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Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

6 Tips to Relax While Traveling

Are you constantly stressed while traveling for work? Being away from your home and family can easily throw anyone off. Not to mention a completely different schedule than your daily routine. Whether you are new to business travel or an seasoned roadwarrior, many parts of the journey can leave you feeling anxious.  Knowing how to relax while traveling is an important but often overlooked variable of business trips.

Tricks to help you relax while traveling:

Plan ahead 

Visualizing where you’ll be, what you will be wearing and events you will be attending can establish a schedule and even control. Before you head out the door, spend a few minutes researching. Knowing the address of your hotel and where it’s located will eliminate a few harried minutes at the airport. Or if you are attending a conference, download the schedule beforehand and plan out which sessions you’d like to see. Going in with a game plan might just help keep you confident and ready for other experiences.

Don’t over-schedule yourself 

Speaking of scheduling your time, try not to overbook your day. Factor things like jet lag, amount of sleep, work deadlines, etc. before committing to additional plans.

Unplug

Though it can seem impossible, try to have a few intervals during the day to unplug from work. If you can’t do that, even 15 minutes before going to sleep can recharge you for the next day.

Wellness

Make sure to take care of your health while on the road to help melt away the stress. Take advantage of hotel wellness programs, hit the gym, or grab some healthy snacks to offset an unhealthy traveling diet.

Family Pictures 

If you are missing your loved ones at home, save pictures of them on the background of your phone or computer. Seeing your family members may bring a smile to your face as you go through long days of meetings.

Save time for a vacation 

Our last tip is to take a vacation when you are done with work travel. Whether a full vacation or just a weekend ‘bleisure’ trip can open your eyes to a new place. Connect with a travel advisor at Andavo Travel, Christopherson’s leisure travel division, to plan a trip for complete relaxation.

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Business Travel Vacation Travel

How to Turn Your Business Trip into Your Next Vacation

Have you recently taken a whirlwind business trip to an amazing destination only to be stuck inside for meetings? The views of sandy beaches or a vibrant city you have through the windows of your meeting room, hotel, or whirring by in a taxi should not be missed! Though it can be frustrating, don’t lose up hope.

Tips to turn your business trip that could turn it into your future vacation

Accommodations  

You get to see firsthand an accommodation option. If you have enjoyed your stay at the hotel then you may already have a lead on where to stay again. If not, ask around if people are enjoying where they are staying. You may find another option you did not know existed.

Networking

Networking is all about getting to know people but sometimes it is hard to come up with topics to get started. What is a more perfect way to start a conversation at a meeting than to ask if they have been to the city before or something fun they got to do there? It will give you some ideas and a great introduction topic.

Location

Location, location, location. We have all heard the phrase and it really is important! Does the location you are staying in hold some appeal for what you want to do at the destination? Or would you rather stay somewhere more central to activities you think would be enjoyable? Taking note can help decide where exactly you want to end up on your return.

You may be working but it does not mean you can’t be planning some relaxation for the future! Connect with a travel adviser at Andavo Travel, Christopherson’s leisure travel division, to plan a trip for all the things you missed seeing and more.

 

 

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Travel Industry Travel News

TSA Precheck Lines Getting Longer?

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced an initiative to enroll twenty-five million new travelers in their Trusted Traveler programs by 2019. Such programs include TSA Precheck and Global Entry.
—To accomplish this goal, TSA is getting creative. Last year, they opened Precheck enrollment centers at locations like H&R Block and select Department of Motor Vehicles. During their Summer Tour, they set up pop-up enrollment centers at hotels across the country. They’re also now marketing Precheck at concerts, offering those who enroll access to concert Fast Passes via Precheck. Rumor is, TSA may soon be partnering with a major bank. They may also begin offering special pricing programs for the service. Select hotel and airline reward programs offer the option to use points to pay for the enrollment, while some credit card companies offer waivers to cover the cost.

According to Charlie Carroll, the vice president of Identity Services at TSA’s enrollment services partner MorphoTrust, 250,000 people enroll each month. While momentum is picking up with increased marketing, reaching twenty-five million in the next two and a half years may be an uphill climb.

How Does Increased Precheck Enrollment Affect Travelers

The real question is—how does this affect travelers? On a recent business trip, I got TSA Precheck status via random selection. It was a dream. I kept my shoes on and my laptop and bag of liquids stayed in the suitcase. I breezed through security, arriving at my gate much earlier than I anticipated. Needless to say, I enjoyed the elite status and ease of the service so much I considered enrolling and paying the $85 to become Precheck approved.

But let’s remember–the need for TSA Precheck rose from travelers’ frustration over long, slow security lines. Long, slow security lines are the result of travelers having to empty bags and practically de-robe to pass security. These requirements came in response to terrorism. TSA Precheck was then created as an elite service for frequent travelers. Eventually, preferred members of airlines, identified as “low risk” travelers, received access. Now, they’re actively marketing the service with no signs of limiting the number of people who want it.

From where I stand, it appears that they reduced the quality and speed of airport security services after 9/11. Now they’re charging us, the travelers, to get back the convenience of the faster, easier security lines we originally enjoyed. And with enrollment for the service growing rapidly, it seems unlikely that TSA Precheck will continue to be as fast, convenient, and elite as it has been.

Read these blogs next:

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Business Travel Travel Technology

Christopherson’s Technology Provides Actionable Intelligence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — Christopherson Business Travel is launching a number of technology enhancements in conjunction with an initiative to advance their integrated software platform, AirPortal, to a new level of travel management. By providing business intelligence that is digitally transformed into actions, these enhancements help travel managers direct their programs both proactively and preemptively.

“We live in an age of information overload,” said Mike Cameron, CEO of Christopherson. “Companies need more than just business intelligence to be competitive. But the challenge isn’t where or how to find the data, it’s what to do with it once you have it. We’re designing tools to help you figure that out. Our latest technology developments provide the advantage of ‘actionable intelligence’ to empower travel managers as they direct their travel programs faster and smarter.”

Among the most notable enhancements are those made to Christopherson’s AirPortal 360 dashboard for travel managers, and Airtinerary, the company’s intelligent itinerary for business travelers.

AirPortal 360 now includes My Action Items, a work-to-zero tool which pulls data from Christopherson’s various technology and presents a list of action items. Such items may include travel plans needing approval, reminders to use expiring airline tickets, risk management duties, expiring vendor contracts, and more.

“Providing our clients with a work-to-zero dashboard that allows them to manage all their pending action items in real time is revolutionary for travel managers,” Cameron said. “My Action Items is one more way we are helping our travel managers think forward and work strategically.”

Another enhanced tool is Christopherson’s Airtinerary, which now allows travelers to interact with their travel plans. Travelers can modify, add, or delete plans, and purchase trip insurance, among other actions, directly from the mobile-responsive Airtinerary.

“‘Mobile first’ is one of our mantras,” Cameron said. “Whether it’s our existing technology or new tools, we develop intuitive, elegant, and responsive technology that meets the needs of our clients where they are and helps them be proactive about their pending action items.”

Among other enhancements is a new dashboard for the company’s Hotel Attachment tool, that helps travel managers better manage compliance and risk by knowing which travelers’ plans are incomplete and provides the ability to send reminders to complete those plans prior to travel.

Christopherson plans to unveil these enhancements at the 2016 GBTA Convention and Trade Show in Denver, CO July 18-20.

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Business Travel

Best Airport Restaurants for Business Travelers

airport restaurantsThat moment when hunger strikes on a business trip can be a pain. Often, the quickest remedy tends to be junk foods and fast foods. But if you’re a health-minded corporate traveler, good food on the road is just as important as good food at home. Quality should not be sacrificed just because you’re in a (possibly) hurry in a new location. McDonald’s is not the only option! Plus, a greasy burger will leave you feeling weighed down and tired before that important business meeting.

With organic, local, and healthier food trends becoming more prevalent worldwide, even airports are providing better varieties of restaurants and cuisine styles. Here is an airport restaurant roundup to help you find a great meal on your next business trip layover.

  1. Best Airport Food: The 10 Best Restaurants in Terminal
  2. GateGuru’s Top 25 Airport Restaurants
  3. Ultimate Airport Dining Survival Guide: Best Airport Restaurant
  4. Top 10 Airport Eateries for Getting a Taste of Local Flavor
Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

United Airlines flies high in my book

United Airlines international travelWhile airlines constantly receive complaints for one reason or another, I have found that United Airlines continues to “up” their game when it comes to their international service.

I have long been a premium flyer with United but never thought their service matched other international carriers. I flew them simply for convenience as one of their hubs is in Denver (where I am based). But in the last couple of years, I have seen a great improvement in both the attitude of the in-flight crew and the service offered.

Did you know they serve ice cream sundaes in business class on international flights? I look forward to this, since most desserts are pretty predictable and boring. Their entrée options are tasty and varied, and most of the flight attendants seem to be enjoying themselves. (Of course, you will occasionally find one here or there that spoils this.)

A smile or a kind word can certainly go a long way when you are traveling. The memory of your flight may not be the highlight of your trip, but on United Airlines you have a chance. Give them a try again.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Low Hotel Attachment Rates? Christopherson Has the Solution.

Christopherson Business Travel is pleased to introduce our newest technology tool, Hotel Attachment—a digital solution to the dilemma of low hotel attachment rates.

HOTEL ATTACHMENT CUTS SPEND, BOOSTS COMPLIANCE, & ASSISTS IN DUTY OF CARE

Hotel Attachment helps companies cut spend, boost business travel policy compliance, and in fulfilling duty of care.

Christopherson is committed to delivering convenient solutions that reduce spend, encourage compliance, and keep everyone safe and informed. Companies of all sizes face the common problem of low hotel attachment rates. Hotel Attachment fixes those low rates and provides the following benefits:

  • Allows for cost-savings by encouraging use of negotiated hotel rates
  • Encourages travelers to comply with travel policies and book with preferred vendors
  • Improves duty of care, should an emergency arise, because you’ll know where travelers are staying
  • Enables travelers to always have a complete itinerary with them when they’re traveling
  • Generates analytics that can help companies reduce spend and negotiate better with vendors
  • Digitizes the process with automated reminders prior to travel

HOW IT WORKS

 

Each day, Hotel Attachment identifies itineraries with missing hotel reservations. When such an itinerary is found, Hotel Attachment sends an email to the traveler with the following four options:

  1. Make a hotel reservation.
  2. Request another reminder for a later date.
  3. Attach a hotel reservation made outside the system to the itinerary.
  4. Waive the need for a hotel reservation.

The traveler simply clicks one of the four options and our system digitally captures and processes their request. Travelers will receive a maximum of two emails—one 24 hours after the initial booking, and a final email seven days prior to travel.

With Hotel Attachment, companies and their travelers can ensure trip plans are complete, hotel compliant, and accessible prior to travel.

HOW TO BEGIN USING THE HOTEL ATTACHMENT TECHNOLOGY

We are eager to release this new, easy-to-use technology to our clients. It will be a valuable tool in Christopherson’s AirPortal arsenal and we are confident it will help companies run more convenient, cost-effective travel programs.

There are no usage fees for Hotel Attachment, and once the technology is “turned on,” we encourage clients to communicate both the functions and benefits of Hotel Attachment to their travelers and request that they always choose one of the four options when they receive a Hotel Attachment email.

For  more information, or to begin using Hotel Attachment, please contact a Christopherson Business Travel Account Manager.

 

Categories
Travel News

Christopherson in the News: Seven Corporate Travel Trends for 2016

Travel Market Report recently interviewed Christopherson Business Travel’s CEO, Mike Cameron, about his outlook for next year. Click here to read the full article and his thoughts on Christopherson’s overall increases in travel, investments in technology, and the growing meeting sector.

Corporate travel trends

 

 

Categories
Travel Industry Travel News Travel Tips

Higher Bag Fees over the Holidays for Frontier and Spirit Airlines

bag feesTraveling during the holidays is not always a smooth or easy venture. One can usually expect crowds, delays, and now surcharges from some of your favorite discount airlines. Frontier has joined their competitor Spirit Airlines in charging an even higher bag fee during the peak holiday months.

These types of airlines have the initial allure of lower ticket prices, but then tack on extra fees for things like luggage, carry-ons, seat selection, and food/beverage. Now the fees are even higher during popular travel times. In an article from Time.com it was reported that, “Frontier Airlines…recently hiked checked and carry-on baggage fees by an extra $5 to $10 for flights scheduled anytime between Thanksgiving week and just after New Year’s, as well as peak travel periods in 2016.” While an increase of $5-$10 does not seem that bad at first glance, don’t forget to factor that cost per bag and for each leg of your trip, and  you’ll perhaps find that the low-cost carriers may not be as cost-effective as they seem.

Bloomberg Business reported that Senator Bill Nelson from Florida has asked that these surcharges be dropped due to the fact that, “These increased surcharges fly in the face of declining fuel costs and appear focused on increasing profitability on the backs of American families.” But while frustrating, this is simply supply and demand pricing. If people don’t like these surcharges, former airline executive, Jay Sorensen, who now runs a consulting firm, recommends “you should go with Southwest.” Another option would be to sign up for an airline credit card such as Delta’s Gold Sky Miles card from American Express which allows a free checked bag and priority boarding in addition to earning miles. If you’re uncertain what the baggage fees might be for your holiday flight, check out Kayak’s list.

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Travel Industry Travel News

Marriott International to Acquire Starwood Hotel and Resorts

merger business travelMarriott International is already a large, well-known franchise that will now be even bigger, having announced its merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Through this acquisition, Marriott will have 5,500 hotels and around 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. CNBC reported that before the purchase, “Marriott currently has three-quarters of its rooms in the United States. Starwood, which also owns St. Regis and Aloft hotel brands, gets nearly two-thirds of its revenue from outside the country.” This allows Marriott to expand globally, providing travelers and reward members the opportunity to stay at many more locations.

This purchase boosts Marriott’s worth to “$12.2 billion to create the world’s largest hotel chain with top brands including Sheraton, Ritz Carlton and the Autograph Collection.” The deal won’t be completed until the middle of 2016, but it will be a game changer for the hotel industry and will definitely give this franchise a leg up when customers go to book their next stay.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

The Baggage of Carrying On

carry on luggageCarrying on luggage is not as easy as it used to be. Today, many opt for carrying on because it is often more convenient and sometimes a cheaper option (as opposed to paying the fees of checking your bag and having to wait at baggage claim). To adapt to this increase in carry-on luggage, the airline industry has become stricter about bag size and the types of items you can and cannot carry-on with you.

By visiting airline websites, you can easily find the regulation size for carry-ons. But although it may say one size online, when you are at the gate and are asked to put your bag on their “sizer,” you may be surprised to find that it doesn’t fit. While the luggage industry understands one idea of what size a carry-on should be; the airlines sometimes practice another. In an article from the Wall Street Journal: “Travelpro and other luggage makers say the luggage industry practice in the U.S. is to size bags by the dimensions of the packing area without counting wheels and handles … But airlines count wheels and handles.”

There are also some inconsistencies from airline to airline. What each one classifies as a carry-on bag can vart in size, making it difficult for travelers.  “United’s sizer is actually larger than those of Delta, American, and other airlines with 22-inch limits. … Last year when it began strictly enforcing carry-on size limits, United decided to build in an inch of forgiveness. American, Delta, British Airways and others have sizers at exactly 22 inches, not 23,” reported the Wall Street Journal article.

It can be nerve wracking being at the back of the line when boarding a flight, because you can’t be sure there will be enough space overhead to fit your bag. “As airlines have installed more seats into jets over the past few years, more passengers now compete for the same overhead bin space,” the article continues. Now, with less room to fit the bags on the plane, and stricter policies on what qualify as a “legal” sized bag, it may not be worth the hassle of it all. It may, in fact, be worth the extra price to check your bag or buy a new, smaller bag to make for stress free travel.

 

Categories
Travel Industry Travel Management Travel Technology

Christopherson Business Travel Ensures Travel Policy Compliance and Duty of Care with New Technologies

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, July 15, 2015 – Christopherson Business Travel is set to launch two new products to assist companies in achieving higher travel policy compliance, duty of care fulfillment, and simplified travel management processes.

Travel Approval is digital notification process.
Travel Approval is digital notification process.

“Our two new technologies, Travel Approval and Hotel Attachment, are solutions that solve common problems faced by corporate travel managers—the inconsistent and often undocumented travel approval process, and reduced travel policy compliance as a result of low hotel attachment rates,” said Mike Cameron, Christopherson’s CEO.

The first technology, Travel Approval, is a digital notification process that obtains and tracks approvals from booking to traveler to manager. Once a traveler makes a reservation—whether online or with a full-service travel agent—a series of synchronized emails are sent to both the traveler and the traveler’s manager through which the booking can be approved, modified, or canceled at any step or permission level.

“Online booking tools have done a good job in digitizing travel approvals but there has always been a gap in the approval process for agent-assisted bookings,” Cameron said. “We built Travel Approval as a complete, digital solution for approving those agent-assisted reservations. The result is the unification of online and full-service approvals and a greater ability to enforce travel policy compliance.”

Christopherson’s second new technology, Hotel Attachment, is a hotel compliance system that identifies itineraries with missing hotel bookings and provides the traveler with four options to close that gap: 1. Make a hotel reservation; 2. Request another reminder for a later date; 3. Attach a hotel reservation made outside the system to the itinerary; and 4. Waive the need for a hotel reservation. With Hotel Attachment’s digital reminders, companies can ensure trip plans are complete and hotel compliant prior to travel.

“Low hotel attachment results in weakened vendor negotiations and compromised duty of care,” Cameron said. “Hotel Attachment solves these problems. First, it meets the needs of the travelers who want an acceptable hotel included in every itinerary. Second, it meets the needs of the travel manager who wants savings, a 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.”

Travel Approval and Hotel Attachment are both integrated into and supported by Christopherson’s proprietary technology platform, AirPortal. They will be released at the 2015 Global Business Travel Association Convention in Orlando, Florida, July 25-29.

About Christopherson Business Travel

Christopherson Business Travel, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah is the independently owned leader in business travel management, online travel tools, and business travel resources. As the 11th largest business travel agency in the United States, with 365 team members and five full-service locations, the company supports more than a half-billion dollars in annual travel bookings for more than 900 successful organizations across the country including Fortune 500 companies, publicly and privately-owned business, universities, and government entities. Christopherson is an affiliate of BCD Travel and a Preferred Partner of Concur. To learn more, visit CBTravel.com.

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Business and Leadership Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel Named No. 1 Woman-Owned Company in Colorado

Christopherson Business Travel has been ranked as the No. 1 Woman-Owned Company in Colorado by ColoradoBiz Magazine.

Three members of the Christopherson team (Allyson Cross, Business Development Executive; Jess Bautista, Account Manager; & Krista Maurer, Marketing Manager) attended a reception honoring the Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies to have made the list, on behalf of Christopherson’s owners Mike and Camille Cameron. Christopherson was also an associate sponsor of the event where the rankings were unveiled.

Christopherson team members L-R: Allyson Cross (Business Development Executive), Krista Maurer (Marketing Manager), and Jess Bautista (Account Manager) attended the award reception and had a great time being “on the cover” in the ColoradoBiz photo booth.

The reception was held at Redline Gallery in downtown Denver and featured a panel discussion on branding and marketing. Members of the panel included Nadine Pietrowski, CEO of Crowe GHP Horwath; Natascha Hubert, CMO of Crowe GHP Horwath; Lida Citroen, Principal at LIDA360; and Robin Ashmore, Principal at Amélie Company.

Christopherson is honored to be numbered among so many successful and thriving companies, including Vladimir Jones, one of Christopherson’s valued clients, who was also ranked on the list at No. 3.

ABOUT CHRISTOPHERSON

Christopherson Business Travel was founded in 1953 and was purchased by Mike and Camille Cameron in 1990. The company, at that time, had two employees and booked $1 million in travel. Today, Christopherson ranks as the 11th largest business travel agency in the United States, operating from five full-service locations as well as 35 client-dedicated on-site locations, maintains a successful leisure travel division (Andavo Travel), and booked more than a half-billion dollars in travel in 2014 for more than 900 organizations across the country including private businesses, Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, government entities, and universities.

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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!

 

Categories
Travel Industry Travel Management

Adding Data, Technology & Service–Evolution of the TMC: a guest post on Concur.com/blog

Christopherson Business Travel’s CEO, Mike Cameron, is guest posting on Concur’s blog today.

Mike Cameron, CEO, Christopherson Business Travel
Mike Cameron, CEO, Christopherson Business Travel

Adding Data, Technology & Service–Evolution of the TMC

By: Mike Cameron, Christopherson Business Travel

There’s no doubt the role of the travel management company has changed significantly in the last twenty years. With online booking tools, commission caps and more, travel management companies have been challenged to stay valuable to travelers.

As an industry, we have to evolve in how we manage travel in order to stay relevant. Here’s what Christopherson Business Travel is doing differently and our take on new ways to service travelers.

To continue reading, click here for the original post.

 

Categories
Travel News

Christopherson Agent’s Son Wins Olympic Gold

Joss Christensen wins gold!
Joss Christensen wins gold! (image via)

Christopherson Business Travel would like to send a hearty congratulations to one of our agents, Debbie Christensen and her son Joss.

This morning, while most of us in the United States were sleeping, Debbie was in Sochi, Russia cheering for her son as he became an Olympic gold medalist in slope style skiing.

According to CBS News, “Joss Christensen soared to gold in the sport’s Olympic debut, posting a score of 95.80 on Thursday to beat teammates Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper.”

Click here to read a Washington Post article detailing Joss’ journey to his Olympic gold.

Again, congratulations Joss and Debbie!

Categories
Travel Industry Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel Acquires All Seasons Travel

cbt_logoFor Immediate Release
December 9, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY – Christopherson Business Travel announces today the acquisition of All Seasons Travel, forming one of the largest travel management firms in the country, expanding Christopherson’s footprint beyond the western United States, where it currently ranks as the largest travel agency in the Rocky Mountain region.

Salt Lake City-based Christopherson Business Travel and All Seasons Travel, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., will conduct business under the Christopherson brand name. The combined $380 million company will employ more than 300 travel professionals across the country, with Mike Cameron continuing as CEO.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the timing of such a key merger,” said Cameron. “The joined company immediately captures a stronger market position that will allow for greater business efficiencies, enhanced travel technology and formidable buying power.”

The acquisition will provide jobs for all current employees of each company.

“Joining the strengths of these powerful travel firms, that already share the same vision, will allow us to serve the needs of business and leisure travelers even more effectively,” said All Season’s CEO Borden Burr. “It is a major advantage for each of our companies, as well as for our customers.”

Bucking national economic trends, Christopherson booked $341 million in travel in 2012 and is on schedule to grow to $500 million by 2015. Christopherson’s vision for the future is to continue growing by finding new ways to add value to its client’s travel management program. Christopherson continues to invest heavily in keeping its proprietary technology platform unique and relevant.

Georgia-based Innovative Travel Acquisitions Inc. represented the seller.

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 three full-service locations (Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California) as well as 35-client dedicated on-site locations, maintains a successful leisure travel division (Andavo Travel), employs more than 250 travel professionals, and manages travel for more than 900 companies and organizations across the country. For more information, please visit CBTravel.com.

About All Seasons Travel
All Seasons Travel, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is a complete travel management company specializing in corporate, leisure, group, business incentive, and sports travel. The company employs more than fifty employees and manages travel for more than 100 companies and organizations, with a specialty in team and fan travel for universities. All Seasons Travel is the official agency for Travelin’ with the Tide, Traveling Vols, and the University of Kentucky Alumni Association. For more information, please visit AllSeasonsTravel.com.

Media Contact: Krista Maurer, Krista.Maurer@CBTravel.com, 801-327-7615

Categories
Business Travel

Christopherson Business Travel is Named One of the 50 Fastest Growing Companies in Utah

 

Christopherson's CEO Mike Cameron accepts the Utah Business Fast 50 award.
Christopherson’s CEO Mike Cameron accepts the Utah Business Fast 50 award.

Christopherson Business Travel was recognized today by Utah Business Magazine as one of Utah’s fifty fastest growing companies, determined by a combination of compound annual growth and revenue. This is the fifth year Christopherson has been named a Fast 50 company and was ranked at #38.

Christopherson’s CEO, Mike Cameron, accepted the award at a luncheon held in honor of all fifty recipients at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. He was also recently interviewed by Utah Business and shared more about Christopherson’s growth and formula for success.

Utah Business (UB): What do you attribute your strong growth to?

Mike Cameron (MC): Christopherson focuses intently on creating and maintaining a unique competitive advantage that isn’t claimed by the competition. Our in-house software engineering team has created a powerful suite of corporate travel management software and online business travel tools that can generate considerable cost savings for our clients through managing their business travel spending, their travelers’ security, unused airline tickets, and monitoring travel policy compliance.

Our company culture also plays a strong role in Christopherson’s growth.  The culture we have created is built upon a simple formula: hire the right people + create the right value proposition + a willingness to share the wealth with those who generate it. This equals growth. As we have been consistent in the application of this formula, we have grown the company from $1 million to $341 million in 23 years.

UB: What challenges have come alongside strong growth for your company and how have you overcome those?

MC: Four things come to mind. First, by 2000, Christopherson had expanded to four offices, and we decided to merge the offices into a newly-built 42,000 square foot building in Murray, Utah. We moved in the week of September 11, 2001. At the same time, as we all know, the entire travel industry came to a halt. However, Christopherson still grew 17% in 2001 and had another great year.

Second, when the airlines eliminated travel agency commissions in 2001, Christopherson’s competitors began to cut back on their employees’ compensation to stay afloat. But we, on the other hand, gave everyone a raise that year. We announced that while others would become defensive, Christopherson would take advantage of the opportunity and expand. Optimism and morale stayed high, and it worked – more growth!

Third, when people began to more fully embrace the practice of booking their own travel on the internet, this began to cut into Christopherson’s bookings. So we responded by offering customized internet booking tools to our clients. We embraced the new environment and Christopherson’s clients now book millions of dollars online using Christopherson’s tools. We have an entire team of professionals who manage all of the online technology and online bookings for our corporate clients.

And finally, as the economy began to decline rapidly in late 2008, we presented a strategy to our management team. We looked at all of the various economic downturn scenarios and presented a plan to respond to every possibility. It took all of the fear out of the process. We followed the playbook and Christopherson was able to get through a 20% economic downturn with minimal layoffs.

UB: Are there any major initiatives or goals in the near future?

MC: Christopherson booked $341 million in travel in 2012. We plan to grow to $500 million by 2015. Christopherson’s vision for the future is simply to continue growing by finding new ways to add value to our client’s travel management program. We will continue to invest heavily in keeping our proprietary technology platform unique and relevant, which has become the “secret sauce” in our success.

UB: What excites you most about your company’s future?

MC: Creating a strategy that will adapt to the rapid changes in the travel industry and provide a solid future for our employees and other stakeholders.

UB: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about your company?

MC: This month, we released the first comprehensive IOS mobile app designed exclusively for corporate travel managers, executives, and team leaders. (Read the press release here.)

Click here to view this video on Christopherson’s YouTube channel.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

AirPortal 360™ Mobile Garners Media Attention

AirPortal 360 Mobile NewsChristopherson Business Travel’s new mobile app for corporate travel managers, AirPortal 360™ Mobile, released this week at the annual GBTA convention in San Diego, California.

In the days leading up to, and following the event, Christopherson received much media attention regarding the new technology.

We are thrilled to see so many stories popping up and want to thank the news outlets for their coverage. Check out the latest of Christopherson’s news appearances:

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Christopherson Ranked #26 on Travel Weekly’s 2013 Power List

 

Christopherson Business Travel was ranked #26 on Travel Weekly's 2013 Power List.

Christopherson Business Travel has been ranked #26 on Travel Weekly’s 2013 Power List.

In both 2011 and 2012, Christopherson was ranked #32 on this same list. The article accompanying the rankings also highlights Christopherson’s tremendous 2012 growth independent of acquisitions.

See Travel Weekly’s Power List here.

In 2012, Christopherson booked $341 million in travel, an increase of nearly 20% over 2011, and was also recently ranked the 11th largest business travel agency in the country by Business Travel News.

Click here to read Christopherson Business Travel’s CEO, Mike Cameron’s, “formula for growth.”

Categories
Business Travel Travel News

Christopherson’s Business Development Manager, Kathleen Roberts, to Receive 2013 SAMY Award

Kathleen Roberts - winner of Samy Award

Christopherson Business Travel would like to congratulate our Manager of Business Development, Kathleen Roberts, who was recently named a 2013 recipient of the Utah Business SAMY Award.

The SAMY is given to the top sales and marketing professionals who have had a direct and measurable impact on their company’s bottom line.

In 2012, Roberts closed a challenging sale that was five years in the making, and her sales team generated $40 million in new business, which represents 15 percent annual growth. Roberts has recruited four of Christopherson’s top eight clients, and her team reported $341 in sales for 2012–an increase of 106 percent since she became the Manager of Business Development five years ago.

Roberts was featured in the January 2013 issue of Utah Business Magazine and will be honored at a luncheon on January 31. Click here to read the article (page 3).

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Get Lowest Possible Business Travel Rates with Car & Hotel Re-Check®

Christopherson Business Travel brings you greater value for your lodging and transportation investments

Car & Hotel Re-Check monitors lodging and transportation reservations for lower rates.[/caption]

 

Major hotel chains operate under a price parity which guarantees for the lowest available rate across all distribution channels, including your Christopherson travel agent’s powerful Global Distribution System.

While the details and guarantees of each pricing program may vary, this essentially introduces a fluid price structure to the hotel and car industries. Like the airline industry, hotel and car rental companies lower or raise their prices based on market conditions and excess, or “distressed,” inventory. Because of this, it is common for Christopherson’s Car & Hotel Re-Check to save you $25-$50 per night.

As part of our Car & Hotel Re-Check service, your Christopherson travel agent does the following to ensure you always get the lowest possible rates for hotel rooms and car rentals:

  • Individually manages and monitors each of your reservations
  • Receives notification of your upcoming reservation at least three days before your hotel check-in or rental car pick up
  • Searches for rates lower than your current reservation for the same car or type of room at the same hotel
  • Arranges for new, lower rates, if available
  • Documents savings in ValueLogic®

*Car & Hotel Re-Check is one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, Car & Hotel Re-Check, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

DataLogic®: Your Central Source for All Business Travel Reporting Tools

At Christopherson Business Travel, we recognize the importance of backing up our claims with hard data. Through our comprehensive report aggregator DataLogic®, we provide our clients with easy access to an invaluable set of reporting tools and performance benchmarking analysis options.

Among those tools are DataLogic’s travel spend tracking dashboard, ValueLogic®, Christopherson’s exclusive software that manages the ROI of our travel management company, and the integration of two leading travel management reporting tools, iBank and Travel GPA.

With this assembly of options, DataLogic really is the central source for all the reporting tools essential to managing a highly effective business travel program.

ValueLogic®

By choosing Christopherson, your company gets more than just our word that we are the cost-effective business travel partner of choice. With ValueLogic, you can asses the ROI of our TMC partnership through fully-customizable reports that show exactly how and where Christopherson Business Travel is saving you money.

At any time, you have the ability to access and review the following critical information in real time data:

  • Airline, car, and hotel savings
  • Voided ticket savings
  • Average savings per itinerary
  • Unused airline ticket data (via AirBank®)

iBank

Christopherson maximizes the power of iBank by consolidating travel information into a clear, concise, and comprehensive view of your company’s travel spend.

iBank captures travel data from a variety of sources, including all major reservation systems and online bookings tools. We also provide secure internet access so you can view travel spend, measure preferred supplier usage, track travel behavior, monitor policy adherence, and improve profitability.

Travel GPA

With more than 90 benchmarking metrics available for analysis, Travel GPA identifies those key measurements that are clearly tied to your organization’s performance and then grades them good or bad with comparisons against your industry, a similar sized company, your travel spend from the previous year, or your current goals. Then, with the Travel GPA Report Card™, you can easily track how well your travelers are utilizing the contracts your company has for airlines, car rentals, and hotels.

*DataLogic is one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, DataLogic, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Enjoy Advanced Profile Management with ProfileLogic®

Avoid the hassle and time wasted communicating or re-entering your unique travel preferences every time you book your travel. With ProfileLogic®, you can select and save preferred airlines, seat locations, meals, and other travel preferences and update them when necessary.

ProfileLogic provides an intuitive user interface to deliver the following benefits:

  • Enables you to easily communicate your travel preferences online before booking trips with Christopherson
  • Saves time by giving travel consultants immediate access to your preferences so they can focus on providing cost-saving services
  • Lets you synchronize your employees’ online booking tool profiles with those used by your full-service Christopherson travel advisor
  • More sophisticated client data allows for automatic, secure feeds form your human resources department

With ProfileLogic, you can securely store your personal information, membership numbers, credit card information, and preferences to streamline booking your reservations.

*ProfileLogic is just one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, ProfileLogic, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Cut Business Travel Costs & Manage Unused Airline Tickets with AirBank®

Cut costs and eliminate waste with AirBank®, Christopherson Business Travel’s comprehensive airline ticket tracking tool. Close to 10% of all business tickets go unused, making it difficult for corporations to manage their unused tickets. AirBank tracks the entire lifecycle of a ticket and automates the process of unused ticket management, whether you book online or through a travel advisor.

AirBank comprehensively manages your unused tickets in the following ways:

  • Audits tickets to confirm whether they were used for travel and to determine any unused value
  • Automatically captures your unused tickets in a centralized database to prevent their loss
  • Continuously updates status of unused tickets
  • Reports all unused tickets
  • Enforces the use of unused tickets

Unused ticket credits, including valid partial credits, are available in AirBank at the time of cancellation. Corporate travel managers are able to see all unused tickets within their company via their customized AirPortal 360™ dashboard. Travelers can also see their own unused tickets via their My Travel dashboard, allowing them to be an active participant in the reuse of those funds. With the AirBank widget, travel managers can also drill down from a company-wide view of all unused tickets to single transactions for greater detail.

To ensure the re-use of unused tickets, AirBank will prompt your full-service agents at point-of-sale requiring them to use the ticket, or to document the reason a ticket was not used. AirBank is also directly integrated with the online booking tools to prompt travelers who book their own tickets.

*AirBank is one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, AirBank, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Communicate Flight Options Effectively with AirSelect®

Christopherson Business Travel’s AirSelect® effectively and efficiently communicates flight options to the traveler, travel arranger, or travel manager, providing choices, comparisons, and accountability.

AirSelect features include:

  • Customized, easy-to-read grid format of flight and price options
  • Highly configurable with 18 optional parameters
  • Choose between price or schedule-centric options
  • Identifies class of service and seat counts
  • Data compiled from more than 450 airlines and 4.3 billion fares

With AirSelect, travelers can easily choose flights with the lowest fare based on scheduled departure and arrival times. When a traveler receives AirSelect via email, he or she will not only see the lowest prices but also how many seats are available at that fare. This encourages decisions to be made quickly if inventory is low.

AirSelect also bridges full-service and online travel by allowing your travelers easy access to comprehensive, familiar grid pricing without giving up the convenience and benefits of a full-service travel advisor.

*AirSelect is just one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, AirSelect, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Airtinerary®: Intelligent Itineraries for the Business Traveler

Christopherson Business Travel makes managing travel plans seamless with Airtinerary®, a state-of-the-art tool that provides intelligent itineraries to your business travelers. With its intuitive, easy-to-read format, Airtinerary offers detailed trip information, includes links for online check-in, and provides directions and maps for hotel and car rental locations.

Airtinerary also includes universal calendar and TripIt mobile app integration as well as access to your company’s travel policy to ensure traveler compliance.

Key Features of Airtinerary:
•    Relevant trip data in easy-to-read format
•    Universal calendar and TripIt integration
•    Links for online check-in
•    Directions and maps for hotel and car rental locations
•    Access to travel policy

*Airtinerary is just one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, Airtinerary, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

My Travel™: A Comprehensive Digital Dashboard for the Business Traveler

With My Travel™, Christopherson Business Travel’s digital dashboard specifically designed for the business traveler, all your company’s road warriors have instant access to business travel itineraries, flight options, mobile syncing, and more.

Plus, should they need them, our expert travel advisors are available 24 hours-a-day from anywhere in the world to help with every possible situation that might arise on their business travels.

My Travel also allows travelers to see and manage their own unused tickets, allowing them to be an active participant in the reuse of those funds.

Here are just a few of the tools My Travel offers:

  • Airtineraries® – View every itinerary ever booked online or with a travel agent for easy reference.
  • Book Trips – With direct access to our online booking tool and/or our expert agents, travelers can book business trips simply and quickly.
  • Travel Profiles – Travel profile information is always available. Plus, business travelers can always manage their information regardless of whether they booked online or with a travel agent.
  • Travel Policy Summary – A quick reference guide to your company’s business travel policies is available to ensure compliance.
  • Contacts – All the numbers your business travelers could possibly need are stored in one place. Quickly get in touch with a travel agent, account manager, or online support personnel. Even emergency after-hours numbers are listed.

*My Travel is one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, My Travel, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

AirPortal 360™: Providing a 360º View of Your Travel Management Program

AirPortal 360 helps you keep your business travel program in line and in the black.
With the newly developed AirPortal 360™, Christopherson Business Travel’s powerful collection of corporate travel management software is delivered directly to your company’s travel manager, in an intelligent dashboard with a fully-customized view.

Built for ease, convenience, and improved travel management, AirPortal 360 provides all the advanced tools you need to reduce travel spend, guarantee traveler security, keep track of unused tickets, access traveler profiles, ensure policy compliance, and more.

Quite simply, AirPortal 360™ is the panoramic view you need to keep all your company’s travel details in line and in the black.

Benefits of AirPortal 360:

  • Manage your entire company’s travel program from one, single sign-on, intelligent dashboard
  • Access to advanced tools to manage travel spend, duty of care, unused airline tickets, traveler profiles, & travel policy compliance
  • Movable widgets, customizable Quick Links, and mega menu provide immediate access to what’s most important to you
  • Capability to set up multiple travel managers within an organization
  • Ability to restrict travel manager access to company divisions, departments, teams, or areas of responsibility
  • Generate reports based on the structure of your company
  • Analyze travel spend for the entire company or by department, division, or team
  • Ability to drill down from a high-level, comprehensive view of travel program data to single transactions

*AirPortal 360 is just one of the many valuable business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, AirPortal 360, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

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Business Travel Travel News

Christopherson is One of Utah’s Fifty Fastest Growing Companies

Christopherson Business Travel, the independently owned leader in intelligent business travel management and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, was recently named a Fast 50 company by Utah Business Magazine.

The Fast 50 program highlights fifty of Utah’s fastest-growing companies determined by a combination of compound annual growth and revenue. This is the fourth year Christopherson has been ranked on the Fast 50 list.

Grand America Hotel on August 29, 2012.

To view a portion of Christopherson CEO Mike Cameron’s interview, click here or see below. To view the full list of all fifty companies and their rankings, click here.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel Ranked #1

Christopherson Business Travel, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, was recently ranked the #1 travel agency in Utah by Utah Business Magazine. Rankings were based on 2011 sales and were listed in the August 2012 issue of Utah Business.

Christopherson has been Utah’s business travel leader for more than 50 years. A certified, woman-owned corporation, Christopherson also ranks as the 12th largest agency in the nation, providing intelligent travel management for more than 900 clients across the country.

Founded in 1953 by Merrill and Lucille Christopherson, the agency was purchased by Mike and Camille Cameron in 1990. At that time, the company had two employees and booked $1 million in travel. Today, Christopherson operates three full-service locations (Salt Lake City, Utah, Denver, Colorado, San Francisco, California) as well as 35 client-dedicated on-site locations, maintains a successful leisure travel division (Andavo Travel), employs more than 250 travel professionals, and booked $287 million in travel in 2011.

Categories
Travel News

Air France and KLM Modify Various Joint Baggage Policies

An update from Delta regarding baggage policies on Air France and KLM:

(April 12, 2012) – Effective for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, Air France and KLM are modifying their joint baggage policy. The changes will further align the Air France and KLM baggage policies with Delta’s baggage policies. Some changes are in compliance with DOT EAPP requirements.

Golf Bags: Effective for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, a golf bag will be counted as a “normal” piece of baggage as part of the free baggage allowance. Flying Blue Golf Club members will continue to be able to check-in a golf bag for free as an additional piece of baggage not counted as part of the free allowance.

Bicycles: Effective for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, a bicycle will be counted as a “specialty” item which is charged as an additional item over the free baggage allowance. Specialty items are charged regardless of whether or not the customer has any checked bags. Charges for excess weight apply for bicycles weighing more than 23 kg (50 lbs).
Surfboards: Effective for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, surfboards between 107 cm and 200 cm in length (between 42 in and 78 in) will be counted as a “specialty” item which is charged as an additional item over the free baggage allowance. Specialty items are charged regardless of whether or not the customer has any checked bags. Charges for excess weight apply for surfboards weighing more than 23 kg (50 lbs). Surfboards less than 107 cm (42 in) in length will continue to be counted as a “normal” piece of baggage counted as part of the free allowance.
Charges for Specialty items: In compliance with DOT EAPP requirements, the charge for transporting specialty items will be USD 150 departing from the USA and EUR 105 departing from Europe.
Currency change: To comply with DOT EAPP requirements, for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, the fees for excess baggage in African markets using the XAF or XOF as local currency will be based on the USD equivalent instead of the EUR equivalent
The 2-piece exception in Economy class: The 2-piece exception allowing economy class travelers traveling between the USA and Canada, and certain destinations in Central and Western Africa to travel with two free pieces of baggage (instead of the standard allowance of one piece) has been extended for travel to/from N’djamena, Chad (NDJ) and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (SSG), effective for travel on/after April 16, 2012.
For complete Air France baggage information, visit airfrance.com.
For complete KLM baggage information, visit klm.com.
For complete Delta baggage information, please visit delta.com.

Categories
Travel News

Christopherson Attends CEO of the Year Banquet

Last month, we shared the exciting news that our CEO Mike Cameron was recognized as a 2012 CEO of the Year by Utah Business Magazine. The day we made that announcement, a few of us here at Christopherson, in addition to the Cameron family, attended the awards luncheon and we wanted to share a few pictures from the event, along with the video presentation that was shown before Mike received his award. Enjoy!

Categories
Travel News

Delta Phishing Email Alert

We received the following notification from Delta and thought it pertinent to pass along to you, our travelers.
Phishing Email Alert
(April 3, 2012) – Delta Air Lines has recently received reports from customers of fraudulent emails claiming to be from Delta.

As such, please be advised of the following:
•    We recommend customers change their SkyMiles account PIN immediately and monitor their account for any misuse.
•    These emails were not sent by Delta.
•    Customers should not click on the link in the email or open any attachments.
•    Instead, they should delete the email from their inbox.
•    Please call Delta at 1-888-750-3284 if you have questions or need further information.
These emails claim that a customer has purchased a Delta ticket, a credit card has been charged, an invoice or receipt is attached to the email or that customers may print their electronic ticket from an attachment. If you or your customers receive one of these emails, do not open the attachment as it may contain potentially dangerous viruses or harm your computer.
Be assured that Delta did not send these emails, and our customers’ credit cards have not been charged by Delta as a result of the emails. These emails did not originate from Delta, nor do we believe that any personal information that you provided us was used to generate these emails.
As more updates become available, they will be posted on delta.com under Flight Status & Updates – Other Announcements.

Categories
Travel News

Christopherson CEO Mike Cameron Awarded CEO of the Year

Each year, Utah Business Magazine honors a selection of CEOs who play an integral role in building the Beehive State. CEO Mike Cameron was named as one of the 2012 honorees, alongside seven other CEOs who, according to Utah Business, “exude innovation, show sound business strategies and have demonstrated financial success for their companies.”
We are pleased to share this news with you and wish to congratulate Mike and the other recipients. We also wish to extend our grateful thanks to Tyler Dabo, publisher of Utah Business Magazine, his entire staff, and the sponsors of today’s awards luncheon. It was a wonderful event and we look forward to sharing pictures with you in the coming days.

Categories
Business Travel

Delta Amends Various International Baggage Fees for Transatlantic and Transpacific Travel

We recently received the following update from Delta and thought it pertinent to share with you business travelers:
Delta Air Lines is amending various international baggage fees for both transatlantic and transpacific travel. The amendments apply for tickets issued on or after March 12, 2012, and for travel on or after March 12, 2012. Details of the changes are outlined below.
Transatlantic Travel Delta is amending its checked baggage fee structure for tickets issued on or after March 12, 2012, and for travel on or after March 12, 2012. The changes will affect travel between the Western Hemisphere* and Europe, and travel between the
Western Hemisphere* and North Africa.

Key Changes:

  • Decrease in second checked bag fee in coach from 75 EUR to 70 EUR
  • Increase in third through tenth bag fee from 200 USD to 285 USD
  • Increase in overweight fee from 75 USD to 100 USD; and decrease the Euro amount from 75 EUR to 70 EUR

Transpacific Travel
Delta is amending its checked baggage fee structure in the coach cabin for tickets issued on or after March 12, 2012, and for travel on or after March 12, 2012. The fees will affect travel between the Western Hemisphere* and US Pacific Trust Territories.
Key Change:

  • Add second checked bag fee of 75 USD

*Except Brazil
The highlights of the policy changes including effective dates, fee changes and applicable travel areas are noted in the chart below. Fees in bold reflect a change.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology Travel Tips

Top 8 Business Travel Apps for Smartphones

At Christopherson Business Travel, we get it. We, too, are business travelers and we understand the importance of staying connected, regardless of the time zone you’re in.
Perhaps our CEO, Mike Cameron, said it best: “Traveling is more convenient when you don’t have to deal with delays, getting lost in a big city, or not knowing the native language.” With that in mind, here are eight apps for business travelers to help increase productivity and alleviate stress when traveling.

  1. TripIt: TripIt allows you to access your travel itineraries right on your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry. While most TripIt users need to forward their itineraries to TripIt for loading to their account, Christopherson clients enjoy automatic transferring of all their AirPortal itineraries directly to the TripIt app. If you upgrade to TripIt Pro, you can get notifications on flight delays, cancellations or gate changes and can track your frequent flyer miles and reward points all in one place. Additionally, Christopherson Travel provides clients who use TripIt Pro with a $10 discount per year for the app.
  2. Wall Street Journal: If you download the latest version of the Wall Street Journal to your iPad right before you board your flight, you’ll have a simple, yet comprehensive tool to catch up on all the latest news. This is particularly useful when there is no WiFi on the plane.
  3. Penultimate: We all know business traveling can often include full days in conference rooms. Whether you need to jot down a quick memo or take notes for hours on end, Penultimate eliminates the need for papers, notepads and pens. The power of this app lies in a user’s ability to create as many digital notebooks as they desire. You can choose to write on a graph-, lined- or blank-paper layout with a stylus pen or just your finger. When you’re done, you can email your notes to colleagues or assistants back at the office.
  4. AllSubwayHD: Have you ever been in a big city and tried to figure out the subway system? AllSubwayHD is a time-saver app, providing answers, directions and timelines you’ll need to keep you running on-schedule. This app offers subway maps for over 125 cities worldwide, all of which are available offline.
  5. Google Translate: With this app, you can translate essential words and phrases into 57 different languages. Speak or type in the phrase and the translation will appear on your screen. Audio playback is even available for certain languages. Click Here for iPhone. Click Here for Android.
  6. Urbanspoon: This is a perfect app for those who know what they want to eat, but don’t know where to go. You only need to tell your phone where you are, what type of food you want and how much money you’re willing to spend. Urbanspoon recommends restaurants, lists reviews and lets you browse restaurants by maps or neighborhoods. It also shows the top restaurants in your vicinity and lists restaurants recently reviewed by critics and bloggers.
  7. Yelp: Making a name for itself as an app offering reviews on most everything around you, Yelp lists range from restaurants, hotels and businesses to museums, spas, bars and gas stations. You can access the wisdom and approval of the locals for just about any place you plan to visit. Yelp also allows you to bookmark sites, “check in” and share via Facebook and Twitter, make reservations, add tips and find contact information anywhere you go.
  8. Seat Guru: There’s been a lot of buzz lately about SeatGuru by tripadvisor, the “ultimate source for airplane seating, in-flight amenities, and airline information.” With their detailed, color-coded seat map key,  you’ll have access to in-depth information about seats with limited recline, reduced legroom, and misaligned windows, to help you identify both superior and substandard seats. Plus, once you select your airline, you can navigate through their information pages for tips on Check-in, Baggage, Unaccompanied Minors and Traveling with Infants and Pets.

“From navigation support to eliminating paperwork, each of these apps provides the everyday business traveler with user-friendly tools to manage the many details associated with executing a successful business trip,” said Cameron. “You may even impress a current or prospective client with your modern resourcefulness in the process.”
About Christopherson Business Travel
Christopherson Business Travel, headquartered in Salt Lake City, is the independently owned leader in business travel management in the western U.S. With over 250 team members and 35 offices, the company supports more than $287 million in annual travel bookings. Christopherson provides intelligent travel management to more than 900 successful companies, and is an affiliate of BCD Travel, the leading provider of global travel logistics. BCD operates in 90 countries with $14 billion in annual travel management bookings and a combined worldwide workforce in excess of 13,000.

Categories
Travel News

Converging Flight Paths

Infographic from The New York Times – Published: September 27, 2010
By KARL RUSSELL/The New York Times

The deregulation of the airline industry in 1978 led to a wave of mergers that continues to this day. But even as the legacy carriers have been consolidating and growing, they have been losing market share to low-cost carriers. Two of them, SouthWest and AirTran, have just agreed to merge and carried the most passengers in 2009 combined.

Note: Some airlines that merged with others are not shown because their passenger data was not available
Sources: American Transport Association (passenger data 1975-89); Bureau of Transportation Statistics (passenger data 1990-2009)
Categories
Travel Management Travel News

Travel Insurance: to buy or not to buy?

In a year rife with labor disputes and extreme weather – in addition to all the other things that can go wrong with travel, the question increasingly being asked by travelers is: “Should I purchase trip insurance?”.
Well, you’re in luck because here is a quick 5 point guide that should help you answer that question!
5. What-if’s. Evaluate your “what-if” scenarios.  What if I get sick in another country -will my health insurance cover me.  What if I have to cancel a trip because I’m taken ill or am in an accident? Check your personal insurance policy to see what’s covered when traveling and determine what non-refundable expenses you can afford to lose before traveling.
4.  Pre-existing medical conditions. Examine your policies to see if pre-existing conditions are covered.  Unknown fact: most insurance companies will not cover trip cancellations due to a family member’s illness because that is classified as a pre-existing condition.
3.  Unforseen events. Trip insurance usually only covers disruptions that are unforseen.  For example most providers will not offer coverage for disrupted trips to Europe after April 30 caused by Iceland’s volcano since it is no longer an unforseen event.  On the other hand, they will provide coverage if the policyholder’s hotel is uninhabitable.  As for airline strikes, it is best to determine whether the policy you are purchasing covers the airline you are flying as some insurance companies have a “black-list” of airlines they will NOT cover due to workers who are likely to strike or the carrier is in financial turmoil.
2.  Duplicate coverage. Avoid purchasing policies that cover things like lost or delayed baggage that are typically covered by homeowners insurance.
1.  Above ALL else – DO YOUR RESEARCH. Read the fine print.  Most trip insurance policies don’t cover things like fine jewelry or expensive equipment as part of your checked luggage. You will waste your money if you don’t read the fine print!
For additional information on trip insurance or all things travel related, don’t hesitate to contact your Christopherson Travel Advisor.

Categories
Travel News

Frequent Flier Buzz – News Under the Radar

In the midst of volcanoes and strikes and demonstrations, you might have missed some interesting developments in the world of frequent flier news this week.
 
United Airlines says “keep your money..” – well, at least some of it.  The airline announced this week that its elite members in its Mileage Plus program will no longer have to suffer the indignity of paying a co-pay fee when using miles to upgrade flights in the continental U.S., Alaska or Canada.
 
Frontier Airlines announced that it will end its mileage program partnership with AirTran.  Due in no small part to the union of Frontier Airlines and Midwest Airlines under the Frontier name last month, the Frontier-AirTran partnership is scheduled to end on July 16, 2010.
 
Delta Airlines announced that beginning fall 2010 elite members of Delta’s SkyMiles program will enjoy upgrade benefits on Alaska Airlines flights as part of the Delta/Alaska partnership extension.
For more information on each of these revelations, contact your Christopherson Travel Advisor.
 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

A Peek “Behind the Curtain” at the Coolest Mobile Travel Apps

Mobile computing is increasingly becoming an inexorable part of our every day lives. And travel is no different. As business and leisure travelers are trading schlepping their laptops for their Blackberries, iPhones or Droids in droves, a new wave of mobile travel apps are flooding the marketplace.
Here’s a quick peep at 5 travel apps that are truly making lives easier and more fun for the modern day traveler:
#5. Seat Guide. Couldn’t let a “Top 5” list escape without at least one seat guide and this one tops the list. With over 100 airlines and over 1,200 aircraft cataloged, you now have access to information on the best or more importantly the worst seats before making your seat choice on your next flight.
#4. Gate Guru. Ever find yourself wondering where to get a decent meal at an airport? Not sure if it’s before or after security? Not sure where to find a souvenir on a long layover? Well, with Gate Guru fret no more! This user friendly airport guide is the most comprehensive up-to-date-in-airport guide available. Like Yelp but for airports!
#3. Flight Update. Flight Update allows you to enter any flight and track that flight’s status and location. With over 1,400 airlines in its data base, chances are the flight times, routing and gate information for the flight you need are there. Voted “..one of the best apps of 2009” by Apple. A favorite for travelers AND professionals alike.
#2. Flightcaster.“Not another flight-tracking app..” you cringe? Well ….this app PREDICTS flight delays! How you ask?? It’s pretty simple really … “by deploying advanced algorithms that scour data on every domestic flight over the last 10 years and match it to real-time conditions”. See?
And ……..
#1. TripIt Pro. The only paid app on this list, TripIt Pro is a MUST HAVE app for anyone who travels more than once a month. Equal parts social networking, travel tracker and travel admin, it is the perfect app that helps manage the unpredictable nature of travel on the road. And Christopherson Business Travel now offers TripIt Pro at almost half the price currently being offered online!
For more information on our preferred TripIt Pro pricing or how apps and Christopherson’s travel technology tools are helping revoltionize the mobile travel landscape, contact one of our account managers or travel advisors today.

Categories
Travel News

Delta Shuttle to Launch Service between New York LaGuardia and Chicago O’Hare

Delta Airlines announced plans today to launch hourly shuttle service between New York LaGuardia and Chicago O’Hare beginning June 10, 2010.
The announcement was made today as part of the carrier’s decision to replace the existing less frequent service between its New York hub and Chicago’s Midway Airport.
Delta has combined on-board ammenities such as fresh snacks, spirits and newspapers with enhanced ground offers such complimentary WiFi, free magazines and fresh bagels and jam. All this is leaving travelers between the two cities eager with anticipatin for the arrival of June 10. For more information on other cities served by Delta Shuttle, a full list of Delta Shuttle ammenities or any questions in general about Delta’s Shuttle service, please contact a Christopherson Business Travel advisor.

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Christopherson Andavo announced as 2010 Ritz Carlton STARS member.

February 2010 saw the addition of Christopherson Andavo Travel to the exclusive ranks of the Ritz Carlton STARS program. The hotelier renowned for combining luxury and hospitality invited Christopherson Andavo to this elite group making it one of ONLY TWO travel companies in the United States with this distinction.
As a member of the STARS program, Christopherson Andavo clients will now enjoy unparalleled recognition and amenities at Ritz Carlton properties worldwide.
Whether you are planning a corporate retreat, a business stay, a vacation or even a wedding, contact one of our travel advisors to find out just how much value this new partnership can bring to you.

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Travel News Travel Technology

Flying the Connected Skies?

Continental Airlines’ announcement last week that it would begin offering wireless internet (Wi-Fi) access aboard its aircraft beginning the second quarter of 2010 brought to close an exciting year of innovative in-flight communication advances.
Virgin America, the upstart discount carrier based in San Francisco, CA was the first U.S. carrier to offer fleet wide Wi-Fi access in May of 2009. American, Delta, United and US Airways followed shortly thereafter with staggered deployments of Wi-Fi across their respective fleets meaning in-flight Wi-Fi access will be a reality with all the legacy carriers in 2010.
As for the discount carriers, Virgin America is definitely leading the charge with Air Tran recently announcing the availability of in-flight Wi-Fi across its fleet. Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Jet Blue have begun testing Wi-Fi on certain aircraft while Midwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines are still considering the option of offering this service to their customers.
As with almost any other service now offered on board, in-flight Wi-Fi will come at a cost. To find out which airlines offer Wi-Fi access and how much they charge based on your destination, call Christopherson/Andavo Travel and our trusted travel advisors will be glad to answer your questions.

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Travel Management

Airline Fees, Alliances and Saving Money

Airline alliances – what is the fuss all about? Besides the ability to earn a free ticket by flying virtually any airline in the world is there really any benefit to knowing which alliance you should belong to? Well, consider this: “How to make consumer-hated airline fees more digestible” was the subject of a three-day meeting earlier this month of the Ancillary Revenue Airline Conference in Huntington Beach (fancy speak for a gathering of airline executives and businesses that serve the industry interested in finding ways to offer coach passengers separate products and services typically offered as part of the ticket price for business and first class passengers). The New York Times estimates that airlines collected $USD 10.25 billion in such fees in 2008 – a staggering 346 per cent increase over 2006. CLEARLY – fees are here to stay and more likely than not will spread to more services offered by airlines.
Understanding airline alliances – who partners with whom and who offers reciprocity – is one way you can avoid paying the fees being levied against the normal traveler these days. OneWorld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance ALL waive ancillary fees for their preferred customers.
To learn more about how to leverage your airline memberships while keeping a little extra money in your pocketbook over the holidays, call Christopherson/Andavo Travel and our trusted travel advisors will be glad to answer your questions.

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Travel News

Continental Airlines Joins Star Alliance

Continental Airlines’ much anticipated entrance into the Star Alliance took place on Tuesday, October 27. Continental brings its young fleet, flier-friendly services and over 60 NEW destinations to the world’s largest airline network. An integral part of Continental’s move to the Star Alliance will be its codeshare agreement with United Airlines. While this agreement will allow travelers to purchase flights on approximately 400 codeshare routes (mainly domestic and Trans-Atlantic) it also heralds the decision by both carriers to synergize best-in-class features for frequent fliers. In fact United recently announced plans to match Continental’s Elite Upgrade policies on its domestic routes beginning 2nd quarter 2010.
So what do you think? A good move for Continental? The Star Alliance? Please share your thoughts with us.
In the meantime, for answers to any questions about what this development means for your OnePass or Mileage Plus accounts or the Star Alliance in general, call Christopherson/Andavo Travel and our travel advisors will be glad to assist.

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Travel News

United Airlines Makes Enhancements To Frequent Flier Program

United Airlines’ Mileage Plus frequent flier program just announced a great new enhancement and improvement to their domestic upgrade process.  Starting in the 2nd quarter of 2010, any time an elite member purchases a ticket, an upgrade request will automatically be placed.  This new enhancement means unlimited upgrades for all domestic travel with no need to track upgrade certificates, call for upgrade request 72/48/24 hours in advance and, get this, if you’re traveling with a companion they receive a complimentary upgrade as well.
The upgrade allows for one class of service movement, for instance, economy class to first class on a two cabin flight or economy class to business class or business class to first class on a three cabin flight. There are some restrictions that involve the type of ticket purchased, but very few that will affect most travelers.  United defines domestic travel as the US, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean, Central America and Mexico.  If you have any of the old printed upgrade certificates, United will still honor them according to the original expiration date, but it’s a use them or lose them proposition because the printed upgrade certificates will become a thing of the past.
For more information or questions regarding Mileage Plus or any of the other frequent flier programs call Christopherson/Andavo Travel and we will be glad to assist.

United Airlines’ Mileage Plus frequent flier program just announced a great new enhancement and improvement to their domestic upgrade process.  Starting in the 2nd quarter of 2010, any time an elite member purchases a ticket, an upgrade request will automatically be placed.  This new enhancement means unlimited upgrades for all domestic travel with no need to track upgrade certificates, call for upgrade request 72/48/24 hours in advance and, get this, if you’re traveling with a companion they receive a complimentary upgrade as well.
The upgrade allows for one class of service movement, for instance, economy class to first class on a two cabin flight or economy class to business class or business class to first class on a three cabin flight. There are some restrictions that involve the type of ticket purchased, but very few that will affect most travelers.  United defines domestic travel as the US, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean, Central America and Mexico.  If you have any of the old printed upgrade certificates, United will still honor them according to the original expiration date, but it’s a use them or lose them proposition because the printed upgrade certificates will become a thing of the past.
For more information or questions regarding Mileage Plus or any of the other frequent flier programs call Christopherson/Andavo Travel and we will be glad to assist.

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Travel Management Travel Technology

Mobile Travel Possibilities

Like it or not, change is ongoing and since most of us do not like change, those that create it call it progress. But here is a change that you may like that really is progressive. Last year, 162 million smart phones were sold surpassing laptop computer sales for the first time. Smart phones can no longer be considered a trend or a convenience; in business they have become a necessity. Through the use of smart phones, users are managing their schedules, email, creating to-do lists and even paying their bills through mobile banking, so it is no surprise that travel is quickly becoming a popular mobile application. If you’re like many of our clients that employ the use of an online booking tool to make and manage your business travel, then your smart phone may be another option for managing travel. I’m not suggesting you make air, car and hotel reservations using your smart phone (although you could), but when you find yourself needing to extend your stay, smart phones are an option to change flights, re-book a hotel or car rental. You can even make dinner reservations. And not only that, there’s more. Most online booking tool companies either have their own expense reporting tool or have invested in relationships with expense reporting software providers so that many of your typical travel expenses and receipts are imported directly into an expense report before you get back into the office. Imagine this, your booking tool, your company credit card and your expense reporting tool all working together so when you travel the booking tool alerts the expense tool which then queries the credit card for charges made covering the travel dates and imports all charges into an expense report including e-receipts. It’s a beautiful thing. If you’d like to learn more, we’d like show you more so please contact Andavo or Christopherson Travel and ask about mobile travel applications

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Travel Management Travel Technology

Lowest Airfare; Guarantee or Fiction

Can anyone really offer you the lowest airfare for your flights? You bet, but you need to understand what that means and what it doesn’t mean. Most travelers that shop the various online travel sites have experienced frustration and confusion when a low airfare is available one moment and gone the next or they find a lower airfare after they made their purchase. That’s why a travel management company with the right tools and knowledge can guarantee the lowest fare. They work with and understand the following. Airline inventory control and yield management departments have created a science of maximizing revenue for each flight and every seat on those flights. Based on inventory history, which is defined as the actual load factor at the time of departure, airlines track and model the performance of each flight , each day of the week in the summer versus the fall and based on this data create a yield management model for that specific flight. The model includes increasing or decreasing fare availability as certain inventory triggers are reached irrespective of how near or far away the date of departure. If demand is high there is little change, however, if demand is low then the lowest airfare can change two or three times daily.
Additionally, there are differing distribution channels used by each airline that affect the available content (seat & fares) based on fees charged the airline for each booking by the distribution company. These distribution companies include Global Distribution Systems (GDS) (Apollo, Sabre, Worldspan and Amadeus), airline hosted web sites, online travel sites (Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity), and auction web sites like Priceline. Each of these distribution channels have differing agreements relating to what content the airline will provide in relation to the cost of distribution. In other words, some sites have the lowest fares of an airline and others may not. A new entrant into the online airfare pricing options are the metasearch engines such as Kayak and Voyji. These guys create what is being referred to as virtual databases. They take the travelers request, pass it to differing travel databases and then compile the results as a list of options that when selected the traveler is “deep linked” to the web site page offering the airfare. I’ll stop here because I’m sure you get the picture.
With all that said, Christopherson Andavo Travel employs the use of 3 GDSs and industry tools that search all travel databases for the lowest fare available at the time of request. This in-depth fare search is performed with each request to your Christopherson Andavo Travel team; and this we guarantee.

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Travel News

TSA Secure Flight

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is enhancing the passenger watch lists program that matches reservation data with individuals that may pose a known or suspected threat to aviation, while at the same time helping to prevent the misidentification of travelers who have names similar to individuals on TSA’s watch lists. The name of the program is Secure Flight. Secure Flight will require that reservations be made using your legal first and last name and must match the name on your valid government issued photo ID. The enforcement of this rule is being phased-in while all the differing reservations systems are enhanced to comply with the Secure Flight data reporting process. While this sounds fairly simple and straightforward, the Secure Flight name requirement will require some adjustments. The name on your driver’s license should match the name on your passport so that you can use either ID and avoid confusion. You may be asked to provide additional information such as date of birth and gender to better differentiate you from individuals on the government lists. What about your frequent flier programs? Will you still get flight credit if the name on your account is different from your government ID?
Secure Flight is a behind the scenes screening process used to perform the watch list matching before a boarding pass is ever issued, so small differences in the way your name appears should not impact your check-in or security screening experience. However, if you currently travel using a nickname like Pat for Patrick or Deb for Deborah you will need to contact your frequent flier program to change your name on the account to your full name as it appears on your passport or Driver’s License to ensure your account is credited with award miles. Additionally, some reservation systems truncate initials or suffixes into last names and some do not; for example John A. Traveler becomes Traveler/JohnA. TSA and airlines are working to compare system differences and the affects these differences will have in complying with the Secure Flight screening process. While all this is being sorted out, it is probably a good idea to start thinking about how the new Secure Flight name ID program might affect you and begin making changes now.