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Travel News

Delta Increases Same-Day Travel Fees

Delta has increased the same-day travel fees for tickets issued on March 15, 2017 and moving forward. This is an increase from $50 to $75 USD, affecting non-SkyMiles members, general SkyMiles members, and Silver Medallion members.

Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members will continue to have the same-day travel fees waived, but only if they are not on a restricted fare and their requested flight is eligible. All other rules and restrictions related to Same Day Travel  remain unchanged.

What are same day travel fees?

As a business traveler, you’ve probably been in this situation before. Your day of meetings ends early and you change your flight rather than wait. Or impending weather is coming in and you quickly rearrange travel to avoid it. Fortunately, most airlines understand this is a routine part of the frequent traveler lifestyle.

  • Most same-day changes are valid with travel within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • These same-day flight changes can be requested within 24 hours prior to the departure time of the original flight, however it can be limited by the available flights leaving.
  • If you have a flexible fare (usually a refundable ticket), you are eligible for same-day travel.
  • If traveling in a premium cabin fare of comfort class, same-day tickets are available, but only if a seat is available on the alternative flight.
  • Basic Economy fares are not eligible for same-day confirmed travel changes.

Christopherson Business Travel is a travel management company for businesses. Tired of staying on top of industry policies, employee itineraries or hotel attachment? We’ve relieved hundreds of companies from travel management overload. With our proprietary technology and dedicated account managers, your travel program is in good hands. Learn how we do it.

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Travel Industry Travel News

Delta Partially Returning Complimentary Meals

Delta does it again.  While most airlines are cutting out snacks and even beverages from their service, Delta announced they are reinstating complimentary meals.  Starting with economy class, Delta began offering free meals late last year for a trial period. Testing out ways to improve customer satisfaction, most fliers were surprised to see the once commonplace amenity again.

Beginning in March, they will offer meals on long-haul domestic flights between JFK and Los Angeles and San Francisco. Later this Spring, complimentary meal service will be added to 10 other major domestic markets including: Boston to San Francisco; Los Angeles and Seattle; Washington National to Los Angeles; JFK to San Diego, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon; and Seattle to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Raleigh-Durham.

Are in-flight amenities, like complimentary meals returning?

After merges and cutbacks, complimentary meals and even drinks from airlines seemed to be a thing of the past. Now, in an effort to improve customer satisfaction, airlines are returning to these staples. Some have even surpassed the traditional in-flight meal to offer higher value products.

  • United, Delta and American have dramatically improved their airport lounge catering services, offering healthier and fresher options
  • United’s Polaris Class offers locally sourced and seasonal fare
  • Delta’s Intercontinental One Suite also provides a five course meal based on seasonality.
  • JetBlue and American are vying for best in-flight products and service among the legacy carriers.

Delta was the first airline to bring Wi-Fi to domestic flights.  Then in-seat power outlets.  Now meals.  What will be next?  Massage chairs in first class?  Spa services? Massage therapists available after the meal?  One can only dream…

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company. With more than 60 years of experience, we provide travel solutions with our custom technology and dedicated account management. Contact us to learn how we do it.

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Business Travel

A Great Delta Flight Experience With Rough Beginnings

We’ve all had those flights—when everything goes wrong. That’s exactly what happened on my recent trip on Delta, but it surprisingly ended on a high note.  Finishing a presentation in South Bend, IN with my co-worker last week; we were connecting through Atlanta on our way home to Salt Lake City, UT. A typical route for any seasoned business traveler, I boarded the plane expecting the usual. Little did I know the delays, complications and cancellations that were waiting for me. Over the course of the next few hours we would move from one plane, to another, and then to the third and final flight to finally get to Atlanta, only to miss my connection to Salt Lake City. Fortunately, I became better acquainted with some delightful fellow travelers and experienced Delta’s amazing employees and new technology in action.

Delta flight faces initial setbacks

The hiccups started when we spent the first 20 minutes on the plane waiting for a working deicing machine. Once we took-off, 15 minutes in to the flight our pilot announced we would be returning to South Bend due to a rudder problem.  Fortunately, our pilot was amazing.  He was informative, positive, and very concerned about his responsibility as our pilot. A few minutes prior to landing he then reassured us that protocol required fire engines and an ambulance to be waiting upon landing.  One passenger nearby was seriously upset about the possible negative outcomes.

We landed, moved everyone to another plane, and sat in the same seating.  The crew on board and the gate folks at South Bend were amazing—calm, informative, and respectful of all travelers.  They also announced that any connections leaving before 9pm would likely be missed, so travelers should reschedule. We pulled away from the gate and our pilot, who I affectionately dubbed ‘Captain America’, very calmly came out of the cockpit and used the loudspeaker in front of us. In a comforting and personal way, he announced that a sensor light needed to be repaired before we could take off.  Encouragingly, he said it would only take 10 minutes.  Personnel were already on their way to repair it, and then we would be off again, hopefully making good time to catch our connections.

Well, the passenger who lost it earlier, immediately hit her flight attendant button. Saying she had a bad feeling, she asked to be removed from the plane and would reschedule to fly tomorrow. The flight attendant, who remained kind and understanding, checked with the pilot and she was able to deplane.  After waiting more than 10 minutes, my co-worker and I both looked at each other— something must be up, again!  Captain America very apologetically stated that the crew was not able to make the repair. We would need to change to yet another plane!  Thankfully, there were additional Delta planes available in South Bend.  Feeling wary from sitting on two planes already, my surrounding fellow travelers and I quietly thought about rescheduling. Most of us realized though, that we had a better chance of getting home early tomorrow morning if we ended up in Atlanta, rather than South Bend.  We grudgingly accepted the bad news.

Delta professionally alleviated a very stressful situation

It was only a few years ago that this same situation would have required hours of standing in long lines. To my surprise upon landing, a notification from the Delta app popped up on my smartphone. With an acknowledgement stating how much Delta appreciated my patience and understanding, it included a list of 4 hotels from which I could choose to spend the night.  I also realized that after boarding plane number two, an email was sent explaining an additional amount of miles had been added to my Delta FFY account!

At 11:30 pm, standing in line at the service counter, feeling very tired and irritated, I thought to myself this is where I’m going to get a little ticked off!!  Amazingly the one and only service counter person directed us all to go to the machines provided off to the side. Instructing us to place our boarding pass code on the scanner to obtain our hotel voucher and boarding pass for our re-accommodated flight for the next day.  That was it! Off we went to catch the 24-hour shuttle to our Westin hotel.

Delta is truly providing great service their customers, even in the worst of situations. Though I was inconvenienced, my stress level was minimal, due to Delta continually striving to climb high in their customer service!  From their kind employees, to their app notifications, and their customer service kiosks, I felt taken care of every step of the way. Kudos to DELTA.

 

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Travel News

Staying Powered While Traveling

We all know the importance of staying connected to the office and home while we’re on the road.  Emails, phone calls and texts don’t stop just because we’re on a business trip.  I had the good fortune to be traveling a couple of weeks ago when Delta experienced their power outage.  Surrounded by chaos, it was almost funny seeing clusters of people tethered to the power stations at the airport.  Eventually though, I became one of the people with a low battery. With cord was plugged into each and every power receptacle, I couldn’t find one open plug.  I traveled down the terminal in hopes of finding a vacant plug, but to no avail.

Finally boarded my Delta flight and there, eight inches from my armrest, was my very own power outlet!  This small feature offered by airlines can make a complete difference in a business travelers’ productivity.  I personally resolved that I had no excuse for lack of productivity while flying ever again.

Charging devices on Delta flights

As Delta planes are being developed or remodeled, electrical charging stations are being added.

  • Standard power outlets are available in all rows of Economy, which includes Economy Comfort, on all Boeing 717 and 737-900ER aircraft.
  • Standard power outlets are also available at rows 10-12 on most 737-700 and MD90 aircrafts.
  • USB power is also available at all seats on 737-700, 737-800, 737-900ER, 757-200 (with personal entertainment) 767-300 aircraft and at all First Class seats on most MD90 aircraft.

I learned that the power strength from these power units isn’t as strong as a traditional power outlet – usually only around 75 watts.  In some cases, the high speed processors in new super-fast laptops cannot operate with the lower level of power.  And there may not be enough strength to operate and charge the battery at the same time.  In fact, some airlines specifically state that battery charging is not allowed and ask you to remove your rechargeable battery from your device.

Flying with Delta during their power outage, surprising made me appreciate the continual upgrades they provide on their flights. From now on, I will never take my personal power outlet for granted. And maybe add a portable battery charger to my packing list too.

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Travel News

Delta One Suite

I am constantly amazed by how Delta Air Lines continues to wow travelers. Even after widespread power outages causing cancelled and delayed flights last week, Delta announced their new international business class service, Delta One suite.

Delta One Suite – International Business Class

Delta claims they are the first carrier to offer an all-suite business cabin. This sophisticated business class will consist of ultra wide seats, increased storage, an 18-inch entertainment system and much more. I am most amazed by the increased privacy with individual sliding doors. Not only can you fly comfortably in a fully-reclining seat, but your full-height sliding door will make you feel like you’re falling asleep in the privacy of your own home.

When To Expect Updates

Delta has said the pricing for the new suites will not change from the current Delta One pricing. These suites are expected to be available in Fall 2017, starting with the Airbus A350 fleet. They will then add suites to their Boeing 777 fleet. Already established features of luxury will continue, such as chef-curated meals, wine pairings, Westin Heavenly in-flight bedding, amenity kits, and in-flight lounge wear.

Tim Mapes, Delta’s Senior Vice President said. “Delta continually listens to customers and responds with products that deliver what they want. . . Added comfort and privacy are important to business travelers, and that drove the design of the all-new Delta One suite.” This philosophy is one reason why they are one of my favorite airlines to fly with. (Their cookies might be another reason.) They have a knack for defining traveler pain points and then delivering the best solution available. For example, their new checked baggage system replaces the traditional baggage sorting system with RFID scanner technology. Soon you will be able to determine the exact location of your luggage through their Delta App! Free in-flight entertainment is another feature they have customized over their competitors.

Overall, Delta’s new Delta One suite follows suit with their brand, providing luxury and comfort from the moment you walk on board. Whether you are a business traveler or traveling for leisure, don’t miss out on an opportunity to try out Delta’s latest comforts.

 

Categories
Travel News

Delta Airlines To Increase Presence At London-Heathrow Airport

According to latest reports, Delta Airlines will soon acquire Singapore Airline’s 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic and will gain a larger presence at London Heathrow Airport. The joint alliance means Delta and Virgin Atlantic combined will become the second largest operator between the U.S. and the U.K. with 25% of the market. British Airways and American Airlines combined have a 60% market share. The carriers are confident the Department of Transportation will approve this joint venture by the end of 2013.

Both carriers expect their brands to benefit by the proposed joint venture. Virgin Atlantic already is top choice for many U.S. travelers to the UK. And will benefit greatly from Delta’s strong domestic route network. Delta is already considered a popular airline choice for Europe-bound business travelers, they’ve just lacked sufficient airlift into London.

The newly announced alliance is great news for Christopherson’s corporate accounts, particularly for business travelers in the Salt Lake City market and surrounding Rocky Mountain region. Travelers of both carriers will soon have greater access to a broader network, reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, and improved connectivity to London Heathrow from both New York’s LaGuardia and JFK airports.

Christopherson congratulates Delta Airlines on their new venture and we look forward to offering this new service to our corporate and leisure clients.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

Business Travelers Achieve Delta Silver Medallion with SkyBonus

Looking to achieve a Delta Silver Medallion for 2013?

First, check to see if your company is enrolled in the Delta SkyBonus program, which provides small to medium-sized companies with a way to earn points based on your company’s travel spend with Delta. SkyBonus points can then be redeemed for more than 45 different rewards like tickets, upgrades, Sky Club lounge access, and even a Delta Silver Medallion. It’s the only way to be appointed a Delta Silver Medallion without having to achieve 30 qualification segments or flying 25,000 Medallion Qualification Miles during a calendar year.

And while your company continues to earn Delta SkyBonus points, you, as the traveler, will continue to earn miles with your Delta SkyMiles program. It’s a complete win/win solution!

For more information in enrolling in this Delta Rewards program, please contact an Account Manager at Christopherson Businesss Travel today!

 

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).

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Travel News

Air France and KLM Modify Various Joint Baggage Policies

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

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

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

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

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Travel News

J.D. Powers and Associates Travel Ratings

Every year J.D. Powers and Associates surveys thousands of people, including thousands of travelers, hoping to make life easier for consumers. As an Account Manager for Christopherson Business Travel who works closely with travelers and travel managers, I feel that the results of this survey can be very valuable as decisions are made that can significantly affect how pleasant a travel experience can be.  These results will not only assist corporate road warriors and business travelers, but those who travel for leisure  can certainly benefit from the results of this survey as they research car rental companies, hotels and airlines.  To read about consumer satisfaction among major travel industry vendors click here.

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Travel News

Traveling Green – What is your Carbon Footprint?

In honor of Earth Day last Friday, I thought I would share with you how companies large and small are looking at their carbon footprints. As an account manager, recently I have had companies request data regarding their carbon footprint and miles flown. It got me thinking about who the greenest companies are within the travel industry. Some of the information I was able to find took me by surprise.

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Travel News

Delta Adding New “Economy Comfort” Section on Long-Haul International Flights

Delta announced a major investment in its international fleet with plans to introduce a premium economy section – “Economy Comfort” – on all long-haul international flights in summer 2011.  The new seats will feature up to four additional inches of legroom and 50 percent more recline than Delta’s standard international Economy class seats.
The product, which is similar to upgraded Economy services currently available on flights operated by Delta’s joint venture partner Air France-KLM, will be installed in the first few rows of the Economy cabin on more than 160 Boeing 747, 757, 767, 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft by this summer.
Customers who have purchased an international Economy ticket on Delta will be able to choose Economy Comfort seats for an additional fee of $80-$160 one-way through delta.com, kiosks and Delta reservations beginning in May for travel this summer.  Complimentary access to Economy Comfort seats will be available to all SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallions; up to eight companions traveling in the same reservation with Diamond and Platinum Medallions; and customers purchasing full-fare Economy class tickets.  Gold and Silver Medallions will enjoy 50 and 25 percent discounts on the Economy Comfort seat fees, respectively.
“Just as Delta is investing in BusinessElite, which is among the industry’s most competitive premium products, it makes sense to offer enhancements to our Economy Class service that provide additional comfort,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s executive vice president – Network Planning, Revenue Management and Marketing.  “Economy Comfort is one of many elements Delta is committed to delivering to our customers as part of a more than $2 billion investment we are making in the air and on the ground to improve the customer experience and position Delta as a leader in customer service.”
In addition to more leg room and recline, customers seated in Economy Comfort will board early and enjoy complimentary spirits throughout the flight.  These benefits are in addition to Delta’s standard international Economy class amenities, including complimentary meals, beer, wine, entertainment, blankets and pillows. In-seat power will also be available on aircraft equipped with personal entertainment systems which come with free HBO programming and other for-fee content(1). The seats will be designated with a specially designed seat cover.
Full flat-bed seats on all international widebodies by 2013
In addition to investing in the international Economy cabin, Delta today announced it now plans to install 34 horizontal flat-bed BusinessElite seats with direct aisle access in each of its 32 Airbus A330 aircraft by 2013.  With this announcement, Delta now plans to offer full flat-bed seating in BusinessElite on all international widebody flights, or more than 150 aircraft, by 2013.
The new A330 seat, manufactured by Weber Aircraft LLC, will be 81.7 inches in length and 20.5 inches wide, similar to the flat-bed product currently offered on Delta’s 777 fleet. It also will feature a 120-volt universal power outlet, USB port, personal LED reading lamp and a 15.4 inch personal video monitor with instant access to 250 new and classic movies, premium programming from HBO and Showtime, other television programming, video games and more than 4,000 digital music tracks.
Today’s announcements are the latest in Delta’s previously announced plan to invest more than $2 billion in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities through 2013.  In addition to adding the Economy Comfort product and offering full-flat bed seats on its entire international widebody fleet, Delta is upgrading its domestic fleet with more First Class seats and in-seat entertainment; adding personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all long-haul international flights; adding in-flight Wi-Fi service to all domestic aircraft with a First and Economy class cabin; and building new terminal facilities for international customers at its two largest global gateways – Atlanta and New York-JFK.
Economy Comfort seating will be offered on Delta’s Boeing 747, 757, 767 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft flying long-haul intercontinental routes between the U.S. and Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and South America (Lima, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Santiago only). Economy Comfort seating is limited and may not be available on all flights. The Economy Comfort Medallion travel companion benefit is applicable for up to eight companions traveling on the same reservation as the Medallion member. Group reservations are not applicable. For companions of Gold Medallion members, fees apply per seat. All SkyMiles program rules apply to SkyMiles program membership, miles, offers, mile accrual, mile redemption and travel benefits, respectively.
(1) HBO programming to begin in July 2011 on select aircraft with personal video-screens; In-seat power and personal entertainment being installed through 2013.  

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

Denver Airport’s Newest Addition

A few weeks ago, CLEAR open for business at DIA. As I have mentioned in previous posts (here and here – can you tell I am a big fan?), CLEAR was coming back soon and each month would be adding more airport locations. You can check out their website for more details. There’s even a section to help you tell your local airport that you want this service again.
I renewed my membership and experienced, once again, the ultimate stress reliever at the Denver Airport. Last week the security lines at DIA were about 30 minutes long. In the CLEAR line, there was only me and one other person. Took all of 10 minutes to get checked into CLEAR and then through security. No stress! No hassle! I’m a happy traveler, again!!

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Travel News

Same Old Airport Food? OTG To The Rescue!

Are you tired of the same old food and slow service at many airport restaurants? Well, OTG Management appears to be listening and it’s creating mouth watering experiences for many!
What started in the JetBlue Terminal at Kennedy Airport with Food Network is beginning to revolutionize your dining experience while traveling. OTG Management is offering cuisine instead of fast food at many airports. However, if you are in a hurry the answer may lie within the JFK Airport, Gate 15 & Terminal 3. This is where innovation is coming to life! You can ‘dine’ in a hurry or take time to multi-task prior to your flight: fuel your body, charge your cell phone, and work on your laptop all in one place.
Take a look at your enhanced options and the forward thinking of OTG Management when it comes to food and airline & airport partnerships. OTG has been listening to the rumblings of the hungry traveler’s stomach grumbling for more!

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology Vacation Travel

In case you haven’t heard….

After a review of Avis Budget’s $1.33 billion bid by Dollar Thrifty’s board of directors, Dollar Thrifty turned down the offer.   Even though Avis’s offer is higher than the $1.13 billion dollar offer in place with Hertz, Dollar has decided to decline Avis’s offer.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has set Sept. 8 as the effective date for a new $10 fee on foreign visitors, which will help fund the new tourism promotion program created by the Travel Promotion Act.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car will start delivering electric cars to some non-airport locations in January.
The company will initially deliver 500 Nissan Leaf vehicles to neighborhood branches with the infrastructure to support the cars.
Tourism businesses in the Gulf Coast region could lose between $7.6 billion and $22.7 billion in visitor spending over the next three years, according to research commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association.  In addition to developing recommended actions for the government, U.S. Travel  endorsed an idea  earlier this month where BP would set set up a $500 million emergency marketing fund that would be disbursed as grants to local destinations for information and marketing campaigns.
Spirit Airlines… another fee?  When speaking with an airport employee becomes an option rather than a necessity, Spirit Airlines is thinking about charging for that service, CEO Ben Baldanza told ABC News on Tuesday. “When there’s a way for customers to do it themselves electronically, at that point, we could consider charging a few dollars to interact with a human,” he said. “But if the only way we can do the transaction for you is to talk to a human, we’re not going to charge you for that.”

TSA Week at a Glance: 7/26/10 thru 8/01/10 – www.tsa.gov

  • 8 artfully concealed prohibited items found at checkpoints
  • 18 firearms found at checkpoints
  • 6 passengers were arrested after investigations of suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents
Categories
Travel News

TSA Update ~ DELTA

May 24, 2010 – Delta Air Lines continues to work with the TSA to ensure ongoing compliance with TSA Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) standards. Adherence with the required TSA Secure Flight Passenger Data standards is required for Delta and all airlines for travel to/from/through the U.S. effective November 1, 2010. Specifically, the regulation requires customers to supply the SFPD information at the time of ticketing. This includes full name, date of birth, gender and optional redress number.
Agencies are asked to provide SFPD information by July 1, 2010. While Delta will continue to accept agency reservations without complete SFPD data beyond July 1, passengers whose flights depart on November 1 or later will be required to see a ticket agent if SFPD was not included in their reservation.
All airlines with flights to/from and within the United States will be required to adhere to SFPD standards, including Delta’s joint venture partners – Air France and KLM. These partners are under separate TSA timelines. Specific Air France and KLM TSA Secure Flight information will be communicated separately.
It should only be a matter of time before the other airlines will be making official announcements regarding their timelines. We appreciate your cooperation in helping to be prepared to meet this important TSA requirement.
Additional Resources
• Complete information on Secure Flight can be found at • A complete list of acceptable forms of I.D. can be found at www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/secureflight/index.shtm
• Information on the Redress process can be found at www.dhs.gov/trip
• For more on TSA privacy policies, or to review the system of records notice and the privacy impact assessment, please see the TSA Web site at www.tsa.gov

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

United Now Offers Mobile Check-In

United has installed mobile check-in at its four hub cities – Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington Dulles – plus Las Vegas, Dallas-Fort Worth and LaGuardia Airport in New York. Thirty more locations will be offering mobile check-in by summer
Denver joins 43 other U.S. airports, plus Frankfurt, Germany in offering this service. In 2007 TSA introduced the pilot program with Continental Airlines adding shortly thereafter Delta Airlines, American Airlines, and Alaska Airways. For the most up-to-date information as to what airports offer the program and an airline list of cities providing this service; go to the TSA website or each individual airline’s website.
Mobile check-in saves time at the airport by letting you check in and get your eBoarding Pass right from your PDA or web-enabled phone (iPhones, BlackBerrys, etc.) within 24 hours of your departure. It’s the fastest, most convenient way to check in. You must first go to the airlines website to start the process. At the airport, TSA security officers use hand-held scanners to validate the authenticity of the boarding pass at the checkpoint

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

What is your Travel GPA?

How do you stack up in the travel market place?  As a company did you meet your travel goals and expectations for 2009?  Did you uitilize your hotel and car rental contracts to the fullest?  How do you compare to companies of similar travel spend and patterns?  What about compliance?  Are your travelers adhering to preferred contracts and vendors?  Is Travel Policy compliance in your focus this year?  What is your Travel GPA?  Do you think you deserve and A or the dreaded F?
Christopherson Business Travel has recently teamed up with a company called….. Travel GPA.  By utilizing this program we will be able to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your travel program.

A+ points of Travel GPA:

  • Faster, more meaningful travel data. The data is live and can be scored against internal goals or benchmarked against the GPA database of over 20,000 companies.
  • Pinpoints actionable ways to save money. As an analytical dashboard tool, Travel GPA benchmarks against hundreds of KPI’s (key performance indicators) based on company’s air, car and hotel spend.
  • Grade your supplier contracts vs. Industry Benchmarks. This helps travel managers evaluate effectiveness of negotiated rates in a given market or segment.
  • Drive your program with the ONLY real-time reporting & dashboard. Travel GPA transforms reports in to graphical charts while providing global reporting and analytics solutions in several languages and currencies. Drill down from any data point within a report or dashboard and instantly customize any report by adding or deleting metrics and report parameters.

Christopherson Business Travel and Travel GPA put the world’s most actionable business travel data right in your hands.
Don’t miss the bus!  For more information on how you can become a valued client of Christopherson Business Travel and create your own Travel GPA please contact a Business Development Specialist at allsales@christophersontravel.com.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News

Fees, Fees and more Airline Fees

In the beginning we may have been caught off guard by ancillary fees charged by some of the major airlines, Delta, United, Continental, American Airlines and others, but what is happening now? Are we learning to accept them, ignore them or just plain hate them?
According to a study by ProMedia Travel, many corporations are reporting that anywhere from 5% – 15% of their corporate travel budgets have been consumed by airline ancillary fees. What appears to have happened is that many airlines have ‘unbundled’ their fees, but have not lowered airfare. Consumers are okay with paying fees for items or services that add value to their travel experience, however, they are not okay with paying fees for what use to be included in the cost of their airline ticket such as baggage fees. Checking baggage is an essential part of travel and most people feel should be included in the price of the ticket, the quoted price by the airline, which it isn’t.
Several carriers, such as JetBlue and Southwest, are charging additional fees, but these fees are for services that add value while fares remain reasonable and a checked bag is included. This has allowed these airlines to generate revenue while at the same time keeping their customers happy. JetBlue does this by charging additional for seats with extra leg room and their TruBlue program has no blackout dates, you can use points to book any seat on the plane, points don’t expire and change and cancellation fees are reasonable. Though the boarding process with Southwest can be challenging at times, their philosophy is similar, they don’t charge change or cancellation fees and neither airline charges for the first checked bag, and they use this as a very effective advertising tool.  These airlines are actually turning million dollar profits while the major carriers are reporting multi million dollar losses.  When will the major airlines realize that there is something to be learned from JetBlue and Southwest Airlines?
We don’t necessarily need to become a prisoner to ancillary fees. Travel managers can try using the increased cost of doing business with the airlines as a tool during contract negotiations. The Department of Transportation could make a ruling mandating that airlines display what every passenger considers to be part of a reasonable airline ticket, and then allowing us to ‘opt out’ of items like a first check bag.

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

Think Green! No more printing Boarding Passes on Delta!

Mobile check-in saves time at the airport by letting you check in from your PDA or web-enabled cell phone up to 24 hours prior to departure. It’s the fastest, most convenient way to check in!
STEP 1. Visit mobile.delta.com.
STEP 2. Submit your confirmation number, credit card number, SkyMiles number, or eTicket number at the “Check in” screen.
STEP 3. Download your mobile boarding pass.
STEP 4. Show mobile boarding pass to TSA Security and gate agent for scanning.
Mobile check-in has been implemented at:

  • New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Memphis (MEM)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC)
  • Cincinnati (CVG)

Original article from Delta

Categories
Travel News

Changes and New Ideas

I thought I would discuss some changes that are happening in the industry that you may or not may be aware of.
For example, Qantas has announced that starting in June, 2009, qualified individuals may be assured of getting an exit row seat by paying a fee.  On their long haul flights, such as Los Angeles to Sydney, the fee will be $150.00 in each direction.  That works out to be a little more than $10.00 an hour for a little extra space.  One does have to meet all the usual requirements of being between 15 and 65, able and willing to follow directions and be able to assist in case of an emergency.  The interesting aspect of this to me, pricing aside, is that according most reviews, the exit row seats on the 747-400s and Airbus 330-200 are actually undesirable  seats that lack storage space and are frequently uncomfortable due to the fact that there are fixtures that reduce the amount of room in the seat.  The only aircraft that it seems to make any sense to spend money for an extra row seat is the Airbus 380 and then only if you are getting the rear most exit row.  And even then you are seated next to the self serve bar so you will have people standing in the area that you paid extra for.
As you can see, I’m not sure that’s a great deal.
Then there is the Air New Zealand Promotion, it’s a Matchmaking Flight. The idea is to help Americans and Kiwis to meet and mingle and to find that special someone. One can opt for a pre-flight party in Los Angeles, the flight and then the Great Matchmaking Ball a day after arriving in New Zealand.  So if you are interested in meeting that special Kiwi, this might be the deal for you.
Then came the news that Delta will start charging a $50.00 fee to check a second bag on international flights between the USA and Europe.  This will apply to all passengers who aren’t at least Silver Medallion or higher or members of the US Military traveling on orders.
The one constant in the travel industry is change so I’m sure that we will be seeing more change every day.
JM