Travel News

Same Old Airport Food? OTG To The Rescue!

Are you tired of the same old food and slow service at many airport restaurants? Well, OTG Management appears to be listening and it’s creating mouth watering experiences for many!
What started in the JetBlue Terminal at Kennedy Airport with Food Network is beginning to revolutionize your dining experience while traveling. OTG Management is offering cuisine instead of fast food at many airports. However, if you are in a hurry the answer may lie within the JFK Airport, Gate 15 & Terminal 3. This is where innovation is coming to life! You can ‘dine’ in a hurry or take time to multi-task prior to your flight: fuel your body, charge your cell phone, and work on your laptop all in one place.
Take a look at your enhanced options and the forward thinking of OTG Management when it comes to food and airline & airport partnerships. OTG has been listening to the rumblings of the hungry traveler’s stomach grumbling for more!

Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

Find the best airplane seat before you fly.

Have you ever noticed the vast difference between airplane seats when you go from airline to airline and the different types of planes? Some seats seem wider than others. The armrests can be stationary on one plane, while on another you can lift them up for extra breathing room (if you’re lucky enough to have an empty seat next to you…). Some seats have great legroom and the rest force you to kiss your knees. And don’t you love it when you get the chair that won’t recline? (I hate this! Although I’m sure the flier behind me is grateful.)
There are so many varieties, and all of them can make a difference in your comfort and enjoyment during a flight. If you haven’t ever visited SeatGuru, you must make this a priority in choosing your next airplane seat. This website gives seat advice for 700+ seatmaps from nearly 100 different airlines, many times including flier reviews and photos. If you enter your airline name and flight number, the site will tell give you a color-coded map of the best seats, plus tell you all the in-flight amenities (internet, food, etc.).
Don’t forget to visit SeatGuru as you’re checking into your next flight to ensure you get the best airplane seat possible!

Travel News Vacation Travel

Four Seasons Hotel Denver Grand Opening

The newly built Four Seasons Hotel Denver recently opened with great fanfare and celebration! The newest luxury property in Denver is located right in the heart of the downtown theater district. The property glows as a landmark at 14th and Arapahoe.
Urban chic design subtly reflects the natural beauty of Colorado, and oversized windows thrill the eyes with Rocky Mountain views. Guest can enjoy fine dining at the EDGE Restaurant; relax in the spa sanctuary or take a swim in downtown’s premiere heated rooftop pool for resort-style ease. Four Seasons will pamper you with exquisite accommodations and personalized service.
For both business and leisure travelers looking to make your Denver stay feel effortless and exhilarating, Christopherson, (a Virtuoso Affiliate), is able to offer special rates and a variety of value-added services during your stay. Just another way Christopherson Business Travel and Andavo Travel bring great value to their clients.

Travel Management Travel Technology

Why Use Travel GPA’s Benchmarking Service?

Last week’s UBTA meeting brought to its Salt Lake City members a great solution to benchmark travel spend. Denice Key explained the how’s and why’s of Travel GPA to the numerous corporate travel managers who attended the meeting. Here are some key facts:
Once a company can determine travel management goals through Travel GPA’s service,  that company is shown the achievable savings associated with those goals. Travel GPA makes recommendations on key areas to drive their savings. Travel GPA answers:

  • How is my travel program performing today?
  • How can I get instant analysis on my travel program’s ROI?
  • Is my program trending in a positive or negative direction?
  • How does my company compare against companies of similar size, region, industry and  travel policy?

Because Christopherson feels so strongly about this service and how effectively it enhances a company’s ability to find solutions to improve ROI, Travel GPA will be offered to all Christopherson clients. For more information about Travel GPA, check out a previous blog, “What Is Travel GPA?”  To discuss how we can incorporate this and other tools into your corporate travel program, please email me or give me a call at or 801-327-7617.

Travel Management Travel Technology Vacation Travel

Is your company holding a health or employee fair?

Representatives from Christopherson Business Travel and our Andavo Travel vacation specialists would be happy to attend! Give us a table at your event, and we’ll give your attendees:

  • Information about our business travel management options and integrated technology
  • Travel ideas for their next vacation
  • Our expertise at crafting travel dreams to worldwide destinations
  • Beautiful brochures to take home for further inspiration

Or we can arrange for a travel fair to be held at your office, featuring our travel specialists, plus your preferred hotel and car vendors.
Many of our fantastic clients are already taking us up on this offer, and I attended the Sinclair Health Fair a few weeks ago at their corporate office in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sinclair Health Fair - This Way!

It was fun to see their offices and all the Sinclair memorabilia they had on display.
Sinclair collectibles

Sinclair collectibles

Sinclair Benefits Fair Room Overview

Our Christopherson Business Travel / Andavo Travel table

David Russell of Christopherson Business Travel and Collette Peck, one of our Andavo Travel vacation specialists, did a great job manning the table.
Contact Laney Williams, Marketing Manager, for more information on health/benefits/employee/travel fairs:  email or 801.327.7758.

Travel News Vacation Travel

Big Savings for flexible getaways for honeymoons or family vacations!

Get that family vacation, honeymoon or best friend vacation booked today!

Flexible Getaways make it easy for friends and family to get together for a vacation. This program is ideal for groups of 10 or more people who want to vacation together at the same resort, yet need flexibility with their travel dates, flights, or length of stay, or who may even be traveling from different cities.

Destinations that are available: Participating resorts:
Bahamas AZUL hotels, by Karisma
Dominican Republic Barcelo Hotels & Resorts
Hawaii El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels, by Karisma
Jamaica Iberostar Hotels & Resorts
Las Vegas MGM MIRAGE Resorts
Mexico Palace Resorts
Outrigger and OHANA Hotels & Resorts (select hotels)
Real Resorts
RIU Hotels & Resorts
Sandals & Beaches Resorts

Clients can save up to $200 per booking! In-destination services such as welcome signage and more.

Call us @ Andavo Travel 866-327-7600 and we’ll make your vacation dreams come true!

Vacation Travel

Micato Safaris

I recently returned from a Safari to Kenya, which was coordinated by Virtuoso, Micato Safaris and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. The experience was amazing and included:

  • Multiple game drives through the Maasai Mara National Reserve
  • A hot air balloon ride over the African countryside
  • Meetings with some Maasai Elders and a visit to their village
  • Mountain bike riding at the Mount Kenya Safari Club

We stayed at the three fantastic Fairmont properties in Kenya:

  • Fairmont The Norfolk – in Nairobi
  • Fairmont Mara Safari Club
  • Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club

The trip was capped off with a visit to the Micato AmericaShare project in Mukuru. We got a chance to meet some of the children and see firsthand how Micato is helping this poor African community improve itself through:

  • Education
  • Community Outreach and
  • Economic Development

I made several observations:

  • Micato has built a first class Safari business in East Africa. There is good reason that they have been named “World’s Best Tour Operator and Safari Outfitter” by the readers of Travel+Leisure an unprecedented seven times.
  • The owners, the Pinto family, are actively engaged; we even had dinner at their home
  • Micato is doing the community a great service with their AmericaShare Non-Profit organization
  • Fairmont Hotels has an amazing set of Kenya properties; the quality and service can’t be duplicated
Travel Management Travel News Vacation Travel

Agency Affiliation and Why It Is Important to You

Sometimes agents receive calls from customers who ask for extremely difficult/bordering on impossible requests. Depending on the agency you work with you may be out of luck.
As an example, a client decides at the last minute he wants to go to a popular destination, such as Hawaii during the Christmas to New Years week and wants to get the greatest value. He calls his agent and gives the agent the details including dates and budget. If he is working with a smaller agency, he may find that the hotel he wants is sold out and nothing is available nearby. Or he may find that the price is really high for a very disappointing lodging.
If he calls an agent at Christopherson Business Travel or Andavo Travel, he will be pleasantly surprised by the benefits derived from our affiliation with BCD and Virtuoso, two large travel consortiums. BCD specializes in corporate travel. Virtuoso is an exclusive consortium that specializes in upscale travel, both for leisure and business.
By being affiliated with BCD, Christopherson Business Travel is able to offer its’ clients access to special rates from a variety of airlines, car rental companies, car services, overseas phone services and lodging. In addition to the discounts on lodging, we are able to offer the last room availability at more than 4000 hotels worldwide. That means that even when one of those hotels is showing sold-out to the average agency, we may still be able to get you a room.
With Virtuoso, we are able to offer a variety of services that add value to your trip. As an example, here’s what you would get on a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from a regular agency vs. CB Travel or Andavo Travel:

Booking through a Regular Agency:

Booking through Christopherson Business Travel or Andavo Travel:

  • A Stay at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita
  • A Stay at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita
  • + A room credit ranging from $150 to $400 per night, depending on room type
  • + Daily full breakfast for two, either in room or at any of the restaurants on the property
  • + Lunch for two once during your stay, up to $85, including gratuity
  • + Complimentary upgrade of the room, based on availability at time of check in
  • + Complimentary high speed internet

This means that you get a credit each day of $150 to $400 that can be used at the spa, the golf courses, for meals or for any other services offered at the resort. Plus you save the cost of breakfast everyday, which is a $50.00 value. In effect, you are saving between $200 and $600 a day by booking through our agency. These features are not available to anyone but clients of Virtuoso affiliated agencies.
This is just another way that Christopherson Business Travel and Andavo Travel bring additional value and benefits to our clients.

Company News and Announcements

Up, Up and Away: The Impact of Rising Air Costs


Up, Up and Away: The Impact of Rising Air Costs

Travel Management Travel News

Delta Introduces New Diamond Service at JFK Airport

I was traveling home from Nairobi, Kenya, on Sunday with my wife and we experienced a nice surprise from Delta Air Lines.
As we deplaned from our London-JFK flight, a young man, with a sign which had our name on it, greeted us. He said; “Welcome back to the U.S. Mr. Cameron, My name is Joseph and I’m here to help you get through immigration and onto your next Delta connection.
Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.
Joseph escorted us through U.S. immigration, customs and TSA for our re-check in. He took us to the head of every line and literally whisked us through the process without waiting anywhere. He helped us carry our bags and he checked the status of our connecting flights. He noticed that our Delta computerized bag tags showed “JFK” as our final destination and reprinted tags to say “SLC.” He escorted us into the terminal, showed us where our departing gate was and explained how to get the nearest Sky Club. He was articulate and engaging in conversation all the way through. He is 24 years old, a native of Long Island and had recently completed a college degree in finance.
I asked him what this service was all about. He said it is a new program that Delta has implemented for all Diamond Elite travelers who fly internationally into JFK. I was impressed. Joseph told me they have hired 25 employees for this assignment and plan to hire an additional 15, bringing the Diamond Elite “Meet and Greet” staff to 40 employees.
I had earned the new Delta Diamond Elite frequent flyer designation earlier this year. This means I’ve traveled or earned 125,000 Medallion Qualification Miles this year; which translated, means too many nights away from home, sleeping in hotels. Medallion Benefits
Delta Air Lines has brought elite, “white glove” personal service to a new standard in JFK. I am pleased to be their partner as the president of the premier Travel Management Company in the Western United States.

Vacation Travel

South America Small Group Journey’s

Our new South America
Small Group Journey…

Never more than 16 guests. Guaranteed
For the first time ever…From Easter Island to Iguassu
12-days from $6,599 including Easter Island, Santiago, Chile ’s Wine Country, Puerto Varas, the Lake District, Bariloche, Buenos Aires and Iguassu Falls

  • Add roundtrip air for only $300 from MIA or LAX
  • Extensive Small Group sightseeing with never more than 16 guests… Plus our innovative “Make your own Wine” experience in Chile ’s Colchagua Valley and other unique experiences not available to larger groups
  • 5-star hotels like the Ritz Carlton Santiago and the celebrated Llao Llao Resort in Bariloche

Travel without compromise… This pioneering and innovative itinerary uniquely includes both Easter Island and Iguassu Falls! You’ll experience two of South America’s most rewarding and fascinating destinations with our signature value and uncompromising quality. Enjoy our new 5-star eco-lodge on Easter Island and top hotels like the legendary Llao Llao Resort and the Sheraton Iguassu – the only hotel in Argentina’s National Park! And from wine making in the beautiful Colchagua Valley to a boat adventure at Iguassu, our unique excursions promise richer, more thrilling experiences every day.

Travel News

Airlines Have Best Quarter Since 1978

Airline earnings for third quarter 2010 are the best since deregulation happened in 1978. Delta Air Lines earned $363 million in profit, United Airlines earned $387 million, Continental Airlines earned $354 million, and Jet Blue also had a record quarter.
The airlines were able to accomplish this during weak economic times by raising their prices, cutting their seat capacity and adding ancillary fees for miscellaneous services such as checked baggage.
While the airlines seem to have a history of losing money over time, the current environment has been very good for them. We need to have a strong airline industry for companies to be able to have a reliable air transportation system which they can depend on. Continuous airline bankruptcies and financial instability does no one any good. Corporations, travel managers and travelers should all be happy to see the recent positive airline financial results.