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Business Travel Travel Management

Who Books Business Travel Earlier – Men or Women?

A recent study from the Harvard Business Review indicates men and women demonstrate different habits when planning and booking travel. The study, which analyzed 6.4 million flight bookings, indicates that women’s actions are, on average, more proactive. When this travel is for business, such proactivity helps the company’s bottom line by saving additional costs and fees. Below are a few related facts found by the study:

  • On average, women buy air travel two days earlier than men. Millennial women show the smallest difference in advance planning.
  • The more one travels per year (28 trips or more a year) results in less advance booking. There seems to be no difference for so-called road warriors.
  • The older any traveler gets, regardless of gender, the earlier they book. Women, however, book earlier than men at every age group.
  • The overall average difference in ticket costs in the study’s uncontrolled result was more than $133 per ticket.

business travel stats men vs women One reason for this difference may be that women anticipate the higher stress experience in purchasing a ticket close to the travel date. As a way to offset this anticipated travel stress, women may be more organized before, during, and after their trip.  The study mentions other factors, but ultimately provides this as a variable influencing higher costs for companies. Using this data, it might be beneficial for corporate travel managers to create incentives for travelers who book their tickets earlier.

Looking for other business travel tips? Read 5 Tips for Managing Business Travel Expenses.

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Business Travel Travel Management

Why should I use a travel management company?

mergerjpg-ebd28bdd261f4f90As a business development executive for the 11th largest travel management company in the U.S., I am often asked, “Why should I use a travel management company?”

Smart companies looking for ways to save on travel understand that having a managed travel program is a business function that will help align their employees requirements and desires with corporate goals. A managed travel program helps to realize cost tracking and control for organizations and gives employees the opportunity to adhere to the company’s travel and entertainment policies, not to mention the ability to generate savings through negotiated discounts, specifically with hotel and car rental vendors.

Through Christopherson’s proprietary technology tools, like SecurityLogic® for example, corporations have instant access to data and information to assist in maintaining Duty of Care requirements. With Christopherson’s tool AirBank®, travel managers and executives have access of all their travelers’ unused tickets. Another example is AirPortal 360 Mobile, Christopherson’s mobile app, which allows travel managers and planners the ability to manage the company’s travel program from anywhere, at any time.

For more information on how Christopherson provides a clearer path to your company’s goals, please contact a member of our business development team.

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Business Travel

“Help me, Tina!”: One more reason to use an expert travel agent on business travel

Recently, I was one of the 10,000 people stranded by the “catastrophic” winter storm that blasted the Eastern United States. My saving grace?–my travel agent. In a span of three days, I stayed in three different hotels, rented three different cars, and was either scheduled on, or sat on, a handful of flights that ultimately were cancelled.

But each time, rather than waiting in the long lines for United, American, or Frontier (yes, I was on each of these airlines at different points in the process) to re-route me, I simply called Tina at Christopherson Business Travel and she worked out the details for me.

Then there was Bill–a fellow stranded passenger. While I was stranded in Richmond, Bill was stranded in Washington, D.C. Bill doesn’t believe in using a travel agency because he is, what he would call a “savvy traveler,” and believes can find better deals himself. Yet while I was back at my hotel (booked at a discounted, travel agency rate, by the way), Bill was standing in line at the United counter waiting to be re-routed. After a long wait, he returned to his hotel to find that the room rate had risen to more than $400 per night! And when I was able to get the first flight out Friday morning, Bill was still sleeping in his $400-per-night hotel room. He finally arrived back in Denver a full 24 hours (and more than a thousand dollars lighter) later.

Now, who’s the savvy traveler?

To learn how you can save time and money (and your sanity!) on your business travel, and gain the added benefit of having an expert travel agent on your side, contact one of our business executives.

 

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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.

 

 

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Get Lowest Possible Business Travel Rates with Car & Hotel Re-Check®

Christopherson Business Travel brings you greater value for your lodging and transportation investments

Car & Hotel Re-Check monitors lodging and transportation reservations for lower rates.[/caption]

 

Major hotel chains operate under a price parity which guarantees for the lowest available rate across all distribution channels, including your Christopherson travel agent’s powerful Global Distribution System.

While the details and guarantees of each pricing program may vary, this essentially introduces a fluid price structure to the hotel and car industries. Like the airline industry, hotel and car rental companies lower or raise their prices based on market conditions and excess, or “distressed,” inventory. Because of this, it is common for Christopherson’s Car & Hotel Re-Check to save you $25-$50 per night.

As part of our Car & Hotel Re-Check service, your Christopherson travel agent does the following to ensure you always get the lowest possible rates for hotel rooms and car rentals:

  • Individually manages and monitors each of your reservations
  • Receives notification of your upcoming reservation at least three days before your hotel check-in or rental car pick up
  • Searches for rates lower than your current reservation for the same car or type of room at the same hotel
  • Arranges for new, lower rates, if available
  • Documents savings in ValueLogic®

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.