Business Travel Travel Industry

A Double Take on United – Earn Double MileagePlus Miles through Nov. 21

Mileageplus_newlogoUnited Airlines announced this week that it would be offering a month-long special for members of the airline’s MileagePlus loyalty program: the opportunity to earn unlimited double-award miles. In order to participate, members must register for the promotion and complete their travel between now and November 21.

The offer is applicable to all flights on United and United Express–which together operate an average of 5,341 flights per day to more than 360 airports across six continents. Even though the promotion is only valid for travel within the U.S. (read: “within the lower 48,” since Alaska and Hawaii are excluded), domestic segments within international itineraries are included–so you might pick up some significant mileage nevertheless.

“This promotion gives us another opportunity to reward our MileagePlus members for their commitment to flying with us,” said Praveen Sharma, United’s vice president of loyalty. “It’s a great opportunity for MileagePlus members to earn twice the miles during the busy fall travel season.”

To register for the double-miles offer, visit and enter your MileagePlus account number, in addition to promotion code TB2M06.

If you’ve had your fill of traveling though (we’re just sayin’), there are plenty of options for redeeming those extra miles in other ways. United’s loyalty program is one of the most flexible, allowing members to apply their award miles toward travel, hotel stays, and car rentals–but that’s not all. The airline offers a couple of unique programs for award redemption: MileagePlus Headliners, through which members can redeem miles for theater and sporting-event tickets and bid on a variety of amazing experiences, and the MileagePlus Digital Media Store, which gives members the opportunity to trade miles for songs, albums, television shows, and movies.

Business Travel Travel Tips

6 Packing Tips for Business Travel


Try these helpful tips when packing for your next business trip.
Try these helpful tips when packing for your next business trip.

I still struggle with packing for a business trip, but one day I’m certain I’ll get it right. In fact, I’ve blogged about this topic in the past:

Now that I know what not to forget and how to do it with no wrinkles, the next step is knowing what to pack when it comes to fashion. With a little research, I have gathered Six New Packing Tips for Business Travelers:

  1. Two pair of shoes is essential and one must be comfortable.
  2. If you like to exercise on business trips but don’t have room to pack your tennis shoes, simply use the laces and tie them to your carry-on luggage.
  3. Pre-plan your wardrobe. It’s also easiest if you choose either a black/gray or brown/tan ensemble.
  4. This one is mostly for women–but change your look with accessories. You can easily make yesterday’s outfit new today by adding a scarf, different jewelry, or a flashy belt.
  5. Remember–you can dress up a pair of jeans if you need to, so don’t forget your favorite pair.
  6. Don’t be afraid to use the laundry facilities or dry cleaning services available at your hotel. This can help you avoid over-packing.
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Technology

Social Media Is Changing (for the better) Airline Customer Service

travelFor a while, it seemed like airline customer service was in a serious downward spiral. But during a recent look into how social media has become an important piece of airline branding and customer engagement, I found that airlines are actually using social media to solve customer problems.  Here are a few examples:

JetBlue, with an impressive 1.7M followers on Twitter, does one of two things when passengers are complaining via Twitter about not getting enough information: 1) they respond to the person/people directly or 2) they call the airport to conduct a gate announcement to dispense the needed information. Their social strategist finds it important to reach out to travelers if they see something where they can be of assistance.

Recently, through direct messages on Twitter, a reporter at Digiday was able to rebook a flight after it was delayed for several hours through @DeltaAssist. A Delta spokesperson said they are not giving up on call centers, but that @DeltaAssist is just “one more way of reaching out to customers where we know customers are.” He further mentioned the Twitter account was specifically created to help customers in need.

In another example, a passenger was waiting to board a flight from Phoenix back to the East Coast when he read on Twitter that the inbound flight he was waiting for was at least 20 minutes late. When the passenger confronted the gate agent with the tweet, the agent announced, “Your information is better than mine.” Folks running the airline Twitter feed seemed to know more than employees on the ground.

A study conducted in early 2013 by Allianz Global Assistance shows 30 percent of all tweets are geared toward travel. A few travel-related Twitter feeds you might want to check out (in addition to Christopherson Business Travel’s @CB_Travel feed, of course!) are:

According to the Huffington Post, these are seven of the top 10 travel Twitterers to follow.

Business Travel Travel Industry

Is My Layover Long Enough? — Airline Connection Time Requirements

Departures-and-Arrivals-BoardAirlines have a required allotted time for connecting flights–the minimum being 30 minutes. But not all connections are created equal. When an airline determines how long a connection should be, they don’t account for the little mishaps that can sometimes become barriers for you.

You can’t always get off the plane as fast as you think you might, and it’s often not your fault. Have you ever tried to read the departures/arrivals board in a hurry? It’s not easy. Could you even imagine having only thirty minutes between flights when traveling internationally?

A recent article from, “International flight minimum connecting times,” gives insightful information on how to avoid stress when booking a flight that has connections. It also provides some minimum connecting times that you might want to consult before you book your next international ticket. Ultimately, you might consider contacting an experienced travel agent to book your flights if you’re concerned that the connecting time won’t be adequate.

Business Travel Travel Technology

AirPortal 360™ Mobile – All signs point to Yes!

AirPortal 360™ Mobile helps travel planners do their jobs more quickly, more thoroughly, and from anywhere.
AirPortal 360™ Mobile helps travel managers and travel planners do their jobs more quickly, more thoroughly, and from anywhere.

With the recent release of Christopherson Business Travel’s new AirPortal 360™ mobile app, we have literally put the power of AirPortal 360 into the hands of travel managers, travel planners, and key executives. With just one or two clicks, you can now answer a variety of questions, such as:

  • Who is traveling today?
  • Where will our travelers be tomorrow or next week?
  • When does “so-and-so” return?
  • What hotel is he/she staying in?
  • What is our contract rate at the Hyatt in San Francisco?
  • What is the CD number for our Delta contract?
  • I forgot my password. Help?
  • A new hire started today. Can you get her set up to book travel?
  • I deleted my itinerary. Can I get another copy for my expense report?
  • One of our travelers was let go today. Will you please make sure he can no longer book travel?

You can also execute a number of important tasks, even when you’re not at your desk, including:

  • Locating all your company’s travelers
  • Viewing all your travelers’ itinerary details
  • Emailing an itinerary
  • Accessing vendor contracts
  • Enrolling new travelers
  • Resetting passwords
  • Deactivating ex-employees
  • Contacting your Account Manager
  • Contacting your Agents
  • Immediately assisting travelers if flights are delayed/cancelled
  • Notifying travelers of weather, disaster, safety, or delay information

Here is some recent feedback from current AirPortal 360 Mobile users:

Everyone expects me to know all of the details of every traveler. Now I do!

I use this app every day, it is so convenient and simple to use.

With three clicks I can get the data I need. Wow!

So, can AirPortal 360 Mobile make your life easier? All signs point to YES.

AirPortal 360 Mobile is available in the Apple app store. Simply download the app and login with your AirPortal® credentials.

Not an iPhone user? Watch for our Android version coming soon.

Business Travel Travel Tips

5 Ways to Get a Flight Upgrade on Your Next Business Trip

Try these five tips for getting a free flight upgrade.
Try these five tips for getting a free flight upgrade.

Many of our clients often ask if we can get them a free flight upgrades. Typically, airlines provide free upgrades to their elite status loyalty program members, however a recent survey conducted by Skyscanner found that nearly two-thirds of cabin crew members have given someone a free upgrade for a variety of reasons. According to the survey, the most likely candidates for free flight upgrades are well-dressed, single men in their thirties.

Being mannerly and patient are always champion ways to behave, frequent flyers and those who are traveling alone were reported to be most often the winners of upgrades, regardless of gender. It just happens that more of those kinds of travelers seem to be male.

Here are five ways to improve your chances for a flight upgrade on your next business trip:

  1. Check in early – There are probably only a limited number of seats available; you might be rewarded by being the first to check in.
  2. Join the airline’s loyalty program – Airlines are likely to upgrade their frequent flyers first.
  3. Stay in touch – Some airlines offer reduced-price premium seats as boarding time approaches. Check your email and social media.
  4. Dress like it’s a special occasion – Dress to impress people might just do that very thing.
  5. Be kindhearted – Your generosity towards fellow passengers might just be rewarded by a generous seat in premium, should a crew member spot your benevolence and wish to reward your kindness in kind.

Here is a link to a Huffington Post article with additional information on the topic.

Company News and Announcements

Reporter’s Notebook: Not Everyone Hates Ancillaries


Reporter’s Notebook: Not Everyone Hates Ancillaries

Business Travel

The Airport – A New Place to Relax and Relieve Stress?

Airports across the country are upping the ante on their amenities.
Airports across the country are upping the ante on their amenities.

Airports across the United States are continuing to expand the number of services they offer in an effort to take some stress out of flying, set themselves apart from rival airports, and bring in more revenue.

A survey by Airports Council International-North America, which represents commercial airport owners and operators in the U.S. and Canada, gathered information from 89 airports. Did you know that Xpress Spa has 53 spas in 26 US airports? And forget the fast food chains. Restaurants like Wolfgang Puck have many airport locations with healthy menu selections, and offer a place to relax with a perfect glass of wine.

For long layovers or an early arrival into Los Angeles, there is an 18-hole golf course next door. And the Minneapolis airport has a 24 hour Pet Hotel. You can drop off Fido before your trip and pick him up on the way home.

Some airports are also now offering live music concerts and the Boston airport even has rocking chairs to rock your stress away. Know you are out of milk, but don’t want to stop at the grocery store on the way home? Just grab some from the vending machine at the airport parking garage.

In every way, airport facilities are taking advantage of early arrival times and lengthy layovers to provide a more relaxing and stress free experience at the airport. So the next time you need to travel, don’t worry about running through the terminal. Sit down, take advantage of all those amenities, and enjoy the journey not just the trip!

Check out this CNN article with “14 airport amenities that will make you long for a layover.”

Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Technology

A Brief Overview and Evolution of the Travel Industry

Travel is so commonplace and easy in today’s world, most people don’t stop to thing about the evolution of the travel industry. Just how far have we come? Where did we start? Read our ultimate guide below for a history on our current travel and reservation system, which ultimately changed how we work and live.

Historical highlights in the evolution of the travel industry:

  • In 1841, Thomas Cook, a Baptist preacher, struck a deal with the Midland Railway to organize the transportation of members of his temperance society. Cook received a commission from the railway and effectively became the first recorded travel agent.
  • The rapid growth of the airlines began in the 1920s and Delta, American, and PanAm were formed at this time.
  • Joe Saunders, an entrepreneur from Omaha, started an “Automobile for Hire” business that is recognized as being the first recorded car rental company.
  • Later that decade, John Hertz would purchase one of Saunders’ competitors and form the Hertz company.

The evolution of travel technology and reservation systems:

In 1952, American Airlines installed the Magnetronic Reservisor. This is an electromechanical system of vacuum tubes and a magnetic storage drum. It allowed the airline to store seat availability on a centralized platform.

  • Around the same time, Trans Canada Airlines (TCA), in conjunction with the University of Toronto, developed the world’s first computerized reservation system. Called Reservations Electronically Controlled, it was commonly known as the Reservec.
  • American Airlines, aware of the early Reservec success, invested in the development of their own computerized reservation system.  In partnership with IBM, they developed the Sabre computer reservation system. Used by travel agents, it acted as a clearing house for US travel.
  • By late 1970s, reservation terminals were installed in travel agencies across the US.
  • Meanwhile, Sabre, in partnership with the growing computer network services business, Compuserve, provided the first known instance of online bookings for both airlines and hotels via EAASY Sabre.
  • The increase in travel agent hotel reservations and the advent of smaller and more powerful desktop computer systems prompted the creation of hotel reservation systems. Now, the reservation systems could be located at the hotel front desk, increasing convenience.
  • In 1996, a small division of Microsoft, called Expedia, launched its website offering online bookings for air, hotels, and car rentals.
  • Later that year, Travelocity, owned by Sabre, launched its own site to help the “do-it-yourself traveler.”
  • The co-founders of Orbitz and Experdia realized consumers were shopping across multiple websites looking for deals on airline fares. They developed Kayak, allowing customers to find airline pricing results across multiple sites with one search. This model is known as metasearch.

Today, the travel industry has morphed into a combination of self-service internet tools  and full-service travel management companies. One suits the ‘do-it-yourself’ traveler, while the other manages travel for businesses and organizations. Christopherson Business Travel provides a crossover with our proprietary travel technology known as AirPortal®. We manage travel for busy companies, but provide simple and straight-forward technology so they can easily book travel themselves too.

Company News and Announcements

Regulate Ancillary Distribution? No Thanks, Say TMCs & Travel Managers


Regulate Ancillary Distribution? No Thanks, Say TMCs & Travel Managers

Company News and Announcements

Biz Travel Agencies Rocked by Govt. Shutdown


Biz Travel Agencies Rocked by Govt. Shutdown