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Travel News

Business travel is not slowing this year, survey says

A recent UBS survey of 121 corporate travel managers has found that business travel spending is on an upward trend, with more than 70% of the respondents reporting increases this year compared with last year. The survey also found that travel managers don’t expect their air travel spending to decrease during the remainder of 2011.
UBS analysts also noted that United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines have secured more business among survey respondents while American Airlines and US Airways have lost some.
How is your business travel looking for the rest of 2011?  All of us here at Christopherson are happy to help make your corporate travel needs more efficient and cost-effective in any way we can.

Categories
Travel News

White House seeking to boost post-recession travel

Travel Industry leaders attending the Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas were told by a White House official that the U.S. government is working on initiatives to:

  1. make travel easy and safe,
  2. attract more international visitors
  3. and spur business.

Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor for President Barack Obama, also reported that the U.S. is working to expand its ability to process tourist visas for international travelers.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News

Travel Buyers Expect Rising Rates Will Drive Corporate Travel Budgets Higher

Buyers See Continued Improvement for the Travel Industry and Overall Economy According to GBTA Report
The business travel industry is faring better and the economic recovery is continuing to progress according to a recent survey of North American travel buyers by the GBTA Foundation. The 2011 Industry Pulse: Business Travel Buyers’ Sentiment also found that expected increases in air and hotel rates are major contributors to growing corporate travel budgets.
Highlights from the Annual Industry Pulse Report include:

  • More than half (60%) of travel buyers surveyed feel the economy is doing better than it was one year ago, and nearly as many (57%) feel it will continue to improve over the coming year.
  • Although buyers said that more trips (59%) and more travelers (37%) will continue to increase travel spend, they most often cited increased airline fees (71%) and higher rates/fares (69%) as contributors to larger travel budgets.
  • International travel is gaining momentum. Buyers projected international spend would comprise 34% of total travel spend in 2011, up from 31% of total spend in 2010 and 28% in 2009.
  • Evidence that higher rates and fees are impacting travel budgets is found in the average rates/fees that travel buyers expect to pay in 2011. With the exception of domestic car rentals, buyers expect average rates/fares to rise between 3% and 5.5% in 2011.

The annual report, 2011 Industry Pulse: Business Travel Buyers’ Sentiment, surveyed 253 North American corporate travel buyers in March 2011.
source: www.gbta.org

Categories
Travel News

Consumer Reports ranks U.S. airlines

Consumer Reports evaluated 10 of the nation’s biggest airlines; evaluating them on: check-in ease, cabin-crew service, cabin cleanliness, baggage handling, seat comfort and in-flight entertainment.
The ratings broke favorably for low-cost carriers, which took the top five spots in the Consumer Reports ratings. Not so good for the five traditional legacy carriers, which took the bottom five spots.

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

How to travel smart with gas prices rising

As I was searching the travel page of MSNBC.com I came accross this article. I found it interesting because of the mobile phone apps it recommends.
Most people have a smart phone and if you are like me you have no idea what apps are helpful and what you may or may not use. This article has a few tips to help you shop for the best gas prices while traveling, find car rental & hotel coupons and more.
 

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

TripIt is for the traveler on the GO!

Several months ago Christopherson Business Travel announced our partnership and integration with TripIt. Who would have thought that this innovative smart phone application would become so popular? For those of you missing out, TripIt is an application designed to simplify online travel planning. Users can generate a master itinerary with maps, directions, and weather for any destination. Activity planning can be accomplished through the comprehensive itinerary. Plans can be easily shared, monitored, and updated through available downloads.
As a Christopherson AirPortal user your can sign up for TripIt from the AirPortal front page. From that point on your trips will be automatically sent to your smart phone via TripIt. TripIt will be especially useful for those who travel often. It generates a master itinerary with all travel information in one place, ready to share with coworkers, family, and others. Your information flow will be streamlined and collated into one easily managed application.
There are two plans: Basic TripIt and TripIt Pro Enterprise program. The basic program is good but the Pro Enterprise program is where it’s at. Basic TripIt is free and right now, Christopherson Business Travel has a great deal going on for TripIt Pro Enterprise.
With TripIt Pro Enterprise you will be notified of gate changes, airline flight delays, baggage carousel changes, alternate flight options and more. For the Christopherson rate of $39 a year, your travelers can enjoy the luxury of a worry free travel experience. If your entire company would like to be part of the TripIt Pro user family then we can sign you up for only $1 per ticket issued.
Contact a Christopherson account manager today for a 30 day free trial. Call 866-327-7700 or email us at allam@cbtravel.com. It won’t take you 30 days to wonder how you ever stayed on top of your travel without TripIt!

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

TripIt Wins Best Travel Mobile App in 15th Annual Webby Awards

Did you know that Christopherson Business Travel features TripIt as our mobile application?  As such, we are excited to see TripIt win a prestigious Webby Award! The Webbys are the leading international award honoring excellence in interactive design, creativity, usability and functionality on the Internet.
Our clients enjoy using TripIt even more than the next guy, since our AirPortal technology sends all of their travel itineraries directly to TripIt – no forwarding necessary.

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Summer is coming!

As we make our way through this wild spring, with snow in the Rockies and storms in the Midwest and East, it may be hard to remember that summer and summer travel is only a few weeks away. Most of the year, road-warriors make up the majority of travelers in the country. However, starting with the Memorial Day Weekend and generally not ending until Labor Day Weekend, there is another group of travelers that make up a significant percentage of those traveling: families on vacation. Every year these two distinct groups seem to collide at the airport. The challenges start with the TSA screenings and continue all the way through the journey.
Here are some suggestions that may help reduce these conflicts:

  1. Everyone should know what can and cannot be carried on and what has to be checked. For specifics, you should call your travel agent. Especially if you are traveling with odd sized or over sized items, such as bicycles, surfboards, golf clubs or pets.
  2. Everyone should know what the TSA will permit through the security screening. For details visit www.tsa.gov and look for the section on the right side of the page entitled “What to Know Before You Go”. It has a number of links to topics that address what you can and cannot take through security. It also has suggestions on how to get through security as fast as possible.
  3. Plan on things taking a little longer. Give yourself an extra 15 to 30 minutes when you are heading for the airport. While we all hate to give up more of our time to waiting at the airport, the extra time will make the process less stressful and may be the difference between making or missing your flight.
  4. Try to dress in a manner that allows you to quickly prepare for the screening process and then quickly move on afterwards. Slip on shoes, no change in your pockets, a watch that is easy to remove and similar actions will speed you through security.
  5. Make sure that you follow the rules concerning liquids and gels. Find out how much you can carry on and how it has to be packaged. The TSA is very strict about contents, containers and amounts.
  6. If you are taking electronics through, be sure that you are familiar with the rules and guidelines on how to pack them. If you are taking a laptop, be sure to remove it from the laptop bag.
  7. Plan on things not going perfectly and always have a backup plan. This means if for some reason you get delayed, you know what options you have to pursue. Or if you booked your trip through Christopherson Business Travel, know the number to call your agent. Your agent will help you find alternatives and can work with the airlines to get you re-accommodated on another flight.
  8. Always remember to pack your sense of humor and your patience. You will need both of them more times than not.

Now those who travel all the time may feel like that this is all old news. But based on my last couple of trips, I would venture that a number of people could stand to brush up on a few of these points. We were all new to traveling at some point, and experienced travelers need to remember that when encountering less experienced travelers. And inexperienced travelers need to take responsibility by planning ahead and learning what is necessary to make life easier on all concerned.
Happy Travels!

Categories
Travel News

Southwest Airlines Has Aquired AirTran

AirTran made this official announcement:

“May 2nd was an exciting day for AirTran Airways as we become part of the Southwest family. For now, it’s business as usual, but the integration of these two great airlines will soon result in an expansion of already low fares and continued outstanding service for our Customers. 
Announcement Highlights:
+ For now, nothing will change. It’s business as usual.
+ Continue to book travel on airtran.com
+ Your A+ Rewards credits and A+ Elite status are safe.”
If you’d like more info about Southwest’s acquistion of AirTran, click here.

Categories
Travel News

Jeff Smisek: United Continental’s King of the Skies

Fortune magazine recently reported on how Jeff Smisek, the new United CEO, will make the United/Continental marriage work: “Take the best from both and bring them together.”
When United and Continental merged last year to create the world’s largest carrier, the official announcements never came out and stated the deal’s true rationale: to blend Continental’s management with United’s scale. That’s one reason former Continental chief Jeff Smisek is CEO of the new company.
In the Fortune interview Smisek talks about the importance of business travelers to United, the importance of their capacity discipline, dealing with the high price of oil, code sharing and dealing with United’s history of nasty labor relations. He maps out his vision for the future.
Click here to read the full article.