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Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

Trendy Technology for Business Travelers

Technology continues to change the way we travel–especially over the last 20 years. With the release of the Apple Watch quickly approaching (April 24, 2015), the convenience that accompanies technology will become even more of a focus for frequent travelers and gadget lovers. With this is mind, here are some trendy new apps and technology that will make travel even easier (and maybe even more fun!) in the future:

Table8logo1) Need a reservation at a popular restaurant in a major city? With apps like Table 8 in San Francisco and Los Angeles and I Know the Chef in New York City, you can buy–for a small fee–a same-day reservation at a restaurant that would normally be fully booked.

2) Choose your seat mate based on their social network profile with KLM’s Meet & Seat program. But don’t worry–you have to be registered for the program in order for your profiles to be viewed by other passengers. Registered travelers are also able to select certain aspects of their profiles to share.

delta-innovation-classSimilarly, with Delta’s Innovation Class, you can book a seat next to a celebrity or industry leader when they travel to events. For example, last  month, a lucky traveler was able to sit next to Ryan Lewis (Quadruple GRAMMY Award®-winning producer of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) on his flight to attend the GRAMMYs.

3) Are you looking for some company and an authentic local dining experience on your next business trip? Websites like bookalokal.com and eatwith.com will connect you with local people to host you for dinner either at a restaurant or in their own home. Both of these services are available in select cities worldwide.

4) Payment is going mobile with apps like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Uber, Airbnb, and OpenTable are now accepting payment through the app. In addition, more and more establishments are installing the technology to accept mobile payment.

trover_logo5) If you don’t have time to plan activities before your trip, you might be interested in the Trover app, which allows you to view photos and reviews posted by other travelers. There are also a few peer-to-peer sightseeing services such as Vayable.com where you can connect with a local person to get the most authentic experience.

Technology is definitely bringing people together, even when they are on the road for business. Which of these apps or websites will you use on your next trip?

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel News

Good News for 2015 Business Travel Budgets: Airfares Predicted to Decrease

According to Christopherson Business Travel’s global affiliate BCD Travel’s consultancy arm, Advito, airline tickets for 2015, which were originally thought to increase, are not predicted to do so. In North America, instead of increasing 4 percent, they are predicted to decrease year-over-year by 1 percent.

This is wonderful news for all travelers, both business and leisure. With the major North America players not decreasing their fuel surcharges, at this point, this is certainly something to by happy about. (For more information on this topic, click here to read “Falling Cost of Fuel and Airline Surchages: Business Travelers Take Note.”) It would be difficult, in my estimation, for airlines to even consider fare increases for 2015 with these lower fuel costs.

Unfortunately, Europe will not be as lucky as North America with fares now predicted to likely remain flat. For more information, visit Advito’s projections details at BusinessTravelNews.com.

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

Top 3 Mistakes People Make With Their Airline Miles

I recently came across an article by The Points Guy that identified ten mistakes business travelers often make with their frequent flier miles. It was so helpful, I wanted to share what I thought were the top three mistakes and how to avoid them. For the other seven mistakes, visit The Points Guy.

Top mistakes business travelers make with their airline miles

  1. Letting Miles Expire – Leaving miles unused for a period of time can result in expiration of those miles, rendering them useless. The expiration term is different for each airline; some may only be 12 months, others are seven years. An easy way to avoid losing thousands of earned miles is to keep them active by making a cheap purchase in your program’s shopping portal, something like a DVD or an iTunes song. At this rate, you’re “spending” 99 cents or maybe a few bucks to hang on to your miles!
  2. Redeeming Miles for Merchandise – If you are contemplating a new big screen TV or hanging onto the miles you earned on that spontaneous trip a few years back, you might decide the TV holds more value for you. However, before unloading all of those miles on merchandise, make sure you understand the value of the exchange that is taking place. You’ll likely get a better deal using your miles on airfare and purchasing the TV with your airline credit card.
  3. Hoarding Them – Earlier this year, Christopherson Business Travel published a blog post about the recent changes to United Airline’s MileagePlus® program. Delta too has introduced updates to their SkyMiles® program and American Airlines is right behind them. My advice is: Don’t hoard your miles. Unlike some assets, miles typically lose their value over time. With airlines’ evolving award schedules, mileage requirements are rarely decreased to obtain your next reward.
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Business Travel Travel Industry

Delta Airlines’ Checked Bag Guarantee: 20 Minutes or 2,500 Miles

2-airport-baggage-claim-jaak-nilsonDelta Air Lines has quietly launched a trial 20-minute carousel baggage delivery guarantee for SkyMiles members. The trial runs through March 31 and could possibly be implemented on a permanent basis if successful. The pulse of the guarantee is that members whose bags aren’t delivered to the airport carousel within 20 minutes of arrival, can get 2,500 bonus miles if they file a claim online with Delta within three days.

There are so many conditions some travelers may feel it is just an empty promise.  Delta says the plane-to-carousel time will be “measured by Delta’s baggage tracking system, where available.” Delta will use the information from the trial period to evaluate if or how such a guarantee would be implemented on a permanent basis.

So far, Delta is the second big U.S. carrier to offer such a guarantee. Alaska Airlines offers its own 20-minute baggage guarantee of 2,500 miles to customers whose bags do not arrive to the carousel within 20 minutes. However, they also give customers the option to receive a $25 travel voucher instead of the miles.

Since most airlines are charging for checked bags, this traveler thinks it would be nice to see other airlines add a guarantee as well.

Source: USA TODAY

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Company News and Announcements

2015 Travel Agencies: Ranked by 2014 Revenue

DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL | MAR 6, 2015

2015 Travel Agencies: Ranked by 2014 Revenue

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management

ECONOMY FARES: Savings vs. Restrictions

As a business travel manager/planner, are you willing to purchase non-changeable airline tickets without seat assignments?

Highly restrictive airline tickets are usually more appealing to leisure travelers because of the lower price point, but as companies look for ways to reduce travel spend, many travel planners and managers are wondering if they ought to mandate that their road warriors travel on these restricted tickets, such as Delta Air Lines’ Basic Economy fares.

But what if the business trip plans change? Is the price of these airline tickets so appealing that they’re worth throwing away? And what about not having advance seat assignment? These are questions worth asking before making such changes to a company travel policy.

Delta launched Basic Economy fares in 2012 in specific markets where they were competing with other low cost carriers. Most of these markets were Florida destinations, where there was a significant amount of leisure travel to those cities. Fast-forward to 2015, and while Delta’s Basic Economy fares are still only available in limited markets, they have announced that these fares are no longer eligible for paid or complimentary First Class, Economy Comfort, or Preferred Seat upgrades regardless of Medallion status. Additional restrictions are outlined here:

Screen shot 2015-03-04 at 5.03.18 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many corporate travel managers perceive that Basic Economy fares will provide significant savings for the company’s travel budget. To assist in determining whether the savings are significant enough to match the restrictions, here are three examples and the fare differentials for comparison (source: Worldspan; February 16, 2015).

Screen shot 2015-03-04 at 5.03.33 PM

Certainly, all travelers need to be mindful of spending corporate dollars wisely. As a business traveler who also assists companies in optimizing their travel budgets, establishing policies, and managing travel programs, I have seen firsthand what happens when companies handcuff themselves to so-called “money-saving” policies with excessive restrictions. Unfortunately, the results can be paltry savings in exchange for trip flexibility, convenience, and traveler satisfaction.

To download this white paper, click here.

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Press Release

Christopherson Business Travel Hits Half Billion in Sales

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Christopherson Business Travel reported a 33 percent year-over-year increase, hitting more
than a half billion dollars in annual sales in 2014.

“In 2010, we set a goal to double our sales by the end of 2015,” said Christopherson’s CEO Mike Cameron. “We not
only met that goal one year early, but exceeded it.”
In addition to $510 million in sales in 2014, Christopherson implemented 84 new corporate clients, bringing the total
number of clients to more than 900, and added 40 new team members. Since 2010, the company has grown by 113
percent.

“Our formula for growth is simple,” Cameron said. “You take the right people, plus the right value proposition, plus
the right incentives. The only possible result is growth.”

While Cameron has no plans to slow the company’s growth, whether organic or through acquisitions, he reported that
Christopherson’s next steps are to establish its excellence within the industry through a comprehensive best practices
review and reinvention strategy.

“As we look forward in 2015,” Cameron said, “we plan to strengthen the quality of our operations so that our service
is better than the industry’s best. We also plan to continue investing in aggressively developing innovative technologies
that will bring greater convenience and cost-saving options to corporate customers.”

About Christopherson Business Travel
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,
Christopherson operates from five full-service locations (Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco,
California; Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama) as well as 35 client-dedicated on-site locations, employs more
than 350 travel professionals, and manages travel for more than 900 companies and organizations across the country,
among which are Fortune 500 companies, government entities, universities, and private businesses. For more
information, please visit CBTravel.com.

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