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Business Travel Travel Technology

Delta Wi-Fi: Above It All, Stay Connected

From business travelers to teenagers to blogging moms, all your online needs can now be taken care of in the sky.

Delta Airlines now offers in-flight Wi-Fi Access on more than 3,000 domestic flights daily. Depending on your needs, packages are available for purchase and offer everything from a one-time access lasting 24 hours to yearly memberships.

Delta has been the industry leader in offering this service to their guests and if you are wondering if your flight will have Wi-Fi access you can check the Delta website under My Trips. According to the Delta website, Wi-Fi is not yet available on international flights, but is available within the Continental U.S. and Alaska (although you may experience interruptions to your service in Alaska).

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Travel Industry Travel News

TSA Exploring New Airport Security Line Designs For Quicker PreCheck Screening

TSA Pre-Check security linesAfter TSA’s PreCheck pilot program debuted last year, the Transportation Security Administration has continued to work towards finding even more effective and efficient PreCheck screening processes for air travelers.

The initial program promised enhanced security by placing more focus on pre-screening travelers who volunteered information about themselves prior to flying in order to potentially expedite the travel experience.

However, the challenge for TSA has been the ability to quickly identify PreCheck customers early in the screening process and then direct them to either a special queue or to the actual PreCheck checkpoint location. In an effort to remedy this, the TSA is now testing new queue designs to further speed members of the PreCheck trusted traveler program through the airport screening process.

To read more about the TSA’s efforts, click here.

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Travel News Vacation Travel

London Olympics: Hotels Near Wembley Stadium

If you are visiting London for any of the Olympic events at Wembley Stadium, but need to stick to a tight budget, we’ve got some places for you! As it currently stands, there are roughly 110 hotels that are not only inexpensive and beautiful, but are also located within 5 miles of the stadium. Here are just five recommendations:

The Wembley Hotel – (0.7 miles from the stadium) – The accommodation is practical yet conveniently located nearby Wembley Stadium while also being a 3-minute walk from Wembley Central Station. The accommodation of this hotel are ideally situated near the conference center, exhibition halls, new stadium complex, and Wembley Arena.

Euro Hotel Wembley – (0.7 miles from the stadium) – This traditional facility is family owned and operated while being ideally located in close proximity to the stadium. It is also located in close proximity to the Conference Center and a short ride on the underground rail to the heart of London. Guestrooms all have the basic amenities of home and feature a simple breakfast room and a quiet bar where you can enjoy a relaxing drink.

Quality Hotel London – Wembley (0.2 miles from the stadium) – The hotel is only a 15 minute ride to central London via the Tube and a 5-minute walk to the Wembley Park Underground Station. For those individuals wanting to visit some of London’s more famous attractions, the hotel is located in close proximity to Big Ben, the British Museum, Houses of Parliament, the Science Museum, and the Tower of London as well as Wembley Stadium.

Bridge Park Hotel – (1.3 miles from the stadium) – The hotel is easily accessible to a number of businesses, entertainment centers, shopping malls, and tourist attractions. The hotel offers a convenient 24-hour public transportation venue to the heart of London as well as the Ace Cafe, Neasden Hindu Temple, and Wembley Stadium. Guests of the hotel can enjoy the on-site dining area, hotel bar, Internet Café, room service, and WiFi access. All of the guestrooms have been refurbished fairly recently.

Hollingbury Hotel – (1.6 miles from the stadium) – comfort, convenience, and hospitality highlight what this hotel features as well as being in an excellent location. Businesses, entertainment centers, and retail shops are all easily accessible from this hotel. The hotel is also located in close proximity to Madame Tussaud’s Museum, Oxford Street, the Science for Life Museum, and other attractions or sightseeing destinations.

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Travel News Travel Tips

Delta’s Changing Pet Policy

pet cargo changes on DeltaIn recent months Delta has made changes to their pet policy:

  1. They will no longer accept any snub-nosed dogs or cats as checked baggage.
  2. They have banned pets in all international business class cabins.
  3. They will no longer accept pets as cargo or checked baggage on any Boeing 767 flight.

Also, Delta will generally not carry any pets as checked baggage between May 18-September 15. For pets to travel as cargo, the outside temperature must be below 85 degrees or above 10 degrees on the ground.

These are important rules to consider, so plan carefully if you’re traveling with pets.

 

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Business Travel Travel Management

Travel Policy Guidelines—To Pay for Economy Seating … Or Not

My first experience with economy seating happened because there were no other pre-assigned seats available besides those in economy. Of course, panic set in due to the dread of not knowing if I would get a seat at the airport during check-in.

My thoughts were: What if I don’t get a seat and I have to take a later flight? I would miss my meeting. Maybe I could fly in the night before. But this would mean additional costs for a hotel. If I chose that option, would I bill it to the company? There are no travel policy guidelines for situations like this. What to do? I didn’t know about this business meeting until two weeks before my departure date and there are no seats other than those in the economy section. Do I need to get this ticket approved?

These, of course, are thoughts many business travelers have, especially during the summer months when the added impact of vacation travelers causes flights to fill so much sooner than usual.

I decided to wait a couple days and continued to check the seats early each morning–still, there was nothing but economy seating available for purchase. The anxiety was getting to me so I finally decided to go ahead and book the economy seat and then asked for permission, figuring the extra cost would be well worth the price. Stress released as soon as I submitted payment for the seats, and I would get to the meeting and home in one day. By the way—my request to purchase economy was approved because with no other pre-assigned seats available, this was the most cost-effective solution.

For my next trip, I had two months to plan and there were plenty of seats available so I booked a regular ticket. But I will also watch and consider whether or not I want to pay for the upgraded, more convenient seating. I learned from my previous experience that, besides the comfort, the small upgrade fee lets me board early, which allows me to carry my bags on with little hassle. And for this next trip, it might be worth the price to know I can enjoy those amenities plus the convenience.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

Six Great iPhone Travel Apps

Lately, clients have been asking for good travel apps so I thought I would share a few favorites for the iPhone:

  1. oMaps: Now you no longer need to be online to access the maps you need. oMaps lets you save maps and then access them even without an Internet connection.
  2. Foodspotting: Foodspotting is a visual guide to good food and where to find it. Launched in 2010, it’s the first and leading app for finding and rating dishes, not just restaurants.
  3. FlightTrack: See flight details on beautiful, zoomable maps or get real-time departure info, delays and gate numbers at a glance. Full international coverage means you can track all your flights worldwide. They’ll even update you on cancellations and help you find an alternate flight.
  4. Pano: Pano is an award-winning app that lets you take beautiful, seamless panoramic photos straight from your phone, with no expensive desktop software necessary.
  5. XE Currency: Convert every world currency on-the-go. It features live currency rates, charts, and even stores the last updated rates, so it works when the Internet doesn’t.
  6. GateGuru: The application allows you to receive real-time flight status information (including push notifications), view your TripIt and KAYAK itineraries, view/post airport security wait times, and see a structured list of airport food, shops and services.
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Business Travel Travel Industry

Christopherson to Sponsor GBTA 2012

Christopherson Business Travel is a proud sponsor of the annual Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) 2012 Convention in Boston, MA, July 22-25.

Christopherson has been a long-time participant of the GBTA Convention and we’re excited to be both attending and exhibiting again at this year’s conference.

The GBTA Convention is the place to be for business travel professionals. With thousands of travel managers and industry suppliers there are opportunities to attend educational seminars, participate in a massive tradeshow, and focus on developing solutions to industry-wide challenges.

Keynote speakers for this year’s event are President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, and Saturday Night Live star, Seth Meyers.

Categories
Vacation Travel

Regent Seven Seas Cruises – Exclusive onboard credits

Now is a great time to reserve a Regent Seven Seas Cruise through your Andavo travel advisor.  (As a reminder, Andavo Travel is the vacation travel division of Christopherson Business Travel.)

We have reserved space for our Andavo clients on five Mediterranean voyages throughout 2012 and 2013, and are able to offer you an exclusive onboard credit of $500 to $700 per suite! This credit could be used towards spa treatments, items in the sundry shop, for an upgraded shore excursion, etc.

And, because we are a Virtuoso member agency, you will also receive the following complimentary Virtuoso Voyager Club amenities:

  • Private cocktail reception
  • Onboard host
  • Exclusive luxury shore event

Why Regent over some other cruise line? Regent Seven Seas Cruises has the most inclusive luxury cruise experience, where you won’t feel “nickel and dimed” while onboard.

The following amenities are all included as part of your cruise fare:

• 2-for-1 Fares plus additional bonus savings
• FREE Roundtrip Air
• FREE Business Class Air Upgrades to Europe in Penthouse Suites and higher
• FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions
• FREE Luxury Hotel Package (includes 1-Night pre-cruise hotel stay in city of embarkation, transfers from hotel to the ship, breakfast and porterage.)
• FREE Beverages including fine wines and premium spirits
• FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities
• FREE Ground Transfers
• FREE In-suite mini-bar replenished daily
• FREE 24-hour room service and no additional charge for specialty restaurants

RSSC Destinctions:

• With an enviable staff-to-guest ratio of 1 to 1.5 our mid-sized ships have a maximum capacity for only 490 or 700 guests
• All-suite accommodations, 97% with private balconies — voted the best at sea
• Up to four gourmet restaurants, including the iconic steakhouse Prime 7, plus haute French cuisine at Signatures, Continental dining at Compass Rose, casual indoor and outdoor buffet dining at La Veranda, our new Tuscan-inspired evening restaurant Sette Mari at La Veranda and the al fresco Pool Grill
• Canyon Ranch SpaClub®
• An enriching onboard experience brought to life through spectacular Broadway-style shows, fine arts, culinary demonstrations and wine tastings, knowledgeable lectures, wellness and family programs
• Wireless Internet access throughout the ship
• Elegant casual dress code. Formal and semi-formal attire optional on sailings of 16 nights or longer
• Enticing voyages to more than 300 ports around the continents, with access to visit more intimate ports than larger vessels

For reservations, please call an Andavo travel advisor. 866-327-7600.

Terms and conditions apply. Ask your travel advisor for details.

Categories
Travel Industry Travel News

Ogden Airport to start non stop service to Phoenix

Christopherson Business Travel is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah (with two additional full service locations in Denver, Colorado and San Francisco, California). Because so many of our clients are located in the western United States, and in particular–in Utah, I though it might be helpful to share that, beginning September 20, Allegiant Airlines will offer nonstop-service from Ogden-Hinckley Airport to Phoenix/Mesa twice a week.

For more information, click here.

Categories
Travel Industry

Just the Facts Ma’am

I’ve decided it’s time for more fun facts. Of course, some of these are completely useless, but I think you’ll find a few of the others amusing and perhaps worth sharing with friends.

6 oddly named communities in the United States:

  • Disappointment, Kentucky, USA – You could be disappointed if you wind up in Disappointment, Kentucky. It’s not actually a town, but more of an area that’s surrounded by the beautiful forested hills of southern Kentucky.
  • Why, Arizona USA – Why is a tiny, rural Arizona community with another strange name. The community sits where state highways 86 and 86 meet with each other at a Y-shaped intersection. The village founders then decided to call the place Why. They couldn’t just call it Y, since the law in Arizona states that all communities must have a minimum of three letters in their names.
  • No Name, Colorado, USA  – There’s been a horse with no name and a man with no name, now we have a town named No Name. The name might have been joke at the time, but nobody’s sure. Rumors have it that the state’s transportation department placed a sign on Interstate 70 to let people know about a small unnamed village. One of the residents wrote No Name on top of the exit sign and the name just happened to stick, even though the local government tried to change it.
  • Hell, Michigan, USA – I’m sure this isn’t the only Hell in the world, but it might be the most famous in the USA. It’s located in Michigan’s Livingston County and the small, charming town isn’t shy about cashing in on its odd name.
  • Embarrass, Minnesota, USA – This Minnesota Township lies in St. Louis County. The name comes from the French word embarrass, which actually means to hinder with difficulties or obstacles. Many years ago French fur traders found it quite hard to navigate the local landscape by canoe and decided to name the local river Embarrass and the river’s name was soon incorporated into the township.
  • Boring, Oregon, USA -This small locality lies just outside of the city of Portland. However, the story of its name is actually pretty boring since it was named after a resident named W.H Boring.

A few more fun, but somewhat useless, travel facts:

  • American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by taking an olive out of their First Class salads.
  • Club Direct, a travel insurance company in Great Britain, provides insurance plans for protection against falling coconuts.
  • Odds that you’ll be killed by an airplane falling from the sky are 1 in 25 million. Odds that it will happen today are 1 in 7 trillion.
  • France is the most visited country int he world. Approximately 80 million tourists visited France in 2010 and the Eiffel Tower was by far the most visited attraction.
  • At any given hour there are 61,000 people airborne over the U.S.
  • The world’s busiest airport, based on passenger traffic, is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with over 80 million passengers in 2010. The Sydney Airport is the world’s 27th busiest, with 33 million passengers in 2010.
  • The world’s most expensive plane ticket cost Sydney millionaire Julian Hayward a staggering $123,000. He was the first person to buy a seat on the Airbus A380 maiden flight between Singapore and Sydney in 2007.
Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Did you read the fine print?: Make sure you know your airline’s Rules of Carriage

When you purchase an airline ticket you are also agreeing to that carrier’s “Rules of Carriage,” which are the rules put in place to cover an airline’s operation guidelines as they pertain to you—the ticket holder.

Since 2009, when the Department of Transportation issued a ruling on how long an airline can keep you on the tarmac, airlines have been revising their Rules of Carriage and slowly editing out more and more passenger rights, according to Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights.org. While customer satisfaction is up (in June the airlines scored 67 out of 100 – the best in a decade) thanks in part to the Department of Transportation, the rules that govern you as a passenger are being tweaked without notice. (After all, how many times have you actually read the Rules of Carriage when you purchase a ticket?)

For example, some airlines contract out their airplane maintenance to a third party. If that third party can’t provide needed maintenance for some reason, the airline could consider that an “Act of God,” or in other words—something out of their control. This means the airline has no liability. Does this also mean that they won’t do anything to assist you? Probably not, but it does limit what they are required to do for you.

If traveling on the so called “low-cost” airlines you may have even fewer options. Since some low-cost airlines don’t have ticketing agreements with the larger carriers, they are under no obligation to find you another flight on a different airline if your flight is canceled for some reason. For example, in Southwest’s Contract of Carriage their only obligation, if a flight is canceled, is to put you on one of their own alternate flights.

For more information on your rights as a ticket holder, you can visit FlyersRights.org. While there you can also find information on current legislation, help for flyers with disabilities, what to do if you are stranded, and general news and information.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel Ranks #12 in the 2012 BTN Annual Business Travel Survey

Business Travel News (BTN) recently ranked Christopherson at #12 among all participating travel management companies nationwide.

We are pleased to receive this important recognition. Further analysis of the data reveals that Christopherson Business Travel was ranked as:
•    #1 among the travel management companies headquartered in the Western United States
•    #2 among the participating BCD Travel affiliates (our business travel affiliation)
•    #3 among the travel management companies using the Travelport GDS (our computer reservation system)
•    #5 among the participating Virtuoso travel agencies (our luxury travel affiliation)

Click here to see the full report.

 

 

 

 

 

*BTN invites travel management companies who book more than half their sales for business travel through the Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) to release ARC data for their respective companies. This insures that the rankings are valid and independently verified by actual booking data.