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Business Travel Travel Management

2019 Travel Risks You Should Know

Having reliable risk management solutions is crucial for a well-rounded travel program. This is especially true if you are an international company or have travelers flying internationally. Last month, I attended a travel risk seminar presented by International SOS. As leaders in the travel risk field, it focused on latest stats and 2019 travel risks.

Top risks for business travelers in 2019

For good or bad, not a lot is expected to change in 2019 when in comes to travel risks. The risk of dangerous or extreme events is predicted to be about the same as compared to 2018. In fact, perceived risk from business travelers has been on the decline over the past couple of years. This of course, does not mean that hazards have disappeared. Instead, business travelers  may be more accustomed to the risks that they face.

  1. Natural disasters and extreme weather – In 2018, the U.S. faced devastating hurricanes and wildfires. We also saw earthquakes and typhoons shake countries across the globe. While many areas are still recovering, tumultuous weather and extreme storms are expected to continue in 2019 at the same rate.
  2. Epidemic and re-emerging diseases – With our fast news cycles, it’s easy to forget about growing diseases like Zika, Ebola and other infectious diseases found in other countries. Before traveling, be sure to research the diseases found in your destination area and prepare accordingly. 
  3. Terrorism and attacks in low risk destinations – Places we once considered low-threat are seeing increased rates of terrorist attacks, for example the UK and areas in Europe. This is anticipated to continue in 2019.   
  4. Increasing traveler volumes and the rise of global mobility – With lower airline fares and a better economy in the U.S., more people are traveling locally, as well as abroad. This rise in masses has its hand in increasing other risks, like illness, traffic and overcrowding.
  5. Political unrest – Did you know that six countries in South America will have a change in power this year? Shifts in power, like a new political party in office can sometimes lead to political unrest and even protests. It is important to be aware of the cultural and political energy in any area you plan a trip.  

Top ways for companies to stay ahead in 2019

  1. Review and update current travel policies – As technology and communication continues to advance, it’s important that your travel policies and protocols are reflected for the benefit of your travelers.
  2. Improve preparation and training – This goes hand-in-hand with the first bullet point. Understand where your policies may be lacking, but also update your team and provide additional training if needed. As with other security protocols, it’s essential your team knows what to do in case of an emergency.
  3. Expand with enterprise-wide solutions – Depending on the size of your company and the number of travelers, relying on a third-party travel risk management company may be your best option for handling travel emergencies.  
  4. Understand the protocol, should an emergency occur – Just a friendly reminder, some international travelers call their TMCs looking for assistance in the time of crisis. While TMCs provide essential information, it’s important to use it in conjunction with travel risk management companies, like International SOS. They are the emergency procedure experts, and who you want in charge in a dangerous situation. Ensuring your internal staff knows who to call, and under which circumstances, can eliminate hiccups when an emergency occurs.  
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Business Travel

What To Look For In Higher Education Travel Management

Higher education institutions, like universities or colleges, have a lot on their plate. It’s truly amazing to stop and consider all of the thoughtful planning, training, instruction, discussion, and action that takes place on their campuses. And most don’t even consider the internal divisions, silently working behind the scenes; like the higher education travel management department. Every traveling professor, visiting lecturer, and even study abroad students and faculty need the support from their university or college to ensure travel is compliant with their specifications and with the safety of the traveler in mind.  What is often surprising to us at Christopherson, is that many higher education institutions don’t utilize a TMC to manage their travel, or have not recently evaluated their existing travel needs in some time. So we put together a list of the top needs we hear from universities or colleges interested in streamlining their travel management programs.

Top priorities to consider for your higher education travel management needs

  • Experience – It’s important for universities of colleges to rely on a travel management company that has extensive experience building and handling travel management programs for higher education institutions. As large and multi-faceted as higher education is in general, it’s easy to see why their travel management would be just as complex. For example, Christopherson has 45+ university and college clients. To maintain the support they need, we’ve built teams of travel advisors who specialize in higher education travel management.
  • The ease of one-stop shopping – Efficiency is key. Why waste time tabbing through different websites to book air, car hotel and more? Save time and book everything, as well as access full itineraries or traveler profiles in one convenient location.
  • Travel profiles and ease of everyday travel management – Going hand in hand with one-stop shopping, ensure your new system will be organized, or even enhance your capabilities. Our AirPortal dashboard, for instance, provides an easy, top-down view of your travel actions and program. Quickly access traveler itineraries without searching through old emails or different pages. Also easily keep an eye on possible issues like unused air tickets or expiring credit cards.
  • Around the clock support – Travel happens outside of the 9 to 5 workday. Always ask about the after-hours care process for your travelers who may be stranded or delayed.
  • Duty of care support for your travelersDuty of care for your employees, professors and traveling students may be one of the most controversial issues within higher education travel management. Choose a TMC who has a reliable risk management tool, like our SecurityLogic tool.
  • Specialized needs for your school – every school is different, and it should be treated as such. Consider what programs or departments your institution offers and ensure the TMC has the functionality to support it. For example, ask about specialized travel for sports teams, or their study abroad capabilities.

Higher Education travel can be a complicated system to manage. When choosing the right TMC to manage your travel, always start with an evaluation of your current needs. If you have any questions or additional thoughts about top priorities for university travel management, please feel free to contact us.

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Business Travel

Duty Of Care vs. Travel Risk Management

It’s not uncommon to see the two terms ‘duty of care’ and ‘travel risk management’ used interchangeably, even by travel professionals. They do work together, to keep your employees safe while traveling for business, but there is one major difference between the two. In another addition of our definition series, we will be defining these two terms, as well as their differences.

Defining duty of care

‘Duty of care’ can be defined as the moral and legal obligation to take responsibility for the safety and well being of your employees. In relation to travel is often tricky to define, often making it a popular subject in the business travel communities.

Businesses have an obligation to their employees to provide a safe work environment. This is mainly due to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. It is what requires employers to cover workers compensation if an employee is injured while on the company premises or nearby. But what happens when your employees are representing your business, but not under the company roof? Is there an obligation to keep them safe? This is where duty of care gets a bit murky. Unlike workers compensation regulations, there are no defining law, rules or standards for businesses to adhere to when it comes to business travelers. Which is where travel risk management steps in. 

Defining travel risk management

Travel risk management is the course of action used to help provide duty of care for your travelers. There are no laws or regulations that tell a company the specific steps they need to take when it comes to protecting their employees while traveling on business. Which makes the process of protecting duty of care a tricky one for companies. On one hand, they can rely on minimal coverage, only accruing costs should something arise. On the other hand, companies care about their employees and don’t want to see them in harm’s way or injured.

It is finding this middle ground for companies within travel risk management plans that can be confusing. There is no one right way to conduct travel risk management. Additionally, it seems to always be evolving as advanced technology unfolds. For example, our SecurityLogic tool delivers real-time security data to monitor potential risks likes weather, airport delays, or security issues. It also offers the ability to quickly locate any traveler and immediately verify their safety with our Safe Check feature.

Anything else I should know?

It’s easy to think of only catastrophic events when discussing duty of care and travel risk management. Hurricanes, terrorist attacks, civic unrest, for example. This often leaves everyday or common risks out of the scope of your plans.  Things like food poisoning, non-violent petty crime, or minor traffic accidents are more likely to occur to your travelers than a tsunami or other major event. Some specifications can be included in an effort to reduce these more common risks. For example, if your travelers arrive very late at night or early in the morning, they are likely too fatigued to drive and may result in a car accident. Your company could include in your travel policy to provide transportation from the airport within these instance. 

Interested in learning more about other travel management terms? Check out our posts defining the GDS and corporate travel policies. Contact us to learn more about Christopherson’s unique solutions to provide travel risk management for your employees and deliver peace of mind.

Recommended Reads:

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Business Travel Travel Technology

Christopherson Business Travel and your Risk Management Program

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Charles Brossman, a prominent risk management author and consultant speak at GBTA- North Carolina’s Education Breakfast. His informal but informative conversation educated our group on the legal terms associated with risk management. These terms, coupled with real- life examples, left us thinking about ways to improve the risk management programs for our own organizations.

How Christopherson provides risk management security

Guess what? By partnering with Christopherson as your Travel Management Company, you already have the shoe on the right foot. Housed in our AirPortal 360 platform, SecurityLogic allows travel managers can access real-time threats. This includes security updates, weather, traffic, airport delays, and disaster alerts. These alerts can be automatically pushed to travelers via text and email. With the intuitive Safety Check feature, you can request safety verification from your travelers, from anywhere in the world. Once activated, the traveler will immediately be messaged. Knowing that you are worried about their safety and they can also quickly respond. Additionally, SecurityLogic provides multiple global map overlays. All travel information is geocoded to street-level accuracy. So you can zoom into any country, city, or street to find risks near your travelers.
Learn more about how Christopherson can assist with your duty of care and risk management goals.

Charles Brossman is the author of the book “Building a Travel Risk Management Program: Traveler Safety and Duty of Care for Any Organization”. For more information on Charles Brossman and his services, see his website.

Christopherson Business Travel provides full-service travel management for companies. With advanced technology and customized service, we are one of the top TMCs in the nation. Contact us to learn how we can save your company time and money on future travel.

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

SecurityLogic Provides Immediate Communication During Disaster

Does anyone else remember the nightly news slogan from years ago, “It’s 10 o’clock… do you know where your children are?”  This catchphrase, of keeping an eye on your loved ones, still resonates today. The past few weeks the airwaves have been flooded with terrorists attacks in New Jersey, New York, Washington State and Minnesota. And now, Hurricane Matthew is about to hit the east coast, potentially causing massive damage.  I also find myself thinking of family, but also co-workers and other business travelers when distaster strikes.

Working in an industry filled constantly with travel and constantly changing schedules, it’s hard to know where everyone is in a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, it’s important now more than ever to not only get in touch with employees or co-workers, but have a plan in place should disaster occur.

Communicating with your business travelers during a disaster

Having an established plan in case of an emergency is the first step. Ask yourself, what is your company’s current protocol should an event occur in a city your employee is currently traveling? Do you have their email and cell number readily available? Will you need to dig through emails to find their itinerary? Who will be in charge of making these safety calls to traveling employees?

Answering these questions ahead of time will make your company more prepared, should an event occur. Developing a travel policy usually helps to establish these protocols. If you don’t have a travel policy, check out our travel policy FAQ to get started.

SecurityLogic provides peace of mind for travel managers

One of my favorite features of the Christopherson software is our SecurityLogic technology. Perhaps it’s because I can be a worrywart, but the value of this immediate and interactive technology is a lifesaver in dire situations.

For a travel manager, the goal is simple – locate all of your business travelers instantly. Through our AirPortal360 interface, you immediately know how many employees are traveling at a moment’s notice.  We supply a world map view, with pins representing your travelers. From there, you can overlay alerts, warnings, and weather. Really anything that may influence your business travelers is viewable from the map.

SecurityLogic by Christopherson

Using the rest of our technology suite, we offer easy access to your traveler’s itinerary and contact information. Travel, security, and human resource managers are able to locate  travelers and send them messages. Your business travelers can then respond to the security check and let you know they are safe. Our SecurityLogic takes the guessing out of what could be a hectic situation and provides immediate answers.

Christopherson Business Travel is an award-winning corporate travel management company. We’re passionate about assisting companies with their travel, and we think our travel technology and consultative account management does a pretty great job at it.  Contact us to learn more about SecurityLogic or our other travel technology tools.

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Travel Management Travel Tips

Respecting Business Traveler’s Privacy Even In The Face Of Zika

One of the first thoughts for a travel manager concerning the Zika virus is ‘how does duty of care responsibility come into play?’  After all, it is your responsibility to protect the safety and security of your employees, even while they are traveling. 

Zika and business travel

Zika typically has mild symptoms in adults, such as fever, rash, headache and joint pain. These symptoms are so mild that most people don’t even know they contracted Zika. Unfortunately, there are greater concerns for women who are pregnant or planning to start a family.  Pregnant women that contract Zika can have very serious side effects for their unborn child. They can contract microcephaly, a birth defect resulting in small head and brain size. New research has found it could also result in blindness, deafness, or learning and behavioral difficulties.

Your first reaction might be to just avoid all health concerns and not send women of child-bearing age on business trips to these infected areas.  Wrong. This violates laws of gender and pregnancy discrimination.  On the other hand, they have the right to not disclose family planning and future employment decisions. This is a real catch-22. You can’t keep them from traveling, but you can’t assume they want to avoid the area either.

So, what are employers to do?

Overall, as long as employers inform all of their employees of possible Zika risks, especially those of child-bearing age, and avoid other discriminatory actions, they can’t be held liable for any negative outcomes on fetal health. But you can be helpful and provide additional information for all employees.

Here are some additional ways to provide support and information to employees potentially traveling to Zika-affected areas without overstepping bounds:

  • Look for volunteers for travel.
  • Provide employees traveling to these regions with long clothing and mosquito repellent. Plan to keep them indoors with air conditioning whenever possible.
  • Keep open communication between your employees about concerns or questions.
  • If they are hesitant to travel to a these areas, provide them with additional resources and information so they can make a well-informed decision.
  • Never pressure your employees to travel if they are concerned for their safety or security.
  • Stay informed through the CDC government website. Currently over 50 countries and territories are included in recent Zika travel alert.

Want to learn more? Read our previous blog on Zika and Duty of Care

 

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Business Travel Travel Management

7 Tips For Keeping Your Employees Safe While Traveling

Recent events like terrorist attacks across Europe and home-bred violence have left many questioning the safety and security of traveling. And unfortunately for some industries, travel is unavoidable. As an employer overseeing your employees,  it is your responsibility to ensure their safety, even while traveling on your company’s behalf. Duty of care and security issues are a growing concern in recent years, and they are expected to continue. So what can you do to create a safe environment even with these growing safety trends?

According to Business Insurance, the best way to keep concerns at bay is to keep both the company and its business travelers informed with facts and tips. Ensuring that everyone has been briefed with information and on the same page can be vital if the unexpected arises. So during this time of growing uncertainty, how can you and your employees feel more confident about traveling for business? Read our 7 tips below.

7 ways to keep employees safe while traveling

  • One of the first steps is providing information about the upcoming area. Having a real sense of what your road warriors are heading into or what can be expected is often the biggest comfort. Research and briefing on the country, city or neighborhood can often reveal interesting facts or tips. Also providing guidelines or schedules can provide more structure and context for travelers.
    • An interactive resource includes the U.S. State Department’s online Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service allows U.S. citizens to enroll with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate when traveling or living abroad. The purpose is to provide latest safety and security  information in the area, and inform the U.S. Embassy of your whereabouts, in case of an emergency.
    • Additional research can be beneficial depending on the area of the traveler. For instance, the US government has released an app for U.S.travelers attending the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. It provides tourist and safety information about the area, including the location of embassies, hospitals and emergency numbers.
  • Additional duty of care responsibilities for travelers. We know assessing this risk is your biggest responsibility. Has your organization demonstrated you have taken all practicable steps to meet your employee’s health, safety and well-being needs? Is it credible and well documented? Having open and clear communication with your employees are necessary for this assessment. And of course, if your employee does not feel comfortable traveling, you need to listen to these concerns and assess the situation.
  • Know your travelers specific travel needs. Be aware of any individual requirements needed by the traveler, and ensure they are given the appropriate information in order to manage, reduce or eliminate specific risks. Employers should be aware of pre existing medical conditions and confirm the traveling country has adequate medical facilities.
  • Invest in a business travel policy.  Travel policies are created to establish that companies are providing efficient support for their travelers, and travelers are aware of the support given too. Again, communication about what is provided and what to expect can go a long way.
  • Encourage employees to take appropriate health measures beforehand. Providing guidelines on the area to which they are traveling can prepare them for health measures as well.  Recommend your traveler visits their doctor to go over specific risks and prevention methods.
  • Ensure tech and cyber security has been discussed. This is another growing area of concern. Discuss cyber threat methods and the best ways to thwart them.
  • Finally, Make an evacuation plan or communication plan in case the unexpected arises. If the worst does happen, are you prepared? Are you able to immediately communicate with your road warriors if they are in an insecure area? Do they know the communication protocol should something arise? Unfortunately, the answer is usually ‘no’. That’s why we created SecurityLogic as part of our travel technology suite. This application alerts travel managers if a traveler is in an area experiencing threats or attacks. The travel manager can then immediately text or email from the application to immediately make contact and ensure the traveler is safe.

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company, dedicated to providing travel solutions for busy businesses. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested in learning more about travel policies, our proprietary technology, or how we continually save companies time and money.

Read next:

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Business and Leadership Business Travel Travel Management

Concerns for Corporations using Public Online Booking Sites

Sure, it’s quick and easy for business travelers to search for flights on public travel websites.  Watching the ticket price continually drop in front of your eyes; it’s hard to believe there’s a better deal anywhere else! But in the end that’s not always the truth. Both the traveler and their employer are missing out on additional benefits when they use public booking sites for business travel. There are many variables that play a part in efficient travel service and price, many are often overlooked in the process of using those simple public online booking sites.

What you need to know about public online booking sites

  • Hidden transaction fees. Some sites include their transaction fees in a small hidden link called “additional taxes & fees”.  Users assume those are sales taxes, etc., but in some cases, an additional transaction fee is also slipped in.
  • Hotel cancellation fees and discounts. Yes, there are great hotel prices on public sites.  But those are usually non-refundable, non-changeable and you have to pre-pay the full stay.  Even if you end up cancelling once, those charges often outweigh any savings you attained throughout the whole year. If you end up cancelling only one hotel stay in a entire year, those charges can outweigh any savings you attained throughout the year.
  • No duty of care.  There is a moral and legal obligation for employers to know where their employees are when traveling for the company. Employees must email their employers their itinerary.  Who manages that? The traveler’s boss?  The travel manager?  The office manager?  In the event of an emergency,  who in the company will be digging through their emails to determine if their traveler is in harm’s way. Public online booking sites are not equipped for handling duty of care responsibilities.
  • Poor after-hours care.  Who wants to call an 800 number at 10pm when the snowstorm hits the Eastern seaboard and every other traveler is doing the exact same thing? Hold times are outrageous.  On top of your personality sanity, these public booking websites don’t know what your company’s policy is around re-booking flights.
  • No built-in travel policy.  What stops your traveler from booking the Four Seasons or Business Class on a public site?  What stops your traveler from booking the $400 flight on Delta when there is a similar flight on United for only $310?  We’d all like to think that our employee will “do the right thing”, but that’s not always the case.

Public online sites may seem like the easiest and cheapest route for corporations, but in the long run these corporations are falling short.  Travel management companies on the other hand give travelers the tools they need to make the correct choices for booking their business trips.  Pricing is transparent and policies are followed.  The company’s travel policy is built in to the online booking tool so the traveler can choose the best option within the company’s guidelines.  And if a flight is cancelled or delayed, the traveler will receive prompt and friendly assistance from an agent that knows the company and knows the traveler.  In the event of an emergency or disaster, the company can quickly locate and alert each and every traveler and assist those travelers when in need.

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company with more than 60 years of experience in the field. We pride ourselves on our efficient travel technology and consultative customer service.

Read Next-

The Downside of Using Online Booking Sites

What Is Duty Of Care

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

What Is Duty of Care?

I recently wrote the blog,  What does a Travel Management Company do?  In the process of writing it, I realized that we use industry phrases, assuming everyone understands what we are referring to.  Take Duty of Care for instance.  If you were to ask your next door neighbor, your hair dresser and your mother what Duty of Care is, you will probably get three totally different answers.  I even googled Duty of Care and found more than three different definitions! But this definition by Merriam-Webster was the most simple and straightforward: ‘a duty to use due care toward others in order to protect them from unnecessary risk of harm’.

Duty of Care and your travel management program

So what does that mean for travel?  Simply put, it is an employers moral and legal obligation for the safety of their employees while traveling.  In the university setting, this even includes students!  Many countries, including the US, are in the process of developing strict laws to help protect business travelers. But until these laws are worldwide and regulated, corporations and universities without a managed travel program run the risk of serious consequences in the event of an emergency.

How SecurityLogic assists with Duty of Care responsibility

To assist corporations and universities with their duty of care obligations, Christopherson Business Travel developed SecurityLogic.  Our clients have access to global alerts and valuable tools to ensure the safety of your travelers.  With SecurityLogic, travel managers can access real-time security, weather, flight delays, and disaster alerts. They are then automatically pushed to travelers via text and email. And, with the intuitive Safety Check feature, you can also request safety verification from your travelers anywhere in the world.

SecurityLogic provides multiple global map overlays, and because all travel information is geocoded to street-level accuracy, you can zoom in on any country, city, or street to find your travelers through the tool’s customized search options. With customized search options our clients can quickly locate their travelers by name, department, date, and/or location.

An effective duty of care program is essential for every corporation and university. To discuss if SecurityLogic is a good fit for your company, feel free to contact us using the form on this page.

Read next – How To Get Started – Duty Of Care Advice

 

 

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

How To Get Started – Duty Of Care Advice

Traveling is so much more than booking a ticket and getting the seat assignment you want on the plane. From a company’s perspective, safety of the traveler is a major concern. Considering duty of care, the company holds responsibility for the traveler’s well being. Many companies use a risk management team to educate their travelers. But what if your company has not yet implemented a plan? Read our tips below to start implementing a duty of care travel security plan for your corporation.

Duty of care advice for busy companies:

  • Consider working with a third party-risk management organization like iSOS or iJET.  Specializing in only medical and travel security assistance, they could be a good fit if you are only looking for assistance with safety. Review all costs associated prior to contracting.
  • Have a team approach. It is best to have all stakeholders involved in this decision including: travel department, security, HR, senior management, risk staff, and your designated travel management company.
  • Keep your travelers educated. Try different mediums of information like: travel policies, smart travel communications, web pages, and special alerts.
  • Keep communications simple and clear on who your travelers should call and what they should do in emergencies.
  • Travelers need to understand their ownership of their trip. If their trip is rescheduled or changed by the airline directly, your corporate travel management company will not get the updates so it is up to the travelers to notify the travel manager or key contact so contracted services can be rendered.
  • International travel comes with additional precautions. Travelers need to review their insurance coverage and ensure they have the ability to make larger payments for emergency tickets, hotel rooms and charter flights at a moment’s notice in case of evacuations.
  • Seek feedback from your business travelers to see what is working and not working.
  • Christopherson Business Travel has propriety technology called SecurityLogic® that will offer a jump start into launching a risk management program.

Read Next: Christopherson Business Travel Helps With Duty Of Care blog.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Low Hotel Attachment Rates? Christopherson Has the Solution.

Christopherson Business Travel is pleased to introduce our newest technology tool, Hotel Attachment—a digital solution to the dilemma of low hotel attachment rates.

HOTEL ATTACHMENT CUTS SPEND, BOOSTS COMPLIANCE, & ASSISTS IN DUTY OF CARE

Hotel Attachment helps companies cut spend, boost business travel policy compliance, and in fulfilling duty of care.

Christopherson is committed to delivering convenient solutions that reduce spend, encourage compliance, and keep everyone safe and informed. Companies of all sizes face the common problem of low hotel attachment rates. Hotel Attachment fixes those low rates and provides the following benefits:

  • Allows for cost-savings by encouraging use of negotiated hotel rates
  • Encourages travelers to comply with travel policies and book with preferred vendors
  • Improves duty of care, should an emergency arise, because you’ll know where travelers are staying
  • Enables travelers to always have a complete itinerary with them when they’re traveling
  • Generates analytics that can help companies reduce spend and negotiate better with vendors
  • Digitizes the process with automated reminders prior to travel

HOW IT WORKS

 

Each day, Hotel Attachment identifies itineraries with missing hotel reservations. When such an itinerary is found, Hotel Attachment sends an email to the traveler with the following four options:

  1. Make a hotel reservation.
  2. Request another reminder for a later date.
  3. Attach a hotel reservation made outside the system to the itinerary.
  4. Waive the need for a hotel reservation.

The traveler simply clicks one of the four options and our system digitally captures and processes their request. Travelers will receive a maximum of two emails—one 24 hours after the initial booking, and a final email seven days prior to travel.

With Hotel Attachment, companies and their travelers can ensure trip plans are complete, hotel compliant, and accessible prior to travel.

HOW TO BEGIN USING THE HOTEL ATTACHMENT TECHNOLOGY

We are eager to release this new, easy-to-use technology to our clients. It will be a valuable tool in Christopherson’s AirPortal arsenal and we are confident it will help companies run more convenient, cost-effective travel programs.

There are no usage fees for Hotel Attachment, and once the technology is “turned on,” we encourage clients to communicate both the functions and benefits of Hotel Attachment to their travelers and request that they always choose one of the four options when they receive a Hotel Attachment email.

For  more information, or to begin using Hotel Attachment, please contact a Christopherson Business Travel Account Manager.

 

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Travel Industry Travel Management Travel Technology

Christopherson Business Travel Ensures Travel Policy Compliance and Duty of Care with New Technologies

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, July 15, 2015 – Christopherson Business Travel is set to launch two new products to assist companies in achieving higher travel policy compliance, duty of care fulfillment, and simplified travel management processes.

Travel Approval is digital notification process.
Travel Approval is digital notification process.

“Our two new technologies, Travel Approval and Hotel Attachment, are solutions that solve common problems faced by corporate travel managers—the inconsistent and often undocumented travel approval process, and reduced travel policy compliance as a result of low hotel attachment rates,” said Mike Cameron, Christopherson’s CEO.

The first technology, Travel Approval, is a digital notification process that obtains and tracks approvals from booking to traveler to manager. Once a traveler makes a reservation—whether online or with a full-service travel agent—a series of synchronized emails are sent to both the traveler and the traveler’s manager through which the booking can be approved, modified, or canceled at any step or permission level.

“Online booking tools have done a good job in digitizing travel approvals but there has always been a gap in the approval process for agent-assisted bookings,” Cameron said. “We built Travel Approval as a complete, digital solution for approving those agent-assisted reservations. The result is the unification of online and full-service approvals and a greater ability to enforce travel policy compliance.”

Christopherson’s second new technology, Hotel Attachment, is a hotel compliance system that identifies itineraries with missing hotel bookings and provides the traveler with four options to close that gap: 1. Make a hotel reservation; 2. Request another reminder for a later date; 3. Attach a hotel reservation made outside the system to the itinerary; and 4. Waive the need for a hotel reservation. With Hotel Attachment’s digital reminders, companies can ensure trip plans are complete and hotel compliant prior to travel.

“Low hotel attachment results in weakened vendor negotiations and compromised duty of care,” Cameron said. “Hotel Attachment solves these problems. First, it meets the needs of the travelers who want an acceptable hotel included in every itinerary. Second, it meets the needs of the travel manager who wants savings, a knowledge of where travelers are in order to fulfill duty of care responsibilities, and the ability to satisfy the company’s commitments with contracted hotel vendors.”

Travel Approval and Hotel Attachment are both integrated into and supported by Christopherson’s proprietary technology platform, AirPortal. They will be released at the 2015 Global Business Travel Association Convention in Orlando, Florida, July 25-29.

About Christopherson Business Travel

Christopherson Business Travel, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah is the independently owned leader in business travel management, online travel tools, and business travel resources. As the 11th largest business travel agency in the United States, with 365 team members and five full-service locations, the company supports more than a half-billion dollars in annual travel bookings for more than 900 successful organizations across the country including Fortune 500 companies, publicly and privately-owned business, universities, and government entities. Christopherson is an affiliate of BCD Travel and a Preferred Partner of Concur. To learn more, visit CBTravel.com.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

Lost in Space – Why every company needs to know where their travelers are.

SecurityLogic
SecurityLogic® keeps track of your travelers around the world, 24 hours-a-day, every day of the week.

As I was on my flight to New York this week, I couldn’t help but think about Malaysia Air Flight 370. What would it feel like to be on a plane that vanishes from site? What would, or could, I do to communicate with my family or company?

So far, 2014 has been plagued with numerous weather delays and flight cancellations, exceeding both 2012 and 2013 combined. But weather delays and interruption of travel is something we are all accustomed to from time to time. A plane disappearing with 239 passengers, political unrest in many areas around the world, and the possible threat of a new Cold War brings duty of care and the risk management of your travelers to a heightened focus for many companies.

Did you know that Christopherson Business Travel can provide your travel manager and risk department the latest in tracking technology? SecurityLogic® is a dynamic reporting and communication tool created to facilitate your company’s duty of care responsibilities. With customized search options that allow you to quickly locate travelers by name, date, and/or location, SecurityLogic also provides real-time weather, airport delay, security, and disaster alerts that you can then easily push to travelers via text and email. This technology truly keeps your travelers from being Lost in Space.

To learn more about this valuable business travel technology tool, simply contact a Christopherson executive.

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 Business Travel to Attend GBTA Convention 2013

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
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.