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Business Travel

Duty Of Care vs. Travel Risk Management

It’s not uncommon to see the two terms ‘duty of care’ and ‘travel risk management’ used interchangeably, even by travel professionals. They do work together, to keep your employees safe while traveling for business, but there is one major difference between the two. In another addition of our definition series, we will be defining these two terms, as well as their differences.

Defining duty of care

‘Duty of care’ can be defined as the moral and legal obligation to take responsibility for the safety and well being of your employees. In relation to travel is often tricky to define, often making it a popular subject in the business travel communities.

Businesses have an obligation to their employees to provide a safe work environment. This is mainly due to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. It is what requires employers to cover workers compensation if an employee is injured while on the company premises or nearby. But what happens when your employees are representing your business, but not under the company roof? Is there an obligation to keep them safe? This is where duty of care gets a bit murky. Unlike workers compensation regulations, there are no defining law, rules or standards for businesses to adhere to when it comes to business travelers. Which is where travel risk management steps in. 

Defining travel risk management

Travel risk management is the course of action used to help provide duty of care for your travelers. There are no laws or regulations that tell a company the specific steps they need to take when it comes to protecting their employees while traveling on business. Which makes the process of protecting duty of care a tricky one for companies. On one hand, they can rely on minimal coverage, only accruing costs should something arise. On the other hand, companies care about their employees and don’t want to see them in harm’s way or injured.

It is finding this middle ground for companies within travel risk management plans that can be confusing. There is no one right way to conduct travel risk management. Additionally, it seems to always be evolving as advanced technology unfolds. For example, our SecurityLogic tool delivers real-time security data to monitor potential risks likes weather, airport delays, or security issues. It also offers the ability to quickly locate any traveler and immediately verify their safety with our Safe Check feature.

Anything else I should know?

It’s easy to think of only catastrophic events when discussing duty of care and travel risk management. Hurricanes, terrorist attacks, civic unrest, for example. This often leaves everyday or common risks out of the scope of your plans.  Things like food poisoning, non-violent petty crime, or minor traffic accidents are more likely to occur to your travelers than a tsunami or other major event. Some specifications can be included in an effort to reduce these more common risks. For example, if your travelers arrive very late at night or early in the morning, they are likely too fatigued to drive and may result in a car accident. Your company could include in your travel policy to provide transportation from the airport within these instance. 

Interested in learning more about other travel management terms? Check out our posts defining the GDS and corporate travel policies. Contact us to learn more about Christopherson’s unique solutions to provide travel risk management for your employees and deliver peace of mind.

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Business Travel Guides

The Definitive Guide To Choosing Between TSA Precheck, Global Entry or CLEAR

Do you know what’s worse than the long security lines at the airport? Standing in that long line, watching travelers with TSA Precheck or CLEAR breeze past and continue onto their gate. It’s like being stuck in gridlock rush hour traffic, as a commuter train speeds around the congestion and quickly disappears into the horizon. And whenever I encounter either, I quietly vow to be one of those lucky passengers or travelers next time.

Of course, what follows is diving into the different options available, and ultimately hitting a wall of choice paralysis. Which one do I choose? Which is the best option for my lifestyle and amount that I travel? Shouldn’t I be focusing on more important things, rather than researching expedited security screening services? Well, we’re putting an end to this indecision. We’ve completed a thorough investigation and laid it all out. Now, all you have to do is read these quick summaries and decide which service would benefit you the most.

 

TSA PreCheck

How it’s different

This short cut through the security line is run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which regulates the overall security line. Because it’s regulated from within TSA, you may have previously received free TSA PreCheck status in the past. It works by bypassing the long security lines, into the designated TSA PreCheck lines. The lines are usually smaller and faster because you don’t remove shoes, belts, laptops, or liquids.

What’s the application process?

Users subscribing to TSA PreCheck fill out a short online form. Then, one must schedule an interview with a TSA agent to finish the evaluation process. The interview is typically conducted at a TSA office, meaning you will likely need to drive to your closest airport to conduct the interview. Fortunately, TSA frequently promotes events outside of the airport to complete the process.

Cost

A $85 non-refundable fee that covers a 5 year membership. (That comes out to just $17 a year.)

Upside

  • Because it runs through the existing TSA, it has been implemented thoroughly throughout the U.S. It is currently in more than 200 airports and 53 airlines.
  • They are already rolling out new advanced technology in select TSA PreCheck security lines, like facial recognition technology, and only using your driver’s license.

Downside

  • There have been recent criticisms that TSA PreCheck is potentially the slowest of these advanced security screenings. Largely due to TSA PreCheck being run by the government, it is more likely to be understaffed with long lines during high use times.
  • The $85 application fee is non-refundable, even if you are not accepted into the program.
  • Having TSA PreCheck eligibility status is included in Global Entry, so paying for it individually may not be the most effective use of a membership.

Who should sign up

Any frequent business traveler who travels within the US. It is the best deal out of all of the services, but does have some potential drawbacks.

 

Global Entry – Trusted Traveler Programs

How it’s different

This is the only service that focuses on international travel by reducing the time spent in customs lines. Run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, its biggest advantage is it can be used in customs lines coming back into the U.S. Once flying back to the States and reaching customs, Global Entry members will pass to a designated kiosk, where they will scan their fingerprints and continue through the on-screen prompts.

Other Trusted Traveler Programs include Nexus and Sentri, expediting service between only the U.S. & Canada, and the U.S. and Mexico, respectively.

 Cost

$100 one-time fee for application. Includes a 5 year membership. (That comes out to $20 a year)

What’s the application process?

An online application, plus the fee. If your application is approved, an interview with a Customs & Border Protection agent will be scheduled at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. Your fingerprints will be taken, which will later be used as identification when you use a Global Entry kiosk at customs.

Upside

  • The best option for international travel.
  • Includes TSA PreCheck membership

Downside

  • The wait time for your interview can be lengthy, sometimes six months out.
  • If you are denied entry into the program, your $100 application fee will not be returned.

Who should sign up

International travelers. Even one or two trips to another country could justify the price.

 

CLEAR

How it’s different

CLEAR is the only private service, not developed through the government. As a standalone service, it addresses the long security lines from a different angle. Rather than reducing the wait time in existing security lines, they instead created their own line. It scans your identity with a fingerprint scan and an eye scan.

Cost

$179 per year (that’s $15 per month)

What’s the application process?

A simple registration form, followed by a 5 minute set-up at an enrollment center. You will need your driver’s license to continue. CLEAR can be used through airport security that same day.

Upside

  • Easiest application process
  • Does not require any additional identification through the line process, just your boarding pass.
  • Can be used concurrently with TSA Pre-check Eligibility. Use CLEAR to verify your identity, then skip ahead to the Precheck line.
  • CLEAR is branching out into other avenues, like sports stadiums, arenas, and more. Potentially, you could use it in your everyday life.

Downside

  • The most expensive option, by far.
  • Limited availability in airports, though it is growing. Currently it’s in only 30 airports in the US.

Who should sign up

A very frequent business traveler, who knows that CLEAR is available in the airports he/she frequents.

 

 

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

What You Need To Know About TSA’s New Ban on Powders from International Flights

This past weekend, a specific ban started its enforcement on flights entering the United States. This time, the focus in on the amount of powders allowed in carry-on luggage. Impacting only international flights entering the United States, it will not affect domestic flight travel. Read more about the specifics of the new procedures below.

What’s happening?

Foreign airports with direct flights to the United States are requested to provide additional scrutiny to fliers carrying 12 ounces or more of powder in their carry-on luggage. Many international airlines have already placed heavier scrutiny on powders since an incident last July in Australia.

This is in addition to the increased security scanning procedures implemented in April; which included removing food, powders, liquids from carry-on bags while going through security checkpoints.

 

What might be included in this ban on powder?

American Airlines helped define exactly what is a powder in a recent press release – “Powder-like substances are described as fine dry particles produced by the grinding, crushing, or disintegration of a solid substance.”

If you’re like me, you’re probably racking your brain to think of what common powders might even find their way into luggage. Turns out, there’s quite a few items, like: cosmetics, coffee, spices, baby powder, and protein mixes. Fortunately, baby formula, medicine, and cremated human remains are exempt from these secondary screenings. Gunpowder remains prohibited from all checked and carry-on luggage.

 

If you need to travel with 12 ounces or more of a powdery substance

It won’t necessarily be confiscated. Likely, it will be requested that you remove the powder, and it will go through an additional screening. If the powder is still unidentifiable, it may then need to be discarded. You can also check you baggage with the large amount of powder to avoid this situation completely.

 

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