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Travel News Vacation Travel

Pinkberry Makes Business Travel Better

At least according to me.  I know, I know, some people think frozen yogurt is SO two years ago and have moved on to gourmet doughnuts or macaroons as the next dessert trend du jour, but I’m still obsessed with Pinkberry.  That tart yogurt combined with the goodness of fresh fruit toppings – the only way to go in my book…
Anyway, since I think its tragic that we don’t have a Pinkberry where I’m based in Salt Lake City, I look at my business travel as an opportunity to get a fix.  That’s why I was so excited when I saw this Jaunted article letting me know exactly which airports have Pinkberry hot spots.  Its like they read my mind!  I just had to share; please read below.  And next time you’re on a business trip in one of these airports, take my strong suggestion and get thee to a Pinkberry for some fro-yo. 

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Vacation Travel

Does a travel agent fly for you?

Contrary to popular belief, a travel agent won’t always cost more. In fact, it is possible you will pay less than booking a vacation yourself because agents might be aware of promotional offers and occasionally have access to exclusive deals. Some agents will charge a fee for their time in planning a trip. In general, however, using a travel agent will often cost about the same as booking it yourself, experts say. Read the complete article from Gregory Karp, Chicago Tribune for all the pros and cons…

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Travel News

Maybe the electronic cigarette doesn’t take the edge off…

I kind of laughed at this article I found in our local newspaper about a man jailed after allegedly throwing peanuts and pretzels at a Southwest Airlines flight attendant who asked him to put away his electronic cigarette during a flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. But then I realized how ridiculous travelers’ behavior has become for flight attendants and airline staff to deal with. If this is just one of the silly things we hear about, can you imagine what the airline attendants go through?
Keep the old saying in mind, and “treat others as you would like to be treated.” This also includes while flying. Even though we pay more for airfare and feel we get less in return, bottom line is, we are all human.
Happy travels!

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Travel Management Travel News

GBTA Convention 2011

We’re taking the business of travel to new heights in the mile high city of Denver for the 2011 GBTA Convention. Christopherson Business Travel has been a long time participant of the GBTA Convention and is excited to be both attending and exhibiting at this year’s conference. The Business Travel Event of the Year® is the one conference thousands of business travel buyers count on each year to find cost-effective solutions to industry challenges.
Christopherson will be sending a team of 10 employees to the conference this year and we look forward to working our booth at the three day trade show. If you happen to be one of the over 5,000 attendees, please come by our booth (#1706) and enter to win an iPad 2!
Keynote speakers for the event are Henry M. Paulson Jr., Former U.S. Secretary of Treasury; Meg Whitman, Former eBay President and CEO; and Sean Penn, Oscar-Winning Film Icon/Humanitarian.
For more information about the GBTA convention, please see www.gbta.org.

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Travel News

Pan Am – The TV Series

When the new series, Pan Am, takes off on ABC this fall, the legendary airline and its iconic logo will play a leading role, thanks to a far-reaching license agreement between Pan Am Brands and the show’s producers.  As owner of the intellectual property rights to the original Pan American World Airways, Pan Am Brands offers an exclusive line of Pan Am-inspired luggage and travel accessories.  The company expects the show, a drama set in 1963, to spur sales and raise awareness of Pan Am’s storied history as the airline that led the world into the Jet Age.
Through its license agreement, Pan Am Brands has worked closely with the show’s producers to ensure historical accuracy and image. Former Pan Am employees have offered a wealth of information on the airline’s achievements and history, from major technical advances to details of in-flight services, right down to the china and glassware that made Pan Am’s First Class President’s Special service a legend in the air.
“Our agreement to license the Pan Am name to develop this series, is another important step in developing new marketing and promotional opportunities,” says Stacy Beck, Pan Am Brands Director of Marketing and Corporate Development.  “The program will bring back the excitement and style of the Jet Age and reinforce the glamour of the Pan Am brand.”
The new TV series, debuting in September, is set in the early Sixties when travel aboard Pan Am’s Jet Clippers epitomized the Golden Age of Air Travel. Pan Am follows the adventures of several stewardesses and pilots aboard the airline’s new jet aircraft. The show is created and produced by Nancy Hult Ganis, a former Pan Am flight attendant and producer of such hit films as Akeelah and the Bee.  Thomas Schlamme, formerly of the West Wing, is the director and Jack Orman, chief writer for ER, heads the writing team. Golden Globe nominee Christina Ricci stars.
Pan Am Brands will leverage the show’s emphasis on the allure and intrigue of the early Sixties, a time when America’s economy and influence were expanding globally.  “Pan Am played a major role in making travel more accessible and in bringing American culture and politics to the world,” Beck notes. The growing trend towards retro-style, spurred by the success of another 60s-based TV series, Mad Men, has already spurred interest in Pan Am Brand’s growing line of Pan Am-inspired travel products and apparel.
The Pan Am bag is still highly regarded and greatly sought-after by today’s collectors, Beck asserts.  Pan Am Brands’ first collection, “The Originals,” is based on this icon, once seen in airports from Rio to Rangoon.  Since its launch in 2007, Pan Am Brands has developed a line of over 50 travel bags and accessories, from luggage and carryon bags to watches, passport holders, baggage tags, model planes and tee-shirts.
Customers can choose from the classic flight bag to reinterpretations of the Pan Am logo with bags that are fun and whimsical, elegant and understated, colorful or conservative.  Bags are designed to meet most current carry-on standards and to make checking in and passing TSA Security Checks as efficient and secure as possible.
Pan Am Brands is committed to further developing the Pan Am brand through merchandising and licensing agreements, but promoting awareness of the airline’s extraordinary history is an essential part of the company’s mission, which states: It is our objective to utilize Pan Am’s colorful history to bring back the original Jet-Setter values and restore civility, adventure and fun to the travel experience. Our collection, of bags and merchandise pays homage to these classic icons of culture. These symbols of Pan Am are fun and whimsical while retaining the historic and vibrant spirit that is Pan Am.
source: PRNewswire

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Travel Management

Traveling with Fragile Items

We all have luggage that we carry with us when we travel.  Sometimes it can be a hassle to carry it along, however we have it easy compared to some others!  Have you ever wondered about the people who travel with odd-sized items?  Think of cello players, guitarists or other people who have to travel with an odd-sized or very fragile item.  How do they transport these items without putting them at risk?
Most of the airlines have contracts of carriage which will determine what the airline will and will not be responsible for and what the maximum amount the airline will be responsible for if an item is lost and/or damaged.  Typically, the airlines use verbiage like this:
“ABC Airline will not be liable for loss of money, jewelry, cameras, negotiable papers/securities, electronic/video/photographic equipment, heirlooms, antiques, artifacts, works of art, silverware, irreplaceable books/publications/manuscripts/business documents, precious metals and other similar valuable and commercial effects.  ABC Airline prohibits the foregoing items being placed in checked baggage for travel wholly between points in the U.S. as well as for international transportation.”  

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Travel News

United Airlines and Continental Merge Frequent Flyer Loyalty Program

CHICAGO, June 29, 2011 – United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) today announced that Mileage
Plus will be the loyalty program for its wholly owned subsidiaries United Airlines and Continental Airlines beginning in 2012. Moving to a single loyalty program is a significant milestone in the integration of the two airlines and will provide a more consistent travel experience for customers.
United will announce complete details of the Mileage Plus program – including elite levels, qualifications and benefits, lifetime benefits, and other program developments that will take effect in 2012 – in the coming months.
Continental’s OnePass loyalty program will end on Dec. 31, 2011. United will automatically enroll OnePass
members in Mileage Plus and deposit into Mileage Plus award miles equal to their OnePass award miles balance.

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Travel News

Airlines Positioned For Big Gains in Efficiency

U.S. airlines lost a combined $1 billion in the first three months of this year. This is largely because of escalating fuel prices. Fuel costs are now the number one operating cost for airlines. To put that in perspective:  ten years ago fuel represented 15% of an airlines operating budget, while salaries and benefits represented 39%. Today fuel costs represent 35% of their budget, and salaries and benefits represent 28%.
The airlines are hoping to offset the escalating cost of fuel in part by increasing the efficiency of flying their airplanes. They are making progress towards this goal, as discussed in this recent article from Yahoo! Finance.

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Travel Management Travel News

Airline ancillary fees… Working out the frustration

I attended a webinar this week and was thrilled to discover what I think is a great step in the right direction when it comes to identifying and clarifying some of the extra costs of airline travel today.  If you have the right credit card, you can now receive reports through AirPlus International on award  fees, baggage  costs (first bag, second bag, etc.), services fees (upgrades, standby, bulkhead etc.), onboard charges and miscellaneous charges.  AirPlus is certainly taking this subject very seriously and even though it is not a perfect solution, it is the best one out there today.
“The AirPlus Ancillary Fee Reports are designed specifically for corporate travel managers to gain insight into airline ancillary fees! AirPlus is the first payment provider to offer such clarity.
A set of five detailed reports are available monthly for AirPlus Corporate Card customers and are based on a company’s card data. These reports are compiled using reporting data sent through by airlines and include hundreds of different fee types! Gain control over these fees with the transparency that AirPlus brings with these new reports.”
These reports include robust details for further data mining and reporting. They include the type of fee, the airline, the ticket/document number of the fee, the passenger name and amount. This data is useful for budgeting a company’s future travel program spend and may prove useful in supplier negotiations.