Travel News Travel Tips

When is the Best Time to Buy an Airline Ticket?

When is the best time to purchase an airline ticket? (click image to enlarge, Source)

When is the best time to purchase an airline ticket?

For the 30-plus years I’ve been in the travel business, this question has come up time and time again.  In 2013, conducted a study that monitored 4,191,533 ticket purchases over 10 months. Bookings ranged from 320 days in advance to 1 day in advance, and included every possible booking date in between. The study found that the best time to buy a domestic airline ticket was 54 days in advance (7-1/2 weeks).  They also uncovered a “prime booking window” of 29-104 days prior to your travel days to be optimum.

This study also found that for domestic flights, those who booked before the prime booking window of 29-104 days in advance, paid an average of $33 more per ticket than those who booked within that window. But those who booked too late paid an average of $73 more per ticket.

The study also gathered statistics for international destinations. Click here to read more.

Business and Leadership Business Travel

Making Personnel Adjustments: 3 Questions to Determine if it’s a “Right Fit”

I had the opportunity to attend the GBTA Masters Conference earlier this year, along with our CEO, Mike Cameron. While there, we were able to meet and talk with Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great. In fact, Mike shared his notes from Jim’s keynote address with our blog readers in this post.

One of the concepts Jim teaches in Good to Great is that as leaders, we need to get the right people “on our bus,” and make sure they’re in the right seat. I have always found this metaphor useful when making critical personnel decisions. I also believe that we, as company leaders, need to take responsibility for the development and growth of our managers by providing training and coaching opportunities.

But the question on my mind during Jim’s speech was: How do we know when we should continue to invest our time and energy to help an individual be successful in our organization, and when do we decide that they are in the wrong seat, or worse, that they should not even be on the bus? Clearly the decisions derived from that question can be pivotal for both the company and the individual impacted by the decision.

I posed this question to Jim and he offered an insightful response. He said it helped him to reflect on three questions when faced with a tough personnel decision:

1. Are the individual’s values aligned with the organization’s?

If there is a mis-match in values then there is no hope that the relationship will work. No amount of training or coaching will solve this problem. The best decision is to end the relationship.

2. Does the individual have the will to succeed in the organization?

If lack of will is the issue, but the individual has both the values and the skills for the position, then the best course of action is to provide coaching to help motivate the individual. Some patience is appropriate in this situation, however you can’t continuously “blow air into their balloon.” At some point, they must develop their own willpower for long-term success.

3. Does the individual have the skills necessary to succeed in their role?

Individuals can have both the values and the will to succeed, but lack in key skills needed in their position. In these situations, we can afford to be more patient because skills can be taught, particularly if they are willing and able to learn and have the desire to succeed.

I hope you’ve found this framework as useful I have in making important personnel decisions that will help your organization achieve the success you deserve. I also encourage you to read Good to Great to discover additional leadership insights. And remember: “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it” (Dwight D. Eisenhower).

Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

Beat Jet Lag With The Entrain App

entrainAppIt is difficult to keep up with the many travel related apps being released almost daily.  But according to University of Michigan researchers, the new app Entrain, actually helps minimize jet lag.

The effects of jet lag have been shown to be reduced by taking proactive steps, such as altering your sleep patterns or exposing yourself to sunlight. Doctors have long believed that exposure to light is key. A master biological clock, called circadian rhythm, regulates when we become sleepy and when we are more alert. When you travel across time zones, that body clock must reset itself.

Entrain calculates the optimal sleep and lighting cycles to help you regain rest in your new time zone to reduce the effects of jet lag.

Business Travel Travel Tips

Don’t Let Business Travel Derail Your Fitness Goals

As we quickly approach the fifth month of yet another year in which many of us are working toward fitness goals, some of us might be getting a little lackadaisical in our commitment.

Sometimes we would love nothing more than an excuse to skip a workout or enjoy a “cheat meal,” but the truth is, once we take that plunge, it can be harder to get back to where we were. Of course, there is nothing unhealthy about having a day of rest here and there, but next time your boss sends you on a week-long business trip, don’t let yourself off the hook! There are more than enough outlets for you to stick to your fitness plan and goals.

Utilize Hotel Fitness Facilities

Try to book a hotel with a fitness room. Many hotels are currently upgrading their equipment to accommodate the increasing number of health-conscious travelers. If your hotel doesn’t offer a fitness room, why not do a Google search to see if your home gym has a location near your hotel?

Also, don’t let the lack of free weights in hotel fitness facilities deter you. If your hotel has a pool, take advantage of water exercise! Pool workouts are a great way to build cardiac endurance and work on strength training without the impact on your muscles and joints.

Bring the Gym With You

Let’s not forget all the wonderful little gadgets and gizmos that allow us to take fitness virtually anywhere. From resistance bands and jump ropes to inflatable weights and yoga mats, you could easily fit an entire workout in your carry-on!

Also, chances are you have some sort of “smart” device. Check out the “Health & Fitness” category in your App Store. It’s loaded with 200 free applications you can store right on your phone or tablet to aid in smart eating and daily workouts.

Overall, don’t let yourself take the “easy road” while “on the road.” Try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. It will help you keep stress at bay and achieve your personal goals.

Company News and Announcements

Christopherson Deploys Virtual Card To Simplify Hotel Reconciliation

THE BEAT | APR 22, 2014The Beat

Christopherson Deploys Virtual Card To Simplify Hotel Reconciliation

Business Travel Travel Industry

Big Data in the Travel Industry: Driving Revenue vs Building Customer Loyalty

jetblueI recently had the pleasure of attending the Rocky Mountain Business Travel Association’s Education Day. One class, in particular, left the entire room thinking. It was taught by Ron DiLeo, President of Partnership Travel Consulting, who led a discussion on travel technology and applications, with a focus on big data.

It seems everyone is talking about “big data” these days. There are companies, such as Amazon and Target, that are extremely good at increasing their revenue by proactively suggesting items to consumers based on their purchase history. But there are also less intrusive, or perhaps less “in-your-face” companies that are also collecting our data. Most travel industry companies fall into this second category.

You may or may not have noticed that travel vendors use your travel history to know when to advertise to you. For example, if you went to Aruba with your family last fall, you may see advertisements from the airline you flew for fares to Aruba this fall.

Vendors also use purchase history data to predict in advance what fares and rates to sell during certain times. The rule that a better deal can be had by booking in advance is no longer correct, as airlines, hotels, and car companies are all basing rates off history.

With all this data available, it is important to point out that the majority of companies are still using the information to benefit the traveler in some way. The larger hotel chains in particular are great at tracking traveler preferences (king bed, non-smoking room, high floor, etc.) and using these preferences to create loyalty amongst their travelers.

And at the end of the day, isn’t loyalty what this whole thing is all about?

Business Travel Travel Management

Why Clients Choose Christopherson as their travel management partner

Entering into a multi-year partnership with the right travel management company (TMC) enables travel management professionals to focus on spend analysis, budgeting, policy development and enforcement, and duty of care.  However, selecting the right TMC can be a daunting task.

Christopherson Business Travel as travel management leaders

Christopherson Business Travel continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. New clients are asked “Why did you choose Christopherson?” Here is what they say makes Christopherson stand out amongst other TMCs.

  • Christopherson offers AirPortal®, an integrated travel technology and management platform.  AirPortal not only provides travelers the ability to book within policy, but gives travel arrangers and managers the tools needed to manage the corporation’s entire travel program.
  • Christopherson’s pricing is simple.  Our clients like that all of the “extras” are included in our service fees.  Our clients learned that many of our competitors charge extra for reporting, account management, and duty of care tools.  At Christopherson, we only charge transaction fees.
  • Christopherson’s duty of care technology, SecurityLogic®, is superior to all other duty of care tools in the marketplace.  Our clients are not only able to quickly locate all of their travelers by name, date, and/or location, but they have the ability to push alerts directly to the traveler.
  • Our expertise with Concur Travel.  As a Concur Travel Preferred Partner (one of only ten agencies nationwide), Christopherson offers three experienced teams to support our customers using Concur Travel.

Please contact our sales team for additional information on why Christopherson is the best TMC for your company.

Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

SpotHero: A Business Travel Parking App That Hits the Spot

Spot Hero App2SpotHero is a free iOS or Android app that lets you find, compare, and reserve the most affordable spots in parking garages and lots in seven major U.S. cities. The app becomes especially useful when you haven’t planned your parking arrangements in advance.

Users can save time and money by being able to compare prices and locations while navigating the city’s parking rules and regulations. If you’re unfamiliar with the garage you’ve chosen, the app provides a street view image of your destination. You also have the ability to cancel your reservation any time until its start time.

With the app’s amenity icons you will know at-a-glance if a spot has in-and-out privileges, is a covered garage, is open 24/7, has shuttle assistance, and more. Parking options are available at airports, hotels, office buildings, restaurants, and points of interest.

The seven cities currently available in SpotHero are New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston, Baltimore, Newark, and Milwaukee. Whether you’re traveling for business or entertaining clients, SpotHero is a great way to find worry-free parking.

Business Travel

Most Important Hotel Amenities for Business Travelers

According to a new survey from, complimentary breakfast is the most important hotel property amenity for guests. A hotel restaurant lands in second place, showing that food is of high importance to many travelers. This was a crowd sourcing survey through Twitter, asking people globally.

“Popular hotel amenities like parking, non-smoking rooms and pools have become more standardized, and we’re seeing that travelers are placing more value on quality food options than ever before which is good news for foodies!” said Taylor L. Cole, APR travel expert for As a leisure or business traveler, do you find this to be true? How do your wants compare to the rest of the list?

The Top Most Important Hotel Property Amenities Are:

  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Restaurant
  • Internet/Free Wi-Fi
  • Parking
  • 24 hour front desk service
  • Smoke free hotel
  • Swimming pool
  • Bar
  • Air conditioning
  • Tea/Coffee in lobby

Read next- Avoiding Unnecessary Hotel Fees

Company News and Announcements

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Business Travel

Corporate retreats: A breath of fresh air for your company

corpretreat1Have you ever thought about taking your management team on a corporate travel retreat? If your immediate response was no, let me explain why you might want to consider using this innovative idea for your company. Let’s face it, executives can become over-worked, stressed out, and even bored with their daily tasks. This may lead to lower productivity and loss of creative thinking.

How can you avoid this? By booking a challenging and truly unique corporate retreat. Corporate retreats are a great way to get employees to think outside the box, receive inspiration, and communicate ideas in a clear and concise manner. This is a proven way to foster true productivity, increase success, and offer creative and exciting team building activities. In addition, you’ll be providing rejuvenation for the mind, body, and spirit of your top executives while contemplating new concepts to grow your business.  What could be better than that?

A corporate retreat is a way to regroup and rethink your next move or your next big idea! Success is more likely to follow when both mind and body are invigorated and refreshed. Inspire your team to look at themselves and their colleagues in new and creative ways.

Andavo Travel, the vacation planning division of Christopherson Business Travel, can assist you with planning your next corporate event. Contact us for more details: 866-327-7600.

Travel News Travel Technology

Delta Air Lines’ new Boeing 717s Come with In-Seat Power Outlets

Delta's in-seat power outlet just might be the best feature on their new 717s!
Delta’s in-seat power outlet just might be the best feature on their new 717s!

I travel frequently enough to appreciate airplane amenities such as large overhead bins and higher ceilings, but when I recently boarded one of Delta’s new Boeing 717s for a business trip to Atlanta, I was most surprised and delighted by the extra leg room and in-seat power outlet!

Doesn’t every commercial aircraft need power outlets with a USB port? How different the airport would look if travelers could charge their devices in-flight rather than scrambling to claim one of the limited outlets in the airport to power up before takeoff. We’re not quite there yet, but it was encouraging to see and experience this feature on board my Delta flight.

I was curious to know how often I might come across this aircraft in my travels and found that Delta acquired and refurbished AirTran’s fleet of approximately 80 Boeing 717s when AirTran was acquired by Southwest Airlines. Southwest did not want to integrate the 717s into its own fleet of 737s. Delta however, is well equipped to handle the complexity of operating many different aircraft types. And as Delta is leasing the 717s at a good price, they will be much cheaper to operate than the aircraft they are replacing.

Business Travel

Driving Loyalty: Turning Every Customer and Employee into a Raving Fan for Your Brand

book-img21I had the privilege of hearing Ron Cerko, Vice President of Travel Industry Relations for Enterprise Holdings, speak at the BCD Affiliates annual sales and account management meeting, held at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia last month.

In his remarks, Ron referred to Driving Loyalty, by Kirk Kazanjian. The book, though written about the National Enterprise Rent-a-Car story, teaches how any business can be successful through brand loyalty. Some of the highlights Ron pointed out included:

  • Think differently!
  • Meet an overlooked need in the marketplace
  • Find and serve a specific un-crowded niche
  • Take care of your customers and employees first–the profits will follow
  • Be ready to seize an opportunity when it strikes
  • Be the best company your clients have ever done business with
  • 68% of lost customers leave because they had poor customer service
  • Deliver dazzling service

At Christopherson Business Travel, we work diligently to create and maintain a unique competitive advantage. We have approached the development of our unique services and technology offerings as a science. This is the only way you’re able to succeed in a competitive marketplace.

In order for something to be defined as a “unique competitive advantage” we require that it pass a four-part test:

  1. It must be objective.
  2. It must be quantifiable.
  3. It can’t be a cliché.
  4. It can’t be claimed by our competitors.

Read more about Christopherson’s four-part test here.


Business Travel Travel Tips

8 Tips for Getting a Better Airplane Seat on your Next Business Trip

One way to get a better seat on your next flight is to book early when there is a greater selection of seats.

We’ve all been there. You’re on a business trip, you’ve had a long day, and now it’s time to get on the plane to go home. The fun begins as you claim your middle seat in the back of the plane with your knees clutched to your chest. If you are one of the lucky travelers with frequent flyer status, your seat selection might be better. But what can the rest of us do to have better odds at snagging a more appealing seat?

8 Tips for Getting a Better Airplane Seat

  1. Book early to get a better selection of seats.
  2. If you are unable to get a seat at the time of booking, once you get your confirmation number, go to the airlines website, enter your confirmation code and see if you can select seats at that time.
  3. Check online 72, 48, and 24 hours before departure. That is when frequent travelers typically get upgraded to better seats and you can get their previously reserved seats.
  4. Once you’re at the gate, request an exit row. If those seats are still open the gate agent will typically not charge you the extra fee to sit there.
  5. Sign up for seat alerts on, which notifies you when seats become available.
  6. Fly during off peak days/times for more seat availability.
  7. Not sure where the good seats are on different carriers? Go to, or where you can find seat maps to help you.
  8. Some airlines charge extra for premium seats like those in the first five rows, aisle seats, bulk-head seats, or exit row seats. It might be worth it to pay extra on long-haul flights.

The good news is that by booking travel through Christopherson Business Travel, our expert travel agents will do their best to get you the best seat possible at the time of booking.