Business Travel Vacation Travel

US to Europe: Give Icelandair a Try

icelandairWhen researching flights for a recent trip to Europe, I found that Icelandair had the best options from Denver direct to Reykjavik. In fact, the fares are actually quite affordable any time of year, and additional savings can be achieved if you are willing to spend some time in Reykjavik.

Our flight from Denver to Reykjavik was six and a half hours and we had booked the Economy Comfort seating since this fare includes a meal and access to the Saga Lounge. We could order anything from the menu and the selection of entertainment was expansive. Passengers who take this flight in the summer will also enjoy beautiful scenery flying over Greenland, as the sun never sets on this flight. Upon arrival in Reykjavik, we found a beautiful, clean, and incredibly modern airport.

For our second flight from Reykjavik to London, we were upgraded to Business Class and were given the same amenities. The flight crew was incredibly accommodating and we landed in London feeling semi-rested and well fed.

For our return flight, we flew from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Reykjavik and found the flight just as pleasant. On this leg of the trip, we were able to enjoy a stopover in Reykjavik. We had booked a very short 36-hour stay, but will definitely stay longer next time, as the entire country seems to be incredibly organized and there is prearranged transportation for almost every activity.

Icelandair partners with Reykjavik Excursions and tickets are sold on the flight for an airport transfer which either includes a stop at the Blue Lagoon or goes directly to the city with hotel drop-offs. Both Reykjavik Excursions and Gray Line have a desk at the airport with regularly scheduled buses leaving for both the Blue Lagoon and Reykjavik.

We opted for the bus that stopped at the Blue Lagoon, since this attraction is much closer to the airport than downtown. These buses are also the best option for returning to the airport. They depart from downtown and all of the companies have an option for hotel pick up. But do keep in mind that Iceland is a very “on time” country and transportation runs on schedule to the minute.

By taking advantage of the 22 hours of daylight, we were also able to squeeze in a Golden Circle tour and some window shopping downtown during our short stay. It is important to note that the flight on Icelandair was perhaps the only affordable thing about our Reykjavik stopover, as we found that hotels, shopping and dining in the city were quite expensive. But even still–whether you are planning to vacation in Iceland or just stop over, Icelandair provides an affordable fare and great service when travelling to Europe.

Business Travel

Christopherson Gets All A’s in Higher Ed Market

Christopherson Business Travel continues to grow at unprecedented rates, despite the difficult economic climate. In 2013, sales reached $384 million and the company is projected to hit a half billion dollars in sales within the next two years.

Much of this growth can be attributed to achievements within the higher education market. So far this year, Christopherson has added the University of Washington, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of San Francisco, and Rice University as valued clients.

Christopherson has become a front-runner in higher education travel as a result of the services and expertise it provides these institutions. With a collegiate-focused University Travel Desk, extensive experience in academic travel planning, and a thorough understanding of university athletics, Christopherson’s services can be tailored to colleges and universities of all sizes. Additionally, Christopherson’s technology platform, AirPortal®, is customized to meet specific university requirements and the company’s agents are experts in the Fly America Act, Open Skies Agreement, as well as NCAA regulations.

If your college or university is looking for skilled professionals to help you manage your travel program, Christopherson would welcome the opportunity to demonstrate our expertise.


Business Travel

Christopherson Business Travel at GBTA Convention 2014

Untitled-1 GBTA Convention 2014 in Los Angeles, CA has begun! And Christopherson Business Travel is pleased to be participating in this year’s event as a trade show sponsor with nearly two dozen employees in attendance.

Christopherson Business Travel is the independently owned leader in intelligent business travel management, online travel tools, and business travel resources. As the 11th largest business travel agency in the United States, and an affiliate of BCD Travel, Christopherson operates from five full-service locations (plus 35 client-dedicated on-site locations) and booked $384 million in travel in 2013 for more than 900 successful organizations across the country, including Fortune 500 companies, government entities, universities, and private businesses.

We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the unique benefits we offer as a business travel partner and invite all GBTA attendees to stop by Booth 957 to speak to our executives and see live demos of our technology tools. While there, you can recharge your electronic devices at our charging stations, enjoy one of L.A.’s famous Sprinkles cupcakes, and enter to win on of multiple cash prizes. Winners will be drawn every hour.

We look forward to meeting you!


Company News and Announcements

New TMC’s Join Concur’s Preferred Partner Program to Build Innovation Advantage

CONCUR | JULY 27, 2014

New TMC’s Join Concur’s Preferred Partner Program to Build Innovation Advantage

Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Business Travel Duty of Care: What is it and why does it matter?

Christopherson’s SecurityLogic® technology helps companies fulfill their duty of care responsibilities.


noun \?dü-t? also ?dyü-\ : a moral or legal obligation, responsibility or commitment


noun \?ker\ : effort made to do something correctly, safely, or without causing damage

“Duty of Care” is currently a popular topic in the travel industry for important reasons:

  • The world can be a dangerous place with many risks
  • Organizations have a responsibility to keep their travelers informed and safe
  • Organizations are a target for lawsuits when things do not go as planned
  • Providing critical information and support to your travelers is good customer service and good business

At Christopherson Business Travel, we believe that duty of care consists of four key elements:

1)  Pre-trip –

Or in other words, the “need to know before you go” information

  • What are the current conditions at the proposed destination?
  • Is is safe to go? Are there Weather, Political, Security, Natural Disasters, or Health issues?
  • Does the traveler need any special documents to travel, i.e. passport, visa, immunizations?
  • Will the traveler be traveling with others on this trip for safety and/or support?

2)  En-route –

Where you keep your travelers informed of current issues while en-route

  • Have circumstances at the destination changed since the travelers departure?
  • Are there updates on developing issues that need to be monitored?
  • Are all of your travelers safe and accounted for?
  • Do you have multiple ways to communicate with your travelers, i.e. text, email, phone?

3)  Emergency Response –

Supporting or evacuating your travelers when circumstances deteriorate

  • Do you have a plan for support or evacuation of travelers in need?
  • Do your travelers have the training/skills needed in an emergency situation?
  • Do you have access to the traveler’s emergency contact info, i.e. family, friends, etc.?

4)  Post Trip –

Documenting and reporting your duty of care activities

  • Do you have documentation showing you have met your ‘Duty of Care’ to your travelers?
  • Do you have the ability to report upstream to senior management?
  • Do you review past situations for opportunities to improve your program?

If you need help determining and fulfilling your duty of care responsibilities, please contact a Christopherson Business Travel Account Manager. We help companies of all sizes meet this key responsibility and have the tools and expertise to help you be successful.

Business Travel

How to Make a Business Trip a Family Outing

For some, the idea of bringing the kids along on a business trip may seem unprofessional or irrelevant, but it can be a great way to ensure a balance between work and family. And in fact, business travel and families have been meshing for years. KiddieCorp, one of the top meeting planners for child care at business events, just celebrated their 28th anniversary. Additionally, the online business magazine AllBusiness released an article stating that more than 32 million business trips in 1998 (16 years ago!) included children. According to the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) that is a 33 percent increase from the previous year.

In the informal business climate of today, you may find your company and colleagues are more accepting of children on business trips. To determine whether this is a manageable concept for your situation, here are five things to consider before booking those extra tickets:

Should you bring your family on a business trip?

  1. Do you have a set schedule?

If your trip comes with some sort of agenda you can better plan both yours and your child’s time. If the trip is less structured, it may be difficult to arrange and plan activities and child care.

  1. Should you bring a sitter?

Oftentimes businessmen and women will bring their spouse or a responsible family member to care for their children while they’re tied up in meetings. This allows the kids to venture out to local parks and attractions with a trusted adult. Keep in mind it is best to choose someone your children are familiar with. It may be uncomfortable for them to be left with an unfamiliar face, which might hinder your concentration at work.

  1. What will your kids do while you’re working?

Deciding what to do with your child is the last thing you’ll want to deal with while rushing to an 8:00 a.m. meeting. Ask yourself: what will keep them entertained while you’re working?

  1. Are there kid-friendly resources available?

Similar to KiddieCorp, many hotels provide sitting services and amenities for “junior guests.” Some resorts even have camps with water sports, crafts, and kid-suites with video libraries and play areas. If you’re going to a conference, it might be worth mentioning that you would be interested in a youth program. Often, if a handful of people request child care at a conference, the association will listen.

  1. Is this trip conducive to children?

Be sure that you’ll actually have time for family-time. If you’re going to be too tied up in meetings perhaps it might be best to wait for another trip. Also, is it the right destination for children? Some cities are more conducive to family time than others.

Travel Industry Travel News Vacation Travel

Virtuoso Travel Week: Agents shopping for your next travel adventure

Shopping’s never been more fun!  I’m excited to tell you that soon a whole contingent of Andavo Travel (the vacation planning division of Christopherson) travel advisors from across the country will be heading to Virtuoso Travel Week, the world’s largest luxury travel show, held each August in Las Vegas.

This event brings together the world’s leading luxury travel providers and travel agencies for a week-long, collaborative event where advisors shop cruises, hotels, tours and destinations for their clients. This one-of-a-kind event gives Virtuoso Member travel agencies and advisors the exclusive insider access they need to fulfill their clients travel dreams, turning ordinary trips into extraordinary experiences.

Do you have a particular adventure you want us to seek out for you? Perhaps you’re thinking of an African safari? Maybe you’re dreaming of cruising in a zodiac in Antarctica? Or biking through Asia? This is the perfect time for us to ‘shop’ for your next vacation, so give your Andavo agent a call and let’s discuss your travel interests.

For more info about Virtuoso Travel Week, view this 1-minute video:

Contact us today to start creating your next unique adventure.

Business Travel Travel Industry Travel News

TSA Fee Increase on July 21st

3c666baa42aa4761854c24952b4eb9b4If you’re looking to save some money on your next flight, you need to book your ticket quickly. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) passenger screening fee (also known as the Sept. 11 security fee) will more than double to $5.60 per flight leg on July 21, with no cap.

The current fee is $2.50 per flight segment, with a $10 per-ticket cap. “So a trip with multiple stops that last longer than four hours could see a whopping TSA fee multiplying with each additional leg of the itinerary,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

What’s more, it appears that more fee hikes are on the horizon for airline passengers. In addition to the TSA fee increase, airports want to boost their facility fee from its current limit of $4.50 per boarding to $8 per boarding. Plus, Customs and Border Protection is pushing for a $2 boost in its immigration fee on international tickets (from $7 to $9).

According to The Wall Street Journal: “It seems like a little bit of an onslaught right now,” said Sharon Pinkerton, senior vice president for legislative and regulatory policy at Airlines for America, the airline industry’s Washington, D.C., lobbying group. “Policymakers see air passengers as an ATM.”

According to The New York Times, the TSA fee increase will raise an additional $16.91 billion over the next decade. About 65 percent of the collected fees will fund security screenings. The remaining funds will go to the general fund.

To learn more, read this story on

Business Travel Travel Industry

Delta and United Change Loyalty Programs: What does that mean for the business traveler?

Screen-Shot-2014-02-26-at-8_13_48-AMWhen Delta and United announced their 2015 loyalty program changes, I don’t think anyone was surprised. But if, like me, you travel just enough to feel like a frequent flyer but not enough to actually gain status with any one airline, you might be interested to learn that travelers with loyalty status actually pay 15% to 20% more than those without status, according to data collected over a two-year period by CWT Solutions.

Traveling, it seems, is not as fun or as glamorous as it was 30 years ago, so it makes perfect sense that travelers prefer to stick with one carrier because of the benefits offered to make travel more tolerable and productive—especially if you are a road-warrior type business traveler. Those complimentary upgrades, priority boarding, and waived baggage fees definitely improve a traveler’s experience and state of mind!

Travel managers should be aware, however, and educate themselves on the 2015 changes in store. These two loyalty programs (Delta’s and United’s) are switching from miles traveled to ticket price paid. This may cause some travelers to consider other ways to ensure continuance of benefits they have become accustom.

These following articles explain in detail (including comments from travelers) how these 2015 loyalty program changes will affect travel managers, travelers, and eventually a company’s bottom line:

Business Travel Travel Tips

How to Exercise While Traveling for Business

Not only is it hard to eat healthfully while traveling, but exercising on the road can also be challenging. Depending on whether you like to use gym equipment, swim, bike, or run, there are many choices to keep yourself fit while on the road. I suggest using the Boy Scouts’ motto–“Be Prepared”–to enrich your exercise experience.

Best ways to exercise while traveling


Workout clothes are usually light and easily packed. I’ll often bring a jacket for potentially cold mornings when my exercising may take me outside. My lightweight running shoes are a must in order to keep the luggage weight down. Packing my sunglasses, water bottle, and phone holder may take up a little extra room, but having them makes for a more enjoyable workout when I am away from home. Of course, a swimsuit, cap, and goggles take up little space–just be sure to bring a waterproof bag should you need to pack a wet swimsuit for your return trip.

Fitness Centers

Most major hotel chains have some sort of fitness center. Equipment can be quite different from one hotel to the next, so look online before you go. Do they have what you need? If not, do you need to change hotels or figure out a different plan? When I arrive, I usually check out the fitness center to get an idea of the type of equipment offered. If I’m unfamiliar with it, I get on and try it out. I learn how to turn it on, figure out the specialized workout program, or how to work the program manually. This saves me time in the morning and I don’t have to waste 5-10 minutes trying to figure out the equipment.

How do I know this? On a business trip to Salt Lake City, I stayed at the Hyatt Place and wanted to use their bike equipment, but only the incumbent bike was available and I couldn’t find the “on” button. I fumbled around with it until I finally had to ask someone. (In case you’re wondering–you just need to pedal and it’s powered by your movement.) I felt a little embarrassed, but still got my workout in.

Swimming Pools

Swimming is a great way to exercise if you love the water. But again, “be prepared” and check the hotel’s pool before you go. If it’s not going to work or if they don’t have one, there are usually local YMCAs or community pools available for a daily fee.

How do I know this? On a business trip to New Orleans, my hotel had an outside pool. From the photos the pool looked like a good size, but in person, it was smaller than I realized and more square than rectangular. I ended up swimming corner to corner to get the longest “lap.” Additionally, despite New Orleans’ usual warm weather, it does get cloudy, windy days, and at 7:00 a.m., an outside pool can be chilly. I’m not sure whether I looked like a dedicated athlete or a person who had gone completely bonkers.


Typically, I stick with the stationary bikes at the hotel fitness center. In addition to a treadmill, most fitness centers will have the stationary bike of some kind. I have also looked into renting a bicycle and can usually find cruiser bikes (like ones used by tourists or leisure bike groups) in the bigger cities. This takes a little extra time, but can be worth it.


This seems to be the easiest form of exercise while traveling. Fitness centers, at a minimum, will have a treadmill. However, they are usually the first piece of equipment to be taken in the morning, so be prepared to either wait or do something different. Personally, I enjoy running outside. For example, the run from downtown San Francisco to the wharf if beautiful. You could even conclude your run with a trolley ride back to your hotel. I use the Endomondo Sports Tracker app and like the map view that shows where I went. Additionally, some hotels offer morning run guides and/or groups where they will take you on a mini tour while you get your run in.

A word of caution: As a female business traveler, I always make sure the area I am running in is safe. I do not run before sunrise or after sunset. I keep to the busy streets and usually do not hit the parks unless I know they are well populated.

No matter what type of exercise you prefer, there are many options when you are traveling. Just remember to “Be Prepared” and kudos to you for staying healthy.

Travel News

United Airlines is changing their frequent flyer program

United Airlines is changing the way you earn and use miles. Beginning March 2015, you will earn points based on your ticket price.  This is the first airline that I have seen changing the way you earn your miles.  It will be interesting to see if others will follow.  We have some time before this new program takes place but they do have a handy tool that will give you estimates of your miles earned based on the price of the ticket.  For more information and to sample the new handy tool, please visit the MileagePlus Updates page.


Business Travel Travel Tips

New TSA Security measures at international airports

Travel-DocumentsJust when you thought you were a pro at getting through airport security, the TSA has implemented enhanced security measures at select overseas airports with direct flights to the U.S.

With these changes, please be aware that travelers who plan to carry on electronic devices, including cell phones, may be required to turn them on during security screening. Devices that do not power on may not be permitted onboard the aircraft. It is highly recommended that travelers charge their devices in advance and allow additional time for security screening.

Click here to learn more.


Business Travel Travel Technology

How Christopherson’s tool AirSelect can help you on your next business trip

AirSelect is one of Christopherson’s proprietary technology tools, and is quite helpful in planning any business trip.

As a regular business traveler, I normally only book my trip only for the “necessary” duration. But on a recent trip to Denver, I had the opportunity to enjoy dinner in a quaint part of town that I had not been to previously, and the thought occurred to me that perhaps I should have extended my trip to include a “fun day” to explore the area.

Hindsight being 20/20, what I should have done was ask my Christopherson Business Travel agent for an AirSelect® email so I could’ve viewed all the flight options for various days. AirSelect is one of Christopherson’s proprietary technology tools and provides business travelers with a simple, straightforward grid of options showing the lowest fare based on scheduled departure and arrival times.

For more information on AirSelect and other proprietary tools Christopherson offers, please contact one of our executives.