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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Cut Business Travel Costs & Manage Unused Airline Tickets with AirBank®

Cut costs and eliminate waste with AirBank®, Christopherson Business Travel’s comprehensive airline ticket tracking tool. Close to 10% of all business tickets go unused, making it difficult for corporations to manage their unused tickets. AirBank tracks the entire lifecycle of a ticket and automates the process of unused ticket management, whether you book online or through a travel advisor.

AirBank comprehensively manages your unused tickets in the following ways:

  • Audits tickets to confirm whether they were used for travel and to determine any unused value
  • Automatically captures your unused tickets in a centralized database to prevent their loss
  • Continuously updates status of unused tickets
  • Reports all unused tickets
  • Enforces the use of unused tickets

Unused ticket credits, including valid partial credits, are available in AirBank at the time of cancellation. Corporate travel managers are able to see all unused tickets within their company via their customized AirPortal 360™ dashboard. Travelers can also see their own unused tickets via their My Travel dashboard, allowing them to be an active participant in the reuse of those funds. With the AirBank widget, travel managers can also drill down from a company-wide view of all unused tickets to single transactions for greater detail.

To ensure the re-use of unused tickets, AirBank will prompt your full-service agents at point-of-sale requiring them to use the ticket, or to document the reason a ticket was not used. AirBank is also directly integrated with the online booking tools to prompt travelers who book their own tickets.

*AirBank is one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, AirBank, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Communicate Flight Options Effectively with AirSelect®

Christopherson Business Travel’s AirSelect® effectively and efficiently communicates flight options to the traveler, travel arranger, or travel manager, providing choices, comparisons, and accountability.

AirSelect features include:

  • Customized, easy-to-read grid format of flight and price options
  • Highly configurable with 18 optional parameters
  • Choose between price or schedule-centric options
  • Identifies class of service and seat counts
  • Data compiled from more than 450 airlines and 4.3 billion fares

With AirSelect, travelers can easily choose flights with the lowest fare based on scheduled departure and arrival times. When a traveler receives AirSelect via email, he or she will not only see the lowest prices but also how many seats are available at that fare. This encourages decisions to be made quickly if inventory is low.

AirSelect also bridges full-service and online travel by allowing your travelers easy access to comprehensive, familiar grid pricing without giving up the convenience and benefits of a full-service travel advisor.

*AirSelect is just one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, AirSelect, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Airtinerary®: Intelligent Itineraries for the Business Traveler

Christopherson Business Travel makes managing travel plans seamless with Airtinerary®, a state-of-the-art tool that provides intelligent itineraries to your business travelers. With its intuitive, easy-to-read format, Airtinerary offers detailed trip information, includes links for online check-in, and provides directions and maps for hotel and car rental locations.

Airtinerary also includes universal calendar and TripIt mobile app integration as well as access to your company’s travel policy to ensure traveler compliance.

Key Features of Airtinerary:
•    Relevant trip data in easy-to-read format
•    Universal calendar and TripIt integration
•    Links for online check-in
•    Directions and maps for hotel and car rental locations
•    Access to travel policy

*Airtinerary is just one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, Airtinerary, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

My Travel™: A Comprehensive Digital Dashboard for the Business Traveler

With My Travel™, Christopherson Business Travel’s digital dashboard specifically designed for the business traveler, all your company’s road warriors have instant access to business travel itineraries, flight options, mobile syncing, and more.

Plus, should they need them, our expert travel advisors are available 24 hours-a-day from anywhere in the world to help with every possible situation that might arise on their business travels.

My Travel also allows travelers to see and manage their own unused tickets, allowing them to be an active participant in the reuse of those funds.

Here are just a few of the tools My Travel offers:

  • Airtineraries® – View every itinerary ever booked online or with a travel agent for easy reference.
  • Book Trips – With direct access to our online booking tool and/or our expert agents, travelers can book business trips simply and quickly.
  • Travel Profiles – Travel profile information is always available. Plus, business travelers can always manage their information regardless of whether they booked online or with a travel agent.
  • Travel Policy Summary – A quick reference guide to your company’s business travel policies is available to ensure compliance.
  • Contacts – All the numbers your business travelers could possibly need are stored in one place. Quickly get in touch with a travel agent, account manager, or online support personnel. Even emergency after-hours numbers are listed.

*My Travel is one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, My Travel, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

AirPortal 360™: Providing a 360º View of Your Travel Management Program

AirPortal 360 helps you keep your business travel program in line and in the black.
With the newly developed AirPortal 360™, Christopherson Business Travel’s powerful collection of corporate travel management software is delivered directly to your company’s travel manager, in an intelligent dashboard with a fully-customized view.

Built for ease, convenience, and improved travel management, AirPortal 360 provides all the advanced tools you need to reduce travel spend, guarantee traveler security, keep track of unused tickets, access traveler profiles, ensure policy compliance, and more.

Quite simply, AirPortal 360™ is the panoramic view you need to keep all your company’s travel details in line and in the black.

Benefits of AirPortal 360:

  • Manage your entire company’s travel program from one, single sign-on, intelligent dashboard
  • Access to advanced tools to manage travel spend, duty of care, unused airline tickets, traveler profiles, & travel policy compliance
  • Movable widgets, customizable Quick Links, and mega menu provide immediate access to what’s most important to you
  • Capability to set up multiple travel managers within an organization
  • Ability to restrict travel manager access to company divisions, departments, teams, or areas of responsibility
  • Generate reports based on the structure of your company
  • Analyze travel spend for the entire company or by department, division, or team
  • Ability to drill down from a high-level, comprehensive view of travel program data to single transactions

*AirPortal 360 is just one of the many valuable business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, AirPortal 360, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

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Business Travel Travel Management

Annual Business Travel Review: Talk to Your Account Manager Today

annual travel business management reviewAt Christopherson Business Travel we value our partnership with our clients. So naturally, we want to review with them how the past year has gone, what has been successful (or not), and create objectives and goals for the upcoming year.

As an account manager for one of the largest travel management companies in the nation, I strive to be consultative in every way to help our clients travel programs succeed and reduce their overall travel spend. One of the best ways to strengthen your travel program is to conduct an annual review. During an annual review you can discuss with your Account Manager your spend, trends, ROI, places for improvement, as well as the objectives and goals you would like to achieve.

This is just one more benefit provided to clients of Christopherson Business Travel. If you are interested in learning more, please contact one of our business executives.

You can also schedule your own annual review by contacting your Christopherson Account Manager.

Categories
Travel News

Delta Airlines To Increase Presence At London-Heathrow Airport

According to latest reports, Delta Airlines will soon acquire Singapore Airline’s 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic and will gain a larger presence at London Heathrow Airport. The joint alliance means Delta and Virgin Atlantic combined will become the second largest operator between the U.S. and the U.K. with 25% of the market. British Airways and American Airlines combined have a 60% market share. The carriers are confident the Department of Transportation will approve this joint venture by the end of 2013.

Both carriers expect their brands to benefit by the proposed joint venture. Virgin Atlantic already is top choice for many U.S. travelers to the UK. And will benefit greatly from Delta’s strong domestic route network. Delta is already considered a popular airline choice for Europe-bound business travelers, they’ve just lacked sufficient airlift into London.

The newly announced alliance is great news for Christopherson’s corporate accounts, particularly for business travelers in the Salt Lake City market and surrounding Rocky Mountain region. Travelers of both carriers will soon have greater access to a broader network, reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, and improved connectivity to London Heathrow from both New York’s LaGuardia and JFK airports.

Christopherson congratulates Delta Airlines on their new venture and we look forward to offering this new service to our corporate and leisure clients.

Categories
Business Travel

Why Small and Mid-Size Companies Should Implement a Travel Management Program (& How to Do It)

In tough economic times, businesses are always seeking new ways to reduce costs. One way to both save money and improve business traveler satisfaction is by adopting a corporate travel management program.

While most large corporations have such programs in place, many smaller companies do not and could definitely benefit from implementing one. Additionally, a well-managed corporate travel policy ensures better corporate compliance and traveler satisfaction.

Steps to implementing a successful corporate travel program:

  • Make a plan and keep it comprehensible: Work with the finance department to make a simple, easy to understand program, putting policies and procedures in place.
  • Get “buy-in” from upper management: Develop a financial proposal detailing the projected cost savings through a managed travel program. Market internally to gain support from both upper management and employees.
  • Find a travel management company: Develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) to evaluate each travel management company. (Of course, we would love to be considered.)
  • Communicate effectively: A travel portal is a key component for communication. Portals hold all pertinent travel program data and are available to travelers 24/7.
  • Train your travelers: Let your travelers know why your company implemented the new program and how to book through the new system. If the traveler is not educated, the program is ineffective.
  • Show results: Let the travelers know how they’re doing and show upper management the cost savings resulting from the new program.

A successful managed travel program can significantly reduce costs while increasing traveler satisfaction.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Christopherson Business Travel’s Negotiated Rates Go A Long Way

Recently, my family planned a trip to Canada to attend a reunion and thought we had all the details worked out. As there were eight of us traveling together, we opted to drive rather than fly. Unfortunately, three hours in, our Suburban broke down. We barely made it off the freeway when the car stopped near a building that literally said,”This is the middle of Nowhere.”

After being towed 40 miles to a mechanic, it was determined that repairs would take about a week. We were going to need rental cards. I began calling around and booked two cars with National using our Christopherson Business Travel corporate number. This is just one of the many discount rates Christopherson offers customers if their company doesn’t have their own negotiated rate.

When we checked in at the National desk, I asked the agent if there were perhaps any better rates available since we really hadn’t been planning on this expense. She told us that not only did she find a better rate, but that it was one of the best rates she had ever seen. We also were able to add extra drivers for free since my husband was an Emerald Club member, which again saved us money on what would have been another expense.

In another instance, I was showing our negotiated rate programs to a prospective client. She had recently spent a lot of time searching for hotels in New York and Chicago. Their company had several travelers attending conferences in those cities but were making reservations too late to receive the special conference deals at the hotels. Because Christopherson Business Travel has connections and discounted rates with so many properties worldwide, we were able to find her cheaper rates than those she’d been quoted online and directly from the hotel.

Christopherson’s negotiated rates are just one more way companies benefit from our managed travel programs. To learn more about how you can benefit from these connections, please contact one of our representatives.

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Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

The Ten Commandments of Travel (+1)

As business travelers we all need a break, however we travel so much for work that the thought of another trip (even if it IS a vacation) makes many of us us want to sit down and just say NO! My advice? Take an organized tour or cruise. From the minute you step on the plane to the minute your journey ends, everything is taken care of for you. But first and foremost you must obey the Ten Commandments of Travel. They might not have come from God, but if you follow them, you very well could be treated like one. Enjoy!

The Ten Commandments of Travel (+1)

  1. Thou shalt not expect to find things precisely as they are at home, for thou hast left home to find things different.
  2. Thou shalt not take anything too seriously, for a carefree mind is the basis for a great vacation.
  3. Thou shalt not let other tour members get on thy nerves, for thou art paying good money to enjoy thyself.
  4. Thou shalt not worry. The person who worrieth hath little joy and few things are fatal.
  5. Thou shalt not judge all the people of a country by one person with whom thou had a problem.
  6. Thou shalt in Rome, do somewhat as the Romans do.
  7. Thou shalt be on time, for if thou art late thou shalt make thy own way to the next hotel.
  8. Thou shalt carry thy passport at all times, for a traveler without a passport is one without a country.
  9. Thou shalt learn to say “Thank You” in any language. Verily, it is worth more than gold.
  10. Thou shalt acquaint thyself with the currency of the land in which  you traverse, and thus thou shalt not be cheated.
  11. Thou art welcome in every land. Treat thy hosts with respect and thou shalt be an honored guest.

So let it be written–it’s not too late to purchase a gift certificate from Andavo Travel, Christopherson Business Travel’s vacation planning division. Certainly, nothing could be better than opening up a present full of vacation excitement on Christmas morning. Call our travel experts today! 801-327-7600 or 1866-327-7600

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Christopherson to Release New Business Travel Technology January 7

AirPortal 360 Dashboard for business travel management

In the coming New Year, on Monday, January 7, Christopherson Business Travel will be launching our enhanced and newly redesigned AirPortal® technology platform. Our development team has completely rebuilt our platform from the ground up in order to provide greater ease, convenience, and cost-savings to our clients.

Three of the guiding principles of this redesign have been to increase the sophistication, dependability, and visibility of our products and services. In keeping with these objectives we are giving our clients more access to information than ever before. Of course, with this increased visibility comes increased accountability, which we look forward to providing.

Now for some details…

Branding Changes Include:

  • Re-naming our entire business travel technology platform AirPortal®
  • Designing a brand new look and feel to our company website, CBTravel.com
  • Retiring the TravelAccumen® brand/product and replacing it with AirPortal 360™, our new, fully-customizable Travel Manager Dashboard
  • Creating AdvisorCare®, a newly developed dashboard for travel advisors which provides timely, actionable information right to their fingertips

Core Product Improvements within AirPortal® Include:

  • SecurityLogic® – multiple map overlays and views, simple search, plus alerts and notifications
  • AirBank® – tracking of tickets from inception, greater visibility, and a complete audit trail of all transactions and activity
  • Airtineraries®Redesigned format with ‘trip at a glance’ and integrated travel policy summary
  • ProfileLogic®Expanded to include organization by departments and teams
  • Tech Help Desk Robust ticket tracking, automated assignment, and analytics

But it doesn’t stop there, we’ve also added new functionality:

  • PolicyLogic®new product that includes travel policy design and vendor contract management, with travel policy integration and compliance coming in 2013
  • Consultative Services new product that integrates account management client-dedicated time directly into the AirPortal® platform, providing increased management and client visibility
  • Widgets – a variety of new interactive widgets that allow the user to drill in from a high level view all the way down to the transaction level.  New widgets include: AirBank®, Travel Spend, ValueLogic®, Consultative Services, Expiring Tickets, and Savings per Itinerary.

Hopefully you can see why we are excited to launch our new AirPortal®. More detailed information about these updates, enhancements, and new products will be released in the coming weeks.

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Business Travel Travel Management

Managed Travel 2.0: Resources and Information for Business Travel Managers

In September I first wrote about the concept of Managed Travel 2.0. In the weeks since, there has been much additional information by way of blog posts, emails, and news, both for and against this concept as it continues to be a “hot” topic of 2012. While its principles are unique, shocking to some, and encouraging to others, I sense it will be a while before corporations are comfortable giving so much freedom to travelers. Scott Gillespie discusses this in a post on his blog, Gillespie’s Guide to Travel+Procurement, and essentially boils the difference between traditionally managed travel and Managed Travel 2.0 down to one word: Freedom. He lists the principles of Managed Travel 2.0 as follows:

  1. Shop anywhere — period
  2. Book anyone — as long as the supplier is safe
  3. Book anywhere — as long as employer gets the data fast
  4. Book anything — so long as the trip is in budget
  5. Pay with the corporate card

On another site, BusinessTravelNews.com, CEO Alan Tyson discusses his misgivings about this business travel trend in a post called, Perspective: Shooting Holes In Travel 2.0. Having worked with financiers thru the years, I fully understand his concerns. His article goes on to suggest that traveler satisfaction with a trip is not what matters–it’s the traveler’s satisfaction with his organization regarding the trip that does.

The final article to read regarding this idea of Managed Travel 2.0 is by David Jonas, titled, Study: Travel Policies Work, And will Continue To Do So. This study, conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and AirPlus, reports few signs of employee resistance to traditional managed travel.

Hopefully, these articles and resources will shed a bit more light on the subject and I will surely keep you posted as more is revealed.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

Business Travelers Achieve Delta Silver Medallion with SkyBonus

Looking to achieve a Delta Silver Medallion for 2013?

First, check to see if your company is enrolled in the Delta SkyBonus program, which provides small to medium-sized companies with a way to earn points based on your company’s travel spend with Delta. SkyBonus points can then be redeemed for more than 45 different rewards like tickets, upgrades, Sky Club lounge access, and even a Delta Silver Medallion. It’s the only way to be appointed a Delta Silver Medallion without having to achieve 30 qualification segments or flying 25,000 Medallion Qualification Miles during a calendar year.

And while your company continues to earn Delta SkyBonus points, you, as the traveler, will continue to earn miles with your Delta SkyMiles program. It’s a complete win/win solution!

For more information in enrolling in this Delta Rewards program, please contact an Account Manager at Christopherson Businesss Travel today!

 

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Vacation Travel

Definitely Dubai

I recently had the opportunity to take a family vacation to Dubai over Thanksgiving and I’m happy to report it was an amazing destination–certainly worth the 24 hours of travel time if took to get there.

Few cities in the world have undergone such rapid change as Dubai. Having started out as a fishing settlement, then becoming a pearl-diving center, and later transforming into a vibrant trading port, Dubai is today one of the fastest growing metropolises on earth. The city is positioned as the nucleus of the Arabian Gulf region and has become known as the “gateway between the east and west.”

Home to about 1.9 million people from nearly 200 nationalities, Dubai is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. It is safe, clean, politically stable, with a modern infrastructure, and the sun shines almost every day. While the official language is Arabic, English is equally used.

Emirates Airlines is the official airline of Dubai and maintains one of the newest fleets in the world. The aircraft and in-flight service were excellent which made our 16-hour flight from Los Angeles to Dubai quite manageable.

Some of the highlights of our trip were visiting the following sites and attractions:

  • Burj Kalifa – the tallest building in the world
  • Burj Al Arab – the tallest, all-suite hotel in the world
  • Dubai Mall – the largest mall in the world
  • Ski Dubai – the only in-door ski resort in the world
  • Dubai Fountains – the largest fountain show in the world

Are you seeing a trend here? Dubai is very ambitious in their efforts to be record-breaking and staggering in their statistics. Even if your bucket list does not include a trip to Dubai, it is a destination worth paying attention to as they continue to make their mark in the world.

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Travel News Travel Technology Vacation Travel

A Travel Photo for Every Pinterest Lover

Are you obsessed with Pinterest? Andavo Travel (the vacation division of Christopherson Business Travel) is. And what goes better with beautiful, inspiring images than travel?! We can’t think of much, which is why the Andavo crew has been loving Pinterest lately. We’re organizing boards featuring some of our favorite hotels and cruise lines, the latest travel gadgets you’ll love, travel-themed home decor, fashion for the stylish traveler, and more. Follow any (or all!) of our boards on our Pinterest page here. Happy pinning!

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Business Travel Travel Industry

Airlines Upgrade Cabin Features to Win Business Traveler Loyalty

You have spoken, and the airlines have finally listened. Many major airlines are taking delivery of new airplanes with well-thought-out cabin amenities. They are also spending millions of dollars to upgrade the interior of many existing planes. Below are a few things to look forward to and in fact, some of these amenities already exist in new airplanes:

  • Larger Overhead bins
  • Flat Beds (on long haul flights)
  • Wireless Internet
  • Mood lighting to help you relax
  • On demand movies
  • More legroom
  • More headroom

Much of the reasoning behind these changes and additions are because airlines are fighting for business traveler loyalty and experience. The purpose is to make travelers feel more calm and less stressed so they have a better travel experience.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Don’t Check Your Manners with Your Luggage: 3 Major Annoyances for Business Travelers

business traveler annoyances Many surveys have been conducted on what really annoys travelers, and whether it’s a frequent business traveler, the occasional vacationer, or a family with kids in tow, the major annoyances seem to be the same. Here are three of the worst, and while they seem to be common sense for most of us, they’re apparently not, since they top almost every list.

  1. Traveling while sick: Who wants to sit next to someone who is coughing and sneezing on a 3-hour flight? After all, you are going to breath the same circulated air at some time during the flight.
  2. Seat etiquette (or lack thereof): I think we’ve all had an experience with the obnoxious seat tapper–those people who sit behind you listening to their music and tapping to the beat. There’s also the space invader–those who feel they need to lean their seat back during the entire flight, knocking your laptop screen down, or just being in the way when someone needs to get out of your row. And of course there’s the seat grabber–those people who grab on to the top of your seat on the way to and from the restroom. (I personally don’t mind people using the seat back for support in situations like this, but keep in mind, I may have to use it for a flotation devise so try to keep it in one piece.) And last but not least, there’s the eternal talker. The minute you sit down you’re greeted with a barrage of twenty-one questions. What do you do for a living? Where are you from? Where are you headed? Do you want your peanuts? Don’t get me wrong, I’m OK with friendly talk, but some people never stop! This is when I usually pretend to fall asleep.
  3. Violating the overhead bin rule: With the introduction of checked bag fees there has been a dramatic increase in on-flight carry-on luggage. Most airlines are really trying to help. They are adding extended bins, larger bins, and will often check your carry-on at the gate, usually at no cost. But have you seen what some people call a carry-on? They try to pass a huge suitcase off as their small roller board. Then they have trouble lifting it into the overhead bin. It takes two body builders and a can of axle grease before the bin door can be closed!

While these are just a few of the major complaints of travelers, I’m sure we each have our own we can add to the list. And for most of us, the rule of the road (or the plane) for dealing with them is to simply bite our tongues and think to ourselves, “This too shall pass.”

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Forecasting Business Travel Spend for 2013

As 2013 approaches we’re all involved in planning and forecasting for the new year. And in fact, the business travel industry tends to act as a “leading economic indicator.” As the economy improves, the travel industry actually grows ahead of many of the other economic measurements.

When CEOs, business owners, and other decision makers begin to feel bullish about the future, they tend to invest in travel to expand their markets, meet with their customers, and invest in training and other marketing opportunities.

Conversely, when business owners feel uncertain they become more conservative in investing in travel. This appears to be the current state of the economy. The combination of the ”Fiscal Cliff,” the European debt crisis, and the prospect of higher taxes has slowed business travel growth.

At Christopherson Business Travel, we are still growing but at a slower pace in the second half of 2012 as compared to the first half. Our ticketing transactions were up in the mid 20% range for the first half of the year and the growth rate has been tracking in the mid teens range in the second half of the year. This is still significantly higher than the industry average. U.S. travel agencies, as a group, processed 1.4 percent more air transactions in October than they did a year earlier.

This slower 2013 travel growth trend was confirmed in a recent Morgan Stanley survey of corporate travel managers. They found that a majority of corporate travel buyers expect to spend modestly more on air travel next year, with most projecting year-over-year increases in trip volumes and average airfares. “Executives indicated that budgets are expected to grow 1.3 percent in 2013 on a budget-weighted basis,” according to Morgan Stanley airline analysts.