Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Technology

DUFL Packs and Ships Your Suitcase

Dufl is a new travel app designed to assist business travelersMany business travelers feel that the worst part of traveling is having to pack and unpack a suitcase, plus the time required for the task.

Serial entrepreneur, Bill Rinehart, has found a solution to this annoyance: DUFL. DUFL is right up there with Uber and Airbnb as a travel game changer. The idea came after Rinehart finished a roundtrip from Phoenix to London, arriving home on Friday, only to start traveling again on Sunday. The time involved in laundering and preparing to travel again can be depressing. It takes away from valuable family time and enjoying one’s personal life. Here’s how DUFL works:

  • Download the DUFL app and create a new user account. DUFL will then send you a large suitcase.
  • Pack your DUFL suitcase to the brim with whatever you need for future business trips.
  • Mail the suitcase to DUFL’s storage facility via FedEx, DUFL’s partner. Upon receipt, DUFL will inventory and photograph inventory, photograph, clean and store your clothes so that they are ready for your next trip. All items will be uploaded to your account for your reference the next time you travel.
  • Request which clothes you’d like to take from your DUFL virtual closet, through the app, then enter your destination and arrival date. Items are expertly folded and your DUFL suitcase is guaranteed to be waiting for you in whatever city and hotel where you are staying.
  • Return the suitcase once your trip is over via FedEx. Return forms are included with your items and the suitcase is transported back to their facility where clothes are washed or dry cleaned and stored for your next trip!

If only this existed a few years back when I was traveling every other week! The service costs $9.95 per month to maintain your DUFL closet, and $99 for a standard trip, which covers three-day shipping to and from your destination. It also includes cleaning and repacking. DUFL was voted Best Travel App for 2015 by USA Today.  To learn more, visit USA Today and Forbes. You can also check out DUFL’s FAQs at

Business Travel Travel Tips


uberFamily-NycIn preparing for a recent family vacation to Washington D.C., I was discussing with a friend whether we should bring a car seat or pay for a very expensive airport transfer so we’d be able to reserve a car with a car seat.

Her response was, “Why don’t you use Uber? You can request a car with a baby seat.” I felt so behind the times. How did I not know Uber did this? Of course, I was intrigued but suspicious, so I decided to do my own “parent research.”

What I Learned

Uber has a select number of cars in New York, Philadelphia, and D.C. that come with a car seat. Uber cars in Philadelphia also come with booster seats for children over age four. For rides where the car seat is requested, a premium of $10 is charged for the trip. Uber hired The Car Seat Lady to consult on the type of car seat and train the drivers on installing the seat. They only offer one type of seat (the IMMI Go) and it is only approved for children over 12 months.

Select drivers were invited to have the option of having the seat in their car. Prior to receiving the car seat, they had to go to a training where The Car Seat Lady was in attendance to learn how to install the seat. One driver told us that drivers were not allowed to leave with the seat until they were able to install it perfectly. This took several hours.

Our experience with uberFAMILY was great. There were times when we had to wait a little longer for a car with a car seat, but it was well worth it! I would recommend this to anyone traveling to D.C., New York, or Philadelphia. We always felt that our drivers were competent in installing the seat and it sure was easier than having to lug our own car seat around.

Business Travel Travel Industry

Japan Airlines’ First Class Cabin Review

Since Japan Airlines unveiled their new first class product not too long ago, I’ve been itching to test it for myself. My wife and I spent Christmas and New Year’s in China last month and this was the perfect opportunity to check this off of my “to review” list. I booked us to fly from Tokyo, NRT to Chicago, ORD on Japan Airline’s 777-300ER.

As I approached the front of the plane, the senior attendant greeted me (smiled and bowed at a 47 degree angle) and escorted me to my seat, 1A.

First Class Cabin

The first class cabin is made up of 8 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration–pretty standard. Though Japan Airlines labels them as suites, they are open suites unlike the fully-enclosed ones we have experienced on Singapore, Etihad, and Emirates. The suites are 78.5″ in length and 33″ in width. Not the best in the industry, but still pretty generous and comfortable.

As soon as I sat down, an attendant introduced herself and offered me a pre-departure beverage with hot towels to refresh. “Mr. Tang, may I offer you a drink–perhaps a glass of champagne or mimosa?” Champagne it is! More to come on the champagne, as it gets much better.

I felt I had plenty of space and nice hidden compartments for knick-knacks and my pre-departure beverage. The suites had a good TV size and the table was easy to maneuver. A touch pad operated the TV and other functions. The seats were easily adjusted. I noticed that the usual amenities were in my seat and ready for use–Bose noise-canceling head set, pajamas, and an amenity kit with toothbrush, lotion, etc.

Meal Service

Fast forward an hour and the plane was cruising at 40,000 feet and meal service was about to begin. I was offered a dinner menu and a wine menu. One thing to call out is that unlike other elite first class products, I was not given the option to dine at my convenience. The entire cabin was served at the same time. For a one-way ticket that priced out at $12,000, one should be able to enjoy meals on one’s own schedule.

The menu had a selection of Japanese and Western 4-course meals, created by celebrity Japanese chefs, one being a Michelin Star rated chef. I chose the Japanese course and eagerly ordered another glass of champagne along with my Amuse Bouche. I was very much looking forward to it because [drum roll] it was Salon 2004!

While I’m not a wine or champagne connoisseur I knew Salon is considered to be more prestigious than Dom Perignon and Krug, so I didn’t pass up the chance to try it. Salon will run $350 – $400 per bottle (triple that in restaurants), so the fact that Japan Airlines serves it (free flowing) is pretty amazing! Maybe I could drink enough to offset my ticket? I noticed that the Salon was served in a larger white wine glass verses the flute that was previously used for the pre-departure champagne. Fine champagne in flutes is considered to be served in poor taste as it does not allow the proper amount of oxygen exposure, denying a fuller appreciation of the wine’s complexity. Needless to say, I was impressed when the attendant pro-actively suggested to serve the Salon in a white wine glass. Kudos!

While the Japanese course did not include caviar service, I politely expressed that I’m a fan of caviar. Three minutes later, my wish was granted! My main course was Japanese Wagyu beef–my main reason for selecting the Japanese route. The beef was fairly tender and cooked slightly above medium (it should have been medium rare). The beef was dipped in the egg yokes and tasted pretty solid, for airline food. Dessert was offered but I politely declined it as I was stuffed (I also had tons of sushi at the lounge’s sushi bar just prior to the flight).

Turndown Service

At this point, I requested a turndown service and to have my bed made. Time to catch up on movies and TV shows! The bed is plenty long/tall and can comfortably accommodate anyone under 6’6″. A mattress is placed during turndown service. You can select a hard or soft comfort level.

After about three movies, I was in the mood for a snack and ordered Udon Noodles. The noodles were really good, I almost ordered a second round but decided to have ice-cream instead.

Ten hours had flown by (See what I did there?) when we started to approach the Chicago airport.


While it wasn’t “top notch” like Singapore, Cathay, or Etihad, I still thought it was a really pleasant experience. The hard and soft mattress products are both solid and communication wasn’t an issue as the attendants spoke decent English. We landed in Chicago refreshed and without complaints. I would have no hesitation in booking my clients on Japan Airlines’ first class product.

For more trip photos, follow me on Instagram @besvisor.

Travel Industry Travel News

Delta Launches Delta Comfort+ Fare

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 6.15.49 PMAccording to an article from Airways News, Delta is the first U.S. legacy carrier to offer extra legroom seats as a fare class.

A few of the benefits of this fare class are:

  1. Customers can take advantage of Sky Priority boarding instead of boarding in Zone 1
  2. There is dedicated overhead bin space for Comfort+ customers
  3. Extra leg room
  4. Free wine, spirits, and regional craft beers for customers 21 and over
  5. Snacks on all flights with a premium snack basket being offered on flights over 900 miles
  6. Complimentary access to everything on Delta Studio

Delta still will charge for checked bags and meals in Delta Comfort+. Additionally, some medallion changes were made to make this fare available.

For more information please visit

Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Effectively Manage Unused Airline Tickets

AirBank corporate travel managementWhen meeting with prospective customers, I continue to see companies that do not effectively manage their unused airline tickets.  Did you know that the industry average of business travel airfare that goes unused is eight to ten percent? Unused tickets are generally non-refundable fares and the airlines love it when customers fail to reapply the value to future travel.

This inefficiency is why we were motivated to create AirBank®.  As one of Christopherson Business Travel’s first proprietary travel technology tools; we built it to capture, audit, report, and ultimately reuse any unused airline tickets. AirBank has continued to evolve with both industry and technology changes. AirBank now includes deeper fare audits and traveler notifications. Management of AirBank’s unused tickets is fully visible to Christopherson’s clients though our AirPortal 360 dashboard.

It is rewarding to deliver hard dollar savings to our customers and the power of AirBank is just one element of our total travel management solution for business travel programs. Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company. With more than 60 years of experience, we are acclaimed for our proprietary technology and superior customer service. Contact us to learn about our additional travel technology tools or talk to one of our travel experts.

Business Travel Travel Industry

Six Lessons on Innovation From the Wright Brothers

Evolution of business travelAll of us who benefit from airline travel owe the Wright brothers a debt of gratitude as the aviation pioneers credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful powered airplane and making the first sustained flight on December 17, 1903.

In his book The Wright Brothers, David McCullough writes that many of the “most prominent engineers, scientists, and original thinkers of the nineteenth century had been working on the problem of controlled flight,” without success.

Orville Wright is quoted as saying, “The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who, in their grueling travels across trackless lands in prehistoric times, looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space, at full speed, above all obstacles, on the infinite highway of the air.”

Forbes magazine recently published an article summarizing McCullough’s book by sharing “Six Lessons on Innovations From the Wright Brothers.”

Lesson one is how they kept going despite their failures. Additionally, they taught us how to take risks and still avoid total disaster. Most importantly however, the Wright brothers taught us to test, iterate, and continue to test prototypes, until you build something of value that the world needs–even if the world doesn’t recognize it yet.

To read Forbes’ article and learn more from the Wright brothers, click here.