Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Is It Time For A Business Travel Program Review?

Let’s say your company has an implemented and active travel program. You have processes in place, the correct people in charge, and travelers on the road. Everything is as it should be, right? You may actually be missing one important part of the process—an overall program review. Similar to finance or investments, it’s necessary to take a broad assessment of your travel program and your company every so often. So, is your travel program still on target? We’ve compiled these common questions to help your company decide if it’s time for a business travel program review.

Is your travel program still on target? Here’s what you should be asking:

When was the last time you reviewed your travel program? 

One year? Five years? Though yearly and quarterly reviews and assessments are imperative to a healthy travel program, we find most companies take a deeper look at their existing travel program every three to five years.

Has your company grown or shrunk since you first implemented your travel program? 

Could the person in charge of your travel need an additional set of hands to get through everything? Most often we find that companies simply outgrow their existing travel program. Additionally, your industry landscape may be completely different from when you first established your travel policy and program. Do you have new or different competitors? Are there new territories you team visits? It may be time to do a competitive review as well.

What’s new in the business travel industry? 

Business travel continues to advance at the speed of light. It’s surprising to think that ride sharing and vacation rentals like airbnb have really just entered the business travel sector. Is your team utilizing these latest advances? Or would they benefit from adding it to your program?

Are you getting the most advanced technology options on the market?  

In addition to the overall changes in the business travel industry, is the technology itself. Would your company’s travel be smoother with the use of easy-to-access itineraries, risk management support, online booking options, or real-time analysis tools? Travel technology and custom integrations can often be limited in smaller or boutique travel management companies. It might be time to research the latest in travel technology and its benefits for your company.

Is your team getting the support they need?

As your company grows, so should its support or services. What happens to your travel on the weekends or after 5pm? Smaller in-house programs or boutique TMCs often no longer provide the support, hours of service or attention that’s needed for growing companies.

Are there other travel management services that could be included?

Businesses often have an assortment of travel needs. Business travel is the most obvious, but what about VIP travel, event or meeting planning, humanitarian travel, or incentive trips? Though these types of travel can be planned through different travel companies, it is often easier and saves costs in the long run to consolidate all travel needs with one TMC.

 

As companies grow, new challenges and needs grow as well. One area that is usually overlooked is the travel program. It can be tempting to stick with an existing travel program during these times of growth. But the fact is that it may no longer effectively benefit your company or travelers. Taking the time to ask yourself these questions will put you in the right track to evaluate your travel program.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Technology

Biometrics And What It Means For Business Travel

The travel industry, especially air security, has always at the forefront of the latest technology. Just think about, where was the first place you walked through a metal detector? Or walked through a scanning device? It was likely at an airport security line. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are always spearheading procedures to keep us safe. Want to know what they up its sleeve now? Look no further, it’s Biometrics.

 

What are biometrics?

We are all unique in our own way, like snowflakes. Biometrics is the act of using these physical and behavioral differences to identify individuals. Identifying through fingerprints is a common biometrics technique. New technology has made biometrics effective in other ways, like analyzing the irises of the eye and even full facial scans.

 

What will air travel look like in the distant future

Did you know that over 70% of airports and airlines are will be rolling out biometric scanning systems in the near future? While keeping our airports secure, they are also easing the experience for the traveler. Here is what the process will look like:

  1. Arriving at the airport, you will take a picture at a kiosk or check-in counter.
  2. That picture will be automatically matched to your passport photo in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) database.
  3. You can then proceed to the TSA security checkpoint. With this verification from DHS, you can walk through without taking out your id, boarding pass, and maybe even keep your shoes and jacket on.
  4. At the gate while boarding your plane, your face will be scanned one final time. You will then be cleared and can proceed to your seat.

 

How are biometrics currently being used in travel?

Though many airports and companies are steadily working to make this a possibility, a few innovators have already weaved together biometrics and travel.

  1. CLEAR has also been at the cutting edge of biometrics for years. As an alternative to TSA PreCheck, they use biometric eye scans and finger scans to verify identification of travelers through their private security check line.   
  2. Hertz recently sped up their car rental process with the help of biometric technology. Partnering with CLEAR, they’ve introduced Fast Lane. The traveler will simply select a car and drive it towards the exit. There, they will roll down the window for a biometric face scan. The camera will identify the traveler, then lift the gate so they can get on with their day. The entire process is expected to take about 30 seconds.  It is currently only available to Hertz Gold Plus Rewards accounts. Starting at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, it is expected to expand to more than 40 Hertz locations in 2019. 
  3. Delta is at the forefront of revolutionizing the entire airport experience we mentioned above. They have launched the first fully biometric airline terminal at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. From the curb, to the baggage drop-off, through TSA checkpoint, and onto the plane; travelers will use facial recognition as identification throughout the entire airport experience. 
  4. Dubai airport has opened a new automated form of passport control. Though currently only available to business and first-class passengers, it is expected to completely replace immigration officials by 2020. Traveler’s identities will be checked and verified as they walk through a virtual aquarium, with cameras disguised as fish verifying identities. With the automated process, lines will essentially disappear, with estimates of cutting immigration control procedures to just 15 seconds. 

 

What are the benefits of biometrics for business travelers

Essentially, every step of the process through the airport will become more streamlined. You will no longer continually dig through your bag for your driver’s license or even your ticket. You will essentially walk from the curb of airport to the seat on your plane with minimal stops and lines. It is also expected to increase efficiency of the travel industry as a whole. Some say the time it takes boarding a plane will be reduced to 20 minutes. With this faster turnaround time, planes will take off on time and delays will be reduced. Overall, biometrics simplifies the process for business travelers and airlines, while also providing top-of-the-line security.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

3 Tools To Analyze Travel Data

Business travel management is a beast of a task. So when we had an opportunity to instantly analyze travel data and identify trends, we just couldn’t resist. Last July, Christopherson teamed up with Domo to bring top travel management solutions across both platforms.  Domo, a leader in business analytics, is known for compiling  data and instantaneously providing helpful insights and action items. These insights can be used by anyonefrom the CEO to the traveler to help them make data-driven decisions.  With Domo, we created three apps to further analyze travel data, reduce travel spend, and optimize hotel booking; so our client’s travel programs can be as efficient as possible.  

Tool #1 – Travel Leakage Analyzer app

One of the top goals of any travel management program is to reduce overall travel costs. Developing a travel policy, making vendor partnerships, and the rigamarole of reporting, all goes towards saving the bottom line for your company. Even with all of the efforts from your travel manager and help from your dedicated TMC, not all of your employees will follow the protocol to a tee. Whether a traveler is in a last minute bind, or they forgot the policyout of contract bookings are bound to happen.

The Travel Leakage Analyzer app works instantaneously to find these gaps, or leaks, in your non-compliant bookings. The app automatically pulls travel data from our AirPortal platform and financial systems like Concur. It then provides a top-level view of your travel spend over a period of time. With this knowledge, you can plug the holes of non-compliant bookings, or make informed recommendations on future policies or vendor contracts. 

Tool #2 – Hotel Spend Analyzer app

Sure, you could go through every receipt to understand which hotel provided you the lowest rate over the past year. Or maybe spend hours analyzing which hotels your travelers booked with the most. We know you don’t have time for that.  With their Hotel Spend Analyzer app, analyze your hotel data from our Airportal platform and seamlessly take out the information you’re looking for. That means no time wasted in clunky excel sheets or blurry eyes from staring at the computer for hours. Discover underlying trends in your hotel bookings, like total rooms, average daily rate and total spend by region, even down to the specific hotels. Breakdown data by regions in your hotel booking history, to set future benchmarks or use for negotiating lower rates with hotel vendors. 

Tool #3 – Domo? app

This dashboard Domo app allows Domo users to easily and intuitively connect multiple real-time travel data feeds into the Domo platform. Perfect for travel managers, it accesses data, analyzes the travel data, and providing real-time solutions. These app makes it fast and simple to put the relevant insights into the hands of travel executives and managers.

 

At Christopherson, we’ve always strived to be the first in cutting-edge travel technology. With our partnership with Domo on the three apps, we know we’ve made it easier for clients to instantly identify travel trends, reduce travel spend, and optimize hotel booking. In fact, our Domo app is continually a Featured App in Domo’s Appstore. These additional apps to analyze travel data are available to companies who already use Christopherson and Domo.  Contact us to learn more about our integrated apps or our overall approach to travel management

Categories
Business Travel Travel News

Business Travel Technology – Cryptocurrency, Chatbots, and Apps, Oh My!

We’re living during a time when technological innovation is easing practically every area of our lives. You can pre-order your Starbucks latte before even leaving the house. You can buy and ship groceries to your house, just by talking to your smart home device.  And it’s easy to see how business travel is being simplified too. Ride sharing apps are now acceptable forms of transportation for most businesses. Checking in to flights has never been easier. And managing expenses is a breeze. Even with these changes that seem so simple now, it’s eye-opening to think of what is likely on the horizon of business travel technology.

I recently attended a presentation by Johnny Thorsen from Mezi, an artificial intelligence-powered tech startup. As the Vice President of Travel Strategy & Partnerships, his perspective on the future of the business travel industry was surprising, exciting, and even a little mind-boggling.

Innovative travel apps currently available to business travelers

Many wonderful advancements are currently on the scene and in action for business travelers.  

  • Dufl– This luggage delivery app has been around for a few years now. This service provides busy travelers with a solution for luggage and clothing. Acting like a virtual closet that cleans, stores, and sends your garments to the traveler when they need it. Easily have the luggage sent to your hotel, and ship it back to Dufl when you leave. 
  • Seateroo– This app allows passengers to sell premium airline seats to another passenger once boarding has completed. Anyone looking to make a little extra cash can post their seat of the app for a desired price and see if anyone is willing to switch spots. 
  • Roomer– A solution for hotel guests who wish to cancel non-refundable hotel reservations. This app allows users to sell their reservation, rather than eat the cost of the room. Others looking for a room could use Roomer to find a good deal at typically discounted prices on hotel bookings.  
  • Turo– A peer to peer car sharing app and website which allows people to rent out their personal vehicle to others needing a car for a day or even weeks at a time. 

 

Innovative business travel technology on the rise:

I was surprised to find that many ideas that seem so futuristic are much closer to reality. Some, are even in action now without most of us realizing it.

  • Chatbots for travel- If you’ve used a chat feature on a website, you’ve likely communicated with a chatbot at some point. This artificial intelligence technology is a computer program that conducts messaging and conversation like a real human. Often an experienced agent stands by to intervene when the chatbot can no longer answer the questions. It is actually currently available, with about 60% automation. Chatbots and their capabilities are expected to increase and be used more seamlessly in the future.
  • Cryptocurrency will become more prominent- Without getting in too deep into defining cryptocurrencies and blockchain, this is a digital currency that is growing in popularity and acceptance. So much so that it is currently being used for business transactions in 29 countries. It is not controlled by banks, making transactions instant, with the flexibility to be used for public or private matters.
  • Smart Contract could replace hotel RFPs- Using the same block chain technology used in cryptocurrency, hotels may be able to benefit from its advanced security features. The idea is simple, Smart Contracts take out the middleman, the GDS, and replace it with transactions using cryptocurrency.  Implications could be interesting for Group, Meeting and Event contracts, as well as annual business travel contracts.
  • Self- driving cars- aside from changing traditional car rental, self- driving cars can potentially take the place of small meeting rooms. Why travel to one location, when you can meet, communicate and negotiate while already on the way to your errand? It could also serve as a more convenient mode of transportation for regional travel. It could be possible to travel by self-driving car, work and sleep in-route,  and wake up in your destination city. The need for a short flight and overnight in a hotel may be unnecessary.
  • TSA screening – TSA will change and become more profile-based; making the presence of the TSA screening that we know today almost invisible. Signs of this are already here, like advanced technology being tested in TSA Pre-Check lines in select airports. 

Only time will tell if these advancements will come to fruition. We will be watching the horizon closely for new and innovative ways business travel technology is evolving. Check back on our blog for industry updates or to learn how our preparatory technology, AirPortal, is advancing business travel management.

Categories
Travel News

Delta Releases Automatic Check-in and In-Flight Messaging

With the use of cutting-edge technology, Delta Air Lines always seems to be at the forefront of traveler innovation. Their tracking technology has eased the stress of checked baggage. And their on-time landing rates are outstanding due to internal adjustments. Delta’s continual commitment to travelers often involves facilitating convenience. That’s why it’s no surprise that Delta’s recent updates yet again ease the burden of travel for their customers.

Automatic Check-in

Most recently, Delta has announced that travelers who have downloaded and logged into the Delta Fly app, will be automatically checked-in to their flight and sent a boarding pass. That’s right, potentially gone are the days of setting a 24 hour reminder before your flight. Or hurriedly using a ticketing kiosk at the airport before heading to the security line. Now, you’ll just to open your app to retrieve your boarding pass.
Currently, the automatic check-in is only available for flights traveling in the United States, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. Delta has not yet announced how it will handle additional details, like checked bags and seat changes. They’ve also listed circumstances in which the feature is not compatible. This includes reservations with a delay or cancellation present. Reservations without a seat assignment at the time of check-in. And reservations that include special service requests, like wheelchair service, unaccompanied minor travel, or pet traveling in the cabin.

In-flight messaging

Another venture in which Delta is innovating with technology to ease the stress of their flyers, is providing in-flight free messaging. Now, travelers can stay connected with friends, family and co-workers while onboard. Through their wifi, travelers can use iMessage, Facebook Messenger and What’s App, as long as they have downloaded the app prior to boarding. It also will only be available on wifi enabled flights. Just remember to select the “Free Messaging” pass once you logged on to the Delta wifi through your browser.

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company with more than 60 years of experience. Contact us to learn how our proprietary technology helps relieve burdens for both the travel manager and the traveler.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

How Christopherson Provides Organization for Travel Management

It could be the ‘type A’ personality in me, but I often think there’s room for improvement in most situations. I’ve also noticed this trait in many travel managers, procurement officers and executives. In positions as busy as these, isn’t the job more manageable with a structured and reliable system? Fortunately, I know Christopherson can provide that oh-so-necessary organization for travel management tasks. Our technology allows for peace of mind and instant access to information for company’s travel management needs. Why are we so confident that we can provide that satisfaction? Read some of our top benefits below:

How Christopherson provides organization for travel management

  •  With our AirPortal 360™ Dashboard and Mobile App, you have a 360° view of your travel program instantly and at all times.
  • No more digging through your inbox to find a traveler’s itinerary. Christopherson’s SecurityLogic® will tell you exactly where your travelers are in seconds. You can even look at their past or upcoming trips by customizing your search.
  • Eliminate that spreadsheet tracking your company’s unused tickets. AirBank® technology seamlessly tracks the unused funds from cancelled tickets. We even provide reminders, ensuring they are used before expiring.
  • All of your traveler’s pertinent travel information and preferences is stored in our Traveler Profiles, allowing you to take one less step when booking. There is no need to keep a series of post-it notes on your desk with traveler’s information written on them.
  • Lastly, eliminate the need to “shop” for fares prior to booking a trip. With PolicyLogic™, your company’s travel policy is built into our software. When travelers book their travel either with an agent or through one of our online booking tools, your travel policy will always comply.

By choosing Christopherson Business Travel as your travel management partner, you are signing on from streamlined and organized travel management. We are at the forefront of travel technology, and have been since we opened our doors in 1953. Contact us to learn more about our AirPortal® platform, and how we can declutter your travel management procedures.

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology Travel Tips

How To Get Through U.S. Customs Faster

My last experience going through customs was pretty typical. I deplaned, walked endlessly through the airport, collected my bags and then madly ran to get a spot in line at customs. Sure, you can shorten your wait time if you bring only carry-on luggage or you are an extra fast runner, but overall the process definitely has room for improvement.

Global Entry

One option to speed through customs is signing up for the Global Entry program. Similar to TSA PreCheck, Global Entry expedites you through U.S. custom lines based on your pre-approved status. Offered through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, there is a multi-step approval process needed before your trip. It is available to U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents and accepted by a few other countries. It does have some restrictions for eligibility, including criminal convictions, outstanding warrants, or previous violations of immigration or custom regulations. If you are eligible, you can create an account on their Global Online Enrollment System (GOES), and complete the application. There is a  $100 non-refundable fee required for each applications. From there, your application will be reviewed. If it is conditionally approved, you will then be instructed to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. Once fully approved, you can skip all processing lines, paperwork and significantly reduce your wait time!

Mobile Passport

The app Mobile Passport offers an alternative to the Global Entry program and is available at growing number of airports in the country. All you need to do is fill out the Customs and Border Protection form in the app on your mobile phone and enter your flight information and submit. Once this is complete, you will receive a electronic confirmation with a QR code and you can proceed to the line at customs indicated for “Mobile Passport Control”. Like the paper version of the form, the form in the app can be filled out for family members making traveling with kids just a tiny bit easier. As another benefit, it is free to use with no additional charges!

Whichever process you choose, you will make the customs process easier and less stressful. Use the comments below to tell us about your experiences using either Global Entry or Mobile Passport!

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

How Delta is Changing Checked Baggage

Delta is making history by updating their luggage handling process, benefiting business travelers and leisure travelers alike. This new technology uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), as opposed to the existing hand-scanned barcodes. The technology uses scanners to read embedded chips in luggage tags via radio waves to track the bags.

Delta we love to flyThis system will automatically catch improperly loaded luggage and assist the luggage handlers as well. Currently, when a traveler misses their connection, ground agents must manually scan each bag to find the specific piece of luggage. With RFID scanners, inventory will be taken quickly and at defined checkpoints to efficiently find the lost bag and route it appropriately. Delta is investing $50 million in the technology and have plans to install this at 84 locations, covering all hubs and about 85 to 90 percent of its total bag volume. Delta handles 120 million bags of luggage annually, this improvement will affect the majority of the luggage.

Interestingly, Delta is the first of all airlines to make such a vast improvement on luggage technology. Additionally, they have plans for real-time tracking and monitoring for the passenger. Push notifications through the Delta app will be available for the traveler, so they know when their bags hit different checkpoints. This is believed to have a 99 percent accuracy rate, ensuring proper routing and loading.

Travelers will begin seeing this technology in the fourth quarter of 2016. Read more about Delta’s other promotions, or watch their video explaining the technology further.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

How Business Travelers Can Get Airport Lounge Access

Most business travelers have had the luxury of earning access to an airport lounge at least once. It is one of those business travel perks, that once you experience it, there will be moments when you think you can’t live without it. These moments might be during long layovers, after a long international flight, or when you just need a semi-quiet workspace for a last minute conference call.

LoungeBuddy is an app (available for iOS and Android) that helps corporate travelers view and book last minute space in airport lounges around the world. The app even provides photos, lounge amenities, and reviews from other travelers. LoungeBuddy also provides access to airport lounges to all travelers, regardless of status or type of ticket booked. Business travelers who qualify for lounge access can reserve space in popular lounges for free, while travelers who have not yet qualified for access can reserve space for a small fee (typically between $20 and $50). LoungeBuddy is available in several airport locations around the globe.

LoungeBuddy

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

Corporate Travel Programs Need Actionable Intelligence

actionable intelligenceAt the beginning of 2016, Christopherson Business Travel announced that we’ll begin transitioning our integrated business travel management software platform, AirPortal®,from providing “business intelligence” to “actionable intelligence.”

To this end, we built our 2016-2017 technology roadmap to support this improved strategy. We have more than 40 technology projects in the pipeline, half of which are to enhance existing business travel technologies, while the other half will provide new solutions to other business travel management problems. Many of these projects will be completed for our major AirPortal technology release scheduled for July of this year.

The use of Big Data has been evolving for many years from data capture, to data analytics, to data visualization, to business intelligence. The next logical step is to convert business intelligence to become actionable intelligence. Author and educator Keith B. Carter wrote the following in his book Actionable Intelligence:

“Leaders from all industries yearn for more information. They want to be able to assess risks and opportunities quickly and efficiently. They want answers in enough time to be able to make a difference. They want to seize opportunities. They need intelligence that is in time and accurate. They want… actionable intelligence.”

Hotel Attachment. Hotel Attachment tracks travel itineraries with missing hotel reservations and assists business travelers by providing clear options to match their needs and complete their itinerary prior to their business trip

As the CEO of Christopherson, I was recently interviewed by Skift, a media group that provides news and insights on the travel industry, and shared additionalthoughts about actionable intelligence:

“The problem with business intelligence is [that while] it’s very interesting and it’s useful … it’s backwards looking, so all of the new stuff that we’re building, we’re building with a more actionable forward-looking lens … We’re building a work-to-zero task manager for our travel managers that shows them in an actionable way all of the pending things that they need to do.”

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
Business Travel Travel Technology

The Hotel Attachment Problem

Hotel Attachment
Hotel Attachment, Christopherson’s new hotel compliance system, assists travel managers in fulfilling duty of care responsibilities and commitments to contracted vendors.

The Beat’s Editor-in-Chief, Jay Boehmer, recently reported on Christopherson Business Travel’s new hotel compliance system, Hotel Attachment. The article and its title, “Christopherson Thinks It Has Solved The Hotel Attachment Problem,” were bold and certainly provocative. I’m not surprised that some responses were somewhere between curious and even incredulous.

Our view is that a low hotel attachment rate is not a simple problem to solve. There are many complex reasons as to why hotel attachment rates are low. Christopherson decided to take a holistic approach to the solving the problem.

At a high-level, there are likely four main reasons a client would book airfare but not book a hotel at the same time:

  1. They need a hotel and simply haven’t gotten around to booking it yet.
  2. They need a hotel and don’t have enough information about their trip to book it yet.
  3. They plan to book their hotel through a different channel, or it was booked for them.
  4. They actually don’t need a hotel.

Of course, there are many nuances within those four categories. For example, under reason No. 3, the traveler may have booked their room “out of channel” because:

  • They were part of a group who booked the hotel room block separately.
  • They’re attending a conference or a meeting that included the hotel booking.
  • They were not able to get the hotel inventory through the GDS-powered booking option.
  • They were able to get a lower price using a different booking method.
  • They have a personal preference for booking their own hotel (better user experience).

But ultimately, it’s not good for a traveler to have an incomplete itinerary with no hotel data included. Our goal was to first, identify which of the four reasons a traveler didn’t book a hotel and then provide them with a simple, digital path to help them easily complete their itinerary and solve the problem. Our technology platform, AirPortal®, supports and powers the Hotel Attachment system and provides us with enough unique information about the traveler, the company they work for, and their specific airline booking to simplify that process.

As clients begin to use our solution, we will be able to track why travelers haven’t booked their hotel initially and gather data on how we solved the problem. This will give our travel managers business intelligence metrics to increase their hotel attachment rates, provide better duty of care, and give them better negotiating power with their preferred vendors.

Our solution is much more than a marketing email.

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

Reduce Business Travel Risk with SecurityLogic®

SecurityLogic is a duty of care assistance tool, accessible via desktop, smartphone, or tablet, that provides travel managers the ability to verify safety and location of business travelers.
SecurityLogic is a duty of care assistance tool, accessible via desktop, smartphone, or tablet, that provides travel managers the ability to verify safety and location of business travelers.

With many companies expanding their travel programs domestically, multi-nationally, or globally, business travel continues to become more and more complex, especially when it comes to risk and safety. Christopherson Business Travel understands the stress of fulfilling those duty of care requirements and provides valuable technology to help to reduce business travel risk.

Christopherson’s duty of care tool SecurityLogic®, allows travel managers to locate travelers quickly and push alerts to communicate instructions or information to travelers via text or email in emergency situations. Unlike other disaster recovery products, SecurityLogic continuously pulls data from the Global Distribution System (GDS), thereby providing real-time accuracy.

SecurityLogic also provides access to multiple global map overlays and because all travel information is geocoded to street level accuracy, travel managers can easily zoom in on any country, city, or street to find their business travelers anywhere in the world.

As an extra level of safety and communication, SecurityLogic has a two-way check-in feature called Safety Check, which allows travel managers to send travelers a check-in message to verify their safety. Upon receipt, the traveler simply responds to the message one of two ways: “I’m safe.” or “I need assistance” (with an additional field to explain their need). SecurityLogic then geocodes the traveler’s location using the GPS coordinates provided by the traveler’s cell phone.

SecurityLogic delivers the following key benefits:

  • Quickly locate travelers by name, travel date, and/or location
  • Request verification of safety and location from travelers through the check-in feature
  • Get real-time info on weather, airport delays, security, and disaster alerts
  • Push alerts directly to travelers via text and email
  • Use map overlays to view weather, traffic, and travelers anywhere in the world
  • Quickly zoom from global to street-level view

Travel managers can also find confidence in Christopherson’s service which is available 24/7/365. This means your business travelers can call us at any time to make changes to itineraries and get travel assistance in the event of an emergency or unexpected delay.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Christopherson Business Travel Offers a Solution to Low Hotel Attachment Rates

Hotel AttachmentTravel managers and TMCs have always struggled with low hotel attachment rates, which the industry estimates to be less than 50%. This is problematic because the results of low hotel attachment rates are incomplete travel itineraries, weakened vendor negotiations, and compromised duty of care.

Christopherson Business Travel introduced a holistic solution to the problem at the 2015 GBTA Convention in Orlando, Florida–Hotel Attachment.

Hotel Attachment, a hotel compliance system, meets the needs of the travelers who want an acceptable hotel included in every itinerary. It also meets the needs of travel managers who want savings, 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.

Hotel Attachment identifies itineraries with missing hotel bookings and provides the traveler with four options to close that gap:

1. Make a hotel reservation

  • For agent bookings – traveler is presented  with a form that connects to their booking agent
  • For online bookings – refers the traveler back to their online booking tool

2. Request another reminder for a later date

  • Presents a calendar to select date of next reminder

3. Attach a hotel reservation made outside the system to the itinerary

  • Pre-populates dates in a template based upon air reservation
  • Presents a map to zoom in a locate their hotel
  • Connects to Christopherson’s proprietary database to ensure correct hotel and GPS location coordinates

4. Waive the need for a hotel reservation

  • Requires an explanation as to how they’re meeting their housing needs

With Hotel Attachment’s digital reminders, companies can ensure trip plans are complete and hotel compliant prior to 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.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

Trendy Technology for Business Travelers

Technology continues to change the way we travel–especially over the last 20 years. With the release of the Apple Watch quickly approaching (April 24, 2015), the convenience that accompanies technology will become even more of a focus for frequent travelers and gadget lovers. With this is mind, here are some trendy new apps and technology that will make travel even easier (and maybe even more fun!) in the future:

Table8logo1) Need a reservation at a popular restaurant in a major city? With apps like Table 8 in San Francisco and Los Angeles and I Know the Chef in New York City, you can buy–for a small fee–a same-day reservation at a restaurant that would normally be fully booked.

2) Choose your seat mate based on their social network profile with KLM’s Meet & Seat program. But don’t worry–you have to be registered for the program in order for your profiles to be viewed by other passengers. Registered travelers are also able to select certain aspects of their profiles to share.

delta-innovation-classSimilarly, with Delta’s Innovation Class, you can book a seat next to a celebrity or industry leader when they travel to events. For example, last  month, a lucky traveler was able to sit next to Ryan Lewis (Quadruple GRAMMY Award®-winning producer of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) on his flight to attend the GRAMMYs.

3) Are you looking for some company and an authentic local dining experience on your next business trip? Websites like bookalokal.com and eatwith.com will connect you with local people to host you for dinner either at a restaurant or in their own home. Both of these services are available in select cities worldwide.

4) Payment is going mobile with apps like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Uber, Airbnb, and OpenTable are now accepting payment through the app. In addition, more and more establishments are installing the technology to accept mobile payment.

trover_logo5) If you don’t have time to plan activities before your trip, you might be interested in the Trover app, which allows you to view photos and reviews posted by other travelers. There are also a few peer-to-peer sightseeing services such as Vayable.com where you can connect with a local person to get the most authentic experience.

Technology is definitely bringing people together, even when they are on the road for business. Which of these apps or websites will you use on your next trip?

Categories
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.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Christopherson and Concur Partnership Continues to Grow

cbt_logoConcur_logoChristopherson Business Travel has been a preferred partner with Concur Travel and Expense for nearly 10 years. We appreciate our relationship with Concur and are excited about recent commitments we have made to enhance our mutually beneficial partnership.

Christopherson is one of the first travel management companies in the nation to develop advanced travel technology which integrates with Concur’s TripLink. TripLink gives corporations the ability to capture business travel reservations made outside of the designated booking model. Christopherson immediately accepts the reservations from TripLink and integrates them into our proprietary travel management technology, AirPortal 360, which provides our customers with a complete view of their travel program.

In addition to being a market leader with TripLink, Christopherson is pleased to be a premium sponsor of the Concur Fusion Exchange events that will be happening throughout the United States in 2014.  For details on locations and dates, please visit Concur.com. And if you happen to be at one of these events, we invite you to stop by the Christopherson booth.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

AirPortal 360™ Mobile – All signs point to Yes!

AirPortal 360™ Mobile helps travel planners do their jobs more quickly, more thoroughly, and from anywhere.
AirPortal 360™ Mobile helps travel managers and travel planners do their jobs more quickly, more thoroughly, and from anywhere.

With the recent release of Christopherson Business Travel’s new AirPortal 360™ mobile app, we have literally put the power of AirPortal 360 into the hands of travel managers, travel planners, and key executives. With just one or two clicks, you can now answer a variety of questions, such as:

  • Who is traveling today?
  • Where will our travelers be tomorrow or next week?
  • When does “so-and-so” return?
  • What hotel is he/she staying in?
  • What is our contract rate at the Hyatt in San Francisco?
  • What is the CD number for our Delta contract?
  • I forgot my password. Help?
  • A new hire started today. Can you get her set up to book travel?
  • I deleted my itinerary. Can I get another copy for my expense report?
  • One of our travelers was let go today. Will you please make sure he can no longer book travel?

You can also execute a number of important tasks, even when you’re not at your desk, including:

  • Locating all your company’s travelers
  • Viewing all your travelers’ itinerary details
  • Emailing an itinerary
  • Accessing vendor contracts
  • Enrolling new travelers
  • Resetting passwords
  • Deactivating ex-employees
  • Contacting your Account Manager
  • Contacting your Agents
  • Immediately assisting travelers if flights are delayed/cancelled
  • Notifying travelers of weather, disaster, safety, or delay information

Here is some recent feedback from current AirPortal 360 Mobile users:

Everyone expects me to know all of the details of every traveler. Now I do!

I use this app every day, it is so convenient and simple to use.

With three clicks I can get the data I need. Wow!

So, can AirPortal 360 Mobile make your life easier? All signs point to YES.

AirPortal 360 Mobile is available in the Apple app store. Simply download the app and login with your AirPortal® credentials.

Not an iPhone user? Watch for our Android version coming soon.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

When it comes to business travel–what is the value of timely information?

Screen shot 2013-07-08 at 4.57.04 PMRecently, I traveled to our San Francisco office, where I followed my typical routine. I flew into the Oakland airport, rented a car, and headed north towards the Bay Bridge. While driving, I received a mobile travel alert from SecurityLogic®, one of Christopherson’s business travel technology tools, letting me know that the Bay Bridge was closed for several days while they connected a new section.

Receiving this information in a timely manner allowed me to modify my schedule and avoid the traffic jams I knew would result from the closure of this key artery in and out of San Francisco. Later, when I spoke with other business travelers I learned that they had been stuck in these traffic jams for hours–I just smiled to myself!

As the COO of Christopherson Business Travel, I have the opportunity to work closely with our talented development team as we create products and services for our clients. We focus our efforts in three core areas: traveler safety, cost savings, and accurate reporting.

While all three of these areas are essential elements of a successfully managed travel program, we feel particularly compelled to provide our clients with tools that support the safety, security, and comfort of the many thousands of travelers that we have on the road at any given time. These road warriors play an essential role in growing both the U.S. and global economies on which we all rely. So, we will continue our commitment to provide our clients and their business travelers with the information they need to make their travels safe and secure.

If you have not activated your SecurityLogic traveler alert system, contact your Christopherson Account Manager to discuss your configuration options, then flip the switch, and start providing your travelers with the timely information they need.

While the alert I received was simply a low, caution level alert that spared me from spending several hours in traffic, it may well have been informing me about a much more serious situation.

Safe travels,

Matthew J Cameron

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

The Science of Maintaining a Unique Competitive Advantage

competition_advantageWhen in business, whether you own the company or are an employee of it, it is important to understand the difference between “unique competitive advantages” and “business strengths.” Many companies will tout their “advantages,” but what they’re really presenting are just their basic strengths and most cases, are likely are only spouting clichés. An example of a common and overused business cliché is: “we will exceed your expectations.”

While business strengths are important, they are not differentiators. You need strengths just to stay in business. You need unique competitive advantages to grow and prosper, faster than your competition.

At Christopherson Business Travel we have approached the development of our unique competitive advantages as a science. This is the only way you’re able to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace.

In order for something to be defined as a “unique competitive advantage” we require that it pass a four-part test:
1.    It must be objective.
2.    It must be quantifiable.
3.    It can’t be a cliché.
4.    It can’t be claimed by our competitors.

An example of one of our unique competitive advantages is the recent introduction of AirPortal 360™ Mobile, the first comprehensive mobile app to provide corporate travel managers the ability to manage their company’s travel program from the palm of their hand. Read about it here.

The introduction of this newest unique competitive advantage garnered a great deal of media attention (see here), which is objective and quantifiable.

Can we objectively say that our unique competitive advantages have helped us grow faster than our competition? During the last five years we have more than doubled in size, growing from a $160 million company in 2007, to a $341 million company in 2012. Christopherson was recently ranked #11 in size, in the U.S., by Business Travel News (BTN). We were also the fastest growing of all the top 20 Travel Management Companies in the U.S., in terms of percentage growth. Read more here.

The BTN ranking and applicable growth rate are objective, quantifiable, not a cliché, and can’t be claimed by our competitors. Thus, Christopherson Business Travel can present our technology to be a “unique competitive advantage.”

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Go Big or Go Home: Christopherson Attends the 2013 GBTA Convention, Releases AirPortal 360 Mobile

It has been our pleasure to participate in the Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Annual Convention and Trade Show for several years, but this year we went “BIG.” Our booth was three times the size it was last year, and staffed with more Christopherson team members than ever–which was perfect for the big unveiling of our new AirPortal 360™ Mobile app. GBTA, with its 7,000 attendees, proved to be an exciting time and place for the release of this new technology.

With record traffic to our booth, we provided numerous product demonstrations and received exceptional feedback about AirPortal 360™ Mobile, the first comprehensive mobile app that provides corporate travel managers the ability to manage their company’s travel program from the palm of their hand—wherever, whenever.

As the mobile version of our intelligent travel manager dashboard, AirPortal 360 Mobile delivers a collection of tools that allow travel managers the ability to maintain and manage their duty of care responsibilities, ensure better policy compliance, keep track of travelers and their itineraries, and more.

Corporate travel budgets of any size will benefit from the features of AirPortal 360 and its new mobile app. It was a rewarding experience for us to launch it at GBTA with some of the largest corporate travel buyers in the country and we now look forward to sharing it with corporate travel buyers everywhere.

 

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 Travel Management Travel Technology

Christopherson Business Travel Releases AirPortal 360™ Mobile: The First Comprehensive Mobile App for Corporate Travel Managers

AirPortal 360 Mobile is the first mobile app that allows corporate travel managers the ability to manage their program wherever, whenever.
AirPortal 360 Mobile is the first mobile app that provides corporate travel managers the ability to manage their company’s travel program–wherever, whenever.

Christopherson Business Travel will soon be launching AirPortal 360™ Mobile, the first comprehensive mobile app to provide corporate travel managers the ability to manage their company’s travel program from the palm of their hand—wherever, whenever. (Read the full press release here.)

As the mobile version of Christopherson’s intelligent travel manager dashboard, AirPortal 360 Mobile delivers a collection of essential management tools that allow travel managers, and other key players in a company’s travel program, to maintain and manage their duty of care responsibilities, ensure better policy compliance, keep track of travelers and their itineraries, and more.

In the recent Business Travel News (BTN) article, “Assessing Mobile Travel Services and Strategies,” BTN stated that, “However nimble a corporate travel program might be, changes in its culture inevitably occur more slowly than did the rapid, massive embrace by business travelers of mobile technology.”

At Christopherson, we have noticed that while mobile technology innovation has progressed rapidly for travelers, there has not been much innovation when it comes to mobile technology for travel managers. The mobile apps that do exist for that market only provide a third-party software developer’s niche service, and until now, there have been no comprehensive mobile apps to help travel managers oversee their entire travel program. AirPortal 360 Mobile is the solution to that void.

Christopherson has long been a leader in adopting mobile business travel technology, as evidenced by the fact that we were the first travel management company to fully integrate TripIt’s interactive trip management services for all Christopherson business travelers. This occured three years ago, prior to Concur buying TripIt. (Read TripIt’s full press release here.)

Christopherson will be unveiling AirPortal 360 Mobile at the 2013 Global Business Travel Association convention, in San Diego, CA, August 4-7. The app is first available to iPhone users, and the Android version will be released in September 2013.

We invite you to stop by our booth (#3625) to take a look and demo the app for yourself.
GBTA Signature

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Christopherson Business Travel to Attend GBTA Convention 2013

custom_1373323780_3625_728x90Screen shot 2013-07-08 at 4.57.04 PMThe 2013 GBTA Convention is quickly approaching! This year’s event is being held in San Diego, California from August 4-7 and Christopherson Business Travel is both a trade show sponsor and an active participant with more than a dozen attendees from our company.

We are excited to expand our booth space this year allowing for additional demo stations, beverages, snacks, and 15 drawings for $100 gift cards throughout the three-day convention. We’re also looking forward to releasing our new AirPortal 360™ Mobile technology.

AirPortal 360 Mobile is the first comprehensive mobile app specifically designed exclusively for the corporate travel manager. As the mobile version of Christopherson’s AirPortal 360 travel manager dashboard, AirPortal 360 Mobile delivers the essentials from our powerful collection of travel management software right to your fingertips.

Both easy-to-use and convenient, AirPortal 360 Mobile provides the ability to maintain duty of care responsibilities, keep track of travelers and itineraries, access and manage traveler profiles, ensure policy compliance, and more, even if you’re on the go.

If you are attending GBTA, please plan to stop by booth #3625. We’d love to show you our new AirPortal 360 Mobile. You can also schedule an appointment by emailing info@CBTravel.com.

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

Great Design Matters–How Christopherson Bridged the Gap Between Technology Form and Function

airportal360-dashboard

Everyone sees Apple as the gold standard for great technology design. Their minimalistic, clean, user friendly interfaces are great because they are simple and intuitive. They hide the complexity of the technology from the user. Great design is an integral part of every decision they make.

Many technology companies have great technology (function), but they leave the user-interface (form) up to their internal software engineers. In these instance, the design often appears to be an afterthought, at best. Popular psychology tells us that those who are often best with the “left brain” work, the logical stuff, might not be as good at the creating great designs, the “right brain” activities.

When Christopherson embarked on our journey to completely redesign AirPortal®, our integrated business travel technology platform, and introduce AirPortal 360™, our travel manager dashboard, we wanted to treat form and function with equal importance. We made the decision early on to hire a creative, user-interface design company to help us with our “form.” But this also then creates a separate challenge, which is that if you get too creative, your technology might not be as functional as a simple, yet boring, design might be.

How did we bridge the gap? We created two separate designs–one was done by our outside design company and the other by our internal development team. We then sat down and merged the best of both worlds. We were also fortunate that we have one of those rare individuals on our technology team who has great skills on both sides of the brain. The process was interesting; designers are artists and they often think of their design as their “baby.” And who wants to tell anyone that they have an “ugly baby,” right?

In the end, we came up with a design that nailed our form-versus-function objectives. And while we’re certainly not Apple, we do think our new AirPortal 360 design is clean, creative, and functional–so please don’t tell us that you think we have an “ugly baby.”

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

AirPortal 360™ is a Business Travel Management Nerve Center

Christopherson Business Travel recently released AirPortal 360™ which was the culmination of major investments and two years of work in building our proprietary travel management technology platform.

In creating AirPortal 360, we had three main objectives:

1.    To create a fully integrated platform

  • We had too many disparate 3rd party travel technology systems that were hard to make work well together.
  • We wanted better integration of full service & online travel management methodology and related policy compliance tools.

2.    To offer a 360°, real-time view that would enable high-level “situational awareness”

  • We wanted to create comprehensive dashboards and customizable widgets with KPIs.
  • We wanted to offer drill-down capabilities to solve specific problems.
  • We wanted to allow increased visibility and accountability.

3.    Provide Actionable Intelligence for all Users

  • External Clients: Travel Managers, Travel Arrangers and Travelers
  • Internal (TMC) Clients: Account Managers, Agents and Support

We also evaluated the individual stakeholder’s needs before we began building

AirPortal 360

Travel Managers want savings, policy compliance, and duty of care.  Thus AirPortal 360 offers:
•    Policy/vendor management tools for full service and online
•    Accurate management of unused airline tickets
•    The ability to identify who, when and where travelers are

Travelers want service and convenience. Through our traveler dashboard, business travelers have:
•     Document delivery (desktop & mobile)
•     Single sign-on connectivity to third party tools – TripIt®

TMC travel agents & account managers want tools to better manage their clients’ travel programs. To facilitate this, we created tools to:
•    Manage & monitor travel policy compliance
•    Manage preferred vendor relationships

We certainly think we’ve met our objectives and invite you to take a look at AirPortal 360™ here. You can also contact one of our executives to learn more about how we, and our business travel technology tools, can save you time and money.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel Starts Off the Year with a Bang

Here we are, nearly three weeks into the New Year and so much has happened here at Christopherson Business Travel.

AirPortal 360 helps your business travel program

On January 7, we released our updated and enhanced technology platform, AirPortal®. One key element of AirPortal is the newly created travel manager dashboard, AirPortal 360™, which offers enhanced tools to provide you with a 360 degree, 24/7 view of your company’s travel data.

By utilizing all the technology tools available in AirPortal 360, you will find you have access to more detailed reports, a better understanding of the ROI of your partnership with Christopherson, greater travel policy compliance, security information to help you fulfill your Duty of Care, and information on where your travelers are, have been, and will be–just to name a few benefits!

With AirPortal 360, as with all our business travel technology tools, you can be confident that Christopherson has you covered. We hope you will take an opportunity to see how efficiently we can help you manage your travel program at any given minute of any given day.

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

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.

Categories
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

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.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Christopherson to Release New Business Travel Technology January 7

AirPortal 360 Dashboard for business travel management

In the coming New Year, on Monday, January 7, Christopherson Business Travel will be launching our enhanced and newly redesigned AirPortal® technology platform. Our development team has completely rebuilt our platform from the ground up in order to provide greater ease, convenience, and cost-savings to our clients.

Three of the guiding principles of this redesign have been to increase the sophistication, dependability, and visibility of our products and services. In keeping with these objectives we are giving our clients more access to information than ever before. Of course, with this increased visibility comes increased accountability, which we look forward to providing.

Now for some details…

Branding Changes Include:

  • Re-naming our entire business travel technology platform AirPortal®
  • Designing a brand new look and feel to our company website, CBTravel.com
  • Retiring the TravelAccumen® brand/product and replacing it with AirPortal 360™, our new, fully-customizable Travel Manager Dashboard
  • Creating AdvisorCare®, a newly developed dashboard for travel advisors which provides timely, actionable information right to their fingertips

Core Product Improvements within AirPortal® Include:

  • SecurityLogic® – multiple map overlays and views, simple search, plus alerts and notifications
  • AirBank® – tracking of tickets from inception, greater visibility, and a complete audit trail of all transactions and activity
  • Airtineraries®Redesigned format with ‘trip at a glance’ and integrated travel policy summary
  • ProfileLogic®Expanded to include organization by departments and teams
  • Tech Help Desk Robust ticket tracking, automated assignment, and analytics

But it doesn’t stop there, we’ve also added new functionality:

  • PolicyLogic®new product that includes travel policy design and vendor contract management, with travel policy integration and compliance coming in 2013
  • Consultative Services new product that integrates account management client-dedicated time directly into the AirPortal® platform, providing increased management and client visibility
  • Widgets – a variety of new interactive widgets that allow the user to drill in from a high level view all the way down to the transaction level.  New widgets include: AirBank®, Travel Spend, ValueLogic®, Consultative Services, Expiring Tickets, and Savings per Itinerary.

Hopefully you can see why we are excited to launch our new AirPortal®. More detailed information about these updates, enhancements, and new products will be released in the coming weeks.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

New Christopherson Business Travel Website: CBTravel.com

It has been my pleasure over the past few months to work with an amazing team of people in updating Christopherson Business Travel’s company website, CBTravel.com. We are thrilled to provide both our current clients and prospective customers with a new look, more meaningful content, and the ability to learn more about our company and the business travel management solutions we offer.

We look forward to continually enhancing the experience we provide via our website and hope you check back often as we prepare to release new travel technology over next few months and share additional insight about our travel management programs.

We also appreciate any feedback you would like so share.

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

Christopherson Business Travel — A Technology-based Travel Management Company

I Love Technology

I love technology because of all the interesting things you can do and build with it. I love how it can bring a wealth of knowledge directly to me in mere seconds. I also love how it can bring people, separated by thousands of miles, together. Technology allows me to store the contents of an extensive library on a disk that fits in the palm of my hand. I can take pictures, listen to music, talk face-to-face with my wife and kids, search the internet, read a book, and play games on a computer that I carry around in my pocket.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

As a teenager I introduced my parents to a personal computer (PC). If I remember it correctly, it went something like this:

Me: “Hey Mom and Dad this is a computer.”

Dad: “What is that?”

Me:  “That is a mouse.”

Dad: “A mouse?”

Me: “Yes a mouse.”

Dad: “That’s weird. What is it for?”

Me:  “You hold it in your hand and then move it around to click on things.”

Dad:  “Wow that’s amazing, can I try.”

Me:  “Sure, just move it over there and then double-click.”

Dad:  “What do you mean?”

Me:  “I mean click the button twice.”

Dad:  <Click> … <Click>

Me:  “No, you need to click it faster…”

Let me just say it was a frustrating, yet rewarding process. I was eventually able to teach my parents how to double-click a mouse, browse the internet, send email, create Word documents, and change the wallpaper (one of my father’s favorite things). My father had a love of learning and the internet brought a wealth of information right to his fingertips. That was about 12 years ago. Technology has obviously evolved a lot since then and continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

Christopherson’s Business Travel Technology

Travel technology is particularly evolving more quickly than advancements in other industries. We all know that traveling is an expensive, yet necessary part of doing business in a global economy. Managing a corporate travel budget can be challenging and expensive. However, here at Christopherson Business Travel we have made the process much easier.

One of our main focuses as a technology-based company is to provide the tools business travel managers need to manage their travel budgets, keep track of employees as they travel, run accurate reports and access essential data. We have conveniently packaged these tools into a web portal (definition: a doorway, entrance, or gate, especially one that is large and imposing), appropriately named AirPortal®. Throughout the last year, Christopherson’s software development team has completely rebuilt AirPortal® to bring it up to date with the latest web technology standards. Over the next three to six months we will be releasing a slew of new tools and information within AirPortal®. We look forward to sharing more about these enhancements and updates in the coming months.

Please stay tuned.

And if you’re interested in learning how Christopherson’s Business Travel technology can help your company save time and money, please contact us.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Save Money on Business Travel with Hotel and Car Re-Check®

Last night I went to Lowe’s Home Improvement store looking for a patio table. I thought because summer was over I might find something on clearance, but only half the outdoor furniture was on sale. I spoke with a clerk and she reminded me that if I purchased the patio table at full price and it went on sale within the next thirty days, I could bring back the receipt and Lowe’s would credit my account for the difference.

I thought to myself, too bad Lowe’s doesn’t have a system like Christopherson Business Travel’s Hotel and Car Re-Check.

With Christopherson‘s Hotel and Car Re-Check, our business travel agents are electronically prompted 72-hours before your business trip to scour the database for decreased hotel and car rates. If a lower rate is found, your reservation is re-booked at the discounted rate. Just think how wonderful it would be if all retail establishments were more like Christopherson. I could purchase my patio table and if it went on sale within the the next 30 days, Lowe’s would automatically credit my account with the difference and I wouldn’t have to keep driving to the store to check for possible sales to receive my credit. A Lowe’s “Re-Checker” would automatically do that for me! It really is too bad more businesses aren’t like Christopherson.

To learn more about how Hotel and Car Re-Check can save you money on business travel, feel free to contact a Christopherson representative.