Archive for July, 2011

“Did you know…The airlines have a Netflix problem?”

The airlines have a Netflix problem
(Bloomberg Businessweek: Traveler’s Check)

U.S. airlines have been taking some heat this week for boosting fares to compensate for the end of the 7.5 percent federal excise tax that expired July 23 amid partisan squabbling in Washington…

Airlines pocket ticket-tax holiday
(WSJ – Middle Seat Terminal)

There’s a tax holiday right now on airline tickets. Who gets the benefit, airlines or the passengers? With only a few notable exceptions, airlines are pocketing the temporary windfall instead of passing the savings on to the people who actually pay the taxes…

As a way to save time and avoid extra fees, what’s the final word on how to pack most effectively for business travel?

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the rubber meets the runway

 

The simple act of packing a suitcase has taken on some weighty consequences.  Today, business travelers need to consider a host of issues as they neatly fold and stack items for their trip.  Weighing and gauging, detaching oneself from emotional favorites and bad packing habits is the order of the day as corporations increase travel policies to cut costs.

Anne McAlpin is a luggage packing guru and travel expert for the Oregon/Idaho branch of the Automobile Association of America (AAA).  She has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Rachel Ray, CNN and many others.  We asked her to give us her hottest tips for business travel packing in 140 words or less.

“Travel for business can be stressful, so to make it easier, I always travel with just a carry-on.” Here are Anne’s top packing tips:

. Always confirm in advance what size carry-on bag is allowed on your airline. It varies.
. Most airlines allow a carry-on (usually 22″) and a personal bag
(tote/briefcase).
. Tip for women travelers: Pack your handbag inside your personal bag = three bags (but only counts as two.)
. If you need additional items, ship them to your destination in advance. This saves valuable time, money & stress in case of delayed flights, bags,etc.
. Keep a quart size plastic bag filled with all your liquids (3.4 oz or less in each container) in your carry-on bag for last minute trips.
. Pack less by packing around one basic color so the same shoes, belts, accessories, etc. can be worn with everything.
. Avoid packing the outside pockets of your carry-on, it might not fit into overhead bins.

“Did you know…There’s more about the new TSA “known traveler” program?”

More on the TSA’s new “known traveler” programme
(The Economist – Gulliver)

On Saturday, Gulliver argued that airport security reformers should support american’s Transportation Security Administration in its efforts to move away from a “one size fits all” screening process

In reversal, passenger gropes TSA agent
(Boston Globe – Globe-trotting)

In a kind of man-bites-dog reversal, a Colorado woman is facing felony charges of sexual abuse after allegedly groping a TSA agent at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport in Arizona…

One-on-One with Jean Tripier, CEO, WorldMate

Each month, ExpertFlyer sits down with an executive in the travel industry to provide insight to changes in the landscape and how it affects the way you do business.  It’s another way ExpertFlyer is providing additional information to empower the business traveler.

This month, ExpertFlyer sat down with the chief executive officer of WorldMate, Jean Tripier.  WorldMate is the personal travel assistant chosen by over 7 million business and premiere travelers worldwide.  Designed to cater to every aspect of business travel, WorldMate understands an individual’s personal preferences and recommends the ideal options for the best possible travel experience.  WorldMate sends real-time “push” alerts about itinerary updates and changes, including flight delays and cancellations, as well as a host of unique travel resources.

“Mobile effectively allows us — for the first time — to tie a user’s behavior with their location and itineraries. Mobile means a new way to sell travel services that will supplant more traditional methods over the next few years…”

— Jean Tripier, CEO, WorldMate

1)    Why has WorldMate focused so heavily on the Blackberry market?  Is there a particular distinction associated with users of Blackberry smartphones that make them a better business travel target?
We offer solutions on Android, iPhone, Symbian and other smartphone OSs. When looking at the demographics of the business traveler market, however, the overlap with BlackBerry users is obviously greater than for all other mobile platforms. RIM has always designed their service to cater to professionals who need to always stay connected. Their value proposition for enterprise customers with email, contacts, calendar syncing, etc. has always placed them as the go-to-phone for business users.

2)    Do you have plans to produce similar applications for the iPhone/Android?
WorldMate for iPhone and WorldMate for Android are very popular applications. WorldMate is continuing to invest in these platforms and it makes sense to offer our solution on both iPhone and Android, under our own brand or that of others leaders or would be leaders in the travel industry.

3)    What benefits does WorldMate bring to business travelers?
WorldMate combines all booked travel arrangements, flight confirmations, hotel reservations, car rental details and more into one easy to view and access trip itinerary viewable on their mobile device and at worldmate.com. Our application alerts travelers when things go wrong, when flights are canceled or delayed and offers them alternative options. They can make alternate booking plans directly from the WorldMate application on their mobile. This makes it easy and efficient for travelers on the go to take action quickly and without difficulty.

WorldMate’s mobile booking is tied into user’s itineraries, which means that we can quickly offer the best option to sort out your trip. It’s like having a smart personal assistant to make your life easier when you are on the road.
4)    Tell ExpertFlyer about the recent collaboration with Research In Motion (RIM) that integrates the power of the WorldMate travel platform with the new BlackBerry® Travel application.
BlackBerry Travel is a breakthrough fully integrated travel solution, launched worldwide by RIM under their own brand. This is the first time an OEM is entering the travel space in a significant way. In addition, BlackBerry Travel is the first fully automated and contextually aware mobile application –you setup your account and your itineraries are magically setup and updated.
5)    What do you see as the next revolution in mobile travel services and how are corporations going to use these applications to increase efficiency and cost savings across their businesses?
The revolution is mobile travel services. Mobile effectively allows us — for the first time — to tie a user’s behavior with their location and itineraries. Mobile means a new way to sell travel services that will supplant more traditional methods over the next few years, because they are more effective for the suppliers and more convenient for the end user.

6)    What do you think differentiates WorldMate from your competition, most     notably TripIt and TripCase?
We are by far the best mobile solution; our focus is on the best mobile client experience, which makes us really stand out. Our parsing and itinerary management are also superior to anything offered by our competition. This is why WorldMate is the only itinerary management platform selected by a major mobile phone manufacturer to power a branded application.

7)    As more and more services offer itinerary tracking and management, how does WorldMate stay fresh and relevant?
We stay ahead because we manage the highest volume of itineraries by the most demanding users. They are the ones that drive our innovation and the relevance of our new features and offerings.

“Did you know…There are tips for running with the bulls?”

Dance, forget sleep in Pamplona
(CNN Travel)

Like schoolchildren on a field trip, my friends and I excitedly sang this song on a bus from León to Pamplona in 2005. All I knew about the festival of San Fermín was that it involved people running with bulls, and that it took place every year from July 7 to July 14

Here are some tips:…

Concierge etiquette: Quick tips for getting better service
(Huffington Post)

One of the advantages of a good hotel is the assistance of a terrific concierge. Whether you need hard-to-get theatre tickets or dinner reservations, this member of the hotel staff is invaluable. Here are some hints on working successfully with a concierge…