars by doing it themselves, instead they ended up spending a lot more money.  A full service agent brings far more value to your travel than you may inititally think.   In addition, all of the customers who utilize a full service agent, receive the same basic benefits as those who utilize our online booking tools, as well, as all the other services that an agent brings to the table.
Either way, Christopherson Andavo Business Travel provides a greater value to our customers than they will receive booking online or with other agencies.

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

What’s new with Disney????

Are you keeping up with Disney? Here is the latest.
Disney is Going to Alaska
“Disney Cruise Line® has selected the most stunning destinations – in the most exciting regions around the world – for cruises you and your family will not soon forget. Enjoy the service and expertise of our dedicated crew as we guide you in your exploration of international ports of call, from the Caribbean region to Europe to Alaska and beyond. Discover, in detail, the world of delights waiting for you.”
Disney Dream
“Our newest ship features innovations, imagination and wonders that will make dreams come true in brand-new ways – a true, one-of-a-kind Disney Cruise Line® experience. At just over 1,115 feet long, and 14 decks tall, Disney Dream™ offers immense-level enchantment never seen before on the sea.” For a sneek preview click on this link:
http://www.disneytravelagents.com/disneydream/minisite/
FREE Disney cruise!
Just book a selected Adventures by Disney Vacations now and get a 3-night Disney cruise FREE!
For details call one of Christopherson Travel’s Vacation Travel Advisors at 801-327-7600

Categories
Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

My 1st experience with the advanced imaging technology at airport security

The last time I traveled in early September, the new full-body scanners were not in the Salt Lake City International Airport (at least not to my knowledge). When I encountered them a few days ago at TSA security check point in Terminal Two, I was pleasantly surprised. My curiosity being peaked, I checked out what it was all about and here is what I found:

  • New state-of-the-art advanced imaging technologies detect a wide range of threats to transportation security in a matter of seconds at airports across the country to protect passengers and crews.
  • The pilot program has 46 units at 23 airports across the US
  • This whole body imaging technology is 100 percent optional to all passengers
  • Facial features are blurred for privacy and the image is displayed on a remote monitor for analysis
  • The technology cannot store, print, transmit or save the image
  • Passengers with joint replacements or other medical devices who would regularly alarm a metal detector prefer this technology because it is quicker and less-invasive than a pat down

To see what the image looks like in the remote analysis room, list of airports where the pilot program is being tested, and anything else about the new technology; please go to:
http://www.tsa.gov/approach/tech/imaging_technology.shtm

Categories
Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

Christopherson Andavo Travel releases SecurityLogic®

Christopherson Andavo Travel has released SecurityLogic®, part of the TravelAcumen™ suite of products. SecurityLogic® provides travel managers with real time, interactive mapping to visually locate travelers and assist with crisis management.
Unlike most traveler tracking products, SecurityLogic® provides precise location accuracy of your travelers. At the time of release, SecurityLogic® has over 8,000 worldwide airports and 50,000 hotel addresses geocoded with street level accuracy. Instead of seeing just a basic country density map, SecurityLogic® allows you to quickly zoom down to a specific hotel address. You can also filter your travelers and map by specific countries or cities.
Accuracy does matters, just as an example, China is over 3,000 miles wide and Uighur unrest in the north west of China may not necessarily affect your travelers in Bejing.
SecurityLogic® also has direct connections to each traveler’s full and comprehensive itinerary. This allows you to view the trip in full context and then easily locate your travelers when unusual events such as natural disasters (earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tidal waves), terrorist threats, or airline strikes occur.
Already a client? SecurityLogic® is free.
Not a client? Contact Christopherson Andavo Travel today to find out how our comprehensive travel management solutions can help you save money on your travel program.

SecurityLogic™
SecurityLogic®

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

10 Helpful Tips for Holiday Travel

Holiday travel is upon us…. These tips should help alleviate some stress during this hectic time of year.  Follow these tips and you will only need to stress about your waistline!

  1. Pack light. If possible, use a carry-on only. Be sure to check your airlines’ website for updates on what items are permissible on board.
  2. 24 hours prior to departure, print boarding passes and check your bags in online.  This should expedite your wait times at the counter.
  3. If you are traveling with gifts, consider sending them to your destination ahead of time. Most airlines require gifts to be unwrapped and their bulk is likely to slow you down.
  4. Select your travel dates wisely. The days before and after the holidays, are usually the most expensive days to travel. Often, the holiday itself is the best day to travel.
  5. Consider using public transportation and shuttle services as your mode of transportation to the airport. Airport parking lots fill quickly during the holidays and no one wants to come and have to dig a car out of the snow.
  6. Consider flying into a smaller or regional airport. Often, these airports are less crowded and you may be able to save money.
  7. Try to take a morning flight. Flights earlier in the day are less likely to be delayed. Non-stop flights are less likely to be delayed due to bad weather or air traffic congestion.
  8. Check in early.  Airports are the busiest during the holidays.
  9. Buy travelers insurance. How many flights have you seen canceled during a season’s rush? If you don’t wish to be one of those people who find themselves stuck in an airport for three days waiting for a blizzard to blow over, then purchase insurance.
  10. Familiarize yourself with TSA rules and procedures (www.tsa.gov).
Categories
Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

TravelAcumen™ new product release by Christopherson Business Travel

With this weeks release of TravelAcumen™ Christopherson has taken our technology to a whole new level by integrating ALL of our technology tools into two powerful travel portals.

  1. AirPortal® ? Traveler Communication Suite Communicate better with travelers and improves their travel experience
  2. TravelAcumen™ ? Travel Manager Suite Reduces a company’s travel spend through improved travel management

The beauty of our dual second-generation travel portals is the single sign-on, fully integrated, platform. These portals give travel managers access to new tools, meaningful data and internal controls.

  • AirPortal® ? Traveler Communication Suite
  • AirPortal® – Traveler portal provides a single point of access
  • Airtinerary® – Intelligent itinerary for the business traveler
  • AirSelect® – Flight options matrix allows you to select the best option
  • TravelAcumen™ ? Travel Manager Suite
  • AirBank® – Audit, catalog, enforce and report reuse of your unused tickets
  • DataLogic® – Travel spend analytics
  • Hotel & Car Re-Check® – Monitors lodging and transportation reservations for lower rates
  • ValueLogic® – Measure the ROI on your travel management program
  • SecurityLogic® – Global security and crisis management platform
  • ProfileLogic™ – Advanced profile management

Over the years, Christopherson has created a powerful group of travel management technology tools; most of which were developed to provide a solution to a specific challenge which a client presented to us. Our proprietary technology has been developed in-house by our own team of developers and is exclusive to Christopherson.
We are excited about the release of TravelAcumen™ and the power and efficiency it is delivering to our corporate travel managers!

Categories
Vacation Travel

NEW 7 Wonders of the World

First, I will familiarize you with the Original 7 wonders of the Ancient world.  This list is thought to be compiled in the 5th century with the Greek historian Herodotus.  This list was later compiled in the Middle Ages, even though most of these sites have been destroyed.  IN 2007, MORE THAN 100 MILLION PEOPLE VOTED ON THE NEW SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD, WHICH IS POSTED AFTER THIS ORIGINAL LIST.

Original 7 Wonders of the Ancient World

  • Hanging Gardens of Babylon-  75 foot high multilevel gardens were supposedly built  600 BC by King Nebuchadnezzar.  If existed, it is said to be destroyed by earthquake near Bagdad after the 1st century BC
  • Statue of Zeus at  Olympia-  Built by the Greek sculptor Phidias around 435-450 BC.  This 40 foot statue is believed to have been destroyed by fire in the 5th century.
  • Temple of Artemis at Ephesus-  A series of temples to honor Greek goddess Artemis built around 550 BC.  It was burned down by fire in the 5th century.  Its remains are now in Turkey.
  • Mausoleum at Halicarnassus-a white marble tomb, 135 ft high, buit in about 350  BC.  Built as a burial place for Mausolus, the king in the Persian Empire.  It was damaged by an earthquake around 15th century.
  • Colossus fo Rhodes-  100 foot statue of the Greek god Helios built around 280 BC, and took more than a decade to built was destroyed by an earthquake 60 years later.
  • Lighthouse of Alexandria-  Built on a small island near Alexandria called Pharos around 270 BC.  It was about 380 feet high, three tiered and was one of the tallenst structures on Earth.  Destroyed by earthquakes at the end of the 14th century.
  • Great Pyramid of Gisa-  The only 7 Wonders of the Ancient world still standing. Built circa 2550 BC as the tomb for 4th dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu.  Its base of 13 sq acres and height of 450 feet took 2.3 million blocks of stone to build

New 7 Wonders of the World

A  must see for all world travelers

  • Great wall of  China-  The great wall is a succession of multiple walls spanning approx 4,000 miles, making it the world’s longest manmade structure.  Built to protect the borders of the Chinese Empire from invading Mongols, between 5th century BC and 16th Century.
  • Christ the Redeemer Statue-  You can see this in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The 130 foot concrete and soapstone statue was built  at a cost of approximately $250,000, in which most of the money was donations. Since 1931 it has been an eternal blessing for the Brazilians and awesome sight.
  • Machu Picchu-  An Inca city thought by scholars to have been a sacred archaeological center for the Incan capital of Cusco. It is between two towering Andean peaks built in the mid-1400’s.  It was abandoned and rediscovered in 1911.  The site can only be reached by foot, train or helicopter.
  • Chichen Itza-  In the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, near Cancun, lies these ruins.  Built by the genius and adaptability of the Mayan it is believed to be a powerful trading  and political center for cloth, slaves,honey and salt .
  • Roman Colosseum-  In Rome, Italy this colosseum is the most sought after tourist site.  It was built between 70 & 80 AD and was used for over 500 years. It sat 50,000 spectators, who watch the gladitorial events and other public events.  Earthquakes and stone-robbers have left the colosseum in a state of ruins, but is being restructure and is  remains open to tourists.
  • Taj Majal-  In Agra, India stands this mausoleum commissioned for the wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.  Built between 1632-1648, this white marble mausoleum represents Persian, Islamic, Turkis and Indian achitectural styles.  It also encompasses formal gardens, sunken flower beds and a linear reflection pool.
  • Petra-  In Jordan, it likely was in its prime from 9 BC to AD 40. This early civilization proved to be experts in manipulating water technology.  It is constucted of intricate tunnels and water chambers.    It consists of a number of incredible structure carved into ste, a 4,000 seat amphitheater and the El-Deir monastery.

If you liked this list, stay tuned for other Natural Wonders list of amazing WATERFALLS, BRIDGES, BUILDINGS, LOST CITIES, AND MORE.

 

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

The Value of the Dreaded Service Fee

Many of you are aware that when booking travel, airfare, hotel, and car you are charged a service fee. These fees are charged whether you book online directly with the airline, with an online travel source such as Orbitz, as well as through a Travel Management Company like Christopherson Andavo Travel.
The question that arises, especially during this cost conscious time is, what value do I receive with this service fee?
With many online sources they cannot provide you with value. However, as a Travel Management Company (TMC) our job is to offer value with that service fee. A value that sets us apart from other booking sources. A value that can prove your company’s ROI (Return on Investment) with specific reports, experience and expertise.
Christopherson Travel has developed many proprietary technology tools that will show our value to your company and your travelers.
Value such as service, special negotiated fares, hotel and car savings, as well as reporting tools. With an average of 26 years experience with all of our agents, you can count on superior service!
To me, value and ROI are more important than the negative connotation of a “service fee”.
For inquiries on your ROI with Christopherson or any proprietary technology tools to assist your travel program please visit our website or speak with your agent today!

Categories
Business Travel

Do I have to sit here?

Many of us as frequent fliers and are always looking for that desirable seat, you know, the one that has the most leg room, the one that reclines and even the one that includes … you guessed it an empty seat next to it. Even though I don’t mind visiting with people I like to take the time that I fly to reorganize my thoughts, read a good book or even take a nap (less the drooling and snoring of course). But as luck would have it many times I’ve ended up in a middle seat only to be entertained by the head bobbing of the person trying to stay awake on one side and the person that thought it would be okay to not take a shower that day on the other. On top of it, my seat doesn’t recline and the person’s in front of me does! I’m thinking the cargo area or even a seat strapped to the wing would be a better option!
Never fear! As a Christopherson client we will do everything in our power to make sure your flight is as comfortable as possible. Even though you may  not be eligible for seats up front in coach or an exit row we will do what we can to get you in that desired seat. Our agents have many years in the industry and have learned the “tricks of the trade”  that allow them to make sure your seating accommodations are pleasing and satisfactory.  We may not be able to perform miracles every time but we will do our best to make sure the extra mile has been taken for you.
If you are interested in plane configurations and where the “best” seats are located on a particular aircraft check out www.seatguru.com. It goes in to great detail to let you know where you should and should not be sitting. Did you know that on  CRJ 50’s that there is a compressor above seats 5 A and B that drips water during take off and that on the CRJ 700 that the window’s  on row’s 14 -17 are all misaligned and looking out of them is difficult? These and many more seat facts can be found on this site.
For more information on what Christopherson can do for you, contact us. Our agents, account management and technology are a perfect combination for your travel program to be a successful one.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News

What happens after you’ve purchased a ticket and the fare drops

USA today had an interesting article about this.  However I felt that the article left out some very important information that will make a difference in what will save you the most money.  The article does cover the basics of the various airline Low Fare Guarantees and it even mentions the online booking agencies that offer some sort of protection however it fails to mention something that full service agencies, such as Christopherson Andavo Business Travel can offer you and that is the ability to void out a ticket on the legacy carriers until midnight the following business day.  So if you have a ticket issued on Friday and you purchased it through the airline’s website and the fare drops on Sunday, depending on the airline, you may be out of luck or you may have to pay the fee and only receive a voucher for the remainder.  If, on the other hand you had purchased it from Christopherson Andavo Business Travel, you can contact your agent Monday, he or she can void out the original transaction, which means that you just got all of your money back (not as a voucher) and then book you on the lowest available flight.  This will save you money and it is a service that the airlines won’t offer to their customers.  They will stick with their 24 hour rule and sometimes, not even that.
The nice side effect of this service is that clients of Christopherson Andavo Business Travel will see this on their ValueLogic report that was described in an earlier blog by Susan Anderson.  This service can save tens of thousands of dollars for some companies.
Yet another reason to use Christopherson Andavo Business Travel for your travel management company.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News

World’s Top Airports Moving to Paperless Travel

Did you know that the world’s top airports are moving to paperless travel?
Most of the world’s leading airport operators (80%) intend to make passenger self-service the primary channel for check-in, according to a new global survey. And 52% rated the introduction of “electronic documents” as the technology which will have the most significant impact at airports in the near future, initially driven by the adoption of bar-coded boarding passes sent directly to mobile phones – a key enabler for genuinely paperless travel.
63% of all airports already have check-in kiosks which will further increase to 90 % by 2012. When asked about their strategy for kiosk usage, most airports plan to increase the number of kiosks further, whether for check-in (44%) or for new functionality (9 %) such as passport scanning (from 32% today to 58% by 2012) and bag-tag printing (from 17% today to 51% by 2012). New usage areas receiving the highest interest are:

  • Common bag-drop locations – 12% today to 48% by 2012;
  • Automated boarding gates – 8 % today to 42% by 2012;
  • Self-service kiosk for passenger transfer services, – 11% today to 39 % by 2012;
  • Self service kiosk to report lost baggage – 5% today to 36% by 2012.

For more information or questions about travel please don’t hesitate to contact Christopherson/Andavo Travel.
Information provided by:  The 6th annual SITA Airport IT Trends survey, co-sponsored by Airline Business and the Airports Council International As of Nov 4, 2009.

Categories
Travel News

Update on Airline Fees

Update on Airline Fees
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
These days, airlines are charging a fee for everything – Luggage, preferred seating, snacks, entertainment, onboard Wi-Fi, even blankets and pillows!  Here’s what to expect from the top domestic carriers.

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

AIRLINE LUGGAGE 1st bag. 2nd bag SEATS SNACKS & MEALS ENT. WI-FI BLANKETS & PILLOWS PHONE BOOKINGS
Air Tran $15; $25 No Fee $1; $6 No Fee $7; $12 N/A $15
Alaska $15; $25 No Fee $0; $6 $6; $12 N/A N/A $15
American $20; $30 No Fee $0; $10 $2 $7; $12 No Fee $20
Continental $20; $30 No Fee No Fee $1; $12 N/A No Fee $15
Delta $15; $25 No Fee $2; $8 $2; $6 $7; $12 No Fee $20
Frontier $15; $25 No Fee $3; $6 $0; $8 N/A N/A $25
JetBlue $0; $30 $10 & up No Fee $5; $15 N/A $7 $15
Southwest $0; $50 3rd bag No Fee No Fee No Fee N/A No Fee No Fee
United $15; $25 $14 – $109 $6; $9 No Fee $12 No Fee $25
US Airways $15; $25 $5 & up $3; $7 $0; $5 N/A $7 $25
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Travel Management Travel Technology

Does your Company have a Unique Competitive Advantage?

Author and consultant Jaynie L. Smith asks this question. Businesses must differentiate between “unique competitive advantages” and strengths. While strengths are important they are not differentiators. You need strengths just to stay in business.
Most businesses tout advantages, when they’re really standard strengths and most likely clichés. One of the best examples of a worn-out cliché is “we exceed your expectations”. Every time I hear that claim I cringe. Doesn’t everyone do that now?
A timely and classic Warren Buffett quote is: “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.” At Christopherson Andavo Travel we have built our business by doing things unique and better. This is the only way you are able to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace. Most of our competitors who thought they had “strengths” are either gone or they are much smaller than they were during the good times.
We have built our unique competitive advantage by differentiating the three legs of the TMC “value proposition stool”:
     1. Our agents
     2. Our account managers
     3. Our proprietary technology
We focus intently upon creating unique competitive advantages in all three areas. This is the only way you can grow your business during difficult economic times, or as Warren Buffet says “when the tide goes out.”
www.christophersontravel.com