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Travel News Vacation Travel

Vacation division has new name Andavo Travel

In January 2008, Christopherson Business Travel, located in Salt Lake City, and Andavo Travel, located in Denver, began a merger process forming the nation’s 14th largest travel management company.
We are pleased to announce the merger process has concluded with a consolidated ownership and branding of our companies. Effective this month, we will be operating our entire leisure vacation division under the name Andavo Travel, a Christopherson Company. Our corporate travel division will be operating under the name Christopherson Business Travel. Both divisions are now under the common ownership of Mike and Camille Cameron of Salt Lake City, Utah.
As we emerge a unified leisure travel management company under the Andavo Travel name, we want to assure our long time Christopherson Travel vacation clients that the same travel advisors who you have come to know and trust will continue to service your vacation travel needs. Along with many other special offers and promotions only available through our agency, we are pleased to bring our clients the added value of our preferred partner programs through Andavo’s long time membership with Virtuoso®.
“What is Virtuoso®?”
Virtuoso provides Andavo Travel, a Christopherson Company connections with the best hotels, cruise lines, airlines and tour companies in the world. For our clients, this means access to exclusive travel offers which are not available to the general public. If you rely on experts to reduce the complexity of travel arrangements and ensure smart choices, our travel advisors are able to design exceptional customized travel experiences using the resources and relationships available only through Virtuoso®.

  • Global Connections: With personal contacts at more than 1,000 airlines, cruise lines, hotels, resorts, and premier destinations worldwide, our travel advisors will put these relationships to work for you.
  • Unparalleled Expertise: Our travel advisors are among the most well-traveled people on the planet. They draw on their first-hand experiences when customizing vacations for our valued clients.
  • Customized Travel Experiences: From weekend getaways to trips of a lifetime, counting on the expertise of our travel advisors insures your greatest experience.
  • Confidence: Our clients rest easy knowing their personal preferences are reflected in every aspect of their itinerary, delivering the best value for their time and money.

At Andavo Travel, a Christopherson Company, our promise to our clients is to drive world class service through a foundation built on excellence, trust, integrity, loyalty, family, caring and community. Since our inception in 1956, our fundamental core company values reflect this philosophy and translate it into our daily business practices. For those who have a passion for travel, we invite you to take advantage of our specialized expertise and insider connections.
Thank you for being our valued client and for allowing us to service all your vacation travel needs.
Mike Cameron
President

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Travel Management Travel News Vacation Travel

Combining Business Travel with Leisure Travel

Have you ever been on a business trip and wished you could see more than just the inside of a plane, rental car, hotel room, conference room, etc.?  Well, here is your solution, at least if your business travel takes you to the beautiful state of Utah.
Did you know that Utah has 7 national parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Zion, Great Basin and Natural Bridges), with many more national parks nearby including Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde?  We also have 7+ national monuments and plenty of national forests.
Utah has enough to keep everyone happy and busy including everything from snow skiing to water skiing, caving to climbing, cycling to hiking, sailing to flying and ballooning to rafting.  You already know that we have the greatest snow on earth and you can be snow skiing in the morning and hiking Zion National Park in the evening all during the same season.
When you come to Utah, don’t miss out on the natural beauty that is easily within a day’s drive of where ever you may be doing business.  You also won’t want to miss out on some of our great restaurants, Café Diablo near Capitol Reef, the Bit and Spur near Zion National Park, and the scrumptuous local restaurants in the Salt Lake area such as Faustina, The Oasis, The Tin Angel, The Rio Grande and many more.
For more information, please visit the websites of the Utah Travel & Tourism or the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Center
For travel arrangements for business or pleasure the travel agents with Christopherson Business Travel and Andavo Travel will be happy to assist you with the highest level of service.  Please contact us at 801.327.7700, 866.327.7650.   Prepare yourself for an adventure that you’ll never forget and start enjoying your business trips!

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Travel Management Travel News

Travel Insurance: to buy or not to buy?

In a year rife with labor disputes and extreme weather – in addition to all the other things that can go wrong with travel, the question increasingly being asked by travelers is: “Should I purchase trip insurance?”.
Well, you’re in luck because here is a quick 5 point guide that should help you answer that question!
5. What-if’s. Evaluate your “what-if” scenarios.  What if I get sick in another country -will my health insurance cover me.  What if I have to cancel a trip because I’m taken ill or am in an accident? Check your personal insurance policy to see what’s covered when traveling and determine what non-refundable expenses you can afford to lose before traveling.
4.  Pre-existing medical conditions. Examine your policies to see if pre-existing conditions are covered.  Unknown fact: most insurance companies will not cover trip cancellations due to a family member’s illness because that is classified as a pre-existing condition.
3.  Unforseen events. Trip insurance usually only covers disruptions that are unforseen.  For example most providers will not offer coverage for disrupted trips to Europe after April 30 caused by Iceland’s volcano since it is no longer an unforseen event.  On the other hand, they will provide coverage if the policyholder’s hotel is uninhabitable.  As for airline strikes, it is best to determine whether the policy you are purchasing covers the airline you are flying as some insurance companies have a “black-list” of airlines they will NOT cover due to workers who are likely to strike or the carrier is in financial turmoil.
2.  Duplicate coverage. Avoid purchasing policies that cover things like lost or delayed baggage that are typically covered by homeowners insurance.
1.  Above ALL else – DO YOUR RESEARCH. Read the fine print.  Most trip insurance policies don’t cover things like fine jewelry or expensive equipment as part of your checked luggage. You will waste your money if you don’t read the fine print!
For additional information on trip insurance or all things travel related, don’t hesitate to contact your Christopherson Travel Advisor.

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

It’s back – CLEAR – the Verified Identity Pass!!

I am so excited about the recent news involving CLEAR’s come-back now that the economy is beginning to recover and the long process of Alcear’s purchasing of VIP’s CLEAR assets from bankruptcy is completed.
I loved this service!! Hopefully within a year to 18 months the airports that provided the original Clear service will follow Denver’s lead. It is a much needed service for those of us who travel for business but can’t quite chalk up enough miles for the airline programs yet are on the road enough to make CLEAR’s subscription fee worth every penny!
So… all travelers who were members of Clear, those jealous every time you watched your fellow road warriors in the “Clear Lane” move quickly through the security lanes, and those who want to know more about this value-added program; go to their website and let them know which airports are important to you in providing this time-saving service.

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Travel Management Travel Technology

What good are a million frequent flier miles if they expire before you can use them?

All of the major airlines except Continental have slapped expiration dates on their frequent flier miles, generally one to two years. Activity on the accounts — like flights or credit card awards — will prevent expiration. But even frequent travelers can be surprised when miles expire on an airline they don’t often fly.
Some airlines, including Delta, show mileage expiration when you log into your frequent flier account on its Web site. Some don’t. So staying on top of all the relevant dates can be challenging.
The advantage of using software or a third-party Web site is that you can monitor multiple rewards accounts at one time. A few will send you an alert if your miles are close to expiring. And most let you track hotel and rental car rewards programs, too, all in one place.
The biggest and oldest of the sites is MileageManager. It has about 120,000 members, according to Randy Petersen, who runs parent company Frequent Flyer Services as well as InsideFlyer magazine.
Petersen said one advantage of having multiple accounts in one place is that after your trip, it’s easier to make sure you got credit for all of your spending. If you took a trip to Dallas, he said, “you will see your flight, your hotel — ‘hey, where’s my car rental?’ ”
Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find on some of the more popular mile-tracking sites. All three will also track car rental and hotel programs. However, not every site tracks every provider’s program, so check to make sure the programs you use the most are available on the site:
MileBlaster
Costs $6.99 per year. Available on the Web, as a widget for Windows or Mac computers, or as an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch and Nokia phones. You’ll have to pay twice if you want to use it on your phone as well as at mileblaster.com. The service includes e-mail alerts that your miles will soon expire, and some versions allow tracking of accounts for multiple users. A status bar shows your progress toward your next award ticket on each airline.
MileageManager
Costs $14.95 per year. Available at mileagemanager.com as well as travel organization Web site Tripit.com. (Expiration alerts at Tripit are part of the “pro” version, which costs $69 per year.) You can specify how far in advance you want to be notified about expiring miles. MileageManager requires separate accounts for each family member, so the bill could run up for someone who wants to manage several accounts. (The company says it’s looking at the possibility of multi-user accounts in the future.) The service will also monitor a flight you’re interested in and notify you if an award seat becomes available.
Traxo
Free. This one is the newest of the bunch. Traxo aims to let travelers see both the balances in their loyalty programs, as well as information on upcoming trips. It also says it will notify you that you didn’t get credit on a recent trip, as well as notify you that there is a mileage promotion for a trip you just booked.
Source: www.msnbc.com

Categories
Travel News

J.D. Power and Associates 2010 North America Airline Satisfaction Study

J.D. Power and Associates released its 2010 annual airline rankings, and the list is dominated by some familiar faces. For the third straight year, Alaska Airlines took top honors in the traditional network category, while JetBlue won the low-cost carrier category for the fifth straight year.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/06/08/airline.satisfaction.study/index.html

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Travel Management

Your airline ticket… five things to remember

  1. You aren’t guaranteed travel  – You should always prepare for the worst, and make sure you know how to contact the airline and any other providers, such as a hotel or cruise line, where reservations could be disrupted by flight troubles.
  2. You aren’t guaranteed a seat – That irritating industry practice of selling more tickets than there are available because passengers with confirmed reservations on a flight sometimes fail to check in continues on.  Can you imagine showing up to a baseball game with tickets in hand, only to be told the game was overbooked?
  3. You can be kicked off a plane – Barefoot passengers, drunk and/or abusive passengers, foul-smelling passengers, or passengers who refuse to buckle their seat belt can all be removed from the plane…Yae!
  4. You can get a refund, sort of -There are two kinds of refunds, voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary refunds apply only to refundable tickets.  However, even nonrefundable tickets can be refunded under certain circumstances. If an airline cancels your flight you’re eligible for a refund or some other form of compensation. Forced situations like cancellations due to mechanical issues, and schedule irregularities that result in canceled flights are all cases where airlines are required to provide a refund or credit toward travel at a later date.
  5. Your ticket is not transferable – You can’t resell your airline ticket. Why? The industry says it’s for security reasons: Who’s to say you’re not buying the ticket for someone on the no-fly list? It could also be argued that the rule is all about forcing you to buy new tickets when you simply want to give a ticket you’ve bought to someone else.
Categories
Travel News

New Rules From The U.S. Department of Transportation Proposed

The Department of Transportation has announced a number of proposed changes to the rules that the airlines must follow when dealing with consumers. If these rules are enacted, they will go into effect late this year. Here are the specific changes being proposed.
Specifically, the new proposed rule would:
• increase compensation for passengers involuntarily bumped from flights
• allow passengers to make and cancel reservations within 24 hours without penalty
• require full and prominently displayed disclosure of baggage fees as well as refunds and expense reimbursement when bags are not delivered on time
• require fair price advertising
• prohibit price increases after a ticket is purchased
• mandate timely notice of flight status changes
The ones that I think will make consumers happiest are the increased compensation for bumping, which will increase to as high as $1300.00.
The ability to cancel at no penalty within 24 hours of purchasing the fare, although, if you purchase through Christopherson Business Travel, you can actually do so up until the end of the next business day, which means if you purchase the ticket on Friday, we can void it on Monday, rather than just 24 hours later.
Requiring the airlines to more accurately disclose what the actual fare is, as opposed to the current practice of showing half of a one way fare and hiding all the details, such as “Must be purchased as a round trip” or “additional taxes and fees will apply”, in the fine print.
It does seem that the DoT has taken a big step toward becoming more consumer friendly.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News

Christopherson Andavo Travel Consolidates Ownership and Branding

Two years ago Christopherson Business Travel and Andavo Travel began a merger process, which formed the nation’s 14th largest travel management company.
We are pleased to announce that this process has now resulted in a fully merged company with consolidated ownership and branding. Effective June 1st, we will be operating our entire corporate travel management division under the name, Christopherson Business Travel.
As we emerge a single company, we want to ensure our Andavo Travel clients that the same travel advisors, account managers, and operations staff which they have come to know and trust will continue to service their travel needs. However, they will now enjoy the benefit of vast resources and tools of our combined operation and our integrated proprietary technologies.
We will continue to operate our leisure travel division and our independent contractor division under the Andavo name.
Brenda Rivers built the Andavo Travel business over the past eighteen years and we are proud of the legacy, people and value proposition she has established. We have been partners for the past two years and I have now purchased her interest in the corporate and leisure travel divisions of the company. Brenda will retain ownership of the Andavo Meetings and Incentives (AMI) division.