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Travel Management Travel News Vacation Travel

Ultimate Golf Holiday – Pebble Beach / San Fran / Napa

Pebble Beach/San Francisco/Napa Valley 7-Nights!
Your Golf Holiday includes:
2 nights at the Inn at Spanish Bay – double occupancy;
1 round including cart at Pebble Beach Golf Links;
1 round including cart at Spyglass Hill;
3 nights at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco – double occupancy;
1 round including cart at The Presidio;
1 round including cart at Harding Park;
2 nights at the Marriott Napa Valley Hotel & Spa – double occupancy;
1 round including cart at Eagle Vines.

Only $2,599 per person for the 7-night package based on double occupancy!

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Travel News

Christopherson wins 2010 Alfred P. Sloan Award

We are pleased to announce that for the second year in row, Christopherson Business Travel has been awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. This award is determined by submitting a corporate overview proposal and most importantly the survey responses of our employees.
The Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility are part of the national When Work Works project, an ongoing initiative of Families and Work Institute, and the Institute for a Competitive Workforce.
“As a recipient of the 2010 Sloan Award, Christopherson ranks in the top 20% of employers nationally in terms of its programs, policies and culture for creating an effective and flexible workplace,” states Ellen Galinsky, president of Families and Work Institute. “In addition, what makes this honor so special is that employees have corroborated this, affirming that it is indeed an effective and flexible workplace.”

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Travel News Travel Technology

Mobile Phones as Room Keys

It’s been the buzz since at least May of this year, but the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) has a pilot program in process allowing guests to use their mobile phones as their room keys. If this pilot program is a success, IHG will offer this as an option to those who are interested, but the standard magnetic key will remain available to their guests. In fact, you will not only have the option of one or the other, but if you would like to use your mobile phone and still have the convenience of a magnetic key when you don’t want to carry your phone, this will be an option as well.
IHG realizes that some guests will have concerns regarding the security of the MobileKey program and these issues are addressed by Open Ways (a global solutions provider of mobile-based access-management and security solutions), the technology provider.
IHG’s innovation center provides a short video describing the process along with addressing the myths and truths of this new innovative technology.

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Travel Management Travel Technology

Free Wi-Fi in Airports

Ever had a flight delay which required hanging out in an airport terminal for hours on end?  Yep, me too.  For those of us that haul laptops around, it is times like those that having free wireless internet at the airport is so appreciated.  Catch up on some work emails…  watch a few shows on Hulu…  the time goes by so much faster!  And we might even be productive.
Want an easy way to tell which airports offer FREE wi fi in advance?  Check out TravelPost. It has done all the work for us!  You’re welcome.

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Travel Management

United Nations Global Disaster Alert and Coordination Systems

I recently became aware of this valuable and informative web site, and thought our client readers might want to share the link below with individuals within their companies who are responsible for the security of their corporate travelers.
The United Nations Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) is a site which monitors and provides alerts about natural disasters from around the world, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, cyclones, typhoons, hurricanes and floods.

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Travel News Vacation Travel

Two Andavo Travel Advisors Make the Travel + Leisure A-List

Travel + Leisure magazine evaluates thousands of travel agents each year to create their highly-selective, annual A-List.  The list organizes agents by region of expertise and profiles each agent with details such as years of experience, specialties, consulting fees and contact information.  T+L’s 2010 list of World’s Top Travel Agents will be featured in the October 2010 magazine. Andavo Travel, a Christopherson company, is thrilled to have two of our very own advisors on the list!
Kay Merrill of Are We There Yet? Family Adventures, an affiliate of Andavo Travel, is located in our Marin office.  She made the list for specializing in family travel.
Darlene Ravin is affiliated with our Andavo office in Denver.  She made the list for specializing in Southeast Asia.   The Denver Business Journal picked up on her success, and included Darlene in an article touting the four Colorado travel agents that made the list.
Congratulations to both of them!  Thanks for helping Andavo Travel look good.

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Travel Management Travel News

New Mexican Regulation on Use of USD Cash Within Mexico

The Mexican Government recently passed a law that went into effect across the country on September 14, 2010. The objective of this legislation is to limit and control the movement of USD CASH within Mexico. Travelers need to be advised that USD CASH will no longer be widely accepted everywhere in Mexico.

As of September 14, 2010, here are the more noticeable restrictions to the use of USD CASH to make purchases in Mexico:

  1. Hotels and money exchange booths will only be able to change a maximum of $1,500 USD CASH per person per month into Mexican Pesos. Previously there was no limit.

  2. Businesses (including Amstar DMC in Mexico) will only be able to accept a maximum of $100 USD CASH per transaction – but the number of transactions per customer is not restricted.

  3. Certain businesses may not be able, or may choose not to, accept USD CASH for any purchases at all. (This could include shops, restaurants, etc.)

For example, if a customer wants to purchase a local tour worth $139 USD per person, he will only be able to pay $100 USD in USD CASH and the remainder will need to be paid in another form (i.e. credit card, Mexican Pesos or Travelers’ Checks).
Other payment methods such as credit cards of all types, travelers’ checks, Mexican Pesos, and non-US foreign currencies in cash (i.e. Euros, Canadian Dollars, etc.) are not affected by this new law.
Time will tell how seriously the new law will impact US travelers to Mexico. Many repeat guests to Mexico, who have become accustomed to using USD CASH as though they were in the United States, will notice the difference. Travelers who already use credit cards for most transactions won’t feel the impact of the new regulation as much.

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Travel Management Travel News Vacation Travel

Four Seasons The Biltmore – Santa Barbara Nov 5- 7

Wine Lovers,  Romantic Getaway

or BFF Weekend!

The Biltmore, Santa Barbara

November 5 -7, 2010

Take advantage of this fabulous offer for the Four Seasons Santa Barbara.

Located on the beach, 90 minutes north of LAX and minutes from the center of town.

Andavo guests receive these added values:

  • Upgraded room on arrival, subject to availability.
  • Daily continental breakfast for up to two in-room guests.
  • Lunch for 2, once during stay, excluding alcohol and gratuity.
  • Welcome amenity in room on behalf of Andavo Travel.

AND…

  • A $100.00 per day, per room, credit to spend for Spa, restaurants or sundries shop.

This is nearly $230 in savings per day! Only our exclusive preferred partner relationship with Four Seasons allows us to offer you these special values!

Contact:  Collette Peck  801-327-7609 collette.peck@andavotravel.com

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Travel News

The Unbundling Trend

This past week I had the opportunity to attend the EdCon Conference for SGTP (Society of Government Travel Professionals) in Washington DC. The focus was “Trends Affecting the Government Travel Landscape: A Probable Future?” Here is a piece of what I took away:
Trends are predictions about the future based on our knowledge of the past and present. The interaction between the trends is as important as each individual trend. There are many trends with in travel: higher fares; TSA requirements; and more noticeably, the unbundling of services by airlines.
So what does the trend of unbundling airline costs tell us about the future? Unfortunately that they are here to stay! This unbundling trend presents several challenges.
The first is the limited time between the notification and effective date or the lack of notifications by the airline to the consumer/travel management company (TMC). It’s frustrating to get to the airport and unexpectedly need to pay for an additional service. Once the airlines have found all the possible services that they can charge for, I believe the notifications will stop. Hopefully there won’t be any more surprises to the consumer or the agency.
The second is the inability of the TMC to assist the consumer by directly charging for unbundled services. To correct that, ARC (Airline Reporting Corporation) has recently come out with a document that will allow agencies to charge for these services. This will result in corporate travel cards or UATP cards being able to be directly charged.
This document also solves the third challenge: travel reconciliation for the corporate customer. Once the services can be charged directly through the TMC, clients will no longer have the hassle of tracking down traveler receipts for reconciliation. Currently the traveler is presenting a receipt (if they have one) for these additional services. When TMCs can charge for these services, they will be present in reporting as well as on credit card statements. It will also clear up confusion on whether an unbundled service is reimbursable or not. When the client has determined which services are reimbursable, they can be noted in the company travel profile for company-wide implementation.
The process isn’t complete, but once the airlines have “all their ducks in a row,” the TMCs will be able to ensure accuracy and customer satisfaction when reconciling and managing unbundled fees.

Categories
Travel Management

Best and Worst Airports in America

As business travelers, you probably already have a sense of which airports you love and which to avoid at all costs. Well, J.D. Power and Associates has made it official. They took a nationwide survey and asked passengers to rate airports on 27 specific attributes to evaluate six factors: Accessibility, Check-in, Security, Terminal, Food & Retail and Baggage Claim.
 

There were ten airports that received the top scores in all six categories. They are:

1. Detroit Metropolitan (DTW) 6. Kansas City International (MCI)
2. Denver International (DEN) 7. Portland [OR] International (PDX)
3. Minneapolis/St. Paul International (MSP) 8. Tampa International (TPA)
4. Orlando International (MCO) 9. Indianapolis International (IND)
5. Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) 10. Southwest Florida International (RSW)

 
Do you agree? Any guesses on the worst?
 

The ten airports that received the worst scores in all six categories are:

1. Newark International (EWR) 6. Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)
2. Los Angeles International (LAX) 7. LaGuardia International (LGA)
3. Miami International (MIA) 8. Boston Logan (BOS)
4. Philadelphia (PHL) 9. Washington Dulles International (IAD)
5. John F. Kennedy International (JFK) 10. San Jose International (SJC)

 
Poor New Yorkers…here’s hoping that your business travel takes you to the Detroit Airport instead!
 

Categories
Travel News

Fast 50 Award Video

As mentioned in a previous post, Christopherson Business Travel was recognized by Utah Business Magazine as one of Utah’s 50 fastest growing companies, for the second year in a row.
Each of the CEOs had an opportunity to be interviewed, and were asked what the key drivers were behind their company’s success.  The videos were shown at the award luncheon on August 26, 2010.  To view our two minute segment of Mike Cameron speaking to the success of Christopherson Business Travel, please click here.

Categories
Travel News

Leisure Agent Named One of Travel Agent Magazine’s Top 25 Agents for 2010

Andavo Travel, a Christopherson company that specializes in luxury vacation travel, is brimming with talented agents.  What makes a top travel agent? Looking to find answers to this query, Travel Agent Magazine invited their readers to tell them why they were at the top of their field. They narrowed it down to the Top 25 Agents for 2010.
Andavo’s own Jeffery DalPoggetto made it onto this exclusive list.  Jeff is in Andavo Travel’s Marin County, California office. We congratulate him for winning this top award!
To reach Jeff or another one of our exceptional leisure travel advisors in the Marin office, please call (415) 945-6200.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News Vacation Travel

The Value of Adventures by Disney®

Contact your Virtuoso® travel advisor to book your family adventure and you’ll receive two Disney-themed watches plus one Adventures by Disney® specialty document holder!

Viva Italia 9 Days/8 Nights • Available April 2011 – December 2011

Itinerary:
Rome • Tuscany • Venice
Trip Highlights:

  • Tour of Roman Colosseum and Forum
  • Walking tour of Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona
  • Tour of Vatican and Sistine Chapel
  • Pasta making class
  • Florence: Michelangelo’s David
  • Gondola tour in Venice
  • Mask Making experience in Venice
  • Carnivale Farewell dinner with Renaissance Entertainment

Adult fares from $4,169 – $4,849
Child fares from $3,749 – $4,379

The Value of Adventures by Disney®

It’s all included. Travel with Adventures by Disney® and get more than you’d ever imagine. More than you’d expect. And more reasons why the only way to see the world, is to see it with Disney.
VIP Experiences:

  • Private events and privately guided tours
  • Backstage access
  • Entertainment and special performances
  • Bypass the lines at popular museums and attractions
  • Fun surprises and gifts throughout your vacation

Immersive Events and Activities:

  • Disney-trained Adventure Guides
  • Activities with local experts
  • Special thrills for Junior Adventurers
  • Interaction with historical characters
  • Immersive activities for everyone
Categories
Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

Christopherson Business Travel Launches TripIt Mobile Application

Christopherson Business Travel is pleased to announce the launch of their partnership with TripIt to provide TripIt’s award-winning trip management services and mobile application to all Christopherson travelers. TripIt was recently presented with the NBTA Innovation Award for Outstanding App and Christopherson is excited to make TripIt available to their travelers.
TripIt will help Christopherson’s travelers stay…

  • In control, with web and mobile trip management
  • In the know, with travel alerts and itinerary sharing
  • In the loop, with collaboration tools for productivity and visibility

Travelers will continue to book travel as usual. After authorization with TripIt, Christopherson will automatically input travel plans directly into a traveler’s TripIt account and will synchronize any changes.
Technology for travelers – particularly in the mobile arena – is proliferating at lightning speed and Christopherson is ensuring they are able to keep up. TripIt’s open architecture and public application programming interface allow Christopherson, through a single integration point, to provide access to dozens of other TripIt integrated applications that their clients and travelers want to utilize to enhance the travel experience.
Christopherson will also provide its clients with preferred access to TripIt Pro, TripIt’s premium service for frequent travelers. TripIt Pro offers itinerary monitoring with mobile alerts, alternate flight options, frequent-traveler point tracking and other tools aimed at improving the travel experience.
Press Release

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Company News and Announcements

Trip Out: TMC Christopherson Examines New Data Stream

THE BEAT | SEP 8, 2010The Beat

Trip Out: TMC Christopherson Examines New Data Stream

Categories
Travel News

TSA …. Get ready… Get set… Go!

Starting in May of 2009, here at CBT, we began gathering the new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) with each reservation and new traveler profile. Through this process, over ninety percent of our traveler profiles are TSA Secure Flight compliant.The TSA has now given a definite “effective date” for us to pass along!
Starting September 15, 2010, when you are booking travel for November 1, 2010 and beyond, if SFPD is not included in the reservation, your ticket will be inhibited. The quoted or held fare will not be guaranteed until this information is entered into Christopherson’s system. The TSA is mandating that SFPD must be present in all reservations within 72 hours of scheduled departure.

When booking a flight, passengers will be required to provide the following:

  • Full name (as it appears on passenger’s identification document)
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Redress Number (if available, see below)

 
“One of the biggest challenges facing our clients is when they are booking travel for prospective employee interviews,”says Sheila Thorp, CBT Technology Manager. “Even though HR departments cannot ask for the age of a recruit, as the travel booking agency, we are required by law to have it on file in our system. If our clients are having issues collecting the required information, I urge them to contact their Christopherson account manager to set up a process.” She also reiterates, “If you have not updated your CBT profile with all the required information, please login to AirPortal or contact  an account manager at allam@cbtravel.com.”

Redress – for passengers who feel they have been misidentified

Those who believe they have been mistakenly matched to a name on the watch list are invited to apply for redress through the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP).  Secure Flight uses the results of the redress process in its watch list matching process, thus preventing future misidentifications for passengers who may have a name that’s similar to an individual on the watch list.  For more information on the redress process, visit www.dhs.gov/trip.
If you would like to know more about these changes, we invite you to visit TSA’s Secure Flight Web site at www.tsa.gov/SecureFlight where you can find a detailed program overview, travel tips, frequently asked questions and more.
 

Categories
Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

Christopherson Receives Fast 50 Award

Last week Christopherson Business Travel was recognized, by Utah Business Magazine, as one of Utah’s 50 fastest growing companies, for the second year in a row. The recipients are recognized “for their innovative business tactics and their skyrocketing revenue growth.” We were all congratulated for demonstrating notable entrepreneurial spirit, innovative business tactics, and the ability to drive revenue growth in the midst of a multi-year economic downturn.
Each of the CEOs had an opportunity to be interviewed and we were asked what the key drivers were behind our success. In our case, I noted three factors

  1. Focusing intently on a specific niche; business travel management
  2. Attracting the best people and keeping them happy
  3. Creating a unique competitive value proposition

Creating and maintaining a unique competitive advantage, which isn’t claimed by the competition and is not a cliché is how we built our strategy. We broke our value proposition into three separate “legs of the stool”; the value provided by:

  1. Our travel agents
  2. Our account managers
  3. Our proprietary technology

We relentlessly look at each “leg of the stool” and create unique services and value which aren’t offered by the competition. This strategic approach helped transform Christopherson into the fastest growing and largest travel agency in Utah and in the west!