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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Keeping Business Travelers Safe in an Emergency

When security threats, like the Brussels bombings, occur, business travelers turn to their travel manager and their corporate travel agency and ask: What should I do if a bomb explodes where I am traveling? Where would I go? Who should I reach out to?

As a travel manager, it’s important to make sure that your business travelers, when faced with a travel emergency, have the essential information: 1) what to do, 2) who to call, and 3) where to go. In fact, it’s helpful to have an official document that outlines out your company’s travel security plan. Whether that document is a part of a general travel packet or separate, it should be read by business travelers before they take their first trip.

When preparing a business traveler safety and security document, think about the potential needs of a traveler facing a security threat. What does your business traveler need to know ahead of time in order to feel safe? Here are a few questions to assist you as you prepare your business travel security plans:

  1. What would you do if your business traveler needs medical attention? Who should the company contact (think response teams and personal contacts)? What is the emergency number in that country?
  2. How should you account for and locate the business traveler’s essential belonging? e.g. itinerary, passport, wallet, cell phone, baggage, equipment, medication, etc.
  3. How do you plan to assess whether it’s safe for the business traveler to leave the area?
  4. Once safe, where should the business traveler go? Is there an interum location locally? What efforts do you make to bring them home?
  5. How will you assess the transportation situation? How can your business traveler determine if there the airports, trains, car rentals, or Uber available?
  6. Where will your business travelers sleep that night?
  7. Can they get food and water in the next 24 hours?
  8. What is the established, best way to communicate?

The U.S. Passports & International Travel website is another resource. They provide a helpful checklist for traveling outside the United States. You can also search specific travel destinations for more information about that country or area.

Sending business travelers into the field comes with great responsibility. When duty of care has a solid foundation in your corporate travel management practice, you can maximize the benefits of business travel while minimizing liability for the organization and risk for traveling employees.

As a top business travel management company, Christopherson Business Travel offers business travel solutions to assist companies with their duty of care. Our technology tool SecurityLogic helps corporate travel managers quickly locate travelers in an emergency, verify their safety, and communicate plans to assist their needs. To learn more about our travel management solutions, contact us here.

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Business Travel Travel Management

It’s 10 PM. Do you know where your travelers are?: 10 Duty of Care Best Practice Recommendations

At a time when there were no cell phones, the public announcement “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?” appeared before the 10 o’clock news as a reminder to parents that children should be home prior to curfew. During my high school years, when I was out with friends, we would often joke “It’s 10pm. Do you know where your parents are?” Those same parents who used to be in for the night, were enjoying a new social life of their own, showing that life in America was changing.

Fast forward to today’s world, where information is readily available, and apply the same principle to your company’s travel program. For example, let’s say there’s been a disaster, you hear about it and you wonder, do I know where my travelers are? Are any of them currently traveling in the affected area? If so, are they okay? How do I reach them? Do I know how to contact their family members or friends?

What is duty of care?

Duty of care–we’ve all heard of it, but what does it really mean? A basic definition is to ensure that a person does not suffer any unreasonable harm or loss. If your actions as an employer do not meet the standard duty of care, then you are considered negligent and a lawsuit may result.

Corporations are responsible for their employees when they travel, particularly when and if they travel in a harmful situation. This can become challenging when 1) corporations don’t keep track of their employees, and 2) employees don’t tell anyone where they are going. On one of my business trips I called home and my family asked, “How’s Boise?”  My reply was, “I’m in Portland.” I certainly failed in communicating to anyone my exact plans.

Organizations are definitely doing a better job at making sure they know where their employees are traveling. Employees need to understand how important it is for the company to know where they are for safety reasons. A benchmarking study was done by International SOS on duty of care. A list of best practices were derived from gaps they found in the study.

10 Duty of Care Best Practice Recommendations

  1. Increase awareness
  2. Plan with key stakeholders
  3. Expand policies and procedures
  4. Conduct due diligence
  5. Communicate, educate and train
  6. Assess risk prior to every employee trip
  7. Track traveling employees at all times
  8. Implement an employee emergency response system
  9. Implement additional management controls
  10. Ensure vendors are aligned

Whether you are an organization, travel manager, or traveler, find a tool that best suits you to keep track of your whereabouts. There are many apps, agency tools, and third party vendors who can help in keeping track of employee travel. If you haven’t done so, give it a try. You will sleep much better at night knowing where your travelers are.

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Travel Management Travel Technology

AirPortal 360™ Mobile Provides Travel Management And More

AirPortal-360-Mobile-blackWhen Christopherson Business Travel developed AirPortal 360™ Mobile, our objective was to create the first mobile app designed exclusively for the corporate travel manager. We succeeded!

With AirPortal 360 Mobile, you can do your job wherever you are, whenever you need to.

The app is now available in IOS and Andriod versions and includes the following functions:

SecurityLogic®: Provides a map to see who is traveling and where, plus the ability to alert travelers of delays and dangers

Airtinerary®: All your travelers’ itineraries—past, present, and future are accessible

ProfileLogic®: Access and edit your travelers’ profiles, deactivate/activate users, and reset passwords

PolicyLogic®: Summary view of your company’s travel policy plus access to your vendor contracts

Contacts: All the numbers you need, stored in one place

But as it turns out, AirPortal 360 Mobile does so much more.

Now that our corporate clients have been using it for four to five months, we have learned that the app is helpful in so many additional ways. For example:

  • One of our travel managers recently told us, “Every time I’m in a meeting, someone will ask me where so-and-so is, assuming that I have every traveler’s itinerary memorized. Now I do!”
  • When a group of travelers are attending a meeting or event together, there are always questions about who is arriving and departing when, who has a rental car booked, and how you will coordinate transportation. With AirPortal 360 Mobile, it’s done! Logistics are easy to coordinate because all that information is at your fingertips.
  • When traveling with others you often need to know who is staying at which hotels to schedule logistics and events. Again, done!
  • When traveling for business it is often necessary to find a coworker’s itinerary, should you be interested in booking others on the same fight. Done.

We are pleased with the adoption of AirPortal 360 Mobile and the way in which it has enhanced not only travel management, but also day-to-day travel coordination and the logistics of business travel.

If  you have questions about how AirPortal 360 Mobile can benefit your company’s travel program, please contact one of our executives.

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Business Travel Travel Industry

TSA Pre? Quick Guide Security Location Chart

Updated: August 2016 – The TSA Pre? program continues to expand, currently serving 40 airports, with more to come throughout the year. The trick is, knowing which airports are in the program and where to locate the Pre? security point at each participating airport. When this blog was first written in 2013, there were only 40 airports participating in TSA  Pre?. Now they are in almost every state!

The security location chart previously listed is now outdated. For the most up-to-date information on TSA  Pre? availability, go to the TSA map page.

Once a passenger is deemed eligible for expedited screening through the TSA Pre? pre-screening process, information is embedded in the barcode of the passenger’s boarding pass. When TSA then scans the barcode at a security checkpoint, the passenger may be referred to the expedited screening lane, although Pre? approved passengers are still subject to random searches and screenings for security purposes.

Under TSA Pre?’s program, passengers who use a Pre? security checkpoint do not have to remove certain items of clothing, such as belts, shoes and light outerwear, and can keep laptops and liquids in carry-on bags.

Also, check out our recent blogs on TSA Pre?

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company with more than 60 years of experience. Known for our superior travel technology and consultative account services, we on average save our client 15% on their travel budget annually. Contact us to learn more about our unique travel management services.  

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Travel Industry Travel News

Privacy Wins: TSA Removes Naked-Image Scanners from Airports

airport security TSA

Most of us are probably familiar with the Rapiscan full-body, naked-image scanners. They were very controversial when they were first introduced at airport security checkpoints, and continued to be in the forefront of conversations and meetings at the TSA and in Congress.

They came about in response to the “underwear bomber” who attempted to “blow up Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009. He  was able to get through security and onto the plane, but the underwear bomb he was wearing failed to detonate. Instead, it caught fire, severely burning [the bomber],” reported ABC News.

Because of how this bombing attempt was carried out, the TSA deemed it necessary to find a safe and effective means of detecting explosives under people’s clothing. Rapiscan’s full-body scanner seemed to accomplish that task, but it required the traveling public to give up a measure of privacy as a result.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “The Rapiscan scanner uses low-level X-rays to create what looks like a naked image of screened passengers to target weapons hidden under the clothes.”

However, the TSA has recently cancelled their contract with Rapiscan. The naked-image scanners will be removed from about 30 airports and are being replaced by scanners that offer more privacy but can accomplish the same purpose.

“A second type of TSA scanner, built by L-3 Communications Holdings, uses radio waves and shows hidden objects on an avatar images on a screen — not on an image of a passenger,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Personally, the Rapiscan scanners really didn’t bother me. I think most of us understand the need for security. Life just isn’t the same as it was before 9/11. We don’t have the same privacy expectations.

What do you think?