Travel Industry Travel News

The Longest Flight in the World

Singapore to Newark is no longer the longest flight in the world.
Singapore to Newark is no longer the longest flight in the world.

Sometimes a simple domestic business trip can seem like it is “the longest flight in the world,” but the actual holder of that title (until recently) was Singapore Airlines’ flights 21 and 22, which operated between Singapore and Newark, New Jersey–a flight that takes about 19 hours and covers 9,525 miles. The aircraft used for those flights was the four-engine, gas-guzzling, Airbus A340-500, but due to changes in aircraft and fuel costs, Singapore Airlines has since cancelled those flights.

The newer, super-long-haul aircraft, such as the Boeing 777, 787 Dreamliner, and Airbus A350 are more fuel-efficient, 2-engine options. However, currently, America’s Federal Aviation Administration has a longstanding rule that requires two-engine planes to stay within a certain distance of runways where they can land in case of trouble. (Four-engine planes are not subject to this rule.) This ruling would need to change in order to have a 19-hour flight back in service.

The super-long-haul update caught my interest because I took my family to the UAE for Thanksgiving last year and our flight from Los Angeles to Dubai was more than 16 hours. I was concerned about how everyone would handle it. The good news is that the aircraft, in-flight services, and seating are better equipped for accommodating passengers on these long journeys. In fact, the Singapore Airlines flights 21 and 22 had 100 seats, all business class.

But the cancellation of the Singapore Airlines flights still doesn’t give you the ability to call your next business trip “the longest flight in the world.” That is, unless you are traveling on the new record holder, Qantas, which operates the 8,576-mile service between Sydney and Dallas, Texas.

Business Travel

Rent a motorcycle on your next business trip to Las Vegas

e_motorcycle_logo_500x86How cool is this: Enterprise Rent-A-Car, one of Christopherson Business Travel’s preferred vendors, now offers the ability to rent motorcycles in Las Vegas, NV.

I was just in Vegas last weekend and thought to myself, who would want to rent a car in this city with all of the traffic? A motorcycle makes perfect sense. Especially since the city is so close to so many national parks. Read more about this new rental option on


Business Travel Travel Tips

5 Tips for Healthy Travels

‘Tis the season of holiday travel and with a little bit of planning, there’s plenty you can do to stay healthy while you’re on the road. Here are five tips:

  1. When traveling with prescription medication, keep them in their original bottles (especially if you are going to another country) so officials don’t give you a hard time about unmarked medication. Also, be sure to pack those prescriptions in your carry-on.
  2. Getting a flu shot is a good idea since you’re in close contact with so many people on airplanes and in airports.
  3. Visit to see what vaccinations and medicines are required or recommended for international travel. You may also want to look into the health care options available in any country you’ll be visiting. The International Society of Travel Medicine’s website can give you a sense of the accredited clinics in a region.
  4. Bring along hand sanitizers, digestion aids, antihistamines, and a seasickness patch for cruises.
  5. Don’t forget your vitamin C. In addition to oranges–mangos, red and green peppers, strawberries, leafy greens like kale and spinach, certain enriched cereals, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, pineapple, tomatoes and kiwi, are great sources of this powerful antioxidant and will help boost your immune system.

And as always–stay hydrated! We hope you have healthy, happy travels.

Business Travel Travel Industry

Know Before You Go: TSA Regulations and Airport Security

It's always a good idea to check the TSA website before you pack.
It’s always a good idea to check the TSA website before you pack.

It was recently reported that yet another gun was found in a carry-on bag at the Salt Lake City International Airport. This was the 27th gun found by TSA screeners this year at that airport. In 2012, 20 guns were seized at that same airport.

Why the increase from 2012 to 2013? It seems the message isn’t reaching the right people. Take note: whether it was an innocent mistake or not, it is a crime to pack a gun in your carry-on bag. Those finding themselves in this predicament will be prosecuted.

It’s always a good idea to check the TSA rules for carry-on baggage (and even checked bags) before you head to the airport. Many items cannot be placed in your carry-on bag, but they can go in your checked bag. And there are some items you can’t pack in either bag–period.

With holiday travel fast approaching, and longer security lines that come with it, it’s best to check the TSA web site before you pack that snow globe and head off to grandma’s house. (By the way, a snow globe that appears to hold less than 3.4 ounces of water–about the size of a tennis ball–and can fit in your quart-size bag with your other small liquids, can be taken with you in your carry on.) You can read the entire list of prohibited items here.

It’s highly recommended that you check the list each time you travel since it can periodically change.

Business Travel Travel Industry

Delta Air Lines Continues to Invest in Los Angeles

delta_airlines_logo1Delta Air Lines continues to invest in their presence at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and in meeting their clients’ global travel needs. Some of their exciting 2013 milestones are:

  • Commenced a $229 Million renovation at LAX which, when complete, will feature four new check-in islands, a new baggage claim area, same-floor security check-in with 10 lanes and even more restaurants and shopping options
  • Closed on their 49% equity stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways, giving Delta non-stop, twice daily LA-London service on Virgin’s industry-leading product. This service will commence in January 2014.
  • Launched a new “Shuttle Service” on the busy L.A.-San Francisco route with 15 daily hourly trips with a top-of-the-hour memory schedule similar to the East Coast shuttles between New York and Boston/DC/Chicago
  • Standardized flat-bed seats with no-step over aisle access in business class on all Delta transoceanic daily international flights from LA to Sydney and both of Tokyo’s airports, Narita and Haneda
  • Launched new destinations from LAX including Seattle, Portland, San Jose (CA), Nashville, Spokane, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and San Jose (Costa Rica)

Delta recently announced the best 3rd quarter financial results in their history. They are performing well on all fronts.

The airline also won in double categories in The Beat’s sixth annual Readers’ Choice Awards, for Most Admired Airline and the Supplier of the Year.

Travel News

Now Use Your Portable Electronic Device From Gate to Gate

We received the following news from this week, regarding the use of portable electronic devices on airplanes–and it’s great news for business travelers.

FAA allowing most electronic device use throughout flights

The Federal Aviation Administration will allow airlines to expand passengers’ use of portable electronic devices during all phases of flight, the agency announced today, but cell phone calls will still be prohibited.

Airlines are now being given guidance on the new policy, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said. Implementation will vary among airlines, the FAA added, due to differences among fleets and operations. But the agency expects many carriers to show that their planes allow passengers to safely use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year.

In a statement, the FAA said it reached its decision after consulting a group of experts that included representatives from the airlines, aviation manufacturers, passengers, pilots, flight attendants and the mobile technology industry.

Passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions, the FAA said. Devices must be held or put in the seat-back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing.

Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled – no signal bars displayed — and cannot be used for voice communications due to FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones, the agency said.

If an air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, passengers may use it. Short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards, can also be used.

“We believe today’s decision honors both our commitment to safety and consumers’ increasing desire to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flights,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These guidelines reflect input from passengers, pilots, manufacturers, and flight attendants, and I look forward to seeing airlines implement these much anticipated guidelines in the near future.”

Travel Industry Travel Management

Airline Reservation Systems History 101

Ever wonder how the travel computer reservation systems came about? Who was the first to come up with the idea? Was there an airline involved? Are those reservation systems still used today? Though little thought of today, the airline reservation systems history helped mold how we travel. It may come in handy during a good trivia game too!

The beginning of the airline reservation system

In 1946, American Airlines installed the first automated booking system called the Electromechanical Reservisor (say that three times fast). Soon followed was the Magnetronic Reservisor, which included temporary storage based on a magnetic drum.  Seeing the success of this system, Sheraton Hotels and Goodyear started using it for inventory control. A serious flaw of the system was the need for human operators to do the actual lookups. Ticketing agents would have to call a booking office. Those operators would then contact a team operating the Reservisor and then read the results over the telephone. Agents could not directly query the system, creating a prolonged process.

In 1953, American Airlines’ CEO, C.R. Smith, met an IBM sales representative and invited him to see Reservisor system, to look for areas of improvement. From there, American Airlines and IBM began collaborating on an idea of an automated airline system. In 1959, the venture announced the Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment, commonly known as SABRE. The network was completed in 1964 and was the largest civil data processing system in the world.

Following suit, other airlines created their own systems. Delta Air Lines launched the Delta Automated Travel Account System (DATAS) in 1968. United Airlines and Trans World Airlines followed in 1971 with the Apollo Reservation System and Programmed Airline Reservation System (PARS), respectively.

Soon, travel agents began pushing for a system that would automate their side of the process. Fearful this would place too much power in the hands of agents, American Airlines executive Robert Crandall proposed creating an industry-wide computer reservation system to be a central clearing house for U.S. Travel. The other airlines said nothing, citing fear of antitrust prosecution.

Agents access the reservation systems

In 1976 United began offering its Apollo to travel agents. While it would not allow the agents to book tickets on United’s competitors, the convenience of having such a program proved indispensable.  SABRE, PARS, and DATAS were soon released to travel agents as well. Following deregulation in 1978, an efficient computer reservation system proved important. Frank Lorenzo purchased money-losing Eastern Air Lines to gain control of its own SystemOne computer reservation system.

In 1976, Videcom International with British Airways, British Caledonian, and CCL launched Travicom, the world’s first multi-access reservation system. Forty-nine international airlines subscribed to the system providing distribution to thousands of travel agents in the UK. It allowed agents and airlines to communicate via a common distribution language. The system went on to be replicated by Videcom in other areas of the world, including the United States.

In 1992 a consortium led by Air France and Lufthansa Airlines launched Amadeus, modeled after SystemOne. In 1990 Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, and Trans World Airlines formed Worldspan and in 1993 another consortium including British Airways, KLM, and United Airlines formed Galileo International, based on Apollo.

Christopherson Business Travel’s main global distribution reservation system is Worldspan, now owned by Travelport, along with Apollo and Galileo.

Looking for more information on the evolution of the travel industry? Read our overview of the travel industry

Source: Wikipedia – Computer reservation system