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Business Travel Travel Tips

Holiday Travel Tips

Now that the holidays are just around the corner, here are a few tips for holiday travel:

Book Last Minute

Typically we encourage travelers to book flights between 60 and 90 days before their date of departure. That time-frame has obviously now passed, leaving many travelers scrambling to find holiday deals. Data shows that airlines were a bit too aggressive this year with pricing early on, leaving seats still to be filled and sales are popping up for many different destinations. Start searching now, as early December bookers could save the most on holiday flights.

Fly on the Holiday

Flight searches by date can vary. Flying midweek, early in the day or late at night saves the traveler money. This can also be true on holidays. Many times the lowest fares go to travelers that are willing to fly on the holiday itself, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve. Plus, at 35,000 feet some airlines are very festive and the cheer can still be felt.

Travel into Alternate Airports

For travelers with a set destination in mind, taking the time to compare nearby airports could mean major savings. Take the time and do your homework, it can be worth it!

Save Your Miles

Miles get tricky around the holidays, especially since “low points” seats for the most popular travel dates sell out even before the Halloween candy has hit the shelves. Plus some airlines implement the never-popular blackout dates. Accumulated miles, whether through an airline or a credit card, are used most economically either when travel plans are booked early or a traveler has flexibility with their itinerary. Our advice: Save the points during the holidays unless you snag a great deal.

Invest in Hand Sanitizer

The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most sniffly time of the year for many. Keep that in mind and pack plenty of hand sanitizer to help fend off germs. There’s nothing worse than realizing during ascent that you’re stuck in a cabin full of recycled air. Drink lots of water and wash your hands often–whatever it takes to guarantee your holidays will be joyful and healthy.

Plan Ahead for Delays

This time of year delays are pretty much a guarantee, whether it be crowded airports, bad weather, or mechanical problems causing them. Plan ahead so that when you’re stuck behind infrequent travelers and their families at the security line it doesn’t cause your stress. Avoid connections when booking, even if you have to pay a little more. If you have to connect, make sure you have plenty of time between flights. Also make sure you are at the airport earlier than you normally would be the day of departure. Just bring along your tablet or a good book to enjoy while waiting.

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Technology Travel Tips

New TSA App Great for Business Travelers: Check Security Wait Times Before You Go

Approximately 1.7 million travelers pass through the United States’ airports every day. That is a lot of people to keep up-to-date on the various TSA changes that take place on a regular basis.

In an effort to better-communicate these changes, the TSA has prepared the TSA Traveler’s Guide to ensure airline passengers have the answers they need to common security screening questions.

For busy business travelers on-the-go, TSA also created the “My TSA” mobile application for iPhone, Android, and other mobile web users. Features include airport status information, security wait times, search options for permitted and/or prohibiting packing items, weather, videos, and TSA regulation guides. I recently installed the app and although I will most likely not use all the features, I will certainly use it to check security wait times on my next business trip.

To download the native iOS and Android versions of the My TSA App visit iTunes or Google Play.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

A Business Traveler’s Airport Experience: Salt Lake International Restaurants

A few weeks ago, one of our bloggers, John Thomson, wrote about some of the ways airports have changed over the years and pointed out many of the new options available to business travelers during layovers.Restaurants in Salt Lake City International Airport

I took note of this, and realized as I’ve dashed through my own home base airport (Salt Lake International) that the retail and eatery scene really is changing and that I ought to give myself a little more time to enjoy it. The options are endless and delicious!

Salt Lake International Airport will soon have everything from Market Street Grill with fresh fish options to Cafe Rio Mexican Grill. There are French bakery items, great ale, Greek gyros, Chinese food, the hamburger of your choice, plus coffee, lattes, and espresso at Seattle’s Best Coffee, Starbucks, or Millcreek Coffee Roasters. And let’s not forget dessert! Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory will satisfy every sweet tooth. For a full list of restaurants visit SLCAirport.com.

A business traveler’s airport experience really has changed significantly over the last several years so … after waiting in those long security lines, removing all the items from your carry-on luggage and then re-stowing them, refastening your belt and putting your shoes back on, maybe take some time to sit down and indulge yourself with your favorite meal. It really is quite a treat.

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

Christopherson Business Travel — A Technology-based Travel Management Company

I Love Technology

I love technology because of all the interesting things you can do and build with it. I love how it can bring a wealth of knowledge directly to me in mere seconds. I also love how it can bring people, separated by thousands of miles, together. Technology allows me to store the contents of an extensive library on a disk that fits in the palm of my hand. I can take pictures, listen to music, talk face-to-face with my wife and kids, search the internet, read a book, and play games on a computer that I carry around in my pocket.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

As a teenager I introduced my parents to a personal computer (PC). If I remember it correctly, it went something like this:

Me: “Hey Mom and Dad this is a computer.”

Dad: “What is that?”

Me:  “That is a mouse.”

Dad: “A mouse?”

Me: “Yes a mouse.”

Dad: “That’s weird. What is it for?”

Me:  “You hold it in your hand and then move it around to click on things.”

Dad:  “Wow that’s amazing, can I try.”

Me:  “Sure, just move it over there and then double-click.”

Dad:  “What do you mean?”

Me:  “I mean click the button twice.”

Dad:  <Click> … <Click>

Me:  “No, you need to click it faster…”

Let me just say it was a frustrating, yet rewarding process. I was eventually able to teach my parents how to double-click a mouse, browse the internet, send email, create Word documents, and change the wallpaper (one of my father’s favorite things). My father had a love of learning and the internet brought a wealth of information right to his fingertips. That was about 12 years ago. Technology has obviously evolved a lot since then and continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

Christopherson’s Business Travel Technology

Travel technology is particularly evolving more quickly than advancements in other industries. We all know that traveling is an expensive, yet necessary part of doing business in a global economy. Managing a corporate travel budget can be challenging and expensive. However, here at Christopherson Business Travel we have made the process much easier.

One of our main focuses as a technology-based company is to provide the tools business travel managers need to manage their travel budgets, keep track of employees as they travel, run accurate reports and access essential data. We have conveniently packaged these tools into a web portal (definition: a doorway, entrance, or gate, especially one that is large and imposing), appropriately named AirPortal®. Throughout the last year, Christopherson’s software development team has completely rebuilt AirPortal® to bring it up to date with the latest web technology standards. Over the next three to six months we will be releasing a slew of new tools and information within AirPortal®. We look forward to sharing more about these enhancements and updates in the coming months.

Please stay tuned.

And if you’re interested in learning how Christopherson’s Business Travel technology can help your company save time and money, please contact us.

Categories
Business Travel Vacation Travel

The Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane: A Business Traveler’s Review

four seasons london On a recent trip to London, my wife and I stayed at the Four Seasons Park Lane Hotel. As we exited the taxi that transported us from London Heathrow Airport, the registration staff greeted us by name and we were immediately escorted to our pre-checked room, completely bypassing the check-in desk. Our luggage was then soon delivered to the room by another hotel staff member. The room was not only spectacular and comfortable, but the service was outstanding, and the attention given to us was exceptional.

During an interview with Charlie Rose, Mr. Isadore Sharp, founder and chairman of the Four Seasons Hotels, spoke about the driving principles of the company–deliver luxury and a quality stay, along with the best possible experience to guests. The company is able to accomplish this by focusing on four main aspects:

  1. Customer Service
  2. Location
  3. Brand
  4. Customer recognition

All Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts staff is trained to be service centric and customer focused, leaving little room for a disappointing stay. The Four Season Park Lane certainly delivered on this promise; our stay could not have been more pleasant!

Should your business travels take you to a Four Seasons Hotel destination, we invite you to let Christopherson book your stay so you can receive these added value benefits at no additional cost:

  • Personalized Greeting
  • Complimentary Room Upgrade (subject to availability)
  • Daily full breakfast for up to two in-room guests
  • Wi-Fi Internet Access
  • Spa Credit up to $100

Christopherson is a preferred partner with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and a Virtuoso member which enables us to offer services that add value to your trip. Call Christopherson Business Travel for more details.

Categories
Travel Industry Travel Management

Innovation Begins with Asking the Right Questions

What if we could … ?

What if you could? And what would actually doing it mean for your organization going forward?

These are the kinds of questions that drive innovation and success in organizations. Asking them means you’re not satisfied with the status quo, but are instead using the natural curiosity we all had as children to figure out “what could be.”

When my youngest daughter was five or six, she asked really good questions. Dad, is the sun a big ball of fire? Dad, is the wind invisible? Dad, how does the car know where to go? This natural curiosity allows children to learn quickly, understand their environment, make good decisions, and adapt to new conditions. Sometimes as adults we lose this capacity for curiosity simply from lack of use. But it is time to start asking good questions again–questions like …

How can we make it easier for our clients to use our products and services?

How can we simplify our work processes to cut out unnecessary costs?

How can we help solve our client’s biggest challenges?

How can we build stronger partner relationships?

What under-served markets can we support?

Innovation has been the driving force of America’s success. Innovation is the solution to re-building our economy. And innovation begins with one person asking the right questions.

Start looking for opportunities in your own organization and you will find them everywhere. When you hear someone complain about something, this is your chance to simply start asking questions! With good questions you can quickly gain an understanding of the issue and spot the opportunities for innovation.

At Christopherson Business Travel we have a natural curiosity and a drive to improve the business travel experience, and we want to provide our business travel management services to our clients at the lowest possible cost. Contact us today to see some of the answers that we have come up with recently.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Tips

Business Travelers Benefit with National’s Emerald Club (+Free Rental Days!)

I love the ability to rent a car with National Car Rental using my Emerald Club membership. As an Emerald Club member, I am able save time and avoid hassles on business trips. It’s definitely the easiest way to get on the road fast!

Here’s how business travelers benefit from National’s Emerald Club membership:

  1. Reserve a midsize car by calling your Christopherson Business Travel Agent.
  2. When you arrive at your location, bypass National’s rental counter and go directly to their aisle or executive aisle location in the car lot.
  3. Choose any car–any size, color, make, or model–and only pay the reserved midsized car rate.
  4. The keys are always in the car.
  5. Drive off!

Currently, National Car Rental’s ONE TWO FREE® promotion is in full swing for all Emerald Club members. With this promotion, business travelers who are enrolled in the Emerald Club will get one free rental day for every two qualifying paid National rentals now through January 31, 2013. YOu can then reserve your free rental days for a long weekend vacation or your next big business travel event.

Click here to read more about the promotion and enroll in the Emerald Club.

Categories
Business Travel Vacation Travel

Business Travelers: Plan Your Next Vacation with Andavo Travel and Virtuoso Traveler Magazine

Are you wondering where to go on vacation next time you get a break from business travel?  Do you love beautiful, glossy travel magazines that arrive in your mailbox full of exciting travel information and ideas? If so, we may be able satisfy that craving!

Through our partnership with Virtuoso, we have access to award-winning travel publications we will happily send to you – all complimentary! (Of course, our hope is that if you like what you see, you’ll give Andavo Travel, the vacation division of Christopherson, a call to assist you in planning your customized trip.)

Send us an email at vacations@andavotravel.com with your name and mailing address, and we’ll sign you up for a free subscription to Virtuoso Traveler, published six times per year, and informing today’s savvy travelers of insightful ways to explore the world in style. The trips featured are available only through a Virtuoso-accredited travel advisor – like those at Andavo Travel. And we promise not to sell your information, or use it for anything other than sending you Virtuoso Traveler magazine.

If you’d like to peruse a digital sample of Virtuoso Traveler before signing up, you can view the August/September issue here.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

Tips for Business Travelers Who Miss Their Flight Connection

Most of us have experienced a flight delay while traveling for business, right? How about a flight delay that resulted in a missed connection? What did you do about it? Did you feel like you had support during this time?

I recently flew United Airlines from Honolulu to San Francisco and then onto Salt Lake City. The flight from Honolulu departed approximately 10 minutes late. This was not a problem considering we had an hour to connect and would be arriving in the same terminal as our connecting plane. However, upon arrival into San Francisco we were held on our plane for more than 40 minutes as we waited for our gate to open. This wait seemed to last an eternity knowing that I was going to miss my flight and that there was nothing I could do.

But worrying wasn’t going to help the situation, so we kindly asked the flight attendant to make an announcement to allow the connecting passengers off the flight before the rest of the plane de-boarded. It was really all we could do at that point.

Since then, I’ve thought about this experience and wanted to share a few more tips for other business travelers who might be facing the same situation. And if you have any additional ideas, please share them in the comments below.

Business Travelers: What To Do if You Encounter a Flight Delay that Results in a Missed Connection

  1. Ask the flight attendant to make an announcement to allow connecting passengers off the flight before the rest of the plane de-boards.
  2. Turn your phone on and use TripIt alerts to find out where your next gate is. This really helped me hurry because I didn’t have to find a monitor in the terminal to look up my gate.
  3. Ask the gate agent for assistance. If, upon arriving at your gate, you find that the door has closed, it doesn’t matter. They won’t let you on even if the plane is still there. But make sure the gate agent helps you find an airline ticketing counter or help desk.
  4. When at the ticketing counter demand assistance, professionally of course. If you don’t get the answer you want, ask for a supervisor or insist on additional help. When I went to the ticketing counter I didn’t get the answer I wanted and I thought “being nice” was going to be best. However, had I asked more questions and demanded a supervisor I could have been compensated for my hotel stay.

Remember, you are the customer and the business traveler. You do have rights and the airlines do have a commitment to make sure their travelers get to their appropriate destination.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Profits Soar to New Heights for Many Airlines

While reading various business travel trade magazines a particular article caught my eye.  Who would have thought the airlines would again be making money?  Lots of it.  And what does this mean to you and?—probably fewer airline ticket “bargains” and more investments in ancillary fees domestically.

The article discusses “tight capacity management,” which means strategic workload placements that consider all the relevant constraints, including utilization, technical, and policy requirements–in other words, investing in new aircraft, managing capacity by consolidating where need be and implementing more effective processes. Below are a few key exerpts from the article.

“The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Monday (Oct.1) predicted that airlines worldwide would pull in aggregate 2012 profits of $4.1 billion, an increase of $1.1 billion from the association’s June forecast. IATA expects the global airline industry in 2013 to lift itself further away from the red by netting $7.5 billion in full-year profits.”

“IATA’s newly issued forecast improved most for North American airlines, which now are expected to rake in aggregate 2012 net profits of $1.9 billion, up $500 million from the previous forecast. The association cited “the impact of tight capacity management.”

“Regional divergences will persist in 2013,” according to IATA. “North American airlines are expected to continue to improve profitability based on tight capacity management. Asia/Pacific carriers will see a profitability boost from improved cargo volumes (if not yields). European airlines are expected to be the only region in the red for 2013, although losses will be trimmed as a result of slower capacity growth and improved global trading conditions on long-haul markets.”

To read the complete article click here.

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Company News and Announcements

2012 Utah 100

MOUNTAINWEST CAPITAL NETWORK | OCT 9, 2012

2012 Utah 100

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Save Money on Business Travel with Hotel and Car Re-Check®

Last night I went to Lowe’s Home Improvement store looking for a patio table. I thought because summer was over I might find something on clearance, but only half the outdoor furniture was on sale. I spoke with a clerk and she reminded me that if I purchased the patio table at full price and it went on sale within the next thirty days, I could bring back the receipt and Lowe’s would credit my account for the difference.

I thought to myself, too bad Lowe’s doesn’t have a system like Christopherson Business Travel’s Hotel and Car Re-Check.

With Christopherson‘s Hotel and Car Re-Check, our business travel agents are electronically prompted 72-hours before your business trip to scour the database for decreased hotel and car rates. If a lower rate is found, your reservation is re-booked at the discounted rate. Just think how wonderful it would be if all retail establishments were more like Christopherson. I could purchase my patio table and if it went on sale within the the next 30 days, Lowe’s would automatically credit my account with the difference and I wouldn’t have to keep driving to the store to check for possible sales to receive my credit. A Lowe’s “Re-Checker” would automatically do that for me! It really is too bad more businesses aren’t like Christopherson.

To learn more about how Hotel and Car Re-Check can save you money on business travel, feel free to contact a Christopherson representative.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

What to Do on Your Layover–Airports Aren’t Just For Changing Planes Anymore

I can still remember the day I took my first flight. I was about seventeen years old and flew United Airlines from Flint, Michigan to Colorado Springs, Colorado to visit my brother who was in the Army.

Our layover was in Chicago and I had three hours to kill before I had to make my connection. Back then (this was 1972, mind you) there really weren’t very many choices along the concourses. I remember waking past two or three bookstores, a few fast food restaurants, and a couple of ice cream shops. And of course there were a few of the typical souvenir shops trying to sell Chicago trinkets to any traveler that walked by. I quickly decided where to eat for lunch and then headed to my gate. To my amazement, I still had two hours to wait so I opened up a book to pass the time. It was also a good opportunity to people watch.

It’s been quite a few years since that first flight and airports sure have changed–or rather, evolved–over the years. Now, if time permits, you can enjoy a nice, sit down meal at some of the finer restaurants. There are electronics stores where you can purchase the lastest gizmos and gadgets. There are also stores where you can purchase some of the comforts of home, like that neck pillow or phone charger you left sitting on the kitchen counter. Most airports now offer Wi-Fi and some of the larger airports even have spa services, sleeping and shower facilities, or just a place to relax away from the crowds.

If you’re curious as to some of the best (and worst) airports around the world and what they offer, you can find a full airport guide HERE.

You can also find a list of the world’s best airport amenities (like wedding services, concerts, and shoe shines!) HERE.

If anything, it makes for some interesting reading while you’re waiting for your next connecting flight!

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel Technology

Creating and Maintaining a Unique Competitive Advantage

As we have grown Christopherson Business Travel from a $1 million company to a more than $300 million company over the last 21 years we have maintained a tight focus on creating a unique competitive advantage. We have worked hard to develop services, tools, and products that give us an edge in the business travel management marketplace.

The “VRIO” framework is a great tool that can be used to evaluate and maintain a company’s competitive advantage. VRIO is an acronym for a four question analysis every business should conduct before investing in any service, tool, or capability to determine its competitive potential.

  1. The Question of Value: Will this technology/service/strategy add value for your clients?
  2. The Question of Rarity: Is the capability or technology in the hands of a relative few?
  3. The Question of Imitability: Is it difficult to imitate and will there be significant cost to a firm trying to duplicate the capability?
  4. The Question of Organization: Are you organized, and ready to exploit the capability?

As Christopherson continues to grow, we will continue to ask these very important questions before we invest in the next service, tool or capability. Stay tuned for some exciting new tools and technologies that we will be releasing soon.