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Travel News

Top 10 Cities for Food Trucks

I recently read an article  in USA Today and wanted to share my great find.  When I travel for business or personal reasons,  my first piece of homework always is to find great places to eat.   This article highlights a very interesting option for eating out.  If you find yourself in one of the cities below, locate a food truck!

Top 10 Cities for Food Trucks

1. The Grilled Cheese Truck: Los Angeles
2. The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck: New York
3. Maximus Minimus: Seattle
4. The Big Egg: Portland, Ore.
5. DC Slices: Washington DC
6. Spencer On The Go!: San Francisco
7. The Mighty Cone: Austin
8. Stefania’s Pierogi: Hoboken, N.J.
9. La Dominique Creperie: Philadelphia
10. The Rolling Stove: Miami

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Travel News

A New Player in Atlanta: Welcome Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines will begin service to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on February 12, 2012. Service begins with 15 non-stop departures each day to five destinations: Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Chicago-Midway (MDW), Denver (DEN), Houston Hobby (HOU), and Austin (AUS), with fares starting as low as $79 one-way.
Your checked luggage continues to fly for free and Southwest Airlines does not charge you a $150 fee if your plans change. Go here read more about the new service and their legendary customer service.

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Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel Awarded Utah Business Fast 50 Award

For the third year in a row, Christopherson Business Travel was recognized by Utah Business Magazine as one of Utah’s 50 fastest growing companies – and moved up the ranking three spots from last year. To be eligible for the Fast 50 program a company must be located in Utah, demonstrate notable entrepreneurial spirit, innovative business tactics, and the ability to drive revenue growth. It is with great pleasure that Mike Cameron accepted this award on August 25, 2011, on behalf of our entire team of travel industry professionals.

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Travel Management Travel News

United and Continental Roll Out Award Miles Merger Program

United Airlines and Continental Airlines have rolled out a process to merge award miles from Mileage Plus and One Pass programs. Combining your airline flight activity can help you earn award travel and elite status faster. Members can complete the process online here.
To use this process, the name on each account must match. Members will need to be sure to have their account membership numbers and pin to complete the transaction. Once accounts are merged, members can then roll miles into the joined account.
One more item to note is that with the merger, some flight numbers are changing as United and Continental combine their schedules. It is a good idea to reconfirm any upcoming flights to be sure your itinerary reflects any recent changes to flight numbers, operating carrier and possibly, times.
For further information or help, contact Mileage Plus Customer Service at 800-421-4655.

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Travel News

Fly Guy: Do well-dressed fliers get more perks?

Road warriors may be pleasantly surprised with a seat upgrade to first- class, if dressed well, according to a recent article by George Phobic, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com. Read the whole story.

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Travel News

Living in an airport; opportunity or misery?

I came accross an article on MSNBC news about a man in Vancouver who was selected to live in the YVR airport for 80 days and make a film. Benefits? Fairmont accomodations, food, and oh, seeing what all of these Air Clubs are about.
So why did the YVR airport do this? Exposure, media, and to show off that they are one of the top airports.
Check it out!

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Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

Delta is Investing in the Customer Experience

Delta is investing more than $2 billion through 2013 to enhance their customers’ experience on the ground and in the air, with improvements to their global products, services, technology and airport facilities. They’re also focused on continuing to improve their operation. Consider the following achievements so far in 2011 (and click on the video links to learn more):

  • Improved operational performance for 2011, thanks to continued customer service training, expanded maintenance infrastructure and updated technology to better assist customers affected by delays.
  • 2,000 additional First Class seats aboard 228 regional jets. No other airline offers more first class seating than Delta.
  • Wi-Fi service on their entire domestic mainline fleet.
  • Full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite that offer optimal privacy and direct-aisle access. Their Boeing 767-400 and 777 fleets are now complete and work is well underway on their Boeing 767-300, 747-400 and Airbus A330 fleets. All Delta transoceanic flights will offer full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite by 2013.
  • Economy Comfort on international widebody flights, featuring up to four additional inches of legroom and 50 percent more recline.
  • Mobile apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices that let customers check in, view flight status, access their boarding passes, get airport information, check the weather, rebook their flight and store an airport parking location, among
    other functions.
  • Significant progress on the new Terminal 4 at New York-JFK, opening in 2013, and the new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal in Atlanta, opening in 2012.
  • Two new Delta Sky Club lounges in Indianapolis and Philadelphia and renovated Sky Clubs in Atlanta, New York-LaGuardia, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Atlanta
    (Concourse B). In addition, a renovated club is scheduled to open later this summer in Seattle.
Categories
Travel News

Fliers during FAA shutdown will not get tax refunds

Airline passengers who flew during the two-week Federal Aviation Administration shutdown this month and last won’t be receiving refunds of passenger taxes, the Internal Revenue Service said today.
The FAA lost its authority to levy those taxes on July 23 when Congress couldn’t agree on a continuing authorization to keep the agency operating fully. Airlines quit collecting those fees after July 23, but most raised their own fares to compensate. The agency shut down many of its operations during that period but not air traffic control. The agency reportedly lost some $400 million in tax collections during the two-week stalemate which ended at 12:01am Monday.
Fliers who bought their tickets before the Congressional standoff for flights during the tax-free period won’t be getting refunds, the IRS said, because the FAA had the authority to collect those taxes when they bought them.

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

Booking travel online is less expensive. Is it really?

In the popular media there are lots of articles talking about which website will save you the most money, or about various online booking engines that will allow travelers to book the best deals.  Or there are the ads telling you to get the best deal by booking online directly with the airline.  This constant drumbeat has convinced some people that this is actually the case and so companies opt to use online booking tools in order to save a few dollars on service fees.  Does this really save them money?
Topaz International has done a study that compares Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz vs. the airline websites.  The study finds that Orbitz returns the lowest fare option 56% of time vs. Expedia at 54% and Travelocity at 47% of the time.  The difference is about $20.00 per transaction.  When Topaz compared these three websites to the airline websites, they found that the airline websites only offered a lower fare 7% of the time for an average savings of $36.00 while the Big Three offered lower fares 27% of the time for an average savings of $82.00.  When you read this you may think, “Well then, I will just book at Orbitz and save money.”  Before you do that, let me point out a couple of things.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News

Airline Ancillary Fees

There is a lot of uproar going on in the travel industry surrounding ancillary fees.   How much are the airlines collecting in ancillary fees? Amadeus Reports Airline Ancillary Fees Totaled $22 Billion in 2010
I personally think the basic concept of treating special services like a “toll road” makes sense, in general. I would prefer to pay a lower price, if I bring a small carry-on bag, than the person who is bringing three giant luggage trunks that look like they are designed to hold enough clothing to move to the new location permanently.
The main issues relating to the uproar are:

  • What is the definition of an Ancillary Fee?
  • Consumer protection and regulatory rules
  • Travelling corporation’s reporting requirements
  • GDS technology for booking of the ancillary services

What are some of the ancillary fees that are causing all of this industry uproar? Time magazine breaks the “Extra Fees” down into nine categories, in this interactive visual description.
On the Consumer protection and regulatory side, The Department of Transportation recently proposed a rule requiring airlines to report all ancillary revenue to the DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
The Global Travel Business Association (GBTA) has taken the lead to find an industry solution for reporting ancillary airline data. This article provides an update on where they are at.
American Airlines has been in a dispute with the providers of the travel agent’s booking systems (known as the global distribution systems, or GDSs.) American has threatened to pull out of the GDS and require travelers to book their airline tickets directly with them. They have used “the marketing of ancillary services” as the main reason for wanting to do this. American recently made a settlement with Travelport to extend their existing full-content agreements for Travelport’s three GDS platforms – Apollo, Galileo and Worldspan. They have not come to an agreement with Sabre or Amadeus.

Categories
Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel and GBTA- Global Business Travel Association –

Don’t miss out! Christopherson Business Travel will have a booth at the annual GBTA convention that is being held in Denver, Colorado August 21-24! Be sure to stop by booth #1706 and enter to win an iPad2. Below are some highlights of GBTA or go here for more details.
Elevating the Business of Travel
We’re taking the business of travel to new heights in the mile high city of Denver for the 2011 GBTA Convention. 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. Find all the information you need to advance your travel program, including the latest travel technologies, new sourcing strategies and emerging industry trends. Register by August 1st to save $200! Already registered? Start planning your Convention experience now!