Business Travel Travel News

Business Travelers Will Want to Fly United Airlines New 787 Dreamliner

I was recently on a United Airlines flight where we were shown a short film about the airline’s new 787 Dreamliner. The Dreamliner is the first of its kind to be delivered in North America and United hopes to have four more in their fleet by the end of 2012.

For both the business traveler and leisure traveler, not only is the Dreamliner 20 percent more fuel efficient, but it also produces 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized planes. Along with these improvements flyers will also find the following on the new Dreamliner for their traveling comfort:

  • Windows that are 30% bigger than those on wide-body planes with dimming switches
  • Larger storage bins where you will be able to store your carry-on luggage with less hassle
  • New flight pressurized technology
  • Higher humidity levels which will lessen the effects of fatigue, jet lag, and the possibility of headaches experienced by some travelers


Business travelers will also find 36 seats in ‘BusinessFirst’ class that convert to lie-flat beds, 72 seats in premium economy class and 111 standard coach-class seats configured in a three by three arrangement.

Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

TripIt Shares Five Ways to Prevent Holiday Travel Mayhem

Tripit helps with holiday stressTripIt is already used by many business travelers, but if you’re unfamiliar with this application, TripIt is a mobile service that helps you organize and share your travel plans. It allows you to easily consolidate your them into a comprehensive itinerary that you can share with friends and family, view on your computer or mobile device, and add directions and maps between your destinations. It comes in two versions–a “basic” (free) and a “Pro” (paid).

As the hectic holiday season rapidly approaches, here are five ways TripIt can help give you peace of mind:

  1. Increase the peace. Let TripIt do the heavy lifting. Simply forward travel bookings to to get a master itinerary instantly.
  2. Ditch the manila folder. No more fumbling at the check-in counter. Easily access confirmation numbers from any smartphone.
  3. Know where to go, on-the-go. TripIt provides maps and directions, and makes it easy to find nearby restaurants or merchants.
  4. Keep activities organized too. Organize restaurant reservations, theater tickets and more in TripIt.
  5. Avoid airport pick-up confusion. Share itineraries with family members so flight numbers and arrival times are handy, minimizing last minute scrambles.

The retail cost for TripIt Pro is $49/year, however Christopherson offers our clients a discounted price of $39/year. Or you can sign your entire company up for TripIt Pro/Enterprise and pay only $1.00 per trip.

Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

Managed Travel 2.0–What’s the fuss all about?

Managed Travel 2.0, an idea/program where travelers shop and book travel anywhere on any safe suppliers, provided they are within budget and the data on their transaction and travel is then collected in real-time by their company, is a very interesting concept and one that will probably move forward, but with possible resistance from many. I find this interesting to watch and consider because of all the players involved.

The consensus among industry experts seems to be that travel technology has not progressed at warp speed like other technologies. Some blame this on the travel industry’s GDS (Global Distribution System) situation. I don’t know that I agree with this theory completely, but then again, when you have been in the same industry for 30+ years, like I have, without viewing the progression speed of other industries’ technology, I suppose I’m not equipped to weigh in with a fully educated opinion.

During the GBTA’s recent convention in Boston, there were a few educational sessions regarding this topic. In the session I attended, 80% of the attendees were either travel managers or procurement specialists. During the presentation, it was suggested, based on information from a GBTA survey, that an unmanaged travel program is better than a managed travel program for a number of reasons–savings being one of them. The tension in the room was intense, to say the least.

However, in a recent newsletter from Travel GPA, CEO Rock Blanco, addressed the information presented in that GBTA forum, and pointed out that the benefits of a managed travel program–namely data, safety, and proven expertise–is where the value lies.

Like I said, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management

Topaz Travel Spend Forecast for 2013

Topaz International
has, for the first time, forecast future travel spend around the world with the disclaimer from CEO, Brad Seitz, “While some unexpected global events could skew these estimates, we believe this is a solid forecast for business travel in 2013.”

Their forecast is based upon general, targeted, and industry research, resulting in their view of what the future holds for travel spend in the areas of air, hotel, and rental car, divided among five regions of the world.

Topaz International Forecast for 2013

North America:

  • Air +3.5%
  • Hotel + 5.0%
  • Car Rental +3.0%

Latin America:

  • Air +2.0%
  • Hotel +5.0%
  • Car Rental +2.0%


  • Air +3.5%
  • Hotel +2.0%
  • Car Rental +2.0%

Middle East and Africa:

  • Air +2.5%
  • Hotel +1.0%
  • Car Rental +1.5%

Asia Pacific:

  • Air +3.5%
  • Hotel: +3.0%
  • Car Rental +4.0%
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Travel Industry Travel News

Denver Announces New International Carrier

Denver International Airport (DIA) recently announced that Volaris will begin year-round nonstop service from Denver International Airport to Benito Jua?rez International Airport in Mexico City beginning in December 2012.

The airport initiated conversations with Volaris in 2009 after the carrier announced its partnership with Southwest Airlines. Mexico City was ranked as Denver’s second-largest international market without year-round service behind San Jose, Costa Rica.

“Expanding air service continues to be a top priority for us, so we are pleased and grateful to welcome Volaris to Denver,” said Kim Day, Manager of Aviation for Denver International Airport. “Every new destination we add strengthens our overall network. That in turn helps us to land the next carrier or city; our robust network grows here again today. For our passengers, this should be a welcome new offering of a low-cost year-round option between Denver and Mexico City.”

The flight is now available for sale for travel beginning December 8, 2012. Volaris will operate the flight with the 144-seat Airbus A319 twice-weekly from December through April and once-weekly from May through November. The aircraft will arrive in Denver at 3:05 p.m. and depart to Mexico City at 4:25 p.m.

For more information, click here to read DIA’s press release.

Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

How to Disconnect From Work While on Vacation

While most of us enjoy our time away from work while on vacation, there are many who find it difficult to be away from their desk for a variety of reasons.

One such reason is that while you may physically leave the office, mentally you’re still connected to the daily routines and rigors of work life. It continually consumes your thought process while away. But in order to enjoy time off, and to feel refreshed upon return, we need to leave work behind, both physically and mentally.

Certainly, in today’s hurried environment it’s difficult to ‘unplug’ from work. There are cell phones, laptops, easy access to e-mail, and a plethora of additional means for constant communication. But if we don’t unplug, then we won’t feel rejuvenated when we return. We will feel as though we never left the office.

In an article titled “How to Disconnect from Work and Enjoy Your Vacation,” Joel Garfinkle details how he went on vacation and completely disconnected from work. He explained how difficult it was, but how refreshed he felt when he returned. His advice? Don’t skip vacations. If you do, it can lead to a loss of creativity and have a negative impact on your work. He also gives three tips on how to disconnect while on vacation:

  1. Before your go, train your replacement. Make sure someone can do your job when you are away. Whether leaving for 2 weeks or a couple of days, someone should be there to step in while you’re gone.
  2. Don’t spend your entire vacation traveling. Checking in and out of hotels and driving all day to see the sights can be exhausting. You need to relax and unwind. Plan things to do, but leave a cushion of time just to relax.
  3. Don’t answer your phone. There are very few ‘real’ emergencies that can’t be handled by others. Especially if you’ve trained someone properly.

To read Mr. Garfinkle’s article and learn more about how you can unplug on your next vacation, click here.

Business Travel Travel Management Travel Tips

Zoom Up and Zoom Out: Best Business Practices from the CEO of a Multi-Million Dollar Company

Most frequent flyers have preferences for how they like to use their “flying time.” Personally, my inclinations vary from reading, to watching movies, to playing Scrabble with my wife, to catching up on e-mail. Delta’s addition of Wi-Fi on domestic flights has certainly changed my “flying time” habits over the last few years, as well. But the one constant flight activity I’ve found to be quite beneficial is something I call “Zoom Up and Zoom Out.”

Over the years I have used the time when I “zoom up” into the air to “zoom out” for strategic thinking. During my flights, however long or short, I do three things to help me get the creative juices flowing so I can think more strategically about the future:
1.    Catch up on my reading in trade publications
2.    Read a good business book or article on leadership or innovation
3.    Take notes on any ideas I may have in my travel journal

Reading trade publications gets me thinking about all the current trends and events occurring in my industry (travel management). A good business book or article helps me think about how I can do things better. And perhaps most importantly, my travel journal provides the opportunity to capture and record my ideas as they flow.

While many of those ideas get tossed out eventually, and while others may not be applicable or feasible at the time they are written, I’ve found that the real value of the travel journal is that I can watch the patterns and connections between my ideas over time. Sometimes ideas just need to evolve and mature, and I’ve seen how many of my thoughts, though perhaps small and independent when I write them down, become important pieces in bigger puzzle that forms over time. As you record your thoughts, they may not “work” standing alone, but together they might eventually create a viable strategy for your company.

So on your next flight, give it a try. “Zoom out” while you “zoom up.” The combination of doing those three things, in a setting without interruptions, can be very beneficial.


Mike Cameron is the President and CEO of Christopherson Business Travel, the independently owned leader in intelligent business travel management. Founded in 1953 and purchased by Mike and Camille Cameron in 1990, Christopherson, at that time, had two employees and booked $1 million in travel. Today, Christoperson ranks as the 12th largest business travel agency in the United States, operating from three full-service locations (Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California) as well as 35-client dedicated on-site locations, maintains a successful leisure travel division (Andavo Travel), employs more than 250 travel professionals, and booked $287 million in travel in 2011 for more than 900 clients across the country.