Categories
Business Travel Business Travel News Roundup

Business Travel News Roundup: June 2021

monthly roundup of business travel news, featuring important technology updates, helpful links and resources, and the latest from the industry.

Complimentary Corporate Programs from the Airlines

One way to achieve cost savings on airfare is by taking advantage of airlines’ complimentary corporate programs designed for small and mid-size enterprises. Enrollment is free. Both your company and your travelers can still earn points and miles. And it can save you money. To sign up, speak with a Christopherson Account Manager today.

Earn JetBlue Points on American Airlines and Vice Versa

Business travelers can now earn JetBlue TrueBlue loyalty program points on all American Airlines-operated flights. The new accrual agreement covers American flights operating with the JetBlue code within the carriers’ Northeast Alliance, as well as on all other American flights operating anywhere in the world.

At the same time, American’s AAdvantage members can now accrue miles on all JetBlue flights within and beyond the Northeast. Read more here.

Win Free Flights for a Year on United

United Airlines announced that MileagePlus members who upload their vaccination card to their account by June 22 will be automatically entered for a chance to win one of five grand prizes offering free flights for a year or one of 30 roundtrip flights for two. Enter the sweepstakes here.

Two Concur Travel Changes You Should Know About

1. For Concur Expense users: Concur Travel is retiring the support and functionality of forwarding confirmation emails to plans@concur.com on July 22, 2021. Users can still forward confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com. Users should link their TripIt and Concur Travel accounts so that any emails sent to plans@tripit.com sync to Concur Travel.

Concur reports that change provides a richer service through TripIt Pro while allowing the same functionality. Additionally, they noted TripIt improves travelers satisfaction.

2. For Concur Travel customers who offer the “refundable” option box to their travelers: Last month, Concur updated the Refundable Only Air Fares feature and renamed it “Include Additional Refundable Air Fares” to reflect the modified functionality. Instead of hiding entire flights, users can initiate a refundable search request that returns additional refundable options along with the branded non-refundable and refundable fares.

Hilton Fast Tracks Elite Status

Hilton has updated the Fast Track to Gold offer for all our clients’ travelers. Travelers only need 4 nights within 90 days of registration to be awarded Gold status. Learn more and sign up here.

Advice for Travelers: Getting Back to Business Travel [INFOGRAPHIC]

BCD Travel, our global affiliate, created this helpful infographic with information travelers can use as they return to business travel.

Second Baggage Fee for Delta-Marketed Itineraries

Delta has implemented a second bag fee for Transpacific economy class travel on Delta-marketed flights. With this change, passengers with tickets purchased on/after May 3, 2021, and a first flight marketed by Delta, including flights operated by partners, will now be charged $100 to check a second bag.

Passengers traveling in Delta One and Delta Premium Select will continue to receive two checked bags for free. SkyMiles Medallion Members get additional free checked baggage across all classes of service.

To review a list of markets and itineraries where this baggage fee will apply, click here.

Good News Break

A few fun stories from our team to yours:

Categories
Business Travel Business Travel News Roundup

Business Travel News Roundup: May 2021

monthly roundup of business travel news, featuring important technology updates, helpful links and resources, and the latest from the industry.

As many of our clients have begun traveling again, here are four things you should do this month to keep the startup streamlined and easy to navigate:

 

1. Update Travel Profiles

Have your travelers update their travel profiles to include both their mobile and office phone numbers (and any other applicable lines). Doing this will help their calls route properly to your preferred advisors regardless of the phone they call from.

While they are updating phone numbers, they should also review their entire travel profile to add or delete any new or outdated information. For example, their credit card may have expired. As a reminder, online bookings cannot be issued if the credit card is expired and will require a manual intervention.

2. Turn Booking Site Back On

If you removed the ability to book in Concur in 2020, or your Concur site is currently locked against traveler use, notify your Account Manager that you’re ready to turn the site back on and test it to ensure it’s working correctly.

Additionally, if you’ve changed any of your travel policies in the last year, your Account Manager can help you align your online booking tool with those new policies. Of course, such changes can be made at any time and do not have to be done when you are ready to turn your booking site back on.

3. Check Traveler Programs & Passports

Remind business travelers to check their trusted traveler and passport status. If their TSA programs have expired, they may have lost their Pre-Check benefits and cannot regain them until they renew that service.

Passport status will be of particular importance for some travelers. A passport is typically valid for 10 years, however nearly all countries now require at least a 6-month validity period in order to be admitted. Since passport services were suspended for a large portion of the pandemic, you should anticipate for longer-than-normal processing times for renewing these documents.

4. Review Unused Tickets

Transferable unused tickets (i.e. tickets issued in one person’s name being designated for use by another person) are now offered by some airlines. Airlines providing this type of exchange usually charge a service fee unless certain requirements are met or if you have a partnership agreement in place. 

There may be instances where transferring a ticket may not be financially prudent or even possible. Christopherson’s clients can always view any transferable tickets in AirPortal and Account Managers can provide additional support as needed.

For more tips on how travel managers can be ready to support travelers and successfully manage their travel program this year, check out this blog post. 

 

Additional Travel Industry News as of May 3, 2021

While the Real ID requirement is still in the works, the deadline was extended once again. Travelers should have a Real ID-compliant driver’s license by May 3, 2023. We’ve got the full scoop here.

Delta Air Lines is no longer blocking middle seats.

We’ve continued our Executive Q&A interview series with our Chief Technology Officer. Click here to read his thoughts on the role of artificial intelligence in business travel.

We updated our Travel Vendor Health & Safety Guide last month to include new information. Both the guide and our state/country restriction database are always accessible from the Info Hub on our website.

Good News Break

Here are a few fun, non-travel-related stories to enjoy:

Categories
Business Travel Business Travel News Roundup

Business Travel News Roundup: April 2021

A monthly roundup of business travel news, featuring important technology updates, helpful links and resources, and the latest from the industry.

Christopherson Connections: A Virtual Event SUCCESS! 

Thank you to everyone who attended our first-ever Christopherson Connections virtual event! Here’s what a few attendees had to say:  

  • “Thank you! Great sessions filled with helpful information.” -Jennifer B.  
  • “This conference has been wonderful! Great job! Love the DJ!” -Amy M. 
  • “This is the most fun I’ve had all year!” -Teri S. 

If you were unable to attend or would like to watch the keynote or breakout sessions again, please reach out to your Christopherson Account Manager for the event links. Each session provides key information about purposefully returning to travel and what our vendor partners are doing to support and protect your travelers.    

CDC Says: Vaccinated People Can Travel 

The CDC has said that fully-vaccinated people can resume domestic travel and do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.

As for international travel, they said fully vaccinated people do not need to get tested before leaving the United States (unless required by the destination) or self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States. Although you do still need a negative test to board an international flight to the U.S.

Read more about the announcement here. 

Executive Q&A: Christopherson’s CCO Talks About the Era of Purposeful Travel  

We continued our Executive Q&A series last month by interviewing Christopherson’s new Chief Consulting Officer, Matt Cameron. We sat down with Matt to get his thoughts on the travel industry entering “The Era of Purposeful Travel.” What is it and how do organizations implement it? Read the interview here 

5 Major Pains Travel Managers Face as Travel Resumes In 2021 (& How To Overcome Them)  

To help smooth your transition back into traveling, we reached out to several travel managers and asked what major pain points they face as they contemplate getting employees back on the road. Here’s what they said + solutions for each challenge 

Strong Customer Authentication: All your Questions Answered  

Paying for travel in Europe has become more complicated following the introduction of mandatory cardholder verification known as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). SCA is straightforward for consumers but, when it comes to corporate travel, an authentication step makes matters messy because third parties are often involved in the reservation and payment process. Read this Q&A to learn what you need to know.  

Back to Travel Guide: 2021 Updates on Vaccine Programs, Digital Health Passes & More  

This Back to Travel Guide, created by our global affiliate BCD Travel, helps travel stakeholders lead their companies and travelers to safe, efficient and necessary travel decisions. These What You Need to Know reports are also helpful, timely resources.  

Good News Break 

Here are a few non-travel-related stories our team members enjoyed and wanted to share.  

Click here to review more of our Business Travel News Roundups.

Categories
Business Travel Business Travel News Roundup

Business Travel News Roundup: March 2021

A monthly roundup of business travel news, featuring important technology updates, helpful links and resources, and the latest from the industry.

FAQ: Top 15 Things Travel Managers Ask About Concur Travel

Whether you are new to Christopherson Business Travel or Concur Travel, new to managing travel, or you are a seasoned professional, our goal is to make your job easier.

To this end, we queried our account managers, support specialists, and business development managers to find out which questions travel managers are asking most frequently about Concur Travel. You can read the FAQ roundup here with all the answers.

Travel Vendor Health & Safety Guide 

Christopherson’s Travel Vendor Health & Safety Guide was recently updated with new information. Please share this with your travelers. As a reminder, our COVID-19 Information Hub is always accessible from our website and provides not only this resource, but access to state and country travel restrictions, and more.

Executive Q&A: Christopherson’s CRO Shares What Companies Really Need From TMCs

We continued our Executive Q&A series last month by interviewing Christopherson’s new Chief Revenue Officer, Kathleen Roberts. She shares her thoughts on what organizations really need from corporate travel management companies, the value of partnership, and the opportunities that lie ahead for the business travel industry. Read the interview here.

Carry On: How Travel Advisors Will Get You Back to Traveling 

Andavo Travel, Christopherson’s leisure vacation division, outlined the value and benefits of using travel advisors in a post-pandemic world.

Meet the Business Travelers Who Can’t Wait to Get Back on the Road 

Some business travelers welcomed the pandemic’s pause. Not these road warriors, says the Washington Post.

GBTA Study: Post-Pandemic Permanence for New Booking Restrictions, Not Pre-Trip Policies

A significant majority of corporate travel departments have implemented stricter booking policies amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and many of those requirements are likely to become permanent, according to a new study from the Global Business Travel Association.

Business Travelers Face a Potential Rental Car Shortage

“Can you even get a reservation?” “How long are you willing to stand in a line?” Those are some of the questions business travelers may have to ask this summer, Business Travel News reports, if car rental suppliers don’t have enough vehicles available to service them.

Research Snapshot: North American Airline Performance Q4 2020

COVID-19 continues to take its toll on airline performance. This new Research Snapshot from our global affiliate BCD Travel takes a closer look at the financial and operational performance of North America’s largest airlines in Q4 2020.

Good News Break

A few non-travel-related stories our team members enjoyed this week.

Categories
Business Travel Business Travel News Roundup Featured in the news

Business Travel News Roundup: February 2021

A monthly roundup of business travel news, featuring important technology updates, helpful links and resources, and the latest from the industry.

A New AirBank for Superior Unused Ticket Management  

Phase one of the update to our unused airline ticket management tool, AirBank, is complete. Users will continue to access the tool via AirPortal. AirBank’s enhancements are the result of our new integration with Magnatech, a leading developer of travel management software. This integration strengthens AirBank to provide:  

  • Superior data accuracy  
  • Greater visibility into your unused ticket funds  
  • Improved management of non-profiled travelers’ unused funds  

Additional updates will continue to be made throughout the month. We’ll keep you informed as those enhancements go live. If customers have any immediate questions, please reach out to your Account Manager or our Account Support Team.     

State/Country Travel Restriction Database

Use Christopherson’s new travel tool, powered by Sherpa, to help you quickly see the current COVID-19 travel guidelines, entry restrictions, risk levels, quarantine measures, and more for domestic and international destinations. We invite you to bookmark the link and share it with your travelers.

Negative COVID Tests Required for International Travelers Coming to U.S.  

For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, all travelers age 2 and older boarding international flights to the United States must present a negative coronavirus test taken no more than three days before their flight or proof they recovered from the virus within the past three months. Here’s how to do so 

How to Safely Host In-Person Meetings 

Andavo Meetings & Incentives, Christopherson’s meetings and event planning division, outlined six important things to consider when planning and hosting a safe, in-person corporate meeting or event 

Executive Q&A with Christopherson’s CEO  

We took the opportunity to sit down with our CEO, Mike Cameron, to get his reflections on the challenges of 2020, learn how Christopherson is currently doing, and find out what he sees for the future. Check out the interview here 

Are you using all the technology Christopherson provides?  

AirPortal, our integrated technology platform, offers secure, real-time visibility into your entire business travel program. It is provided to Christopherson customers at no costWe encourage you to use the full suite of AirPortal’s intelligent tools to manage a more streamlined, cost-effective travel program 

Hotel Sourcing Strategies for 2021 

Despite the uncertainties 2020 brought, here are concrete steps you can take to secure better hotel rates in 2021.  

Global Vaccination Programs – A Research Snapshot  

Countries have begun their vaccination programs. But how long will it take to vaccinate entire adult populations? What plans do governments have and what progress have they made so far? Based on official data and government declarations, our global affiliate BCD Travel put together two Research Snapshots to provide a quick look at what may lie ahead for some European countries and a small selection of countries outside of Europe.   

WEBINAR: iBank Training 

Did you miss our iBank training webinar last month? Customers can reach out to their Account Manager or our Account Support Team for the recording link. The presentation provides an overview of the updated interface and outlines what’s new in the tool

Good News Break 

Because we all need a break sometimes, here are a few non-travel-related stories our team members enjoyed: