Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

How to Get a Good Seat in Coach

“I’ll take Airfare for $600, Alex.”

“What does it take to get an airline seat toward the front of the plane in coach?”

“What is … be a frequent traveler with elite status or a traveler who is willing to pay the extra fee to get a better seat?”

If you haven’t realized it yet, getting an airline seat in coach has become a game. So make sure you read all the rules before becoming a contestant.

Travelers can no longer assume that they can choose any seat in coach. Frequent flyer members also shouldn’t assume that their seat will be upgraded to an aisle seat with extra leg room in the front of the plane simply because of “elite status.” Airline seats are a commodity that comes with a price.

Travelers also need to change the way they think about the cost of airfare. Cheapest airfare is considered “base price airfare” which can be better understood if you compare it to how we buy new cars. For example, base price vehicles don’t come with leather or heated seats. Similarly, base price airfare might be a middle seat, or one that doesn’t recline, or is right next to the lavatory. What the airlines are really saying is: “You get what you pay for.”

Costs associated with seats are tied to their “features” like: Is it a window or an aisle seat? Is it a wider seat? Does it have extra leg room? Is it close to the front of the plane? Some airlines call these seats Economy Plus or Economy Comfort seats and you can often get these seats for “free” if you have reached a certain status on frequent flyer programs. Just remember–there are millions of travelers with elite status, so getting that seat upgrade could be difficult if you book trips at the last minute.

There could also be an additional fee for selecting seats when booking for more than one person or for a group. So make sure to find out what the cost is really going to be prior to purchasing that airline ticket. This can certainly be an all-consuming task when booking travel through a website. If booking travel with an agent, ask where the seat is prior to selecting the price of the ticket and if there will be an additional charge for the seat. You can also use websites and apps like SeatGuru to get an in-depth look at the seat configuration on the aircraft.

Tips for the Business Traveler:

  1. Try to book travel as far in advance as possible.
  2. Find out from your company if the additional cost for premium coach seats can be expensed.
  3. Make educated decisions when it comes to booking the cheap tickets.
  4. Use your elite status when you can.

Tips for the  Corporate Travel Manager:

  1. Evaluate your company’s travel policy in regards to coach seats. Most travel policies have guidelines for travelers booking business or first class seats but not for premium coach seats that cost more.
  2. Consider adding additional funds to your travel budget to cover these types of retail charges that airlines will continue to offer the business traveler.
  3. Present the additional cost of premium coach seats as “perk” to your business travelers and include this benefit when recruiting new employees.
  4. Consult with your Travel Management Company. At Christopherson Business Travel, our Account Managers will work with your company’s travel manager to put together a managed travel program that considers all the different facets of business travel, including cost savings and cost containment.

 

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

When Storms Brew, Business Travel Agents Rock

business travel agency

On a recent business trip to Denver I was once again reminded of the value of using a corporate travel agency and their secret weapon–the travel agent.

As we boarded the plane in Denver, I was concerned that we wouldn’t be going anywhere fast due to rough weather in the area. However, the only thing that happened fast was being de-boarded–oddly enough, for mechanical problems and not the weather.

The line formed quickly at the service counter only for travelers to learn that the next (and last) two flights to Salt Lake City were sold out. But all I had to do was call my favorite business travel agent who was able to confirm me a seat on a different airline within minutes.

Christopherson Business Travel has not only the best “secret (travel agent) weapons,” but they also have a tool kit full of travel technology that will service you and your business travelers through all your travel needs–whether it’s Mother Nature throwing a punch, mechanical problems, or simply a need for better managed travel.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Internet Travel Sites vs Corporate Travel Agency: 10 Reasons Why the Agency is the Best Choice

As a sales person for one of the country’s largest travel management companies (TMC), I frequently encounter companies who book all their travel online using public internet travel sites (like Travelocity, Orbitz, etc.). Inevitably, these companies want to know why they should use a corporate travel agency rather than these public sites.

10 Reasons to Use a Travel Management Company Instead of Internet Travel Sites

  1. Many public travel websites charge fees too – they’re just hidden in the fine print.
  2. A TMC will guarantee the lowest rate. Why waste time and energy searching a half dozen sites when we guarantee the best deal?
  3.  A TMC provides 24-hour emergency after-hours service. When a storm hits and your flight is cancelled, you can call your TMC agent, who knows your company and can provide you immediate, efficient, and courteous support round the clock.
  4.  A TMC will manage your unused airline tickets. Did you know that 10% of corporation’s tickets go unused? That can really add up to a big loss. But a TMC will manage, audit, report, and ensure the reuse of all your travelers’ unused tickets.
  5.  A TMC will build your corporation’s travel policy into your company’s booking options (online or with an agent) so that travelers who book outside the policy are required to get approval.
  6. A TMC will negotiate hotel and car rental contracts on your behalf and ensure those rates at the time of booking.
  7. A TMC will provide consultative services to your company to provide cost savings, cost avoidance, and return on investment
  8. A TMC will provide the necessary tools to facility your duty of care so you can quickly locate your travelers in the event of an emergency.
  9. A TMC will keep track of all past, current and future itineraries.
  10. A TMC will  house all travelers’ personal information, TSA required information, and frequent flyer information in one profile.  Each time they book a ticket, their information automatically populates into their reservation.

As a leader in business travel management, Christopherson Business Travel focuses on the unique needs of our clients. We configure, deliver, and maintain a travel program with maximized traveler satisfaction and cost savings. It is our job to help our clients manage a travel program that provides savings to counter the cost of maintaining such a program.

Let us show you how we do it. Contact us for more details on how Christopherson can help your corporation enjoy increased service and cost savings with our business travel programs.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Salt Lake City Business Travel: Where to Stay/Where to Eat

Embassy Suites opens new hotel in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City is a great place for business travel. Every year, we move forward with new restaurants, shopping centers, and rapidly growing businesses.

West Valley City, a suburb of Salt Lake City, is currently updating its corporate niche and has built a brand new Embassy Suites as well as a new Don Shula restaurant, Shula’s 347 Grill.

If your business travels bring you to the area, we invite you to check it out. West Valley is centrally located and only minutes from the Salt Lake City Airport.

And speaking of growth … Forbes recently named Utah the #1 Best State for Business for the third year in a row.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Prevent Business Travel Jet Lag

avoid jet lag while traveling for business
I just found an incredible website that I think all our business travelers will want to know about: Jet Lag Rooster.

According to the site, Jet Lag Rooster is a “free, simple, and effective way to reduce or prevent jet lag.”

You simply add your to/from destination, departure/arrival dates and times, and your normal routine for falling asleep and waking up. Then the site generates your “jet lag plan.”

Each customized plan provides a schedule of when to go to bed, when to wake up, and when to “get light” in the days leading up to your business trip. It even links to light sources to purchase if sunlight is not available or an option.

Figuring out how to avoid severe jet lag on business trips has just been made as easy as can be (and it’s FREE!). Try it on your next trip–especially when jumping several time zones–and let me know how it worked for you.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Delta Air Lines and Starwood Hotels Launch Crossover Rewards Program

Although I am not a pro at maximizing my preferred traveler and credit points, I was excited to hear the announcement that Delta Air Lines and Starwood Hotels and Resorts have launched a joint loyalty partnership.

The new program, which begins March 1, is called Crossover Rewards and allows Delta Medallion and Starwood Preferred Guest members to share program benefits to earn more Skymiles and Starpoints when traveling with either brand.

In Delta’s announcement, they state: “SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallion members will have access to added benefits including priority check-in, 4 p.m. late checkout and free in-room internet access when staying at Starwood Hotels and Resorts. All Delta Medallion members also will earn one mile per dollar spent on eligible room rates when staying with Starwood in addition to the Starpoints usually earned for their stay. In turn, SPG Platinum members will receive one free checked bag, priority check-in and priority boarding when flying Delta. SPG elite members will earn one Starpoint per dollar spent on eligible flights in addition to the miles usually earned for their flight.”

This program will be a great advantage for frequent business travelers and brings added value to both of these companies’ loyalty programs. It will also be interesting to see if this is the beginning of a new trend that will benefit everyone chasing points.

Customers can register for Crossover Rewards with Delta or with Starwood, beginning March 1.

Categories
Press Release

Christopherson Business Travel Selects E-Travel Technologies to Provide Security Alerts

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Christopherson Business Travel today announced the selection of e-Travel Technologies Inc.,
of Mississauga, Ontario, to provide e-Travel Alerts through their online, traveler tracking & duty of care solution,
SecurityLogic®.

“It’s an exciting time as we announce that SecurityLogic will now allow our clients to even more effectively manage
travel risks, meeting and exceeding their basic duty of care requirements,” said Christopherson President & CEO,
Mike Cameron.

SecurityLogic is one of eight proprietary technology tools Christopherson provides to companies who partner with
them for their business travel management services. As a digital tool, SecurityLogic offers dynamic search and
reporting options that allow companies to quickly locate their business travelers anywhere in the world. Through
this partnership with e-Travel Technologies Inc., SecurityLogic also now provides real-time weather, security, and
disaster alerts that can then be pushed to travelers via text and email.

Don Churchill, President of e-Travel Technologies Inc., added, “We are extremely pleased to have been selected by
Christopherson Business Travel for our real-time e-Travel Alerts content. Their sophisticated SecurityLogic product
is one of the best in-house tracking systems in the industry. With the rapidly increasing demand for duty of care
services, we are confident that our combined products will make a significant contribution to Christopherson’s value
proposition in the corporate travel marketplace.”

About Christopherson Business Travel
Christopherson Business Travel is the independently owned leader in intelligent business travel management and
business travel resources. As the twelfth largest business travel agency in the United States, with 250 team members
and 35 offices, the company supports more than $340 million in annual travel bookings for more than 900 successful
companies. To learn more about Christopherson Business Travel, visit www.CBTravel.com.

About e-Travel Technologies Inc
With a 20 year track record, e-Travel Technologies Inc. is a recognized provider of travel risk management information
services contributing to traveler protection and corporation’s duty of care compliance. Their services are used by
leading travel management companies and corporations around the world. For more information about e-Travel
Technologies Inc, call +1-866-319-4847 or email sales@eTravelTechnologies.com.

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Categories
Business Travel Vacation Travel

Virtuoso’s Best of the Best: Your Guide to the Top Luxury Hotels and Resorts

Presenting the 2013 Guide to the World’s Best Hotel Experiences: Virtuoso’s Best of the Best Hotel Directory

This award-winning publication is THE guide to the world’s greatest hotels, resorts, spas, lodges and villas. Every property included in this collection is Virtuoso-preferred and inspected, and known for its unique setting, exceptional service and remarkable attention to detail.

And since Christopherson Business Travel and Andavo Travel are members of Virtuoso, when you book your stay through us for business or pleasure, you’ll enjoy exclusive amenities including preferred rates and availability, breakfast for two daily, room upgrades, early check-in and late checkout and complimentary extras that will make your travel experience extraordinary. Take a peek!

Virtuoso’s Best of the Best has received the following distinguished accolades:

  • Winner – Best Consumer Guide, WPA Maggie Awards, 2012
  • Winner – Best Consumer Guide, WPA Maggie Awards, 2009
  • Finalist – Best Annual/Directory, WPA Maggie Awards, 2007
  • Winner – Best Annual/Directory, WPA Maggie Awards, 2006
  • Winner – Best Annual/Directory, WPA Maggie Awards, 2005
Categories
Travel Industry Travel Management

Give Flowers this Valentine’s Day Using your United MileagePlus Account

 

Many of the business travelers who book their trips through Christopherson Business Travel fly United Airlines and are MileagePlus members.

One benefit of having a MileagePlus account and accruing miles, is the opportunity to cash in miles for services. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, why not buy your loved one a beautiful flower arrangement from FTD using your United Miles?

Simply visit ftd.com/unitedredeem.

 

Categories
Travel Industry Travel News

Privacy Wins: TSA Removes Naked-Image Scanners from Airports

airport security TSA

Most of us are probably familiar with the Rapiscan full-body, naked-image scanners. They were very controversial when they were first introduced at airport security checkpoints, and continued to be in the forefront of conversations and meetings at the TSA and in Congress.

They came about in response to the “underwear bomber” who attempted to “blow up Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009. He  was able to get through security and onto the plane, but the underwear bomb he was wearing failed to detonate. Instead, it caught fire, severely burning [the bomber],” reported ABC News.

Because of how this bombing attempt was carried out, the TSA deemed it necessary to find a safe and effective means of detecting explosives under people’s clothing. Rapiscan’s full-body scanner seemed to accomplish that task, but it required the traveling public to give up a measure of privacy as a result.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “The Rapiscan scanner uses low-level X-rays to create what looks like a naked image of screened passengers to target weapons hidden under the clothes.”

However, the TSA has recently cancelled their contract with Rapiscan. The naked-image scanners will be removed from about 30 airports and are being replaced by scanners that offer more privacy but can accomplish the same purpose.

“A second type of TSA scanner, built by L-3 Communications Holdings, uses radio waves and shows hidden objects on an avatar images on a screen — not on an image of a passenger,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Personally, the Rapiscan scanners really didn’t bother me. I think most of us understand the need for security. Life just isn’t the same as it was before 9/11. We don’t have the same privacy expectations.

What do you think?

Categories
Travel News

Dreamliner Investigation May Take Months to Find Solution

 

We have written posts in the past about the Boeing Dreamliner. It really is a spectacular piece of machinery that defies gravity with its massive frame and the ability to transport hundreds of travelers with a grand-scale kind of luxury never experienced in the skies.

In fact, some of our Christopherson Business Travel employees were able to tour the inside of this fabulous bird while it was housed in Denver. “This is incredible!”, “What a remarkable feat!”, and “My dream is to fly on this some day!”, were some of the comments heard around the hanger that day.

But wait … what happened to this opulent flying maching that so many of us had hoped to be a passenger on?

Based on recent news and reports, experts appear to still be stumped over the burning batteries that caused the dangerous mishaps on-board the Dreamliners. Investigators are working hard to find the problems and their solutions, and unfortunately, the delay–that was supposed to have been only a few days–may turn into weeks, or even months.

The National Transportation Safety Board has said its experts found short circuits and evidence of uncontrolled overheating inside the fire-ravaged battery of one Dreamliner. But what they still can’t decipher is cause and effect.

But hopefully soon, the problem will be identified and the Dreamliner will again soar through the skies, succeed against all odds, and thrill us as never before.

To learn the latest about the Dreamliner investigation, the Wall Street Journal recently published a comprehensive article about the current situation here.

 

Categories
Business Travel Vacation Travel

Christopherson Business Travel Has a Leisure Travel Division


We all say it: “I’m too busy to go on vacation.” But the truth is, taking a break actually reduces stress which then makes you a better employee, parent, and person. It can also create job security because your company will realize how valuable you are when you are gone!

In a USA Today travel survey, the following question was posed: Which type of cruise would you most like to take? The results broke down as follows:

31%: Alaska Adventure
29%: European Riverboat
22%: Caribbean Mega-ship
11%: Caribbean small ship
7%: Mississippi Riverboat

Where would you like to go? Personally, I’ve taken a cruise to St. Thomas and a few other ports and found it very relaxing and enjoyable. So get out the calendar and make some plans. It will give you something to look forward to as you wade through the winter months.

And in case you didn’t know, Christopherson Business Travel’s leisure travel division, Andavo Travel, has an entire team of travel advisors who specialize in cruises and other vacation options. They are eager and ready to help you decide where to unwind and relax. Contact them here, to start planning.

Categories
Company News and Announcements

Top of the List: Denver’s biggest travel agencies

DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL | FEB 1, 2013

Top of the List: Denver’s biggest travel agencies

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

AirPortal 360™ is a Business Travel Management Nerve Center

Christopherson Business Travel recently released AirPortal 360™ which was the culmination of major investments and two years of work in building our proprietary travel management technology platform.

In creating AirPortal 360, we had three main objectives:

1.    To create a fully integrated platform

  • We had too many disparate 3rd party travel technology systems that were hard to make work well together.
  • We wanted better integration of full service & online travel management methodology and related policy compliance tools.

2.    To offer a 360°, real-time view that would enable high-level “situational awareness”

  • We wanted to create comprehensive dashboards and customizable widgets with KPIs.
  • We wanted to offer drill-down capabilities to solve specific problems.
  • We wanted to allow increased visibility and accountability.

3.    Provide Actionable Intelligence for all Users

  • External Clients: Travel Managers, Travel Arrangers and Travelers
  • Internal (TMC) Clients: Account Managers, Agents and Support

We also evaluated the individual stakeholder’s needs before we began building

AirPortal 360

Travel Managers want savings, policy compliance, and duty of care.  Thus AirPortal 360 offers:
•    Policy/vendor management tools for full service and online
•    Accurate management of unused airline tickets
•    The ability to identify who, when and where travelers are

Travelers want service and convenience. Through our traveler dashboard, business travelers have:
•     Document delivery (desktop & mobile)
•     Single sign-on connectivity to third party tools – TripIt®

TMC travel agents & account managers want tools to better manage their clients’ travel programs. To facilitate this, we created tools to:
•    Manage & monitor travel policy compliance
•    Manage preferred vendor relationships

We certainly think we’ve met our objectives and invite you to take a look at AirPortal 360™ here. You can also contact one of our executives to learn more about how we, and our business travel technology tools, can save you time and money.