Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

TripIt is for the traveler on the GO!

Several months ago Christopherson Business Travel announced our partnership and integration with TripIt. Who would have thought that this innovative smart phone application would become so popular? For those of you missing out, TripIt is an application designed to simplify online travel planning. Users can generate a master itinerary with maps, directions, and weather for any destination. Activity planning can be accomplished through the comprehensive itinerary. Plans can be easily shared, monitored, and updated through available downloads.
As a Christopherson AirPortal user your can sign up for TripIt from the AirPortal front page. From that point on your trips will be automatically sent to your smart phone via TripIt. TripIt will be especially useful for those who travel often. It generates a master itinerary with all travel information in one place, ready to share with coworkers, family, and others. Your information flow will be streamlined and collated into one easily managed application.
There are two plans: Basic TripIt and TripIt Pro Enterprise program. The basic program is good but the Pro Enterprise program is where it’s at. Basic TripIt is free and right now, Christopherson Business Travel has a great deal going on for TripIt Pro Enterprise.
With TripIt Pro Enterprise you will be notified of gate changes, airline flight delays, baggage carousel changes, alternate flight options and more. For the Christopherson rate of $39 a year, your travelers can enjoy the luxury of a worry free travel experience. If your entire company would like to be part of the TripIt Pro user family then we can sign you up for only $1 per ticket issued.
Contact a Christopherson account manager today for a 30 day free trial. Call 866-327-7700 or email us at allam@cbtravel.com. It won’t take you 30 days to wonder how you ever stayed on top of your travel without TripIt!

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!!

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

Why Use Travel GPA’s Benchmarking Service?

Last week’s UBTA meeting brought to its Salt Lake City members a great solution to benchmark travel spend. Denice Key explained the how’s and why’s of Travel GPA to the numerous corporate travel managers who attended the meeting. Here are some key facts:
Once a company can determine travel management goals through Travel GPA’s service,  that company is shown the achievable savings associated with those goals. Travel GPA makes recommendations on key areas to drive their savings. Travel GPA answers:

  • How is my travel program performing today?
  • How can I get instant analysis on my travel program’s ROI?
  • Is my program trending in a positive or negative direction?
  • How does my company compare against companies of similar size, region, industry and  travel policy?

Because Christopherson feels so strongly about this service and how effectively it enhances a company’s ability to find solutions to improve ROI, Travel GPA will be offered to all Christopherson clients. For more information about Travel GPA, check out a previous blog, “What Is Travel GPA?”  To discuss how we can incorporate this and other tools into your corporate travel program, please email me or give me a call at or 801-327-7617.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Upgrade me please…

After scanning through various articles this week I came upon one titled How to Score an Upgrade: Air, Car and Hotel on CNN Money.com.  I was so enthralled that I thought I would share parts of it with you along with some extra’s from Christopherson Business Travel.

AIR:

Your odds: One in one hundred.
Pick your plane wisely. Passengers on certain Boeing 757s (with 26 first-class seats to 158 in coach) have a better shot than those on an Airbus 320 (12 first-class, 126 coach). Check out a plane’s layout at seatguru.com.
Scope out the cabin. The more empty seats in first class, the better your chances of landing one. To check out the load factor, go to the airline website just before check-in, start to book a business-class ticket, and click “view seat map”.
Ask at the right time. The best day for upgrades is Saturdays; fewer elite travelers fly then. Go to the agent and say something like: “If you need to bump people from coach to first, please consider me. I’m low maintenance — and my back is killing me.”

HOTEL:

Your odds: One in five.  Occupancy rates for the first half of 2010 were estimated at a dismal 56% (down from 63% in ’07), reports Smith Travel Research.
Ask your Christopherson agent for negotiated specials. Christopherson has negotiated rates in various cities where you might be traveling to. For example, most likely when booking the Christopherson rate at the Hilton in Salt Lake City your chances for an upgrade are good plus you receive a complimentary loaded buffet breakfast, free parking, free internet and double Hilton points.
Stay at business hotels on weekends. You can improve your upgrade chances by staying Thursday to Sunday vs. midweek.
Ask multiple times. Use the special-requests option when booking your hotel.  Once your reservation has been made by a Christopherson specialist, call the hotel directly. Talk to the desk clerk at check-in, “We’re here celebrating special event. Any chance of an upgrade?”
Check in late. Most guests show up around 3 p.m., so arrive after 7, when the front desk knows which rooms are left.

CARS:

Your odds: One in 20. Many car vendors cut fleets in 2008 and 2009, making upgrades less common.
Choose the right car. If a company runs out of the vehicle class you reserved, you will be upgraded. Book a midsize car — it’s the most in demand.
Reserve at the right time. Friday nights and Monday mornings are peak pickup times. That means there’s less chance the car class you specify will be available.
Ask for special offers. Ask your Christopherson agent for any free or discounted weekend days (Avis coupon code TUCAO53 and mention your corporate AWD number. Exp 4/2011. Coupons available at Christopherson Business Travel while they last). Check with your credit card company or coupon travel magazines.
For more information Christopherson’s corporate competitive advantages please contact one of our account managers at allam@cbtravel.com.

Categories
Business Travel

Do I have to sit here?

Many of us as frequent fliers and are always looking for that desirable seat, you know, the one that has the most leg room, the one that reclines and even the one that includes … you guessed it an empty seat next to it. Even though I don’t mind visiting with people I like to take the time that I fly to reorganize my thoughts, read a good book or even take a nap (less the drooling and snoring of course). But as luck would have it many times I’ve ended up in a middle seat only to be entertained by the head bobbing of the person trying to stay awake on one side and the person that thought it would be okay to not take a shower that day on the other. On top of it, my seat doesn’t recline and the person’s in front of me does! I’m thinking the cargo area or even a seat strapped to the wing would be a better option!
Never fear! As a Christopherson client we will do everything in our power to make sure your flight is as comfortable as possible. Even though you may  not be eligible for seats up front in coach or an exit row we will do what we can to get you in that desired seat. Our agents have many years in the industry and have learned the “tricks of the trade”  that allow them to make sure your seating accommodations are pleasing and satisfactory.  We may not be able to perform miracles every time but we will do our best to make sure the extra mile has been taken for you.
If you are interested in plane configurations and where the “best” seats are located on a particular aircraft check out www.seatguru.com. It goes in to great detail to let you know where you should and should not be sitting. Did you know that on  CRJ 50’s that there is a compressor above seats 5 A and B that drips water during take off and that on the CRJ 700 that the window’s  on row’s 14 -17 are all misaligned and looking out of them is difficult? These and many more seat facts can be found on this site.
For more information on what Christopherson can do for you, contact us. Our agents, account management and technology are a perfect combination for your travel program to be a successful one.

Categories
Travel News

Professional, Knowledgeable, and Experienced Travel Agents

Recently while preparing information for an RFP (request for proposal), I was amazed at how much experience Christopherson’s travel consultants possess. Of our 21 corporate agents located at our Salt Lake City Reservation Center:
• Average years of experience is 24
• This experience runs from one agent with 10 years up to another with 33 years
• Average tenure with Christopherson Business Travel is 10 years
• Agent tenure runs from one with 3 years up to another with 16 years experience
• Every corporate agent is experienced in international travel
What does this mean for you – the CFO, company travel manager, travel coordinator, or traveler?
• Cost savings through experience and special programs
• Assured accuracy within your reservations
• Hassle free experiences
• Peace of mind
Add Christopherson’s exclusive travel technology and pro-active consultative account management to the mix of our professional, knowledgeable, and experience travel consultants and you receive services from the best and the brightest travel people in the industry today.

Categories
Travel Management Vacation Travel

Travel Agents have Knowledge to Share

Funny how people react to events differently. A very long time ago , I worked was doing public relations work with a firm that brought health care services to remote rural communities. We typically flew to the different locations on small private planes either manned by the company’s own pilot and occasionally just a contracted pilot.
On one particular trip, we had a contracted pilot and we were flying to somewhere in North Dakota. The flight was bumpy. It was literally hailing on one side of the plane and raining on the other . The other passenger kept asking the pilot if he could just go lower or higher to get out of the storm –he just kept on flying through the storm.
Years later I ran into the other passenger. She went on about how awful the flight was. Scared her so much she rented a car to drive back home. She was amazed that I told her after I left that company I went into the travel agency business and have loved it for 29 years.
One characteristic you will find in each travel agent here at Christopherson Travel is a love of travel. Even with the many challenges in the travel industry, the agents enjoy visiting new places , experiencing new resorts, cruises, hotels and destinations. This experience offers our travelers a wealth of knowledge that goes into planning your next trip. If you are going to Los Angeles, Singapore or pretty much any destination, there is an travel agent at Christopherson Travel that is familiar with the area and can advise you on your trip.

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

Could You Be A Christopherson Andavo Client?

If you answer, “Yes, I want this service,” to any of the statements listed below, you should contact us immediately!!

  1. Have professional travel consultants available 24/7.
  2. Be able to book travel whenever and wherever.
  3. Have the flexibility and convenience to book a trip with an agent or through an online booking tool of choice.
  4. Provided one place to view all my past, present and future travel, all my department’s past, present, and future travel, plus travel for the entire company in one location, online with one singe sign-on.
  5. Know when an unused ticket is available, if it is reused, and if not, why.
  6. International travel specialists with 20+ years experience managing complex itineraries and providing special services worldwide.
  7. Re-check hotel and car bookings a few days prior to arrival date for lower rates and then rebooking them.
  8. Receive detailed and/or summary report on savings found by my agent(s).
  9. Special hotel and car discounts available through an agent OR booked online.
  10. In the case of an emergency, know within minutes the detailed whereabouts of your company’s travelers worldwide to act quickly.
  11. Proactive and consultative account managers working hard to maximize your ROI.
  12. Thorough meeting, incentive and conference planning.

Christopherson Business Travel is ranked the 14th largest travel agency in the nation (by Business Travel News) and therefore have exceptional relationships with ALL vendors so when you need some extra support or challenges need extra assistance – we definitely can help!

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Preferred Hotel Contracts: Theirs, Ours, AND Yours!

Theirs –  Christopherson Business Travel is an affiliate of BCD Travel the third largest travel management company in the world.  By participating in their affiliate program we are provided with additional benefits and opportunities to enhance your travel program.  The BCD Hotel Program is one of those benefits.  Hotels participating in the BCD Hotel Program are obligated to offer the BCD rate code at parity (equal to or less than any other travel management group or channel).  Over 93 percent of the hotels participating in the BCD Hotel Program offer BAR (Best Available Rate) pricing, with a small percentage of the hotel chains offering an additional five to ten percent discount off BAR.  With over 29,500 BCD participating hotels in 155 countries, Christopherson Business Travel has you covered!
Ours – Christopherson Business Travel’s local negotiated hotel rates are among the best in the industry.  Since we are headquarted in Salt Lake City we have over sixteen negotiated hotel rates in the Salt Lake area that we offer clients that don’t have the room night requirements to acquire preferred rates on their own.  Hotels participating in the Christopherson hotel program offer lower rates, usually 20% to 40% off the lowest advertised corporate rate, guaranteed quality enhanced with amenities such as parking, breakfast, internet, a delicious in room amenity made up especially for Christopherson travelers, double hotel points and double airline mileage points all at no additional cost to you!  We are excited to announce that similar hotel rates and benefits are being negotiated by our offices in Denver and California.
Yours –  As part of travel management, it is our responsibility that your bottom line reflects the greatest savings possible.  If the number of room nights booked by your company presents the opportunity to negotiate an individual hotel contract for you, our account management team will go in with vim and vigor to obtain the best deal possible based on commitment level.  As savvy negotiators our approach is one of aggression without being over the top.  We will get you the best rate loaded with as many amenities that we possibly can.  Locking in these rates for two or more years is also an added feature that we negotiate.  When the economy turns around you will still be getting the benefits of your low negotiated rate.
KEEP IN MIND – All three of these options can be used at any time.  We present the value, you pick the option, and the “rest”  is up to you.   Sweet Dreams!

Categories
Vacation Travel

Hawaii – Fall and Winter Deals

Whether a new visitor or returning to your favorite island, Hawaii is always the perfect destination.  Hawaii is great for families, honeymooners, couples, any special occasion, or simply a getaway.  There is no better place to bond than on the islands.
Hawaii offers an island for everyone, relaxation to adventure.  Visit Oahu’s Waikiki beach and Polynesian Cultural Center.  The island of Kauai offers a zip line expedition and Waimea Canyon.  The Big Island’s active volcano Kilauea is a must.  Maui offers whale watching in the winter months and also the cultural “Ulalena” musical.  Depending on your time in Hawaii I suggest a  tour by air, a day enjoyed in the water, and also a cultural event.  Make sure to take the time and enjoy the incredible tropical beauty and Aloha spirit.
Pamper yourself at one of the many Luxurious Spa and Wellness Resorts.  You will find World Class Golf Courses.  Think of Hawaii for your next successful meeting or convention.  Another great way to visit the islands is on a 7 night Hawaii Cruise
Great values being offered to Hawaii.  Airline discounts.  Car upgrades.  Many of the resorts are offering free nights plus breakfast for two, free upgrades, and resort credits.  Please call for information and let us custom your one island or multi island vacation to Hawaii / 801-327-7600

Categories
Business Travel Travel News

New Client Maximizes Return on their Travel Investment (ROI)

This new client found us on Google.  Not being satisfied with their present provider’s service or the cost for that service decided to make a switch to Christopherson Business Travel because CBT offered additional services, exclusive technology, and competitive transaction fees.

This new client was very surprised at how soon and how much they were able to save in just the first month with CBT.  Their initial goal was to convert most of their travel to our online booking tool.  While waiting for the online booking tool to be customized for them, our full service agent was able to save them an average of 23% on each trip (air, car, hotel, and fees). Our experienced, knowledgeable, and professional agents provide exceptional customer service AND positively affected this company’s bottom line. Now—that’s something to talk about!