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Business Travel

4 Myths about Booking Airfare

When booking airfare, you may do your research and read all the fine print, but don’t lose out on booking the best deals. Our travel professionals aren’t fooled by these travel myths:

Top airfare myths

Myth #1: Travel Agents Don’t Always Find the Best Rates

At Christopherson Business Travel, our agents always find the lowest available rate for our clients. Not to mention, travel agents have tricks up their sleeves that automated websites have never even heard of! Why not let a professional do the shopping?

Myth #2: Non-Refundable Airfare is Always Non-Refundable

Technically, the rule says airlines must either hold a quoted fare for 24 hours OR allow travelers to cancel within 24 hours. Almost all airlines offer a full refund without penalty if you cancel within 24 hours of booking. The exception is American Airlines who have opted for the “hold” program that allows customers to put a ticket on hold for 24 hours before booking. Additionally, non-refundable fares are fully refundable if the flight is cancelled, significantly delayed, or if the airline makes a significant schedule change prior to departure. Fortunately, when you book through an agency like Christopherson Business Travel, an agent acts as the liaison between you and the airline, so you’ll stay up-to-date on all the details of your travel and have someone to help address any necessary changes!

Myth #3: Lap Children Always Fly Free

On domestic flights, yes, but travelers are required to pay 10% of the applicable adult fare on international flights for small children who will share your seat. Also, if you fly on a free award ticket in business class with a small child, it will cost you 10% of the business class fare which might be hundreds of dollars.

It’s things like these that make travel agents so valuable–they know the rules!

Myth #4: Booking Directly with Airline Websites Will Get You the Best Fares

Airline websites won’t tell you that it’s cheaper for you to fly via their airline one way and their competitor another, but a travel agent will and they’ll even let you book the trip in one transaction. Talk about resourceful!

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Tips

Why Book Through A Travel Agent?

pichjkChristopherson Business Travel provides their clients with two ways to book travel–through a customized online booking tool or with a team of experienced agents.

In a Forbes article by Larry Olmsted, I was reminded of the many reasons why choosing to book through an agent may be the best way. As Mr. Olmsted explains, “the bottom line is that they know more than you do, they are better connected than you, they have access to benefits you can’t get otherwise, they can often beat any other prices available (even online, yes), and after you have planned everything, they provide a safety net during your trip that you simply won’t get by booking yourself or buying insurance.”

Christopherson agents average 20 years of experience in the travel industry. Many of our corporate clients have realized the benefits of our agents’ expertise, saving time and money–by leaving it to the experts!

Categories
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.

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Why Use a Travel Agent?

People who book travel regularly, often assume that using a travel agent is obsolete. And, in fact, there are many websites available for the sole purpose of booking one’s own travel: Orbitz, Travelocity, Kayak, Airline Direct, etc. So why, with all of these resources, would any one need to use an agent and how are they even still in business?

Why use a travel agent?

Travel agents still serve, and are quite important, to a large majority of travelers, especially business travelers. Agents are able to apply discounts, identify and monitor savings, adhere to corporate travel policies, and give personal, customized, one-on-one service.

In a recent SKIFT article, it was stated, “Travel agents are alive and well and they do a robust business by providing expertise and advice to millions of travelers every year, using a combination of new and old technologies.”

How are travel agencies still in business and growing?

For Christopherson Business Travel, the answer, I think, lies in a recent post written by our CEO Mike Cameron, wherein he identified our unique competitive advantages and explained how we use them to grow our business and leverage our services against our competitors–including the online websites.

By using our competitive advantages, such as our proprietary business travel technology, Christopherson is able to continually support our travel agents and service all of our customers globally.

If a travel agency is willing to do just that–support their agents, stay on top of the changing trends in travel, provide invaluable and incomparable service for those clients who book with their agents, and lead the way with technology advancements and online services–then that agency, in my opinion, will not only survive, but thrive.

Categories
Business Travel Vacation Travel

Internet vs Travel Advisor for Booking Vacation Travel

why use a travel advisor

By now, most of our blog readers are probably convinced of the benefits of using a travel agency to book your business travel–the convenience, the technology, the assistance with making changes, help in tracking your unused tickets, etc., etc.

But do you feel the same way about using a travel advisor to book your vacation travel?  Or do you spend hours and hours doing research on the Internet, trying to find the cheapest flights, the best hotel for your budget and preferences, and planning activities to do once you arrive. Travel planning can be very time consuming and frustrating, and yet so many people continue doing it all on their own.  Why?

I love this list of the Top 10 Reasons to Use a Travel Advisor, written by Ruthanne Terrero, the Editorial Director of the Questex Travel Group.  It’s funny, and oh-so-true!

  1. You’ve Googled “Mexico vacation,” and come up with 17.8 million responses. Need a little help editing those choices?
  2. Remember when you used that obscure website to book your hotel, and when you got there you spent your beach vacation overlooking a parking lot?
  3. How many hours were you on hold with the airline when your flight was canceled because of a snowstorm?
  4. Did you really mean to spend your honeymoon at that resort whose one tiny pool was filled all day with 12 screaming children?
  5. Who knew that when you booked that “villa” in Tuscany, it would be a small room with a kitchenette and no air conditioning? Funny, it looked much better on your computer screen.
  6. No one explained to you that in July, its winter time in Rio, and so you showed up there with nothing but five Hawaiian shirts and three pairs of swimming trunks.
  7. How about the time you really needed a restful vacation, and you ended up in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and someone threw up on your shoes?
  8. Yes, I guess that hotel must have used a telephoto lens when they took a picture of those guest rooms that you saw on their website.
  9. I suppose contacting the Attorney General to resolve the fact that that Internet site has billed your credit card three times instead of once is the only route to take at this point.
  10. It was definitely odd that there were no cab drivers at the airport at 3 o’clock in the morning when you finally landed in Costa Rica, but booking a transfer to your very remote hotel would have been a good thing to remember when you purchased your airline ticket and hotel online.

If this list sounds at all familiar to you, it may be time to contact a travel advisor and see what a huge difference it makes in planning your next vacation. Andavo Travel has an amazing group of world-class travel advisors with years of experience.  You can pick one who has the destination specialty you’d like, here.

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Travel Agents Rock. It’s True.

Following the recent trend of explaining why using a travel advisor is such an excellent idea, the New York Times published an article Friday, April 20, 2012 titled “Are Travel Agents Back?” The answer seems to be a resounding yes!
Excerpt from the article is below:
The complimentary wine and fruit platter was sent up to Jessica Griffin and her family moments after they strolled into their roomy suite. They were accompanied by a bellhop who placed their bags near a tidy crib made up with luxurious, high thread-count sheets for Ms. Griffin’s 1-year-old daughter.
The V.I.P. treatment at the Cheeca Lodge and Spa in the Florida Keys last month hadn’t come with an extra cost. In fact, Ms. Griffin said, she paid about $100 a night less than the standard rate for her room. And the deal wasn’t the result of hours of tedious online research either. She had finagled her savings the old-fashioned way: through a travel agent.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Fact: Travel Agents Take Majority Over Online Bookings

Recently, I booked a vacation through my travel agency to an all-inclusive resort at Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. It was an amazing getaway and I loved every minute of it.

While on my trip I chatted with a few of my fellow travelers about their vacation planning and overheard a few conversations regarding this topic as well. What I found interesting was that all these conversations revolved around their travel agent, in one way or another. Whether it was that they chose this particular resort because their agent recommended it, or that they discussed their array of flight options–I was amazed! Not because I don’t see the value in travel agents (I work for an agency!), but because so many people think that booking online is the wave of the future. However, almost everyone I spoke with booked their vacation through a travel agent.

I took pride in this fact and find it to be great news for our industry. Now what we need to do is spread the word and let everyone know that booking with a travel agent is the definitely the best option!

In fact, here are three benefits to booking with an agent:

  1. You save money! Travel agents work hard to maintain strong relationships with travel suppliers. They also have access to the latest in computer reservations technology which allows them to help you find the best values and options.
  2. Agents are also your advocates. Your best interests are their priority and they will be there to help you through your entire planning process and help smooth out any hiccups you experience along your travels.
  3. You get personal service. A travel agent will answer your phone calls, take care of problems, guide your planning, offer suggestions, and share their travel/destination experience. That’s something you’ll never get from a computer screen.

To find an agent for your next vacation, click here. Or for your next business trip, click here.