DESERET NEWS | AUG 25, 2015
Delta to offer nonstop flights from Salt Lake City to London
Delta to offer nonstop flights from Salt Lake City to London
Christopherson Thinks It Has Solved The Hotel Attachment Problem
Leading TMCs Choose Checkmate to Deliver Mobile Hotel Check-in And Communication
With summer winding down, now’s the time to plan those last minute getaways. In fact, I’m planning a wonderful road trip to Telluride, Colorado for a friend’s wedding this month. So in honor of the great summer road trip, I thought I’d share a few apps to help others on their way and enjoy their trip even more. Many of these suggestions also work offline, which is helpful when you hit a stretch of road without mobile phone service. Happy Travels!
Maps.me provides detailed, offline maps for mobile devices. It’s great for when you are in a dead spot.
Avenza is another handy offline app with scanned maps of national parks, hiking trails, transit routes, and odd ball sites.
Download your destination guide ahead of time from Triposo and you will have a slick offline travel guide to top attractions, places to eat and sleep, and local time and weather.
Need entertainment for the hours of driving ahead? Overdrive allows you to borrow eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video titles from your local library. Audible is a membership program offering monthly audiobooks from a selection of more than 180,000 titles.
Pocket is an app that lets you grab stories, articles, videos, “or pretty much anything” you want to come back to read/view later. It also integrates with more than 1,500 other apps, including Flipboard, Pulse, and Twitter.
This American Life is a weekly public radio show and is also available as a free weekly podcast–often the most popular podcast in the country, with around one million people downloading each week–and like audiobooks, podcasts are great for road trips.
Earlier this summer, we learned that United Airlines is putting an end to their operations at New York City’s John F. Kennedy airport later this year. This change will take place October 25, as United seeks to capitalize on the traffic of one of their largest hubs in Newark.
The proposed plan to double down at its Newark hub is pending regulatory approval for United to acquire Delta’s slots at Newark in place of United’s slots at JFK.
In addition to this shift in operations, United is also planning to reveal its Premium Service to the regularly scheduled flights running from Newark to Los Angeles and San Francisco. They’ve already upgraded their BusinessFirst class cabins with flatbed seats and other amenities, typically associated with international routes, in hopes to win over the lucrative business travelers.
To further attract travelers, a multi-million dollar renovation is already underway in the lobby of Terminal C and bringing with it new lounge designs to all United Clubs in the airport.
If you would like to read more on these updates, click here.
A recent news report from Salt Lake City’s NBC affiliate, KSL, explained that many rogue websites are popping up lately, misleading consumers to book hotel rooms through their site, which are, sadly, invalid vendors. Therefore, travelers think they are booking (and sometimes paying for) a hotel, but in reality, they aren’t.
“Here’s the problem … These websites have the same look and feel you’ve seen from hotel chains you know and trust,” KSL reported.
To ensure that you are making legitimate hotel reservations, always book through a trusted site or source such as a Travel Management Company or online booking tool. Additionally, official hotel websites will always be secure with an “https” prefix in the URL address.
For tips on what to look for to avoid these scams, visit KSL.com to view the report.
With many companies expanding their travel programs domestically, multi-nationally, or globally, business travel continues to become more and more complex, especially when it comes to risk and safety. Christopherson Business Travel understands the stress of fulfilling those duty of care requirements and provides valuable technology to help to reduce business travel risk.
Christopherson’s duty of care tool SecurityLogic®, allows travel managers to locate travelers quickly and push alerts to communicate instructions or information to travelers via text or email in emergency situations. Unlike other disaster recovery products, SecurityLogic continuously pulls data from the Global Distribution System (GDS), thereby providing real-time accuracy.
SecurityLogic also provides access to multiple global map overlays and because all travel information is geocoded to street level accuracy, travel managers can easily zoom in on any country, city, or street to find their business travelers anywhere in the world.
As an extra level of safety and communication, SecurityLogic has a two-way check-in feature called Safety Check, which allows travel managers to send travelers a check-in message to verify their safety. Upon receipt, the traveler simply responds to the message one of two ways: “I’m safe.” or “I need assistance” (with an additional field to explain their need). SecurityLogic then geocodes the traveler’s location using the GPS coordinates provided by the traveler’s cell phone.
Travel managers can also find confidence in Christopherson’s service which is available 24/7/365. This means your business travelers can call us at any time to make changes to itineraries and get travel assistance in the event of an emergency or unexpected delay.
Travel managers and TMCs have always struggled with low hotel attachment rates, which the industry estimates to be less than 50%. This is problematic because the results of low hotel attachment rates are incomplete travel itineraries, weakened vendor negotiations, and compromised duty of care.
Christopherson Business Travel introduced a holistic solution to the problem at the 2015 GBTA Convention in Orlando, Florida–Hotel Attachment.
Hotel Attachment, a hotel compliance system, meets the needs of the travelers who want an acceptable hotel included in every itinerary. It also meets the needs of travel managers who want savings, knowledge of where travelers are in order to fulfill duty of care responsibilities, and the ability to satisfy the company’s commitments with contracted hotel vendors.
Hotel Attachment identifies itineraries with missing hotel bookings and provides the traveler with four options to close that gap:
With Hotel Attachment’s digital reminders, companies can ensure trip plans are complete and hotel compliant prior to travel.
Best practices in business travel
According to the Top 100 Phobia List, 25 million Americans share a fear of flying. So, it comes as no surprise that the company SOAR Inc., founded by Captain Tom Bunn, airline captain and licensed therapist, has developed a free app to address this very issue.
The goal of this App is to provide a sense of relief to those suffering from this very real phobia. It is advertised as a source for gaining better control over things like flight anxiety, claustrophobia, and panic–all symptoms related to the fear of flying.
The app contains in-app purchases options, ranging from $19.99-$59.99, such as videos that walk the user through things like understanding turbulence, anxiety management tools, and what’s going on in the cockpit.
SOAR is currently rated five out of five stars on iTunes, and has been reviewed as an “excellent program” and a “great companion” by its users.
If you happen to be one of those 25 million Americans who fear flying, download SOAR on iTunes or Google Play and give it a try.
In order to test TSA airport security systems, undercover agents will try to get through undetected with hidden threats. When it was revealed that 95% of the time TSA security screeners and/or devices failed to detect the agents’ hidden threats, Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, began considering additional measures to increase safety.
But what does that mean for you as a traveler? More than likely, it potentially means longer lines at security check points. To avoid this, especially if you are a frequent traveler, we recommend you sign up for Global Entry or TSA Pre?™. There is no time like the present.
For more information on these programs visit CBP.gov or TSA.gov. For additional information on which airlines and airports offer TSA Pre?™ click here.
With Delta’s recent changes to the SkyMiles program, it seems our miles won’t be worth as much as they used to be beginning next year. Though some smaller carriers have implemented similar programs, according to Fox News, Delta is the “first of the big three U.S. carriers to adopt a ‘supply and demand’ program over its current fixed miles system.”
As a frequent business and leisure traveler, I find this disappointing. My SkyMiles are usually used for my husband’s annual fishing trip to Alaska and I hope this routing will not be affected by the change. Because the major carriers seem to follow trends, if you have plans to redeem SkyMiles, or any miles earned on other airlines, you may want to do so soon.
At a recent Association of Corporate Travel Executives’ (ACTE) Education Day, Detective Kevin Coffey outlined a number of best practices for business travel safety.
Most business travelers know the basics of hotel safety, but situations may arise where this isn’t the case. For example, maybe you’re staying in an unfamiliar hotel or forgot to check whether or not there were in-room safes. Here are 10 things you can do to be safer.
Read our previous blog Part 1: Corporate Travel Safety On-Board an Aircraft