Travel News Vacation Travel

Christopherson Andavo announced as 2010 Ritz Carlton STARS member.

February 2010 saw the addition of Christopherson Andavo Travel to the exclusive ranks of the Ritz Carlton STARS program. The hotelier renowned for combining luxury and hospitality invited Christopherson Andavo to this elite group making it one of ONLY TWO travel companies in the United States with this distinction.
As a member of the STARS program, Christopherson Andavo clients will now enjoy unparalleled recognition and amenities at Ritz Carlton properties worldwide.
Whether you are planning a corporate retreat, a business stay, a vacation or even a wedding, contact one of our travel advisors to find out just how much value this new partnership can bring to you.

Travel News

The not so friendly skies (warning! science content)

From one of my favorite sites comes some very interesting information to consider on your next long flight. Here is a teaser quote from Science@NASA:

Instruments scanning outer space for cataclysmic explosions called gamma-ray bursts are detecting intense flashes of gamma-ray energy right here in the friendly skies of Earth. These terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) surge through thunderstorms at about the same altitude where commercial airliners fly. Do these blasts of gamma-radiation pose a hazard to air travelers?

Read the full article (full of delicious science content) here:
P.S. – don’t let this stop you from booking your next international flight. The speculation is that we’re safe as the bursts are propagated upward, not horizontally toward all of us unsuspecting travelers. Phew!

Vacation Travel

Sweet Vacation “DEALS”

As winter is wrapping up it’s season with snow and rain scattered with a little sunshine here and there, put away your snow shovels, boots, coats and gloves. It is time to break out the swim suits and suntan lotion and pack your bags for some rest and relaxation. There is no better time then now to take advantage of these vacation “Deals”. Here are just a few of those sweet “Deals” available to you!

  • Save up to $200.00 to Maui and Lana’i
  • Save up to $225.00 at the Ka’anapali Beach hotel in Maui
  • Save up to $250.00 to Aruba
  • Save up to $200.00 to Aston Hotels Resorts in Hawaii
  • Free airfare to the Bahamas
  • Save up to $150.00 at RIU Hotels Resorts
  • Save up to $250.00 to London

Of course there are some restrictions to these “Deals”. If you are flexible with your travel dates and looking for a great vacation don’t wait to cash in on these great savings. Call your Christopherson Travel Vacation team today. 801-327-7600

Travel News

For all those business travelers caught in the recent snow storms–listen up!

If you were that business traveler, had booked your travel through Christopherson, and were stranded in any of the recent east coast snow storms; you were in good hands. Why—because the last time you were stranded we took exceptional care of you then. This situation happens every year and every year our agents amaze me in how they service our clients. Here are just a few ways they assisted stranded passengers over the past few weeks.

  • Made the calls to the airlines and were on hold for hours—one agent 5 hours changing an international flight.
  • Provided clients with waivers from the airlines to obtain refunds when they were either unable to make the trip (meeting cancelled) or half way through their trip their return flight was cancelled. If you booked through the airlines websites or online agencies, you had to make the call to the airline and stay on hold for hours. One agent tried for an entire day to change a clients booking through the airline while his client went about his usual work schedule.
  • When passengers leaving to catch a flight, checked the airline websites, and found flights were showing confirmed (not cancelled); contacted us just to make sure. In numerous instances our computer system indicated the flights were cancelled. We then rebooked, reissued, and the traveler showed up at the airport with no surprises. That trip to Florida was made after all to close the business deal.
  • If you were lucky enough to have the airline call and explain just how they had re-accommodated you on another flight to return home only to find out it was two days later than originally ticketed, our agents were able to get you back much sooner.
  • Our after-hour emergency number was available on the weekend allowing for the same type changes, processing of refunds, and rescheduling.

Our many resources provide a “peace of mind” to business travelers whether they are our special numbers to make changes quicker; or, the ability to process airline waivers when changes are necessary so you don’t have to stand in line at the airport. We can provide options, for instances, rebooking your desired flight on another airline and processing the refund for your unused ticket. Time is money. For the price of our low service fee—we’ve got you covered!

Travel Management Travel Technology

Twitter. Facebook. Linkedin. We all know the names, but have we figured out the game to using social media tools for the business of corporate travel?

An online survey of travel management professionals conducted in May of 2009 by AirPlus International revealed a connection between personal and professional use of social media sites. While more than 71 percent of respondents indicated that they personally participate in a social media platform and/or blog community, it’s encouraging to report that slightly more than 65 percent said that these sites could or already have added value to their business.
The possibilities for corporate travel applications are well worth exploring, as engagement in online communities continues to grow at breakneck speed—outpacing use of personal email accounts as the preferred communication channel. Twitter, a more recent online phenomenon, grew its membership by 1,382% year over year. Facebook had more than 20 million users in February 2008 and counted more than 65 million just one year later. According to Nielsen’s “Global Faces and Networked Places” study from March, 67 percent of Web users worldwide are plugged into at least one social networking or blog site and one out of every eleven minutes spent online is dedicated to use of new media.
Perhaps surprisingly, the fastest growing user group for new media sites is the 35 to 49 year olds, with business travelers among them. Indeed, business travelers are likely to be avid users—expanding their networking circles or providing family and colleagues with itinerary updates. Useful online services like TripIt and Dopplr can assist in making face-to-face connections, especially when used in concert with networking sites like Linked-in or Twitter. Users can instantly find out where their travel plans overlap with those of industry contacts in a given destination—organizing an ancillary meeting and increasing productivity. Travel managers might tap these types of free online resources to connect employees traveling to the same destination and organize car sharing or other cost-reduction programs around such capabilities.
Most corporate travel professionals, however, have not taken the possibilities of social media that far. Rather, they concentrate on gathering information for later actions, such as refining their list of preferred suppliers or tailoring programs to traveler preferences. In the AirPlus survey, respondents cited increased awareness of preferred supplier activities as the most effective business use of new media channels, with more than 41 percent following their suppliers online. On the heels of supplier intel were two traveler-oriented purposes: 39 percent noted the ability of social media to create camaraderie among travelers and more than 38 percent called out its ability to showcase what is most important to travelers.
Interestingly, the top new media site for the business travel community according to the AirPlus survey was the consumer site Linked-in, which beat out industry-specific blogs and information sharing sites. Whether that was due to a lack of awareness or another reason, the survey did not determine. What it does indicate is that there is room to grow when it comes to engagement in and active use of new media in the corporate travel space. Travel buyers and suppliers should raise their awareness and look for ways to reach the expanding group of avid new media users with their programs and messages.

Travel Management Travel Technology

Looking for a travel reconciliation solution?

One word: AirPlus
AirPlus and Christopherson Business Travel can save your company time and money by providing detailed billing plus powerful management information from one single source.
Benefits by using AirPlus:
No changes are required to your current booking procedures.
It’s international and converts currency on your bill.
State of the art management information. You can manipulate your travel data quickly and efficiently to monitor and analyze your travel spend.
Provides a clear overview of your company’s travel spend. Tailor your invoices to meet your company’s requirements by adding department codes, cost centers, employee number, etc.
Quick implementation.
Valuable insurance.
AirPlus also has a corporate card for T&E.
For more information please contact your Christopherson account manager or agent.

Travel News Travel Technology

What is your Travel GPA?

How do you stack up in the travel market place?  As a company did you meet your travel goals and expectations for 2009?  Did you uitilize your hotel and car rental contracts to the fullest?  How do you compare to companies of similar travel spend and patterns?  What about compliance?  Are your travelers adhering to preferred contracts and vendors?  Is Travel Policy compliance in your focus this year?  What is your Travel GPA?  Do you think you deserve and A or the dreaded F?
Christopherson Business Travel has recently teamed up with a company called….. Travel GPA.  By utilizing this program we will be able to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your travel program.

A+ points of Travel GPA:

  • Faster, more meaningful travel data. The data is live and can be scored against internal goals or benchmarked against the GPA database of over 20,000 companies.
  • Pinpoints actionable ways to save money. As an analytical dashboard tool, Travel GPA benchmarks against hundreds of KPI’s (key performance indicators) based on company’s air, car and hotel spend.
  • Grade your supplier contracts vs. Industry Benchmarks. This helps travel managers evaluate effectiveness of negotiated rates in a given market or segment.
  • Drive your program with the ONLY real-time reporting & dashboard. Travel GPA transforms reports in to graphical charts while providing global reporting and analytics solutions in several languages and currencies. Drill down from any data point within a report or dashboard and instantly customize any report by adding or deleting metrics and report parameters.

Christopherson Business Travel and Travel GPA put the world’s most actionable business travel data right in your hands.
Don’t miss the bus!  For more information on how you can become a valued client of Christopherson Business Travel and create your own Travel GPA please contact a Business Development Specialist at

Travel News Travel Technology Vacation Travel

Sleeping On Those Long Flights Gets Better.

While we all know that flying on transoceanic flights is hard on everyone, the airlines have gone to great lengths to make it better for their travelers in first and business class. On some airlines you get seats that convert into lie flat beds and others have gone so far as to build individual suites for their premium fliers. A few have created a new class of service that is a step between business class and economy class. There is a bit more leg room and some sort of foot rest. While that is an improvement over the traditional torture devices that are called economy seating, no one has done much to make it possible for anyone to sleep comfortable on the long flights, until now.
Air New Zealand has recently announced that they are introducing the first lie flat bedding in the economy section of the aircraft. It’s not exactly what you would expect however it is still a vast improvement over the traditional seating. It’s called the Sky Couch. Here is a great article going into more detail:
While there are some restrictions on the Sky Couch, along with added expenses, it is really nice to see an airline doing more for those flying in economy.  Too often the big news is the varied and amazing upgrades to first class or maybe even business class however it is rare to see major modifications to the economy section.  Hopefully this is the first in a new wave of enhancements that impact the majority of fliers.

Travel News

United Leads the Way in Denver

In 2009, 50 million customers passed through Denver. With 41 percent of the total capacity at the Denver International Airport, United continues to be the largest carrier in Denver with almost three times more flights, seats and cities than any other carrier. Internationally, we resumed nonstop service between Denver and London Heathrow in 2009. That flight will return again this summer along with the non-stop service between Denver and Anchorage, Alaska.
Carrier United Frontier Southwest

  • Cities Served 118 55 43
  • Departures 407 166 128
  • Seats 37,444 13,340 17,536

New International Service

  • March 28 — Brussels, Belgium
  • April 18 — Bahrain (via Kuwait)
  • May 2 — Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria

United will inaugurate its first-ever service to Africa this spring with one daily, same-plane service from Washington to Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria. We also will extend our existing daily Washington – Kuwait flight to include Bahrain, and will offer a new nonstop flight between Chicago and Brussels, Belgium. Introduction of all of the new services is subject to government approval.