Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel News

How to Support Your Business Travelers During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Originally published Feb 27, 2020 at 4:02 PM, updated March 09, 2020

As the coronavirus continues to affect business travel, we want to provide corporate travel managers with helpful tools, resources, and information to best support their travelers. For the most up-to-date information on the coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. 

CDC Travel Guidelines

The following warning and alert classifications have been outlined by the CDC. We encourage travel managers to review the warnings and make informed decisions to protect their travelers.

Warning Level 3 

Nonessential travel to these highest-risk locations should be avoided. This currently includes China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran.

Alert Level 2 

Due to sustained community transmission of the virus in Japan, the CDC recommends that older adults and those suffering from chronic medical conditions postpone travel to these areas. Corporate travel managers could also consider adding an additional level of approval for these business trips by having senior leaders review them on a case-by-case basis. 

Watch Level 1 

The CDC recommends practiving usual precaustions when traveling to Hong Kong at this time. The CDC will continue to update its recommendations on their website. Companies with employees traveling to level 1 watch areas may want to consider implementing additional health and security protocols to ensure traveler safety.  

Personal Travel 

While personal travel does fall outside the realms of a corporate travel manager’s purview, companies may want to encourage employees to travel with caution and remain aware of this ongoing situation. If an employee has personal plans to visit or has visited one of the warning level areas, you could consider having them self-quarantine for 14 days. If an employee participates in any travel, regardless of the area, and shows signs of being sick, you could also ask them to follow the same 14-day self-quarantine. 

Reminder to Only Book Within Approved Corporate Tools 

Travel managers should reiterate the importance of booking business travel within the organization’s approved corporate booking tools and enforce these policies. Booking within policy ensures you always know where your travelers are so that you can best support them and communicate critical information in a timely manner. 

Review Your Risk Management Policy and Update if Needed

Be sure you have included a protocol for an infectious disease outbreak like this in your risk management plan. Events that could trigger action include travelers becoming infected or being stranded in an infected area. Do you have a plan in place to quickly and appropriately support your travelers? 

Remind Travelers to Follow These Best Practices While Traveling 

Ask business travelers to follow these actions recommended by the World Health Organization when traveling. 

  1. Wash hands frequently
  2. Maintain social distancing 
  3. Avoid touching eyes nose and mouth 
  4. Practice respiratory hygiene
  5. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
  6. Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider

Additional Resources

For more resources to help you plan and respond to this situation, visit the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019

BCD Travel also has a current list of airline updates and advisories by country. 

The information presented here is up-to-date as of March 9 and is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Christopherson does not give recommendations on the prudence of travel to affected areas. Our aim is to provide helpful information that allows companies and travelers to make informed decisions. As the situation continues to unfold, companies can access real-time information through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization website.

Categories
Business Travel

A Millennial Friendly Travel Policy?

While attending the GBTA Convention in Boston this past month, I was both expectant but still a little surprised about the buzz around the concept of millennial business travelers. After all, millennials have been in the workplace for roughly 15 years. During this time, this generation is still inspiring new ideas to pop up.  While there, I attended a couple of education sessions focused on travel policy. One session that I found particularly interesting, featured a panel of two travel managers.  They presented and answered questions on their individual company’s travel policies, including millennial travelers.

Millennial Friendly Travel Policy

• There is a common assumption that millennial travelers are collaborative and like big open public lobby spaces where they can relax and catch up on work. Actually, some are introverts and still appreciate having a work station in their hotel room.
• Millennials have a need to personalize everything and are more likely to dine out in a unique restaurant or go sightseeing on a business trip. It tends all about the experience for these travelers but, as this generation gets older and takes on more personal and familial responsibility, we might begin to see a shift in the “bleisure” time.
• Millennial travelers are 60% more likely to pay for an upgraded hotel room or seat on their flight. This one is actually true and they seem to be willing to treat their comfort as a personal expense.
All of this comes down to one word- OPTIONS. Build a policy that works for your company, is good for your bottom line and vendor relationships but also provides your travelers a few options and you will have happy travelers.

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Why Universities Use TMCs

When I tell people what I do for a living, they always look surprised when I mention working with universities and higher education. Because Christopherson Business Travel has the word ‘business’ in its name, it’s easy to assume that that’s our only client base. The truth is that colleges and universities need as much travel management as corporations. Here is why many institutions of higher education choose to take travel off of their own shoulders and work with a TMC:

Reasons universities work with travel management companies (TMCs)

1) Universities often have many departments. All of those departments can be a lot for one person or one department to manage. The average university travel program includes; athletics, faculty and staff business travel, study abroad/ student trips and groups. This means at any one time, a university has dozens of people, with varying ages and levels of travel experience on the road. Christopherson employs a University Travel Team of agents who are highly experienced in booking all segments of university travel.

2) As an employer, a university has a duty to ensure the safety of their travelers. This is where we come in. With SecurityLogic, which is housed in our proprietary AirPortal 360 technology, travel arrangers are able to stay informed of the location and security of all travelers. SecurityLogic is a dynamic reporting and communication tool created to facilitate your duty of care responsibilities.

3) Keeping payment methods secure. It is very rare that all university travelers will have their own university specific credit card. So it is quite common for schools to elect to use a departmental card, or ghost card, to be utilized by several travelers. With Christopherson, regardless of your payment configuration, the appropriate card is stored in the Traveler Profile. Once it is stored, it is masked for your protection.

4) 24/7/365 agent access. Things happen when your travelers are on the road and we are here to help your travelers find options. Between our University Team of Agents and our after- hours support, we have you covered.

5) Consultative account management. Managing a university travel program can be a daunting task and you want someone in your corner with more than just a little experience. Our highly experienced account managers take a consultative approach in ensuring the success of your program.

Christopherson Business Travel has been successfully fulfilling the travel needs of higher education clients for more than 30 years and currently manages travel programs for more than 30 colleges and universities.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

The Overlooked Factor In Efficient Travel Programs

In February, the GBTA- North Carolina chapter had the pleasure of hosting Scott Gillespie, a true travel management thought leader.  Mr. Gillepsie is the CEO of t-Clara and frequent contributor to Business Travel News. His presentation focused on a question travel managers often find themselves thinking – how do I gauge success with my travel management process?

Identifying the difference in efficient travel programs

Gillespie based his findings from a recent study, sponsored by ARC, American Express Global Business Travel, and his firm, tClara.  Participants were 700 US-based road warriors who answered questions about their company’s travel policy. The questions focused on if their travel management policies emphasized convenience or budget.

Not surprisingly, travelers operating under strict cost-focused travel programs tended to be more dissatisfied. They admitted to nearly 13% less compliance with their travel policies. They also indicated a 15% higher rate of burn-out and were significantly less willing to travel within two years time.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, travelers with companies that had convenience-based travel policies tended to be more productive on the road and had an overall better outlook about their jobs.

What travel managers should also be measuring:

So are these companies specifically prioritizing cost over the wellbeing of their employees? Of course not! Most companies just aren’t measuring employee satisfaction as a KPI. Gillepsie advised that each travel manager obtain an employee turnover report for employees in traveling roles from their HR department. Getting insights on high turnover rate is the first step to see if adjustments to the travel policy to result in higher employee retention. From there, it may make sense to look at other priorities for travel policies than budget.

Read Scott Gillepsie’s article for other key performance indicators and details on the survey.

 

With our 24/7 service, online support and exceptional service delivered by our travel agents, Christopherson helps ease any challenges that occur when your travelers on the road. In addition, your consultative account manager will assist you in making the necessary changes to your travel policy to decrease traveler dissatisfaction and increase productivity!

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
Business Travel Guides Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Travel Packing List For Dummies: Use Carry-on Luggage For EVERY Trip

Passengers gathering at the gate prior to their boarding time is strange to me. My first thought is often, ‘why stand in line before you are called, cutting into time that could be used for work, a preflight meal, catching up on a phone call?’ But then I remember that these travelers, like me, are terrified of not finding a space for their bag on the plane. I pride myself on using the same international sized carry-on for every trip, no matter how long. In fact, I wrote a blog on my favorite packing tips a few years ago.  Since I wrote this, I’ve continued traveling for business and leisure and know even more about packing light. I’ve discovered a few easy tips that are especially helpful as we move into the cooler months.

Carry-on packing tips for business and leisure travelers

1) Invest in packing cubes. They not only help you separate your clothes, but they really do keep everything compact. They are especially useful for sweaters!
2) Boot season is upon us and while they look great, knee-high boots can take up an entire suitcase. If boots are part of your wardrobe, wear them on the plane to save space.
3) Try wearing items that you have packed a few times during the same trip. A scarf or tie can really transform an outfit, and nobody will even notice that you had worn it the previous day.
4) If you plan to use the hotel gym, invest in a good workout outfit that is made of nylon. This material gets really small when folded and you can even roll the items and store them inside your workout shoes.
5) If you buy your cosmetics from a mall department store, do so when you can get a promotional gift. The bags that come with these gifts are often the perfect size for travel and the samples are usually travel sized.

Overall, I’ve learned that even with the stressful pre-boarding line, carry-on luggage is the best option for plane travel. Especially if you have an established packing routine with usable tips and tricks.

Looking for more helpful tips on business travel packing? Check out our other blog posts:

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company. We’ve worked passionately for more than 60 years to bring travel solutions to busy businesses. Learn more about our specialty travel technology or consultative services that save our clients time and money.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Christopherson Business Travel Helps Companies Acheive Maximum Travel Policy Compliance

Communication and enforcement of travel policy is a common challenge for many companies. As a solution to that challenge, Christopherson Business Travel uses a blend of technology and established processes to verify that at the time of booking, policy guidelines will be enforced as designated by the company.

Should the policy need to be rewritten or enhanced, Christopherson can assist. Our Account Managers act as expert consultative advisors helping companies establish a fair, complete, and cost saving policy that benefits both the business travelers and the company.

Christopherson also developed PolicyLogic®, software that provides consistent application of preferred vendors, travel policy, coding, and reporting needs, as well as a new functionality that alerts travel managers and arrangers when travelers are not using preferred vendors. Travel policy configuration allows policy rules around the following categories: travel itinerary, flights, flight fares, flight classes, ticket change, car, hotel, and messaging.

These specifics are integrated with Christopherson’s experienced travel agents, online booking tools, and our mid-office and back-office systems to ensure accuracy and compliance across all booking sources. We will customize and update training and point-of-sale scripts when needed.

If business travelers book online, each action displays in the user interface reservation workflow so users clearly see policy compliance as well as policy violations at the point of sale. This empowers travelers to make better-informed decisions and help drive cost savings.

All reservations are reviewed by Compleat with your company policies and negotiated programs in mind. This resource drives costs down by auditing every reservation for compliance to your company’s travel policy and preferred-vendor lists. Compleat will not allow a ticket to be issued until the reservation is in compliance or has been approved by a manager. With these compliance reminders and checks in place, Christopherson then takes policy savings a step further by tracking trends in policy compliance to identify problem areas.

For information evaluating business travel policies, Christopherson has provided this white paper outlining a few basic steps companies can take to guide travelers and ensure compliance.

Categories
Travel News

Christopherson in the News: Seven Corporate Travel Trends for 2016

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

Corporate travel trends

 

 

Categories
Business and Leadership Business Travel Travel Management

“The Handshake” and Communication Protocols for Better Business

handshake communication for business travelAll communication between computers requires that the devices agree on the format of the data. The parameters of a communications channel must be established before the digital “handshake” will allow the communication to begin.

All communication between humans also requires that both parties agree on the parameters of the communication before they meet–shall we use digital, telephone, or a physical handshake for this meeting?

In 1889 Jules Verne imagined that the “phonotelephote” would replace the need for physical handshakes. This is no longer science fiction. All of us are now inundated with email, text messages, and WebEx meetings. And yes, we still use the old-fashioned telephone too. But according to a recent article in The Economist, “Companies are spending more on sending their staff out to win deals.”

At Christopherson Business Travel, we’re seeing the same trend, with our airline bookings up 13% year-over-year. While some of this growth is from new clients, much of it is coming from existing clients who are sending their people out to meet face-to-face, shake hands, build relationships, and win deals.

Whenever we experience a poor-quality internal conference call, we remind ourselves it’s a good thing that people need to see each other face-to-face in order to obtain greater effectiveness. After all, that’s the business we’re in. For more than 60 years, we’ve been providing companies of all sizes across the globe with cost-effective, personalized, and hassle-free business travel management and resources. Plus, our exclusive AirPortal® travel technology applications are the only tools you’ll ever need to manage your business trips.

If you’re looking for better business travel management so that you and your team can extend more than a virtual handshake to your clients, our executives would be happy and share more information about our services and technology.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention 2015

GBTA 2015Christopherson Business Travel is pleased to announce our continued sponsorship of the annual GBTA Convention to be held this year in Orlando, Florida, July 25-29. This year’s convention is estimated to draw more than 6,000 attendees from 58 countries, making it the largest business travel event in the world. In addition to key note speakers and educational opportunities, the convention hosts a tradeshow with more than 300 companies exhibiting, including Christopherson Business Travel.

If you are attending the GBTA Convention this year, please plan to visit the Christopherson booth (#363) to learn about the innovative business travel technology solutions we have been developing for release at the convention. Each attendee who participates in a 3-minute product demo of those technologies will have the opportunity to draw for a $5 to $100 gift card. We look forward to seeing you at GBTA!

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Christopherson Business Travel: 2014 in Review

Growth-ArrowIn 2010, Christopherson Business Travel’s executive team set a goal to double in size—from a $240 million company to a $500 million company—by 2015. One year early, we have reached that goal, booking $510 million in travel during 2014.

2014 Was A Year of Big Growth

  • We increased our sales from $384 Million in 2013 to $510 million in 2014–a 33% increase.
  • We implemented 84 new corporate clients last year. We now manage travel for more than 900 companies and organizations across the country.
  • We added 40 new team members, bringing the total number of travel professionals employed with Christopherson to 365.
  • We built 136 new Concur booking sites for both new and existing clients.

Christopherson’s Plans for 2015

In 2015, we plan to leverage the benefits of our larger scale and resources in the following ways:

Strengthen our Operational Excellence

  • We will review, evaluate, and combine the best practices from each of our five offices.
  • We will build a better disaster-recovery plan into our expanded geographical footprint.

Continue to Invest in Unique AirPortal® Technologies

  • We will invest in a UI/UX makeover and responsive design for our AirPortal platform.
  • We will invest in new, revolutionary technology that is useful, elegant, and intuitive.

Increase AirPortal Adoption

  • We will continue to listen, prioritize, and act upon feedback from our clients.
  • We will provide more training to a “higher, wider, deeper” group of client users.

Screen shot 2015-02-02 at 5.05.11 PM

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Traveling With Your Four-Legged Friend

traveling with petsI recently saw a bumper sticker that read, “It’s all About my Dog,” and oh, how I could relate! For me, it’s all about my pet Hank. Without me realizing it, Hank has slowly begun to control my life over the last four years and has somehow became a member of the family. People say pets become like children. At first, I didn’t believe this statement, but now I think it’s worse than that. My children have never kept me from taking a vacation, but every time we think about going out of town, the big dilemma is: Who is going to watch Hank and will they keep him at their house or will we be able to find someone willing to stay at our house because, of course, it’s better for Hank to be at ‘his’ house.

Luckily there are pet-care options when going out of town for a business trip or vacation. Should you choose to leave your pet behind, there are many services for dog sitters, either at your home or at an off-site location. If you do take your pet to an off-site location, you may want to slowly introduce them to the new surroundings so that when you go on vacation it won’t be a traumatic experience. If you choose to have someone watch your pet at your home, it goes without saying, be sure you do your homework to find someone you can trust, who comes highly recommended.

Additionally, there is the option of taking your pet with you. Many hotels–even upscale hotels–are pet friendly with a deposit. Your pet can even travel on the airplane, but be sure to check your airline’s policies for the size of your pet, time of year, and temperature of the cargo compartment if you have to ‘check’ your pet.

Your Christopherson Business Travel agent or Andavo Travel agent, depending on whether or not you’re traveling for business or leisure, will be happy to assist you in finding those pet friendly hotels and airline regulations. Happy Traveling … Ruff, Ruff.

Categories
Business and Leadership Business Travel

3 Steps to Effective Client Collaboration

CHG_WEX_CBT
Christopherson Business Travel recently collaborated with our client CHG Healthcare in an effort to identify best practices and create simplified solutions for their travel management program.

col·lab·o·rate \k?-?la-b?-?r?t\ (verb) : to work with another person or group in order to achieve, do, produce, or create something

Collaborating with clients is an important part of my role as an Account Manager for Christopherson Business Travel. Recently, I was invited to participate in a collaboration meeting with our client CHG Healthcare, in an effort to come up with best practices and simplified solutions for them.

CHG did a fine job organizing the details, the meeting itself was highly beneficial as we were able to create and modify processes that will make their overall “user experience” better, and follow up tasks were assigned. It also gave me an inside view of CHG’s organizational and professional practices, which impressed me greatly.

Having been involved in this meeting, I have identified three important steps to encourage an effective collaboration effort:

1. Identify a clear goal.

Know why you’re meeting together. What is the end purpose? What are you trying to fix or create? Once you’ve identified the goal, don’t allow anything to sidetrack your collaboration.

2. Involve/invite all the key players (and make sure everyone participates).

Every individual (or department) is going to have a different perspective, and each of those perspectives is important. What might seem like a solution for one group, may create problems for another. Make sure that everyone has a chance to share opinions and ideas. If one person is dominating the discussion, shift the focus and specifically invite others to weigh in on how certain ideas will affect them.

3. Assign follow-up tasks.

Make sure someone has been assigned to keep track of assignments. Once the meeting is over, send those assignments out with clear deadlines for completion. The whole meeting will have been for naught if action isn’t taken and followed up on.

I appreciate my relationships with all my clients and am certain that collaboration and sharing ideas is the best way to learn and be engaged.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

The Benefits of Using Christopherson’s Duty of Care tool, SecurityLogic®

SecurityLogic® is one of Christopherson Business Travel’s premier travel technology tools that allows you to locate and alert your company’s travelers anywhere in the world, at any time.

For example, let’s say I just landed in Paris (from Los Angeles) and my assistant (who is flying in from Atlanta) is meeting me at the airport. My business partner left this morning from Beijing to join us, but is delayed in Jakarta. Two of our executive board members are in the air from Dallas to meet up with us, and the attorney is en-route to the Chicago airport to catch his flight to join us for dinner.

After a week of business in Paris, we are all off to a trade show in London, and then onto Dubai for a 6-hour board meeting. Because of our hectic trip, we decide to make a change on our return to be rerouted through Japan, in order to spend a few days relaxing and enjoying the Tokyo night life.

Keeping track of all the variables, flights, cities, and travelers for such a trip could be confusing and time-consuming. But with Christopherson’s SecurityLogic, each traveler has been tracked every step of the way. Additionally, if our travel manager wonders if we are okay at any point in the trip, they can send us a Safety Check alert that will come straight to our phones, to which we can then respond with a yes or no depending on our situation and needs. Ultimately, SecurityLogic® brings peace of mind to the traveler, colleagues, and loved ones at home.

To learn more about this and other tools that can enhance your company’s business travel program, contact one of our executives for more information.

Categories
Business Travel

Christopherson Business Travel at GBTA Convention 2014

Untitled-1 GBTA Convention 2014 in Los Angeles, CA has begun! And Christopherson Business Travel is pleased to be participating in this year’s event as a trade show sponsor with nearly two dozen employees in attendance.

Christopherson Business Travel is the independently owned leader in intelligent business travel management, online travel tools, and business travel resources. As the 11th largest business travel agency in the United States, and an affiliate of BCD Travel, Christopherson operates from five full-service locations (plus 35 client-dedicated on-site locations) and booked $384 million in travel in 2013 for more than 900 successful organizations across the country, including Fortune 500 companies, government entities, universities, and private businesses.

We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the unique benefits we offer as a business travel partner and invite all GBTA attendees to stop by Booth 957 to speak to our executives and see live demos of our technology tools. While there, you can recharge your electronic devices at our charging stations, enjoy one of L.A.’s famous Sprinkles cupcakes, and enter to win on of multiple cash prizes. Winners will be drawn every hour.

We look forward to meeting you!

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Business Travel Duty of Care: What is it and why does it matter?

SecurityLogic
Christopherson’s SecurityLogic® technology helps companies fulfill their duty of care responsibilities.

du·ty

noun \?dü-t? also ?dyü-\ : a moral or legal obligation, responsibility or commitment

care

noun \?ker\ : effort made to do something correctly, safely, or without causing damage

“Duty of Care” is currently a popular topic in the travel industry for important reasons:

  • The world can be a dangerous place with many risks
  • Organizations have a responsibility to keep their travelers informed and safe
  • Organizations are a target for lawsuits when things do not go as planned
  • Providing critical information and support to your travelers is good customer service and good business

At Christopherson Business Travel, we believe that duty of care consists of four key elements:

1)  Pre-trip –

Or in other words, the “need to know before you go” information

  • What are the current conditions at the proposed destination?
  • Is is safe to go? Are there Weather, Political, Security, Natural Disasters, or Health issues?
  • Does the traveler need any special documents to travel, i.e. passport, visa, immunizations?
  • Will the traveler be traveling with others on this trip for safety and/or support?

2)  En-route –

Where you keep your travelers informed of current issues while en-route

  • Have circumstances at the destination changed since the travelers departure?
  • Are there updates on developing issues that need to be monitored?
  • Are all of your travelers safe and accounted for?
  • Do you have multiple ways to communicate with your travelers, i.e. text, email, phone?

3)  Emergency Response –

Supporting or evacuating your travelers when circumstances deteriorate

  • Do you have a plan for support or evacuation of travelers in need?
  • Do your travelers have the training/skills needed in an emergency situation?
  • Do you have access to the traveler’s emergency contact info, i.e. family, friends, etc.?

4)  Post Trip –

Documenting and reporting your duty of care activities

  • Do you have documentation showing you have met your ‘Duty of Care’ to your travelers?
  • Do you have the ability to report upstream to senior management?
  • Do you review past situations for opportunities to improve your program?

If you need help determining and fulfilling your duty of care responsibilities, please contact a Christopherson Business Travel Account Manager. We help companies of all sizes meet this key responsibility and have the tools and expertise to help you be successful.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

How Christopherson’s tool AirSelect can help you on your next business trip

airselect
AirSelect is one of Christopherson’s proprietary technology tools, and is quite helpful in planning any business trip.

As a regular business traveler, I normally only book my trip only for the “necessary” duration. But on a recent trip to Denver, I had the opportunity to enjoy dinner in a quaint part of town that I had not been to previously, and the thought occurred to me that perhaps I should have extended my trip to include a “fun day” to explore the area.

Hindsight being 20/20, what I should have done was ask my Christopherson Business Travel agent for an AirSelect® email so I could’ve viewed all the flight options for various days. AirSelect is one of Christopherson’s proprietary technology tools and provides business travelers with a simple, straightforward grid of options showing the lowest fare based on scheduled departure and arrival times.

For more information on AirSelect and other proprietary tools Christopherson offers, please contact one of our executives.

 

 

Categories
Business Travel

Christopherson’s Newly Acquired All Seasons Travel Undergoes Rebranding

Christopherson Business Travel purchased All Seasons Travel in December of last year. As we continue to integrate our new Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama offices into our organization, we will be rebranding the Alabama operations into three separate divisions:

1. Christopherson Business Travel

CBT_SmallThe Alabama business travel team members will all operate under our Christopherson Business Travel brand, with Jeanine Eissler as the manager of the Southeast region. We have already won $20 Million in new business travel contracts in the Southeast, all of which is in the process of being implemented into our Alabama offices.

2. Andavo Travel

Andavo Logo_335x60The leisure travel agents and independent contractors will operate under our Andavo Travel brand (which specializes in luxury travel and hosted agent travel), with Meredith Price as the operations manager of the Southeast region. Our Alabama offices will also be part of Andavo’s world-class luxury travel consortium, Virtuoso.

3. All Seasons Sports Travel

AllSeasonsSportsTravel_Logo-v2All Seasons Sports Travel is a newly created division and will primarily focus on the fan-based collegiate sports travel that All Seasons has done so well for so many years. Ellen Ray has been named manager of this division. Click here to see the new website, AllSeasonsSportsTravel.com.

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Why Clients Choose Christopherson as their travel management partner

Entering into a multi-year partnership with the right travel management company (TMC) enables travel management professionals to focus on spend analysis, budgeting, policy development and enforcement, and duty of care.  However, selecting the right TMC can be a daunting task.

Christopherson Business Travel as travel management leaders

Christopherson Business Travel continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. New clients are asked “Why did you choose Christopherson?” Here is what they say makes Christopherson stand out amongst other TMCs.

  • Christopherson offers AirPortal®, an integrated travel technology and management platform.  AirPortal not only provides travelers the ability to book within policy, but gives travel arrangers and managers the tools needed to manage the corporation’s entire travel program.
  • Christopherson’s pricing is simple.  Our clients like that all of the “extras” are included in our service fees.  Our clients learned that many of our competitors charge extra for reporting, account management, and duty of care tools.  At Christopherson, we only charge transaction fees.
  • Christopherson’s duty of care technology, SecurityLogic®, is superior to all other duty of care tools in the marketplace.  Our clients are not only able to quickly locate all of their travelers by name, date, and/or location, but they have the ability to push alerts directly to the traveler.
  • Our expertise with Concur Travel.  As a Concur Travel Preferred Partner (one of only ten agencies nationwide), Christopherson offers three experienced teams to support our customers using Concur Travel.

Please contact our sales team for additional information on why Christopherson is the best TMC for your company.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Three key strategies common to best-in-class travel management programs

With Christopherson Business Travel's strategic travel management services, companies can create best-in-class travel management programs.
With Christopherson Business Travel’s strategic travel management services, companies can enjoy best-in-class travel management programs.

According to Travel Market Report, “Travel accounts for a significant portion of total corporate expenses. But just how significant may be a surprise … Business travel accounts for anywhere between 8% and 12% of the overall enterprise expense budget. This is bad news for travel managers whose companies see travel as a cost center, but good news for those whose companies see travel as an investment in revenues.”

Market research firm, Aberdeen Group, identified three key strategies common to best-in-class travel management programs:

  1. Support travel management with analytics, integration and mobility
  2. Use mobile apps and portals to put expense management directly in the hands of travelers
  3. Leverage analytics and integration to drive transparency into travel processes and spending to improve corporate budgeting, planning, and forecasting

As a leader in the business travel industry and the 11th largest travel management company in the U.S., Christopherson Business Travel is committed to providing innovative and integrated travel management services that accomplish those three key strategies.

By developing proprietary technologies like AirPortal 360 and AirPortal 360 Mobile, Christopherson supports their more than 1,000 corporate clients’ travel programs with that much-needed analytics, integration, and mobility.

Additionally, clients of Christopherson enjoy the added benefit of a consultative Account Manager whose job it is to help leverage that analytics, drive transparency in travel processes and spending, and improve corporate travel budgeting, planning, and forecasting.

Key strategies for best-in-class travel management programs 1, 2, and 3: Check, check, and check.

To learn more about how Christopherson can help your company implement these three key strategies into your travel program, please contact one of our business executives.

Categories
Travel Industry Travel Management

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

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

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

Adding Data, Technology & Service–Evolution of the TMC

By: Mike Cameron, Christopherson Business Travel

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

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

To continue reading, click here for the original post.

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel News

Christopherson’s CEO Shares His Notes from Jim Collins’ GBTA Keynote Address

Camerons with Jim Collins
Mike and Matt Cameron with author, Jim Collins

I recently attended the Global Business Travel Association’s Masters Program with my brother Matt, our COO. While there, we had the privilege of hearing the Concur-sponsored keynote speaker, Jim Collins. Jim is the author of the book Good to Great, which, in my opinion, is one of the all-time great business books on how to build successful, enduring companies.

If you haven’t read his book, you should. If you haven’t attended the Masters Program, you should.

Jim’s remarks summarized some of his famous principles and I took notes as follows:

If you want your company to go from “Good to Great” you must identify how you are doing with regards to the following 12 questions:

 

1. Do I have the will to become a level 5 leader?

Leadership is the art of getting people to “want” to do what needs to be done

    • Level 5 Executive – Inspires people to follow a cause
    • Level 4 Effective Leader – Inspires people to follow them
    • Level 3 Competent manager
    • Level 2 Contributing team member
    • Level 1 Highly capable individual

2. Are you humble?

Humility is a most important leadership trait.

3. Do you have the right people on the bus?

This is the single most critical executive decision you need to make with your leaders. Do your leaders have the necessary:

    1. Values
    2. Will
    3. Skills

Great leadership isn’t worth much without exceptional unit leadership.
Great unit leaders are really good at building pockets of greatness.

4. What are the brutal facts?

Pick up the “rocks” and look at them underneath to see what needs to be fixed.

5. What do we understand about our hedgehog?

Click here for an explanation of Jim’s hedgehog concept.

Foxes love complexity.
Hedgehogs understand one big thing.
Simplify things, reduce concepts down to a simple concept.
Three things that play into your hedgehog strategy:

    1. What are you passionate about?
    2. What are you the best in the world at?
    3. What drives your economic engine?

6. How can you accelerate your flywheel by committing to a 20-mile march?

Two teams set out to get to the South Pole in 1911. They both left for the South Pole at the same time. Only one team made it there and back by committing to a 20-mile march EVERY day.

    • Fanatical discipline
    • Productive paranoia
    • Empirical creativity

Once you get the flywheel moving, fine-tuned and growing, it can’t be stopped.

7. Where should you place your big bets?

How do you blend creativity and discipline?
Creativity is natural.
Discipline is not natural, it must be learned.
There is a difference between how the winners did innovation.
Those who didn’t win didn’t fire enough bullets.
First fire bullets, then cannon balls.
Keep trying things until you find something that works, then fire cannonballs.

8. What is your BHAG–your big hairy audacious goal?

The “goal” will stimulate progress.
Preserve the core while stimulating progress.
Change practices without changing core values.

9. What is the right 20% that you need to change and why?

10. How can we maximize our return on luck?

Level 5 leaders credited good luck for their success
Are the big winners luckier? No.
The winners got a higher return on their luck.

11. Do you show any stages of the five stages of decline:

    1. Hubris born of success
    2. Undisciplined pursuit of more
    3. Denial of risk and peril
    4. Grasping for salvation
    5. Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death

12. What should be on your “stop doing” list?

True discipline lies not in what we do, but to know what to stop doing.
What can we do to seek not to attain a good life, but instead a great life?

Categories
Travel News

Christopherson Agent’s Son Wins Olympic Gold

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

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

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

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

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

Again, congratulations Joss and Debbie!

Categories
Travel 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 Industry

2013: A Big Year of Change, Investments, and Growth for Christopherson Business Travel

Christopherson experienced a big year of investment, growth, and change.
Christopherson experienced a big year of investment, growth, and change.

As we look back on 2013, Christopherson Business Travel had a great year with lots of change, major investments, and lots of growth.

We Made Big Changes:

  • We implemented the Agresso ERP accounting & business information system.
  • We updated and implemented our travel management technology platform, AirPortal®.
  • We moved, expanded, or remodeled our offices in Marin County, Salt Lake City, and Denver.

We Made Big Investments:

We Experienced Big Growth:

  • We implemented 96 new corporate clients, plus we added 170 new clients in Alabama.
  • We added 75 new team members (27 new employees/agents and 48 new employees in Alabama).
  • We added about $50 Million in sales.

Twenty-thirteen was a year filled with change, investment, and growth. And as we look forward to 2014, we have set the stage for even more growth. We are looking forward to another amazing year.

Mike Cameron, CEO
Christopherson Business Travel

Categories
Travel Industry Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel Acquires All Seasons Travel

cbt_logoFor Immediate Release
December 9, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Christopherson Business Travel
Christopherson Business Travel is the independently owned leader in intelligent business travel management, online travel tools and business travel resources. As the 11th largest business travel agency in the United States, Christopherson operates from three full-service locations (Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California) as well as 35-client dedicated on-site locations, maintains a successful leisure travel division (Andavo Travel), employs more than 250 travel professionals, and manages travel for more than 900 companies and organizations across the country. For more information, please visit CBTravel.com.

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

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

AirPortal 360™ is a Travel Management Nerve Center

Effective travel management must meet and balance the needs of two key groups:

  1. Travel managers, who need to save their company money on travel and who also have duty of care responsibilities
  2. Travelers, who want service, safety, and convenience.

AirPortal 360 is a travel management nerve center.
AirPortal 360 is a travel management nerve center.

Our objective at Christopherson Business Travel, when we developed AirPortal 360, was to meet the requirements of both groups. While our key stakeholders are the companies for whom we manage travel because they pay for our services, we must also take good care of the travelers, in order to be successful.

AirPortal 360 is the solution that provides companies:

  1. One platform integrating full-service and online travel management.
  2. A 360° real-time view of their entire travel program providing high-level “situational awareness and increased visibility.
  3. Actionable intelligence allowing travel managers, our account managers, and our agents to respond to our clients’ needs.

The key components of our proprietary AirPortal 360 platform are:


AirPortal 360™ Dashboard

  • Provides SecurityLogic heat map on the homepage, plus customizable widgets to provide awareness and actionable intelligence

PolicyLogic™

  • Create a travel management policy to monitor and manage your travel program
  • Manage preferred vendor relationships and ensure compliance to help save money

ProfileLogic®

  • Set up a company and their travelers’ profiles and optionally organize them by division, department, and team

Airtinerary®

  • Access past, present, and future traveler itineraries

SecurityLogic®

  • Handle duty of care by identifying who, when, and where travelers are, and respond appropriately when there is an incident that requires action

AirBank®

  • Increase savings through recovery and management of unused airline tickets

DataLogic®

  • Provide real-time access and on-demand reporting of travel program data

My Travel™ Dashboard

  • Provide travelers with the information they need before, during, and after their trips

To learn more about how Christopherson’s AirPortal 360 platform can benefit your company’s travel program and save you time and money on business travel, please contact one of our executives.

 

 

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 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 Travel Tips

Stash Hotel Rewards: The Rewards Program for Independent Business Travelers

Stash Hotel RewardsDo you ever resist booking the hotel you really want and instead book a hotel simply because you have a rewards program with that particular chain? If so, then Stash Hotel Rewards might be the rewards program for you.

Stash rewards you for staying where you really want to stay. The program works by awarding you points for every dollar you spend on eligible hotel room rates at participating hotels. These points can then be redeemed for free stays. You can even earn points on rooms you book for other guests as long as you are the one settling the charges.  Blackout dates do not exist and points never expire which will make it much easier for you to redeem your points.

Visit StashRewards.com to learn more, sign up, and begin earning points with the hotels you really want to enjoy!

 

Categories
Business Travel

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

AirPortal 360™ Mobile Garners Media Attention

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

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

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry 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 Ranked #26 on Travel Weekly’s 2013 Power List

 

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

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

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

See Travel Weekly’s Power List here.

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

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

3 Key Strategies of Best-in-Class Business Travel Management Programs

Travel Market Report’s business travel editor, Fred Gebhart, recently wrote about a report published by the market research firm Aberdeen Groupon called “Travel and Expense Management.”  The report concluded that business travel expenses account for 8% to 12% of an organization’s overall expense budget.

The report also emphasized the need for organizations to focus more on strategic management of travel and not just cost efficiency, and identified three key strategies common to best-in-class travel management programs:

  1. Support travel management with analytics, integration, and mobility
  2. Use mobile apps and portals to put expense management directly in the hands of travelers
  3. Leverage analytics and integration to drive transparency into travel processes and spend to improve corporate budgeting, planning, and forecasting

As a travel management company, Christopherson Business Travel works hard to help you meet those objectives. In fact, Christopherson has already helped countless organizations across the country save money by reducing their travel spend and more efficiently managing their travel programs. The redesign of AirPortal®, our integrated business travel technology platform, and the creation of AirPortal 360™, our travel manager dashboard, allows us to respond to your corporate travel needs.

For additional details about how we can support your travel programs with analytics, integration, and mobility, contact one of our Christopherson Business Travel’s development executives or account managers.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel News

Christopherson is Ranked #11 by Business Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel is now the 11th largest business travel agency in the country.

We are pleased to announce that Christopherson Business Travel was recently ranked the 11th largest business travel agency in the United States by Business Travel News.

Rankings are based upon audited results of annual transaction and sales volume data provided by the Airline Reporting Corporation. Results were announced in the 2013 Business Travel Survey issue of Business Travel News’ monthly magazine.

Christopherson has a long legacy of growth, innovation, and client retention which has guided the agency from its #14 spot in 2011 to its current position, #11, in the 2013 report.

Particularly notable is Christopherson’s growth over the last six years. Since 2007, the company has more than doubled in size, having grown from a $160 million company in 2007 to a $341 million company in 2012.

Currently, Christopherson operates from three full-service locations (Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California) as well as 35-client dedicated on-site locations, maintains a successful leisure travel division (Andavo Travel), employs more than 250 travel professionals and, as previously stated, booked $341 million in travel in 2012 for more than 900 companies and organizations across the country.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

How to get the lowest airfare–Understanding the fluctuation of flight prices

how to get the lowest airfare

As an Account Manager for Christopherson Business Travel, I’m often asked by our clients’ travel managers: “Why is it, when looking for a flight, that the price can change within minutes of purchasing the fare?”

Cost of airfare has the potential to impact both the traveler and the company. At the point of purchase, the traveler is trying to juggle getting both a reasonable fare and their schedule to align before the ticket price changes. And quite often, it’s the cost of airfare that pushes travel expenses over budget, thus impacting a company’s bottom line.

I like to compare purchasing airfare to buying stocks. The price of stocks and the price of airfare is not fixed and can change in less than a minute. Airlines rely on computer modelling to track sales and adjust fares accordingly as often as they want, just like the price of stock is adjusted depending on demand and the current economic and political climate. These variables, in addition to the following factors, can all influence the price of airfare:

  • Passenger load
  • Competitor pricing
  • Peak travel dates, holidays, and seasons
  • Fluctuating fuel costs
  • How much a traveler is willing to pay for a seat

Airlines will also often raise the prices on flights that have a higher percentage of business travelers vs. vacation travelers. They base this on the comparison of:

  • Flights with a high rate of last minute bookings, which tends to be an indicator of business travel clients vs. flights booked well in advance, which tends to be an indicator of vacationers who have been planning for months
  • Short-haul flights that business travelers can make in one day vs. vacation travelers who would more likely drive, instead of fly, that same distance
  • Travel dates during the work week vs. travel dates over a weekend

How can a Travel Management Company help businesses and their travelers when airfare is so unpredictable?

Travel Management Companies have the ability to leverage all of those price-driving factors to keep costs down and help the traveler make well-informed trip-driven choices. Here are some of the ways we, at Christopherson Business Travel, accomplish this:

  • Supplier negotiations
  • Analyze program leakage
  • Create and manage travel policy
  • Facilitate the duty of care for a company’s travelers
  • Assist in educating the traveler
  • Ability to track that the lowest fare was indeed offered to the traveler and the reasons why/if it was refused

To learn more about how Christopherson Business Travel can help your company find the most cost-effective airfares for your business travel needs, please contact one of our executives.

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

How to Search for Flights with Concur Travel’s Online Booking Tool

Most people don’t have time to sort through the myriad of options that populate when searching for a business travel flight. It can certainly be an overwhelming task. We all have parameters and certain restraints that require us to arrive at, or depart from, our destinations at specific times. Ultimately there are only a handful of itineraries that will fit our needs.

But Concur has the ability to sort through the hundreds of options and filter out most of those that do not meet your criteria. Here are a few simple tips to help you more efficiently search for business travel flights using the Concur booking tool.

concur booking tool
Image A (click image to enlarge)

When filling out the search parameters in Concur, it is usually best to search by “Schedule” as, more often than not, you generally know the flights you want or you have time restrictions.  Remember–any information you put into the search parameters will directly influence the search results.

If you want a specific flight, be sure that whatever time you enter into your search includes the flight time of the flight you would like to book. The field highlighted in green (Image A) indicates the amount of time prior to, and after, the time you selected. This is what the travel engine will use to populate your search options. In this instance, the tool will search for departing flights from 4:00AM until 10:00AM.

Once the flight results are displayed, you can further filter your results by clicking the icon at the top of the page for the carrier with whom you’d prefer to fly. For example, if you know you want to travel on a non-stop United flight, you can search for only those flights by clicking the row and column where United, Non-Stop results intersect–as indicated by the green highlighted field in Image B.

Please note that clicking on an airline icon, or on search options within the matrix, will filter both departing and returning flight searches. So if you are looking for a United outbound flight, but want Delta for your return, make sure you select the Delta icon after you chose your United outbound flight.

Also, if your search doesn’t display the necessary information, you can always adjust your search parameters by changing the fields found to the right of the search results as indicated by the pink arrow (Image B).

concur booking tool
Image B (click image to enlarge)

By following these simple steps, you can save yourself a lot of time and efficiently find flights that meet your travel needs.

Christopherson Business Travel provides fulfillment expertise for Concur Expense and Travel. We welcome the opportunity to partner with you to customize and implement your travel and expense process. Please contact one of our executives to learn more.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel News

2013 Corporate Travel Index: Per Deim Rates Are Out

The 2013 edition of the Corporate Travel Index, Business Travel News’ magazine which publishes per diem rates and averages for the top 200 cities around the world was released March 18.

The methodology of the Corporate Travel Index:

The Business Travel News Corporate Travel Index is based on actual prices paid in 2012 by corporate clients of BCD Travel, provided to Business Travel News by BCD’s Advito consulting arm, as well as research conducted by The BTN Group and New York-based consulting firm Mercer Inc.

U.S. Per Diems

Total U.S. per diems listed are compiled by adding the average hotel, car, and food costs listed on subsequent pages. Business Travel News calculated year-over-year percentage changes in relation to total per diems listed in the 2012 Corporate Travel Index, which was compiled in the same manner as this year’s data.

For a complete listing of the 2013 Corporate Travel Index, click here.

For more information on constructing a travel policy that coincides with appropriate per deim rate’s, contact Christopherson’s Account Management team.

Categories
Business Travel

Christopherson Business Travel is an Affiliate of BCD Travel

BCD_AffiliateChristopherson Business Travel is a BCD Travel affiliate. BCD Travel operates in more than 95 countries, with $22.8 billion in total sales and a combined worldwide workforce of 11,000. (Read more about BCD, here.)

Operating throughout North America, the BCD Travel Affiliate Program is a model of innovation and excellence. A select group by design, there are more than 35 affiliates of BCD Travel in North America, with 450+ locations, totaling more than $2 billion in airline sales alone. In many regions of the U.S., the BCD affiliate is the leading independently owned TMC in the markets they represent.

Christopherson Business Travel is currently ranked as the third largest TMC amongst the BCD affiliate group and the largest TMC located west of the Mississippi.

BCD provides affiliate agencies a wealth of resources to strengthen the company and to provide clients with local presence around the world. BCD provides Christopherson with:

  1. Global footprint, clout and buying power (size)
  2. Training and sharing of industry insight (expertise)
  3. Networking and best-practices reviews (community)

BCD resources include the following buying power for our clients:

  • International Airline Programs
  • Global Hotel Program
  • Rental Car Exclusive Rates

The senior BCD leadership teams meet with us regularly and provides invaluable insight and training to our teams.

As a group, the affiliates meet regularly and act as a sounding board with each other, exchanging best-practice solutions on travel management. Personally, I have the privilege of serving on the BCD Affiliate Board of Advisors which gives me the ability to contribute to the direction of the program.

Categories
Travel Industry Travel News

Airport Service Quality Awards Announced

Have you ever wondered which airport ranks number one by travelers?

There are several airports I travel through on a regular basis, but I’ve only had a few opportunities to experience the airports that have earned the Airport Service Quality Award. Among airports, this is a coveted and prestigious award that they work hard to obtain.

The Airports Council International has tallied information gathered from travelers who complete questionnaires at airport gates, and for North America, the top five airports are Indianapolis (who also won this award in 2010 and has scored in the top three every year since), Ottawa, Tampa, Sacramento, and Jacksonville.

In Europe you will receive the best customer service in Moscow Sheremetyevo, Malta, Edinburgh, Keflavik, and Zurich. Seoul Incheon, Singapore, Beijing, New Delhi and Hong Kong rank highest in Asia. Cancun took first place in Latin America and in Africa, you will want to experience Cape Town. In the Middle East, it won’t surprise you that Abu Dhabi scored gold twice, for best airport and most improved airport.

Click here to see the full report.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

What Should Your Travel Management Company Do For You?

A good travel management company (TMC) is the key to an effective travel management program.

Travel Management CompanyYou should expect your TMC to work with you to:

  1. Design and implement a travel policy that is appropriate for your company and culture.
  2. Negotiate and manage vendor contracts that will generate company savings and provide traveler conveniences.
  3. Simplify the booking process for you and your travelers, whether you choose online, full service, or a blended approach.
  4. Give you the information and tools to manage your duty of care responsibilities, helping you to respond appropriately when there is an incident.
  5. Effectively manage your unused airline tickets.
  6. Give you full visibility into your travel spend with real-time information and on-demand reporting.
  7. Provide your travelers with the tools they need before, during, and after their trips.

Click Here for 10 more ways a TMC can benefit your company.

If your company’s travel program needs tuning, please contact one of our account managers and make an appointment today. We are here to help!

Categories
Business Travel

Diamond Airport Parking + Exclusive Christopherson Pricing

Need a place to park your vehicle while on a business trip from Salt Lake City (SLC)?

Christopherson Business Travel has teamed up with Diamond Airport Parking to provide a convenient and secure place to park your car while you are out of town, while receiving Exclusive 2013 Christopherson Pricing. Diamond Airport Parking has 2 locations to choose from:

  1. 1950 W. North Temple Street (self parking only)
  2. 50 S. Redwood Road (self parking & Valet options)

With Christopherson’s exclusive pricing, business travelers enjoy 20% off standard rates per day for self parking at both locations. Or pay only $9/day for valet open or $12/day for valet canopy at the Redwood Road location.

Diamond Parking Benefits Include:

  • Salt Lake City’s only valet parking service
  • Free touch-less car wash, bottled water, newspaper, & Rewards Program
  • Full service, on-site auto care
  • On-site dry cleaning available
  • Shuttle on demand – from your car to your gate at SLC International Airport
  • Special Group Pricing Programs – customized for your company’s needs

For more information, please contact a Christopherson Business Travel Account Manager.

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

When Storms Brew, Business Travel Agents Rock

business travel agency

On a recent business trip to Denver I was once again reminded of the value of using a corporate travel agency and their secret weapon–the travel agent.

As we boarded the plane in Denver, I was concerned that we wouldn’t be going anywhere fast due to rough weather in the area. However, the only thing that happened fast was being de-boarded–oddly enough, for mechanical problems and not the weather.

The line formed quickly at the service counter only for travelers to learn that the next (and last) two flights to Salt Lake City were sold out. But all I had to do was call my favorite business travel agent who was able to confirm me a seat on a different airline within minutes.

Christopherson Business Travel has not only the best “secret (travel agent) weapons,” but they also have a tool kit full of travel technology that will service you and your business travelers through all your travel needs–whether it’s Mother Nature throwing a punch, mechanical problems, or simply a need for better managed travel.

Categories
Travel News

Dreamliner Investigation May Take Months to Find Solution

 

We have written posts in the past about the Boeing Dreamliner. It really is a spectacular piece of machinery that defies gravity with its massive frame and the ability to transport hundreds of travelers with a grand-scale kind of luxury never experienced in the skies.

In fact, some of our Christopherson Business Travel employees were able to tour the inside of this fabulous bird while it was housed in Denver. “This is incredible!”, “What a remarkable feat!”, and “My dream is to fly on this some day!”, were some of the comments heard around the hanger that day.

But wait … what happened to this opulent flying maching that so many of us had hoped to be a passenger on?

Based on recent news and reports, experts appear to still be stumped over the burning batteries that caused the dangerous mishaps on-board the Dreamliners. Investigators are working hard to find the problems and their solutions, and unfortunately, the delay–that was supposed to have been only a few days–may turn into weeks, or even months.

The National Transportation Safety Board has said its experts found short circuits and evidence of uncontrolled overheating inside the fire-ravaged battery of one Dreamliner. But what they still can’t decipher is cause and effect.

But hopefully soon, the problem will be identified and the Dreamliner will again soar through the skies, succeed against all odds, and thrill us as never before.

To learn the latest about the Dreamliner investigation, the Wall Street Journal recently published a comprehensive article about the current situation here.

 

Categories
Business Travel Vacation Travel

Christopherson Business Travel Has a Leisure Travel Division


We all say it: “I’m too busy to go on vacation.” But the truth is, taking a break actually reduces stress which then makes you a better employee, parent, and person. It can also create job security because your company will realize how valuable you are when you are gone!

In a USA Today travel survey, the following question was posed: Which type of cruise would you most like to take? The results broke down as follows:

31%: Alaska Adventure
29%: European Riverboat
22%: Caribbean Mega-ship
11%: Caribbean small ship
7%: Mississippi Riverboat

Where would you like to go? Personally, I’ve taken a cruise to St. Thomas and a few other ports and found it very relaxing and enjoyable. So get out the calendar and make some plans. It will give you something to look forward to as you wade through the winter months.

And in case you didn’t know, Christopherson Business Travel’s leisure travel division, Andavo Travel, has an entire team of travel advisors who specialize in cruises and other vacation options. They are eager and ready to help you decide where to unwind and relax. Contact them here, to start planning.

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 News

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

Kathleen Roberts - winner of Samy Award

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

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

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

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel 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 Industry

Christopherson to Sponsor Key Travel Industry Events in 2013

Christopherson Business Travel is proud to be an ongoing partner with key industry events in 2013. In addition to several local events, Christopherson will be a sponsor with trade show space at the following national business travel industry conventions:

Concur Fusion, April 16-19, Las Vegas, NV

Fusion2013-1The Concur Fusion conference is for Concur users and potential users. The event hosts over 1,500 attendees and the schedule provides for a broad range of training and networking opportunities.

Christopherson has been a Concur partner for more than six years and manages travel for many of Concur’s corporate and university clients.

Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), August 4-7, San Diego, CA

The annual GBTA convention is attended by more than 5,000 business travel industry buyers and suppliers from the U.S. and several foreign countries. The convention puts valuable industry insight and market knowledge within reach for travel managers around the world.

Christopherson has been a member of GBTA for more than 10 years. We are excited to be making our most significant presence yet at this year’s convention tradeshow with considerable booth space and state of the art technology demonstrations.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Business Travel Cost Savings: Part 2 – Vendor Negotiations

To review Part 1 where we discuss the value of having a business travel account management team and the potential savings that come as a result, click here.

Part two of my series on business travel cost savings touches on vendor negotiations.

There are several options when negotiating for your hotel, car, and air contracts. Depending on the depth of the negotiation, one or more of the following processes may be employed: RFP (Request for Proposal), RFQ (Request for Quotation), RFI (Request for Information), ITB (Invitation to Bid), and/or ITN (Invitation to Negotiate). For example, if you are simply seeking information, then use the RFI process. If you are wanting pricing only, then an RFQ would be appropriate, and so on.

Clients who partner with Christopherson Business Travel enjoy the benefit of having an account management team who will consult with their travel managers to determine the best avenues when negotiating on their behalf. During our consultation we use the following formula for negotiation success:

  1. Visualize
  2. Prepare
  3. Strategize
  4. Empathize
  5. Commit
  6. Follow-Up

Have you ever wondered how hotels look at the negotiating process? Here is a little insight.

Hotels are ultimately judged by shareholders on their return on capital, which translates into targets for Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR), the overall revenue divided by the total potential number of room-nights over the financial year. Hotels use a range of techniques and technologies to assist them in “yield management,” the process by which they try to optimize revenue and occupancy over different market segments, through seasonal fluctuations, while taking into account national, regional and local economic circumstances. Some hotels have very sophisticated systems and experience analysts; others do not. Some hotels always follow the advice of the yield managers; others have more discretion.
Christopherson Business Travel knows that travel vendor negotiations can, and should, differ considerably company to company depending on the type of organization, size, geographic scope, and the degree of influence on the vendor. Christopherson’s account managers consult with industry experts and employ sourcing methods to help our clients create and manage their entire travel supplier network. In addition to the traditional vendor categories like airlines, hotels and ground transportation, we also support sourcing efforts related to meeting services, online booking tools, and credit card programs.

To produce cost-consistency and reductions, Christopherson Business Travel consults with you and creates strategies to:

  • Achieve optimal savings, coverage, and service goals
  • Align supplier programs with overall organizational goals
  • Track economic and industry trends to help identify opportunities for improvement
  • Take advantage of best-practice tools and benchmark information

Typical components of a sourcing management engagement include:

  • Vendor Program Assessment & Savings Opportunity Analysis
  • RFP Process Management
  • Negotiation Support
  • Vendor Program Implementation

President John F. Kennedy said, in his 1961 inaugural address, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”

Because of increasing costs and greater demands, Christopherson Business Travel’s Account Managers will meet with you to create the ultimate scenario to ensure that your company gains a profitable return on investment with regards to your travel program. For facts on actual ROI savings and additional information, contact us.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

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

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

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

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

ValueLogic®

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

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

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

iBank

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

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

Travel GPA

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

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Enjoy Advanced Profile Management with ProfileLogic®

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

When to Consider Moving to a New Travel Management Company

Thinking about changing travel management companies (TMC) may seem like a daunting task, but with improved technology and a strong TMC partner, making that switch can be seamless, and will result in higher traveler satisfaction while also increasing your cost savings.

Think about your current TMC and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your travel agent always warm and friendly?
  • Are your agents always going the extra mile?
  • Does your TMC negotiate directly with airlines, hotels and car rental companies on your corporation’s behalf?
  • Does your TMC continuously provide you proactive strategies to help you save money on your travel program?
  • Does your TMC offer the latest technology for your travel manager, travel arrangers and travelers?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, you should definitely consider researching a better alternative.

Christopherson Business Travel is the independently owned leader in intelligent business travel management, online travel tools and business travel resources. Of utmost importance to Christopherson is a dedication to meeting the unique need of each customer. With that in mind, the Christopherson team–from the agents to the software developers to the account managers (and everyone in between)–works hard to configure, deliver and maintain a cost-saving, individualized service option for each client.

If you’re contemplating a switch from your current TMC, please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information on how Christopherson can improve your travel program and save you money.

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

Airtinerary®: Intelligent Itineraries for the Business Traveler

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

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

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

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

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

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

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

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

Benefits of AirPortal 360:

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

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Annual Business Travel Review: Talk to Your Account Manager Today

annual travel business management reviewAt Christopherson Business Travel we value our partnership with our clients. So naturally, we want to review with them how the past year has gone, what has been successful (or not), and create objectives and goals for the upcoming year.

As an account manager for one of the largest travel management companies in the nation, I strive to be consultative in every way to help our clients travel programs succeed and reduce their overall travel spend. One of the best ways to strengthen your travel program is to conduct an annual review. During an annual review you can discuss with your Account Manager your spend, trends, ROI, places for improvement, as well as the objectives and goals you would like to achieve.

This is just one more benefit provided to clients of Christopherson Business Travel. If you are interested in learning more, please contact one of our business executives.

You can also schedule your own annual review by contacting your Christopherson Account Manager.

Categories
Business Travel

Why Small and Mid-Size Companies Should Implement a Travel Management Program (& How to Do It)

In tough economic times, businesses are always seeking new ways to reduce costs. One way to both save money and improve business traveler satisfaction is by adopting a corporate travel management program.

While most large corporations have such programs in place, many smaller companies do not and could definitely benefit from implementing one. Additionally, a well-managed corporate travel policy ensures better corporate compliance and traveler satisfaction.

Steps to implementing a successful corporate travel program:

  • Make a plan and keep it comprehensible: Work with the finance department to make a simple, easy to understand program, putting policies and procedures in place.
  • Get “buy-in” from upper management: Develop a financial proposal detailing the projected cost savings through a managed travel program. Market internally to gain support from both upper management and employees.
  • Find a travel management company: Develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) to evaluate each travel management company. (Of course, we would love to be considered.)
  • Communicate effectively: A travel portal is a key component for communication. Portals hold all pertinent travel program data and are available to travelers 24/7.
  • Train your travelers: Let your travelers know why your company implemented the new program and how to book through the new system. If the traveler is not educated, the program is ineffective.
  • Show results: Let the travelers know how they’re doing and show upper management the cost savings resulting from the new program.

A successful managed travel program can significantly reduce costs while increasing traveler satisfaction.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Christopherson Business Travel’s Negotiated Rates Go A Long Way

Recently, my family planned a trip to Canada to attend a reunion and thought we had all the details worked out. As there were eight of us traveling together, we opted to drive rather than fly. Unfortunately, three hours in, our Suburban broke down. We barely made it off the freeway when the car stopped near a building that literally said,”This is the middle of Nowhere.”

After being towed 40 miles to a mechanic, it was determined that repairs would take about a week. We were going to need rental cards. I began calling around and booked two cars with National using our Christopherson Business Travel corporate number. This is just one of the many discount rates Christopherson offers customers if their company doesn’t have their own negotiated rate.

When we checked in at the National desk, I asked the agent if there were perhaps any better rates available since we really hadn’t been planning on this expense. She told us that not only did she find a better rate, but that it was one of the best rates she had ever seen. We also were able to add extra drivers for free since my husband was an Emerald Club member, which again saved us money on what would have been another expense.

In another instance, I was showing our negotiated rate programs to a prospective client. She had recently spent a lot of time searching for hotels in New York and Chicago. Their company had several travelers attending conferences in those cities but were making reservations too late to receive the special conference deals at the hotels. Because Christopherson Business Travel has connections and discounted rates with so many properties worldwide, we were able to find her cheaper rates than those she’d been quoted online and directly from the hotel.

Christopherson’s negotiated rates are just one more way companies benefit from our managed travel programs. To learn more about how you can benefit from these connections, please contact one of our representatives.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

The Ten Commandments of Travel (+1)

As business travelers we all need a break, however we travel so much for work that the thought of another trip (even if it IS a vacation) makes many of us us want to sit down and just say NO! My advice? Take an organized tour or cruise. From the minute you step on the plane to the minute your journey ends, everything is taken care of for you. But first and foremost you must obey the Ten Commandments of Travel. They might not have come from God, but if you follow them, you very well could be treated like one. Enjoy!

The Ten Commandments of Travel (+1)

  1. Thou shalt not expect to find things precisely as they are at home, for thou hast left home to find things different.
  2. Thou shalt not take anything too seriously, for a carefree mind is the basis for a great vacation.
  3. Thou shalt not let other tour members get on thy nerves, for thou art paying good money to enjoy thyself.
  4. Thou shalt not worry. The person who worrieth hath little joy and few things are fatal.
  5. Thou shalt not judge all the people of a country by one person with whom thou had a problem.
  6. Thou shalt in Rome, do somewhat as the Romans do.
  7. Thou shalt be on time, for if thou art late thou shalt make thy own way to the next hotel.
  8. Thou shalt carry thy passport at all times, for a traveler without a passport is one without a country.
  9. Thou shalt learn to say “Thank You” in any language. Verily, it is worth more than gold.
  10. Thou shalt acquaint thyself with the currency of the land in which  you traverse, and thus thou shalt not be cheated.
  11. Thou art welcome in every land. Treat thy hosts with respect and thou shalt be an honored guest.

So let it be written–it’s not too late to purchase a gift certificate from Andavo Travel, Christopherson Business Travel’s vacation planning division. Certainly, nothing could be better than opening up a present full of vacation excitement on Christmas morning. Call our travel experts today! 801-327-7600 or 1866-327-7600

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
Travel News Travel Technology Vacation Travel

A Travel Photo for Every Pinterest Lover

Are you obsessed with Pinterest? Andavo Travel (the vacation division of Christopherson Business Travel) is. And what goes better with beautiful, inspiring images than travel?! We can’t think of much, which is why the Andavo crew has been loving Pinterest lately. We’re organizing boards featuring some of our favorite hotels and cruise lines, the latest travel gadgets you’ll love, travel-themed home decor, fashion for the stylish traveler, and more. Follow any (or all!) of our boards on our Pinterest page here. Happy pinning!

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Forecasting Business Travel Spend for 2013

As 2013 approaches we’re all involved in planning and forecasting for the new year. And in fact, the business travel industry tends to act as a “leading economic indicator.” As the economy improves, the travel industry actually grows ahead of many of the other economic measurements.

When CEOs, business owners, and other decision makers begin to feel bullish about the future, they tend to invest in travel to expand their markets, meet with their customers, and invest in training and other marketing opportunities.

Conversely, when business owners feel uncertain they become more conservative in investing in travel. This appears to be the current state of the economy. The combination of the ”Fiscal Cliff,” the European debt crisis, and the prospect of higher taxes has slowed business travel growth.

At Christopherson Business Travel, we are still growing but at a slower pace in the second half of 2012 as compared to the first half. Our ticketing transactions were up in the mid 20% range for the first half of the year and the growth rate has been tracking in the mid teens range in the second half of the year. This is still significantly higher than the industry average. U.S. travel agencies, as a group, processed 1.4 percent more air transactions in October than they did a year earlier.

This slower 2013 travel growth trend was confirmed in a recent Morgan Stanley survey of corporate travel managers. They found that a majority of corporate travel buyers expect to spend modestly more on air travel next year, with most projecting year-over-year increases in trip volumes and average airfares. “Executives indicated that budgets are expected to grow 1.3 percent in 2013 on a budget-weighted basis,” according to Morgan Stanley airline analysts.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Sports Apps for the Business Traveler

If you’re like me, you want to stay updated on your favorite sports team(s), even on a business trip. Whether it’s to find the latest news or to check scores, two of my favorites apps are:

  1. ESPN’s ScoreCenter X
  2. NBA Game Time

On both of these apps, you simply select your favorite teams and you’re set to receive their quick updates wherever your business travels take you. Should you need a few more recommendations, here is a list of the top sports apps according to Yahoo! Sports:

  • NBA Game Time – homepage feature videos of top plays as well the latest NBA headlines and columns
  • ESPN ScoreCenter – all-around sports app; home page features the scores of relevant games that happened or are in progress
  • Red Ripe Media’s Pro Football Radio & Live Scores – radio play-by-play of every single NFL game right on your phone
  • MLB.com Full Count – live look-ins to key plays and important moments from every MLB game; videos of games that are in progress
  • NFL ’12 – customizable content to feature favorite teams; fantasy football highlights and analysis; “Thursday Night Football” games available to watch for free during regular season (iPad only); radio feature allows you to listen to every game live
  • UFC.TV – order live events and watch on your phone; chat with other fans during events and create scorecards for fights; free videos of knockouts and submission victories available; fights as far back as Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock available on-demand from the video library
  • WatchESPN – access to every ESPN TV channel, except ESPNEWS and ESPN Classic
  • Yahoo! Sportacular – good app to have if you’re trying to sync things with your Yahoo! fantasy football app
  • Sports Illustrated Magazine – for people who are really into Sports Illustrated; easier-to-read content in comparison to the ESPN The Magazine app; also offers exclusive, app-only content not seen in the print version
  • NBC Sports Live Extra – watch live NFL on NBC games, full event replays, and highlights from top games featured on the network
Categories
Business Travel Choice Humanitarian

A CHOICE Opportunity in Kenya

In September I had the opportunity to return to Kenya with CHOICE Humanitarian and help build a school house and desks. This trip was more unique than any other I had been on as it was the first time I’d ever led an expedition. More importantly, it was the first corporate expedition I’ve ever been a part of; I had six coworkers with me.

Christopherson Business Travel and its employees participate in CHOICE Humanitarian’s Corporate Partnership Program. This program is a way for us to do our part in the global initiative to end poverty. The ability for us as employees to contribute through an automatic payroll deduction, which Christopherson then matches 2 to 1, allows each of us to make a larger impact than we could have on our own. As part of this program, Christopherson has also elected to fully fund 4-6 employees to go into the field together each year to work and better understand firsthand the poverty and situation of those we seek to help with our donations.

CHOICE is unique to many non-profits in a few ways:

  • Everything they do revolves around the notion that enabling self-reliance is the best way to end poverty.
  • They don’t approach people and tell them what they “need.” Villages located in the regions in which CHOICE works approach CHOICE for help.
  • CHOICE stands for Center For Humanitarian Outreach and Inter-Cultural Exchange. As I’ve found, CHOICE expeditions are as much about what I learn and receive from those I’m helping, as they learn and receive from me.

My first CHOICE Humanitarian expedition was to Bolivia in 2003. I have since traveled to Bolivia again, Mexico, Kenya twice, Nepal twice, and Guatemala with this amazing group. Still, I have yet to experience anything that has had a more profound impact on my life than that first week in Bolivia’s Alto Plano.

The benefits are certainly ten-fold. And for Christopherson, we find our partnership with CHOICE to be just one more way for us as an organization to build not only a corporate environment of team members and business associates, but a family. Please feel free to contact me, or CHOICE, with any questions you may have on how you can get involved and/or implement a similar program at your company. Without question, it will be worth every second.
Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

A Business Travel Guide to Tipping Etiquette

Did you know the word “tip” supposedly came from a pub owner who used it years ago as an acronym for ‘To Insure Promptness’? Essentially, tips are a reward for those who provide prompt and attentive service. But the two questions I’m always asking myself are:

  1. Who do I tip?
  2. How much do I tip?

Tipping etiquette varies worldwide, but I have found that (for the most part) when tipping a percentage of a bill, the average is 10-20% of the charge prior to tax. For baggage assistance the average is $1-$2 per bag. When paying a percentage of the bill, some people, for convenience, will take the amount of the tax and double it, while others might quickly figure out 10% of the charge and then double that.

Listed below are some tipping standards for business travel in the United States:

  • Courtesy Shuttle Driver: $1-$2 per person
  • Taxi or Limousine Driver: 15-20% of the total fare and an extra $1-$2 for help with bags
  • Porter/Doorman: $1-$2 per bag
  • Bell Staff: $1-$2 per bag if they deliver them to your room
  • Room Service: $1-$5 per night depending on the number of people in your room (It is best to tip daily since different staff members could be cleaning your room.)
  • Valet Parking: $1-$2 when car is retrieved (Tipping when they park the car is optional and not expected.)
  • Restaurant Waitstaff: 15-20% of the bill, excluding tax (Watch the bill. Many restaurants automatically add 15% gratuity for parties of six or more.)
  • Wine Stewards: 10-20% of the wine bill only
  • Buffet Service: $1-$2 per person dining
  • Bartender/Cocktail Waitress: 10-15% of the total tab
  • Concierge: tipping not necessary for general requests like directions or restaurant recommendations, but if the concierge arranges for tickets or reservations, tips can range from $2-$5
  • Skycap: $1/bag or $2/bag if they take the bag to the check-in counter

I recommend the following websites for additional information and international tipping guides:

  1. Conde Nast Traveler
  2. Esquire
  3. Forbes
Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Business Travelers Upgrade to Economy Plus: It’s worth it!

Have you ever thought about paying to upgrade your coach class seat to United’s economy plus?

On a recent trip, where I traveled from JFK to Amesterdam, I checked into doing just that. In the end, I decided to go ahead and pay for the upgrade and I must say–it was worth every penny! With the 3-4 extra inches of leg room, I didn’t feel as cramped, not to mention the seats were a little bigger so I didn’t feel like I was sharing a seat with the person next to me. It was also so nice to have the priority boarding so I could stow my luggage!

I personally recommend taking advantage of this option to any business traveler, especially those taking a long haul flight.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

Christmas Gifts for the Business Traveler

My list of Christmas gifts for all the business travelers I know is completed earlier than ever before! Actually, now that I think about it–I should send this to my own family as suggestions for me! I

If you have a road-warrior on your list, perhaps one of these ten suggestions will be helpful. Enjoy!

  1. SCOTTEVEST Women’s Trench Coat: Includes 18 pockets, with clear inside pockets, zipper and magnetic closures on pockets, and water bottle holder. Comes in red, black, mud, mist, thyme, periwinkle and paprika.
  2. Cube Laser Virtual Keyboard: It’s compact, and allows quick, error free emails while traveling with only your iPad or Smartphone. Laser projects a full-size keyboard onto any flat surface.
  3. Mushroom GreenZero Wall Travel Charger: The coolness of this one is that it shuts off automatically when your device is completely charged – awesome!
  4. Quirky Contort USB Hub: Four-post USB hub and cord manager, with a flexible neck to protect your USB devices.
  5. UWater G4 Chrome MP3 Player: Smallest, 100% waterproof player. Great in the shower, on or off  the road, or for scuba diving.
  6. Violight Sonic Travel Toothbrush: Perfect for travel, the office, gym, and more.
  7. iHome Rechargeable Mini Speakers: Size-defying sound, collapsible speakers used together or singly with great sound.
  8. Six Language Travel Translator: Travel the world and never be at a loss for words.
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
Business Travel

Business Travel Cost Savings: Part 1

The account management program is a valuable part of Christopherson Business Travel’s unique value proposition.

When Christopherson’s business development team is awarded a new account, they include the account management team to assist in consulting each new customer on the importance of a managed travel program.

The account managers, also known as the client consultative services team, have developed a program that will not only help companies better understand the value of managed travel, but also provide programs to show cost savings, cost avoidance, and return on investment. I will be emphasizing these particular points in this post. In parts 2 and 3 I will touch on other cost saving measures such as vendor negotiations, creating an effective travel policy, and compliance with that policy.

Business Travel Cost Savings, Cost Avoidance, & ROI

Travel spend is often listed as one of the highest costs of a corporation’s expense portfolio. It is our job to help those companies manage a travel program that provides savings to counter the costs of maintaining such a program. Here is an example of how we, together with our partner Travel GPA, can do that for you:

  • We find specific travel savings opportunities for your company by selecting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure your corporate travel program.
  • We run “what-if” scenarios to analyze the impact of behavioral changes.
  • We explore the impact of shifting full-size and higher rental car reservations to intermediate-size vehicles.
  • We analyze the impact of shifting more expensive hotel nights to alternative, less expensive properties.
  • We determine whether online booking options will create the savings you require.

Upon working through this analysis process, we then provide a summary recommendation to your company. Here is a sample summary recommendation provided to one company which resulted in potential savings of more than $94,000:

  1. Shift 113 airline ticket purchases to 7 days or more in advance of travel – Savings $14,873
  2. Accept lowest offered fare on 245 transactions – Savings $30,221
  3. Shift 614 agent-assisted transactions to online transactions – Savings $11,665
  4. Shift 59 hotel bookings to the Upscale tier – Savings $7,100
  5. Shift 101 car rental bookings to Intermediate-size – Savings $3,716
  6. Cut airline ticket exchanges by 108 transactions – Savings $26,829

Total potential savings – $94,404

Savings recommendations are based on shifting 50% of current booking practices to better performace areas of that particular program. Percentages can be modfied based on the goals set by the company.

 

For a full business travel program analysis please contact our client consulting services team. And if you have any questions or points you’d like me to address in future posts regarding corporate travel managed programs, please respond in the comments section below.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Quick Business Travel Tip: What to Do if Your Flight is Delayed Due to Weather

In light of the recent hurricane, I wanted share one quick tip for business travelers encountering weather delayed flights and cancellations:

Airlines will generally waive change fees if flights are affected by weather delays and cancellations. However, they will usually only allow this once. So before you make any changes, think carefully when rebooking your flight as second changes can be very costly. To change a flight for the second time usually means you would need to pay the change fee plus any additional airfare increases.

So again, really think about your travel plans when rebooking that cancelled flight!

And to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy, you are in our thoughts and we wish you safe travels in getting home.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel News

Delta Changes Baggage Policy: What this means for business travelers

Beginning January 15, 2013, Delta Air Lines will be changing their baggage policy to match that of other airlines. More and more airlines are now only checking bags through to the destination on the ticket, as opposed to what is on the itinerary. Currently, Delta will check your baggage through to the final destination, regardless of how many tickets are created to get you there. Starting next year, that won’t be the case.

Let’s take a look at this new policy and what it means to you, the business traveler. Often, there are times when it will save money to split an itinerary and issue two or more tickets. These savings can be quite significant for business travelers, particularly those flying internationally. In fact, as a business travel management company handling travel for hundreds of companies worldwide, we have seen numerous itineraries where splitting a ticket actually saves several thousand dollars. Currently the agents at Christopherson Business Travel, check that option when trying to find the best price on an itinerary. Under the current policy, this doesn’t create any significant issues for the business traveler. However, under the new policy, it would only make sense to split a ticket is if there is sufficient time for business travelers with checked luggage to pick up their bags at baggage claim, then re-check in for the next leg of the split ticket, re-check the bags, clear security (again), and board their next flight.

Also, in addition to the extra time needed for baggage claim and re-check-in (if a ticket is split), business travelers would also need to pay additional baggage fees since they will be paying for each airline they fly on. This can add significantly to the cost of travel since it is likely that one or more of the carriers involved would be one on which the traveler doesn’t have status.

I’m sure some will ask why the airlines would do this, and others might say it is simply a means to collect more fees. The reality is that the airlines have decided they no longer want to bear the responsibility for a checked bag when they aren’t even on the ticket. For example, if you were to fly Delta to London and then connect to British Air to Edinburgh and it is done as one ticket, then Delta would be responsible for collecting any fees and for solving any baggage related issues. But if two tickets were issued on this itinerary and Delta were to check the bag all the way through to Edinburgh, they have only been paid for transporting it to London. And what if British Air were to misplace or damage the bag–who is actually responsible for making the customer whole? Additionally, if two tickets are issued, the second airline is not bound to accept the bags if they are heavier or larger than permitted on intra-European flights.

As evident, there are many sides and key issues to understanding this change in policy. Christopherson Business Travel will continue to seek options that result in lower prices for business travel, and we will let the customer decide if the money saved is worth the extra time and trouble. I also expect that business travelers will see all the airlines adopting this policy fairly soon.

To read the full official announcement from Delta regarding these changes, click here.

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

How to Accelerate Change

accelerate change in businessJohn P. Kotter wrote an interesting article in November’s Harvard Business Review about how organizations can increase the likelihood, and the success, of making necessary changes. A key component of his strategy is to recruit volunteers who are more naturally adaptable to change, combined with “change agent” type leaders, to offset the natural tendency of some leaders to resist change.

Following are some excerpts from his recommended “Accelerate Change” strategy:

“Organizational leaders are torn between trying to stay ahead of increasingly fierce competition and needing to deliver this year’s results. Hierarchies and standard managerial processes, even when minimally bureaucratic, are inherently risk-averse and resistant to change. Part of the problem is political: Managers are loath to take chances without permission from superiors. Part of the problem is cultural: People cling to their habits and fear loss of power and stature—two essential elements of hierarchies. And part of the problem is that all hierarchies, with their specialized units, rules, and optimized processes, crave stability and default to doing what they already know how to do. To move faster and further, you need to pull more people than ever before into the strategic change game, but in a way that is economically realistic.”

Mr. Kotter recommends looking for volunteers with the following qualities in mind:

  1. A want-to and a get-to—not just a have-to—mind-set.
  2. Head and heart, not just head.
  3. Much more leadership, not just more management. The game is all about vision, opportunity, agility, inspired action, and celebration.

Mr. Kotter proposed the following Eight Accelerators:

  1. Create a sense of urgency around a single big opportunity.
  2. Build and maintain a guiding coalition.
  3. Formulate a strategic vision and develop change initiatives designed to capitalize on the big opportunity.
  4. Communicate the vision and the strategy to create buy-in and attract a growing volunteer army.
  5. Accelerate movement toward the vision and the opportunity by ensuring that the network removes barriers.
  6. Celebrate visible, significant short-term wins.
  7. Never let up.
  8. Institutionalize strategic changes in the culture.

The travel industry is all about change. At Christopherson Business Travel we are rapidly introducing new technology, new systems, and new process. Change is, indeed good and we’re accelerating it.

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.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel Technology

Creating and Maintaining a Unique Competitive Advantage

As we have grown Christopherson Business Travel from a $1 million company to a more than $300 million company over the last 21 years we have maintained a tight focus on creating a unique competitive advantage. We have worked hard to develop services, tools, and products that give us an edge in the business travel management marketplace.

The “VRIO” framework is a great tool that can be used to evaluate and maintain a company’s competitive advantage. VRIO is an acronym for a four question analysis every business should conduct before investing in any service, tool, or capability to determine its competitive potential.

  1. The Question of Value: Will this technology/service/strategy add value for your clients?
  2. The Question of Rarity: Is the capability or technology in the hands of a relative few?
  3. The Question of Imitability: Is it difficult to imitate and will there be significant cost to a firm trying to duplicate the capability?
  4. The Question of Organization: Are you organized, and ready to exploit the capability?

As Christopherson continues to grow, we will continue to ask these very important questions before we invest in the next service, tool or capability. Stay tuned for some exciting new tools and technologies that we will be releasing soon.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Tips

Zoom Up and Zoom Out: Best Business Practices from the CEO of a Multi-Million Dollar Company

Most frequent flyers have preferences for how they like to use their “flying time.” Personally, my inclinations vary from reading, to watching movies, to playing Scrabble with my wife, to catching up on e-mail. Delta’s addition of Wi-Fi on domestic flights has certainly changed my “flying time” habits over the last few years, as well. But the one constant flight activity I’ve found to be quite beneficial is something I call “Zoom Up and Zoom Out.”

Over the years I have used the time when I “zoom up” into the air to “zoom out” for strategic thinking. During my flights, however long or short, I do three things to help me get the creative juices flowing so I can think more strategically about the future:
1.    Catch up on my reading in trade publications
2.    Read a good business book or article on leadership or innovation
3.    Take notes on any ideas I may have in my travel journal

Reading trade publications gets me thinking about all the current trends and events occurring in my industry (travel management). A good business book or article helps me think about how I can do things better. And perhaps most importantly, my travel journal provides the opportunity to capture and record my ideas as they flow.

While many of those ideas get tossed out eventually, and while others may not be applicable or feasible at the time they are written, I’ve found that the real value of the travel journal is that I can watch the patterns and connections between my ideas over time. Sometimes ideas just need to evolve and mature, and I’ve seen how many of my thoughts, though perhaps small and independent when I write them down, become important pieces in bigger puzzle that forms over time. As you record your thoughts, they may not “work” standing alone, but together they might eventually create a viable strategy for your company.

So on your next flight, give it a try. “Zoom out” while you “zoom up.” The combination of doing those three things, in a setting without interruptions, can be very beneficial.

___

Mike Cameron is the President and CEO of Christopherson Business Travel, the independently owned leader in intelligent business travel management. Founded in 1953 and purchased by Mike and Camille Cameron in 1990, Christopherson, at that time, had two employees and booked $1 million in travel. Today, Christoperson ranks as the 12th largest business travel agency in the United States, operating from three full-service locations (Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California) as well as 35-client dedicated on-site locations, maintains a successful leisure travel division (Andavo Travel), employs more than 250 travel professionals, and booked $287 million in travel in 2011 for more than 900 clients across the country.

Categories
Business Travel Travel News

Christopherson is One of Utah’s Fifty Fastest Growing Companies

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

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

Grand America Hotel on August 29, 2012.

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel Ranked #1

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

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

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

Delta Wi-Fi: Above It All, Stay Connected

From business travelers to teenagers to blogging moms, all your online needs can now be taken care of in the sky.

Delta Airlines now offers in-flight Wi-Fi Access on more than 3,000 domestic flights daily. Depending on your needs, packages are available for purchase and offer everything from a one-time access lasting 24 hours to yearly memberships.

Delta has been the industry leader in offering this service to their guests and if you are wondering if your flight will have Wi-Fi access you can check the Delta website under My Trips. According to the Delta website, Wi-Fi is not yet available on international flights, but is available within the Continental U.S. and Alaska (although you may experience interruptions to your service in Alaska).

Categories
Travel News

Competition is Good for the Consumer

Economics 101 says “Competition is good for the consumer,” or at least that’s what I was taught early on in life.
But it also means a bit more work for the competing companies. Which is perhaps the reason some are questioning Southwest Airlines’ desire to use the Hobby Airport for international flights to Latin America.
Southwest is willing to pay for an international terminal along with a customs area, but they’re running into roadblock after roadblock both from United Airlines (who is currently the only airline in the area offering flights to Latin America) and from some members of the Houston City Council.
Some believe that if Southwest is allowed to pursue this venture then the price of airline tickets will go up. But with no competition, doesn’t United have the advantage to set prices anywhere they want?
Additionally, wouldn’t a new international terminal at Hobby create more jobs and drive fares down due to the competition between the two airlines?
I guess there is always two sides to every story, but I still believe that competition is good for the consumer. And I’m a consumer.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Travel Agency or Talent Agency?

Is Christopherson Business Travel a travel agency or a talent agency?

I’d say that in order to be a successful travel agency, you first have to be a successful talent agency.
Some may wonder, how did Christopherson grow from $1 Million to $287 Million in just 22 years? In order to achieve this, there are three basic points on which we focused:

  1. We hired the right people
  2. We developed a unique value proposition
  3. We shared the wealth, with those who generated it

Hiring the right people means putting together a team that has the ability to help you develop a superior value proposition, which will, in turn, provide monetary returns to your company. Then, if you’re willing to “share the wealth,” those “right people” will want to stay with you and the cycle of investment, return, and growth will continue. It sounds cliche, yes. And it sounds simple. But it begs the question: “Why doesn’t everybody do that?” Most businesses probably do, but many don’t.
Talent Management 101 says:

  • People want to be listened to
  • People want to be empowered to make decisions
  • People want to be part of a growing and successful organization
  • People want to receive incentives, which reflect their contribution to the success

So yes, we learned early on that we are a talent agency. We identified the best people in the travel industry, we hired them, and we keep them!

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Car Rental Hidden Costs – Are they DRIVING you Crazy?

We’ve talked about this before, but I find that it’s always helpful to review the hidden costs of renting a car.
To begin, let’s say you’ve found a great rental deal for $20/day. Unfortunately that “great” rate doesn’t guarantee you a low-cost rental. Instead, upon returning your car, you find the price has skyrocketed and the bill now includes sales taxes, airport surcharges, insurance, and licensing fees. By the time all the extra charges are added on, the guaranteed result is a severe case of sticker shock … and a final cost double the initial alluring base rate.
So how can you avoid the shock of pricing overload? Here is a summary of car rental surcharges and a few tips for how to cut costs on your next rental.

Taxes and Airport Surcharges

Sales tax and airport charges vary considerably from state to state, and you won’t be able to avoid state and local sales taxes. Many local governments also charge fees to fund their own development projects, such as convention centers or sports stadiums, and some car rental companies also include a daily surcharge for economy recovery fees.
But avoiding airport charges is simple and something to always consider. You can eliminate airport concession recovery fees and customer facility charges by picking up and dropping off your car at an off-airport location. Weighing the possible inconveniences and the price of additional transportation to and from the airport against the concession fees charged by the airport location is, however, a must as doing so could save you more than 15% of your total price.

Insurance

This is usually referred to by rental companies as “collision damage” or “Loss Damage Waiver (LDW).” For an extra $25 – $30 a day, you can avoid liability for any damage to the vehicle, provided you’re not found guilty of gross negligence. Insurance is optional, although in a few states it is compulsory and built into the basic car rental cost.
So, before you purchase the extra insurance, check to see if your regular car insurance covers you in a rental car. Some policies do. Most credit cards also provide insurance if you pay for your rental with that card. Larger companies also include car rental addendums in their company insurance which also covers office equipment and the like. Keep in mind that limitations may apply to all types of coverage. If you’re not comfortable with the risk, consult with your insurance administrator or travel manager.

Gasoline Charges

Returning a car with an empty tank will create an extra charges to your bottom line.  In most cases you’ll want to fill up before you return your vehicle. However, car rental companies now offer the option of purchasing a full tank of gas when you first take the car, enabling you to return the car with as much or as little fuel as you wish.
Keep in mind that there is no refund for unused fuel, so you’d be paying a little extra for the convenience of skipping the trip to the gas station. Also, you may be able to find a better per-gallon price by shopping around on your own.

Drop-Off Charges

An extra fee is usually charged if a car is returned to a different location than where it was picked up. This fee varies by location. In some instances there is no charge, however you could pay more than $1,000 for picking a car up at LAX and dropping it of at JFK plus around $0.35 per mile.
If your corporation has a car rental contract make sure it notes a “one way” rate. The rates will be higher than your normal corporate rate but will save money in the long run.

The 24-Hour Clock

If you rent your car on Wednesday and return it on Thursday, most companies charge you one day only if you return it within 24 hours. Some companies will give you a 29-minute grace period before hourly charges kick in and after 90 – 120 minutes you may be charged for the full extra day. Some rental car companies are also now charging a late return fee of $10 per day.
Make sure you check the terms and conditions in your rental documents.

One Day Surcharges

Picking a car up only for one day will cost you more if those days are Monday through Thursday.  Because of the yield management process, it is more expensive for the car rental company if you pick your car up in the morning on Monday through Thursday and return it the same day. It eliminates the possibilities of another traveler needing that car for two or more days at a time. The one day surcharges are $5 to $7 over the normal daily rate and are “hidden” in the rate so you will not recognize you are being charged extra. Corporations can sometimes get this fee reduced or waived when negotiating a car rental contract.

Age Penalties

Renters under the age of 25 may have to pay additional fees of about $25 – $30 per day. Those companies who rent to drivers under 21 often charge much steeper surcharges. Those over 70 may also have to pay extra (if they’re able to rent at all).  Age restrictions vary by country and franchise, so be sure to check ahead.

Frequent Flier Fees

Car rental companies often charge a small fee when you request frequent flier miles for your rental. The fee varies by airline and can range anywhere from a few cents to $2 a day. Another choice would be to opt for the free day program instead of earning miles. There is not a charge for earning free rental days and are usually earned for every 15 days rented.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Tips

The Security of Knowing Where Your Travelers Are

There is something called “duty of care,” which is a corporation’s legal and moral responsibility to their employees who travel for business. It was defined by Dr. Lisbeth Claus, a human resources professor at Willamette University, as “the obligation employers have for the health, safety, and security of their employees when they travel across boarders.”
Knowing where your travelers are is crucial to maintaining this responsibility. Companies can avoid a lot of stress (and potential legal fees) by having plans in place prior to any type of emergency, whether it’s weather or terrorist related, or due to traveling in high-risk areas. There are many programs available to help keep travelers safe and help keep employers out of the court room, including large organizations such as SOS International or training provided by Kevin Coffee, President & CEO of Corporate Travel Safety.
For a corporation, the first step is creating and implementing an internal plan of action. The second step is having a tool available that will assist in locating travelers at any given moment. Christopherson Business Travel has developed (and makes available to clients) SecurityLogic®. This proprietary technology allows a company’s travel manager the ability to view real time data of where travelers are at any given time (including flights, hotels, and addresses) based on reservations booked through Christopherson. To learn more about SecurityLogic® and the many others services provided by Christopherson Business Travel, contact us to set up a demo.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology Travel Tips

Top 8 Business Travel Apps for Smartphones

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

  1. TripIt: TripIt allows you to access your travel itineraries right on your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry. While most TripIt users need to forward their itineraries to TripIt for loading to their account, Christopherson clients enjoy automatic transferring of all their AirPortal itineraries directly to the TripIt app. If you upgrade to TripIt Pro, you can get notifications on flight delays, cancellations or gate changes and can track your frequent flyer miles and reward points all in one place. Additionally, Christopherson Travel provides clients who use TripIt Pro with a $10 discount per year for the app.
  2. Wall Street Journal: If you download the latest version of the Wall Street Journal to your iPad right before you board your flight, you’ll have a simple, yet comprehensive tool to catch up on all the latest news. This is particularly useful when there is no WiFi on the plane.
  3. Penultimate: We all know business traveling can often include full days in conference rooms. Whether you need to jot down a quick memo or take notes for