Categories
Travel News

2010 Alfred P. Sloan Award Luncheon

As previously announced, Christopherson Business Travel has been awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility – for the second year in a row!  On October 20, 2010, a group of nine of us from CBT attended the award luncheon at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City.  I thought I would share a few photo highlights for your viewing pleasure.

2010 Alfred P. Sloan Award Luncheon
Welcome Sign at the Sloan Award Luncheon

2010 Alfred P. Sloan Award Luncheon
John Thomson and Greg Ross of Christopherson Business Travel

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Little America dessert

This dessert tasted every bit as good as it looked.
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Utah Governor Gary Herbert

The governor of Utah attended the lunch as the keynote speaker, and presented the awards.
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The Little America Hotel Ballroom

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Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Mike Cameron, President of CBT

“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.”

Categories
Vacation Travel

Kentucky Derby Packages: May 5 -8, 2011

Time to book that once in a lifetime trip!

This is your year to go to the Kentucky Derby with all its mint juleps, designer hats and Southern charm traditions.

Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY: May 5 – 8, 2011

2011 Kentucky Derby Standard Travel Packages Include:

  • Reserved Seating to the 137th Kentucky Derby (Saturday)
  • 4 days/3 nights First Class Accommodations in Louisville
  • TARC Transportation Passes for Roundtrip Event Transfers
  • Reserved Chair Seating for the Pegasus Parade
  • Commemorative Gift Package
  • Custom Ticket Holder and Lanyard
  • All Taxes and Service Charges
  • Expert Travel & Concierge Services of an At-Your-Service Desk™

We can even get you 1st floor to Millionaires Row seating! Call for details.

Andavo Travel 866-327-7600

Let us help plan your next big sporting event trip!
Super Bowl, NBA finals, 2012 Olympics!

Categories
Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

Airlines Comply with TSA Requirements

The November 1st deadline is fast approaching for full compliance for the airlines to have Secure Flight Data on every airline reservation. What does this mean to the average traveler?   The TSA requires that every reservation have your full legal name, gender and birth date on each reservation.   This applies to all reservations for travel after November 1st, regardless of when original booking was made. The TSA rolled out the program more than a year ago and now compliance is mandatory. If the data is missing or incomplete on a reservation, this could lead to delays at check in, and possibly a missed or cancelled flight. 

What can a traveler do to insure compliance?  Be sure to check with your travel agent or view any upcoming trips online at the carrier website and see that the TSA security link shows the data is on each individual reservation. Take a moment and add the TSA data to your frequent flyer membership profiles with each airline and double check your Christopherson/Andavo travel profile to be sure information is listed and accurate. If you fly internationally, be sure your passport number and expiration date are also listed. Another helpful tip would be to always go online and check in prior to your trip. Your Christopherson/Andavo itinerary has easy links for check in. Most carriers allow this within 24hours of flight time.  This can help alert you to any flight time updates and serves as a reconfirmation of your trip.

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

Is a Traveler on Your Holiday Gift List?

Do you have a traveler on your list to buy for this Holiday Season?  If so, you may want to consider purchasing something that will make their traveling experience more pleasant, as more and more restrictions are making traveling a lot less glamorous than it used to be.   Travel gifts can be found to fit every budget, from 3 ounce plastic containers to a new light weight luggage sets.  If you’re buying for the traveler that seems to have everything, you should consider a lounge access card for their favorite airline.  Listed below are a few more of my favorite ideas:

  • Light weight luggage set (including wheels & carry on size pieces)
  • Priority Pass giving access to airline lounges in 600 airport business lounges spread across 100 countries and 300 cities
  • A subscription to TripIt Pro (www.tripit.com – help your traveler stay organized and on time)
  • Help your loved one stay fit while traveling and consider a resistance band kit that is light weight and easy to pack.
  • A Genie Umbrella, that folded, is less than an inch thick and 6 1/2 inches long
  • Noise reduction headphones for when they are sitting next to high energy children

A few of my favorite websites for good ideas are Magellans.com and Brookstone.com.
Happy shopping!

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Calling All Travelers: Important Travel Safety Info

During a recent Utah Business Travel Association monthly meeting, we heard from an interesting, attention-getting guest speaker: Kevin Coffey. Kevin has been a detective for 20 plus years and is an expert on travel safety via air, rail, and car, including hotel stays and international travel. I quickly realized what a great resource Kevin and his websites could be for Christopherson’s clients, especially business travelers.
I am pretty savvy when it comes to traveling, but I learned some new and important information. During the lunch meeting, Kevin even set-up a fake scenario with a tray of dishes crashing to the floor to show our group first-hand how purses and laptops can be taken without the owner even noticing. It all happened in a matter of seconds during all the chaos of people trying to help.
To learn more about travel safety for your upcoming trip, or if you are updating your company’s travel policy, check-out Kevin Coffey’s websites. It could save your life.

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Forts and Palaces of India Tour

Suggested Itinerary-at-a-glance

  • Day 1: Arrive Delhi  / Leela Palace Kempinski New Delhi
    Day 2: Delhi  / Leela Palace Kempinski New Delhi (B)
    Day 3: Agra / Oberoi Amarvillas (B,D) -Taj Mahal
  • Day 4: Jaipur / Rambagh Palace (B,D)  –  Amber Fort
  • Day 5: Jaipur / Rambagh Palace (B,D)
  • Day 6: Bikaner / Gajner Palace (B,D) – Wildlife Sanctuary
    Day 7: Bikaner / Gajner Palace (B,D)
  • Day 8: Jaisalmer / The Serai Desert Camp (B) – tented luxury camps
  • Day 9: Jaisalmer / The Serai Desert Camp (B)
  • Day 10: Manvar / Manvar Desert Camp (B,D)
    Day 11: Jodhpur / Umaid Bhawan Palace (B,D) – Menranharh Fort
    Day 12: Jodhpur / Umaid Bhawan Palace (B,D)
  • Day 13: Udaipur / Leela Palace Kempinski Udaipur (B,D) – Lakeside Retreat
    Day 14: Udaipur / Leela Palace Kempinski Udaipur (B,D)
  • Day 15: Depart Udaipur (B)

Activities and Adventures Included in Forts and Palaces:

  • Full-day guided tour of Old and New Delhi
  • Tours of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
  • Full-day tour of Jaipur including the Amber Fort
  • Guided tour of Jaisalmer’s Golden Fort
  • Camel trekking, dune hikes and desert activities
  • Tour of Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur
  • Guided tour of the City Palace in Udaipur
  • Boat ride on Lake Pichola

Please call Andavo Travel for current pricing (866-327-7600.)

Domestic and international airfares are additional.
Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Introducing TripIt Pro Enterprise pricing model

TripIt Pro is amazing. We hear great feedback from our travelers that have been using our direct AirPortal integration with TripIt.
A few weeks ago I was on a flight scheduled from Ft. Lauderdale to Salt Lake City (via JFK). Our aircraft had mechanical troubles. Before the pilot came on to notify the passengers, TripIt notified me of the delay. Alternate Flights (a feature of TripIt Pro) showed me other available options. I called my agent who talked to Delta and got me on the last seat (first class, woop!) to Salt Lake City via Atlanta. I told the flight attendent I was confirmed on another flight and left the plane. Several of the travelers around me heard my conversation and asked how I was able to change so quickly. They thought I had traveling super powers. I told them it was just TripIt and my full service agent.
On top of that, my would be flight from JFK – SLC was also delayed 2 hours. Without TripIt I would have landed in SLC around 1 am. Instead, I made it home 4 hours earlier. For me, TripIt Pro is absolutely worth the $39/year (Christopherson discounted price).
We want all of our travelers to have the benefits of TripIt Pro, but for those of our travelers that only travel once or twice a year, $39/year can seem a little bit expensive. That’s why we’re introducing a new TripIt Pro Enterprise pricing model.
Travel managers, here’s how it works. Instead of $39/year per traveler, every traveler in your company can have all the great benefits of TripIt Pro for only $1/trip.
The math is pretty easy. If your average traveler goes on less than 39 trips per year (which should be most of our clients), it is less expensive to go with the Enterprise Pricing model. As a travel manager you end up looking like a hero to your company (saving money) and your travelers by making their traveling experience easier.
Sounds great, right? How do I sign up, you ask? Just contact your Christopherson Business Travel account manager and they can set you up!

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Virgin Galactic Space Travel One Step Closer to Reality

History was made on October 10, 2010 when Virgin Galactic’s space ship VSS Enterprise completed her first manned solo glide and landing at Mojave Air and Spaceport in California.
Click here to watch footage of the historic flight.
Virgin Galactic is now well on the way to becoming the world’s first commercial space line – and Christopherson Business Travel / Andavo Travel are playing an exclusive role in bringing the wonders of space travel to clients through our partnership with Virtuoso. Virtuoso is the exclusive retail travel group in North and South America currently taking reservations for Virgin Galactic.  Deposits start from $20,000. 
Probably not a part of your 2011 travel management program, but it’s fun to consider the possibilities…

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Small Inns of Spain

Are you the type of European traveler that likes to stay away from the ‘big hotels’?  Small inns and paradores of Spain are perfect for the traveler who wants a more local experience.  Spanish paradores are hotels for luxury accommodation in castles, palaces, fortresses, convents, monasteries and other historic buildings.  Many are on small winding streets with only pedestrian traffic, and can have as many as thirty or as little as a dozen rooms. Often these inns take on the distinct style and ambience of the local area, with local tiles and hand-carved windows and doors.
Sounds incredible, right?  Let me help you with your travel plans to Spain! I have traveled there and am Spanish Tourist Board Certified.  All rooms that I book are ensuite and many include breakfast.  The tapas bars, cathedrals and main sightseeing are all minutes away from the front entrances.  The average double room rate for these fine establishments is often about 100 Euros per night, but because of the inns’ small size the rooms need to be booked well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Spain is still one of Europe’s hottest destinations. The sights are well preserved. The food and wines are some of the best in the world. And the traditions still remain that give it that old world feel.  I would love to help you explore Spain, with all its small inns and paradores.
Collette Peck  collette.peck@andavotravel.com  801-327-7609

Categories
Travel Management Travel News Vacation Travel

Airline Passenger Rights

I found this USA Today Travel article to be interesting.  Passenger rights while flying is such a hot topic, as so many of us have experienced a flight delay or other flight situation (previously unregulated), with no recourse.  This article describes the new regulations that may help passengers strike back!

Categories
Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

Thirteen social media and mobile tips for corporate travel

For all those corporate travel managers out there, I happened upon an interesting and helpful article on Tnooz the other day that you may like.  Written by Miriam Moscovici, director of strategic marketing and technology planning at BCD Travel, it discusses thirteen social media and mobile tips for corporate travel.  A quick intro:
Thanks to the growth of smartphones and the social web, today’s work force has developed new habits and high expectations.
Properly deployed, social web and mobile technology can help keep travelers informed and aware, offer newly personalized corporate travel experiences and feed vital information into the corporation’s program management framework and processes.
Travel managers and business travel suppliers can’t afford to wait to begin adopting these products and services into managed travel because travelers are forging rapidly ahead – with or without consent.
The challenge can be daunting without proper guidance. But by following these 13 tips, you’ll be well on your way to harnessing the forces of social and mobile web to support your managed travel program.
View the 13 tips here.
Here at Christopherson Business Travel, we like to think we’re helping our travel manager clients implement these ideas already, by way of our integrated travel technology and partnership with TripIt.  Contact us today for more information.  866-327-7650.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News

Status: What Can You Do To Get It At This Late Date?

Here we are, rapidly winding down 2010 and taking stock of what remains to be done this year. Each year, achieving status with your primary airline carrier brings increasing value to the traveler, especially at the higher levels. Last year I posted a whole slew of promotional offers that would get qualifying miles to those who registered. I’m sorry to say that this year, most of the airlines aren’t offering any promotions that will help.
EXCEPT American Airlines. They are offering triple miles and double elite qualifying miles for all travel originating out of Raleigh Durham, Nashville, St. Louis or Pittsburgh between now and the end of the year. American Airlines does require you to register prior to travel.
If you want status on Delta, United, Continental, US Airways or Alaska, you will have to fly enough to accrue those miles, as usual. The good news is that, on average, airfares are still fairly low and if you are creative, you can find ways to maximize the miles accrued on a trip. For example, if you are planning to go to Ft. Lauderdale from Salt Lake City, you can fly on the nonstop and get about 1,500 miles in each direction. However, if you are willing to connect in JFK, you can accrue about 3,000 miles in each direction. And if you are already at the silver status, many programs award you a bonus of an additional 25% of the actual miles flown – so instead of getting 3,000 miles, you would receive 3,750 qualifying miles. Yes, this does add time to your trip, so you will have to decide if the extra miles are worth your time and stress.
If you are pursuing status on an airline that counts segments toward status (such as Delta), there is an alternative strategy: do lots of short trips. If you have to fly between Los Angeles and Denver, you may want to connect in Salt Lake City. That gets you four segments per round trip, and you only need 30 to make silver status. Again, it’s a matter of whether the extra segments towards achieving status are worth your additional time and stress.
If you don’t currently have status, but you expect to be traveling frequently next year, you may find it worthwhile to spend a little time and effort to qualify for it. Not only do you get benefits like access to preferred seating and upgrades, but most carriers also waive the fee for the first checked bag and give you priority check in and boarding. In addition, many airlines are more willing to go out of their way to assist a loyal customer vs. the person who only travels once or twice a year.
Hopefully some of these strategies will help you get or keep your airline status!

Categories
Travel News

Southwest Changes Unused Funds Policy Jan 28, 2011

Unused Funds Become Nontransferable in 2011
By Southwest Airlines
By now, you may have heard or read that, beginning January 28, 2011, Southwest Airlines unused travel funds may only be applied toward the purchase of future travel for the individual named on the original ticket. This will apply to all Southwest Airlines unused funds, including those booked through SWABIZ.
Why the new policy? Actually, this policy is not new at all. This has been our official written policy with regard to unused funds all along. However, we have by common practice made exceptions for our customers as a gesture of goodwill. By aligning Southwest’s business with general airline industry practice, we can be prepared for future opportunities such as codesharing with other airlines.
Why now? Remember, the application of this policy does not take effect until next year, but we wanted to provide ample notice so you may communicate and make whatever preparations are necessary in anticipation of this change. Even with this decision to adhere to our Contract of Carriage, our ticketing and fares rules remain among the most Customer-Friendly in the industry–including no change fees!

For additional information contact your Christopherson Travel counselor.
Categories
Company News and Announcements

Southwest pushes to win more business travelers

DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL | OCT 3, 2010

Southwest pushes to win more business travelers

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Matangi, Fiji – Private Island Resort

Matangi Private Island Resort FIJI is a truly unique small island resort in the South Pacific islands.
Set on a 240-acre private Fiji island, the setting offers gorgeous beaches, tropical rain forest and some of the world’s best scuba diving sites.
This small luxury Fiji resort offers just nine individual beachfront and ocean view bungalows, all handcrafted from local materials.
Operated by the Douglas family, 5th generation Fijian’s of Scottish descent, they invite you to share the home of their ancestors in this little piece of paradise.

Stay 7 / pay 5 Island Escape

Airfare valid for sale thru 31Oct and travel thru May 31, 2011.
Lodging valid Oct 1 – Mar 31, 2011 for travel Apr 1 – May 31, 2011 (Please add $119/pp.)

From $3059.00 per person / double occ.  Includes:

  • Round trip air LAX via Air Pacific
  • US/Airport taxes/security charges/fuel surcharges/Fiji departure tax
  • Meet & shell lei greeting on arrival
  • Round trip resort transfers
  • 7 nights Matangi Private Island Resort
  • Ocean View Bure
  • All meals including morning and afternoon tea
  • Matangi coconut welcome drink
  • Chilled scented face towel for check in
  • Fruit basket and sulu on arrival
  • Laundry service
  • Non-motorized resort activities – snorkeling, sea kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, nature hikes on Matangi island.
  • Guided Snorkeling excursion
  • Honeymoon bonus! A bottle of sparkling wine & honeymoon gift pack of Pure Fiji Products
  • Rosie’s VIP airport departure lounge with 15 minute neck and shoulder massage.

Blackout dates Dec 15, 2010  to Jan 15, 2011.
Call us today to book your this fabulous island getaway!
Andavo Travel 866-327-7600

Categories
Travel News

Converging Flight Paths

Infographic from The New York Times – Published: September 27, 2010
By KARL RUSSELL/The New York Times

The deregulation of the airline industry in 1978 led to a wave of mergers that continues to this day. But even as the legacy carriers have been consolidating and growing, they have been losing market share to low-cost carriers. Two of them, SouthWest and AirTran, have just agreed to merge and carried the most passengers in 2009 combined.

Note: Some airlines that merged with others are not shown because their passenger data was not available
Sources: American Transport Association (passenger data 1975-89); Bureau of Transportation Statistics (passenger data 1990-2009)
Categories
Travel News

United – Continental Airlines Merger Closes

On October 1, 2010 the merger of United Airlines and Continental Airlines received legal approval, allowing the two airlines to operate under a Chicago-based holding company called United Continental Holdings, Inc.
The United Continental merger milestone happened at the end of the same week that Southwest Airlines announced its purchase of Airtran Airways. While the airline industry consolidation has been taking place for many years, the recent combination of Delta-Northwest, United-Continental and Southwest-Airtran has put the consolidation process in hyper-mode.
The merged United-Continental will be based in Chicago and will operate under the United name; it will feature Continental’s logo. The airline will be run by Continental’s CEO, Jeffery Smisek. Both carriers will begin to merge operations in 2011 and a single operating certificate from the FAA is expected by 2012.

Categories
Travel News

Mike Cameron Interviewed in Denver Business Journal Story

recent story about Southwest Airlines trying to get more of the business travel pie.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Upgrade me please…

After scanning through various articles this week I came upon one titled How to Score an Upgrade: Air, Car and Hotel on CNN Money.com.  I was so enthralled that I thought I would share parts of it with you along with some extra’s from Christopherson Business Travel.

AIR:

Your odds: One in one hundred.
Pick your plane wisely. Passengers on certain Boeing 757s (with 26 first-class seats to 158 in coach) have a better shot than those on an Airbus 320 (12 first-class, 126 coach). Check out a plane’s layout at seatguru.com.
Scope out the cabin. The more empty seats in first class, the better your chances of landing one. To check out the load factor, go to the airline website just before check-in, start to book a business-class ticket, and click “view seat map”.
Ask at the right time. The best day for upgrades is Saturdays; fewer elite travelers fly then. Go to the agent and say something like: “If you need to bump people from coach to first, please consider me. I’m low maintenance — and my back is killing me.”

HOTEL:

Your odds: One in five.  Occupancy rates for the first half of 2010 were estimated at a dismal 56% (down from 63% in ’07), reports Smith Travel Research.
Ask your Christopherson agent for negotiated specials. Christopherson has negotiated rates in various cities where you might be traveling to. For example, most likely when booking the Christopherson rate at the Hilton in Salt Lake City your chances for an upgrade are good plus you receive a complimentary loaded buffet breakfast, free parking, free internet and double Hilton points.
Stay at business hotels on weekends. You can improve your upgrade chances by staying Thursday to Sunday vs. midweek.
Ask multiple times. Use the special-requests option when booking your hotel.  Once your reservation has been made by a Christopherson specialist, call the hotel directly. Talk to the desk clerk at check-in, “We’re here celebrating special event. Any chance of an upgrade?”
Check in late. Most guests show up around 3 p.m., so arrive after 7, when the front desk knows which rooms are left.

CARS:

Your odds: One in 20. Many car vendors cut fleets in 2008 and 2009, making upgrades less common.
Choose the right car. If a company runs out of the vehicle class you reserved, you will be upgraded. Book a midsize car — it’s the most in demand.
Reserve at the right time. Friday nights and Monday mornings are peak pickup times. That means there’s less chance the car class you specify will be available.
Ask for special offers. Ask your Christopherson agent for any free or discounted weekend days (Avis coupon code TUCAO53 and mention your corporate AWD number. Exp 4/2011. Coupons available at Christopherson Business Travel while they last). Check with your credit card company or coupon travel magazines.
For more information Christopherson’s corporate competitive advantages please contact one of our account managers at allam@cbtravel.com.