All posts in Business Travel

“Did you know…The Guy in the Window Seat Wants to Talk to You?”

talking on a placeWhy don’t airline passengers, sitting inches apart for hours on end, utter a single word to one another?  Most likely, because we assume that the other person doesn’t want to talk and we rather not risk annoying anyone.

Since the ups and downs of air travel always pique our interest, we were drawn in by a recent New York Times article written by Jeff Kaye, a co-C.E.O. of the executive search firm Kaye/Bassman-Sanford Rose Associates and C.E.O. of the recruiting training company, Next Level Exchange.  Since the 1990s, Jeff has been contradicting the assumption that our seat mates don’t want to engage.  In fact, he says, about 90% of people DO like to chat and share.  Since Jeff travels all the time and all around the world for business, he makes a regular habit of greeting fellow passengers and asking a few polite questions.  In addition to interesting company, he’s been rewarded with advice, recommendations and anecdotes that made the trip fly and in many cases left him a little bit smarter.

Next time you’re on a plane, say hello to your seat mate.  You never know where the conversation will take you.  Read the entire story here:

Keeping your Identity Safe While Traveling: Part 1

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

identity theftMost travelers give little thought to protecting their identity, and with theft of personal and financial information being one of the largest growing crimes – both domestically and internationally, travelers need to take extra precautions due to their built-in vulnerability while on the road.  We talked with Travel Security expert and consultant, Detective Kevin Coffey, and he’ll share effective strategies to guard against scammers and slick identity thieves while traveling for business or pleasure.

Tips to think about before you go…

  • Social Networking Sites

It just does not happen to celebrities so don’t announce the dates of your travel on your Facebook page. That’s like issuing an open-invitation to thieves. Some ID thieves are known to monitor social networking sites because travelers like to announce their travel plans on them.  ID thieves will sometimes use this time to take over your email accounts and send emails to your friends saying you have fallen victim to some type of emergency while traveling and need cash.  Since they have taken over your email account while you’re in the air, you may know about this for some time.

  • Notify Credit Card Companies Before You Go

Let your credit-card company know if you’ll be traveling (especially internationally) because bank and credit card fraud departments are more vigilant about any unusual activity on your card, which can be a great way to detect a problem. But if you’re away from home when the bank calls to verify the charges, you could end up with a frozen account while you’re out of town. Avoid the hassles and notify your bank before you leave home.  Consider giving them additional numbers to contact you while on the road in case unauthorized charges pop-up during your trip. Continue reading →

“Did you know…Overseas airlines are auctioning off upgrades?”

(Wall Street Journal)

plusgrade logo

Plusgrade auction technology

New York-based Plusgrade, a sophisticated software auction platform that enables airlines to offer travelers the opportunity to upgrade their travel experience, may be powering a new trend in air travel, awards and upgrades.

The Wall Street Journal reports that airlines overseas have started auctioning off upgrades, with travelers in economy or premium-economy cabins bidding against each other for seats that offer better space, food, service and sleep.  Plusgrade’s chief executive, Ken Harris, stated in an interview with WSJ that the auction technology may be coming to the U.S. soon.

Read the full WSJ article here.

2013 Must-Have Tech for Travelers — Part 3: On the Go Phone & Photo Gadgets

Expert Flyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

Although we called out some interesting and valuable apps for both business and leisure travelers in parts one and two of our Must-Have Tech series, research by the Collinson group shows that only those apps that are instantly engaging and immediately useful will be kept and used regularly when on the move.

smartphoneThe Mobile Traveler Survey by the Collinson Group also found that to most frequent travelers, the airport and often the travel journey itself, has become an experience to be endured, not enjoyed.  And, aside from airport lounge access, smart phones are among a short list of must-haves for business travelers who want and need to stay connected to work, family and friends. Here are two companies who offer some interesting options for staying in touch:

  • Wireless Traveler, a leading provider of international phones and services to the travel industry, offers money-saving wireless communications products and services for the international leisure and business traveler.  Among their many cost-saving options is their Global Nano SIM Card ($44.95), which saves users up to 85% on calls using their existing iPhone 5 or iPad Mini.
  • When it’s time to recharge, Innergie’sPocketCell Duo and Magic Cable is a perfect companion for travelers on the go who can’t afford to run out of juice on their mobile phone or tablet.  The Innergie PocketCell Duo can completely charge an iOS or Android phone up to four times and provide about 7 hours of additional power to tablets, including an iPad, before the PocketCell Duo needs to be recharged.  The Magic Cable Trio, which comes with the PocketCell Duo, is an ingenious way to minimize the number of cable you need to charge every mobile device you have on your journey.  The Magic Cable Trio is a single cable that includes a 30-pin Apple tip as well as miniUSB and microUSB tips, which means consumers can connect to more than 10,000 mobile devices with a single cable.  The PocketCell Duo ($89.99) also has two (2.1 amp) USB ports so two devices can charge at the same time.  The company will also introduce a Lightning Tip in April for iPhone 5 users.
taking picture

(c)Courtney Carmody

Everything is relative and, unlike the Collinson Group study, TripAdvisor’s annual business travel survey reported a bit more pleasure associated with business travel.  In fact, 62% of respondents said they “often” enjoy business travel and 18 percent said they “always” enjoy it.  And, 34% said, the best part about traveling for work is “seeing new places.  “We agree, so why not take along some fun gadgets to help you capture and keep some of those business-tourist memories.  Here are a few to consider:

  • The Pentax Q10 is a super-compact and ultra-lightweight camera that is barely larger than a deck of cards, and a great camera choice for travelers who want to achieve digital SLR photographic quality with the convenience of slipping into your pocket.  The Q10 features a new CMOS image sensor and an upgraded algorithm for much-improved performance with amazing image quality and faster autofocus (AF) operation. A special adapter allows hundreds of Pentax K-series lenses to fit on the Q10.  Suggested List Price (with zoom lens): $599.95.
  • With the Photojojo Phone Lens Series you may take full advantage of the camera on your smartphone or tablet while touring a new destination.  Photojojo’s phone lens series works with any phone or device that has a lens on it, including Android or iPhone lenses, iPod Touch, iPad, Blackberry and MacBook.  You can choose from professional quality Fisheye, Telephoto, Wide Angle and Macro Cell Phone lenses. You can get three lenses for under $50.
  • Taking pictures with your mobile phone is certainly convenient, but many times the photo is too dark, skin tones are inaccurate or the overall color just doesn’t seem right.  Now, with the help of Athentech Perfectly Clear iOS and Android apps, you can turn these photos into perfectly exposed and color corrected masterpieces with a single click, and share them with friends directly or post to social media from anywhere in the world. Perfectly Clear from Athentech does exactly that.  The app will render your photos as they should be and will convert good pictures taken with mobile devices into great photos to share instantly.  Manual adjustments can be made if you really want to get creative.  Using Perfectly Clear will have your friends asking, “you took that picture with your phone?”


Miami Beach — Part 2 of 3: Getting Down to Business

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

In part one of our series on Miami Beach, our friends at the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) offered a broad array of reasons why anyone would want to visit Miami.  In our second installment, we’re getting down to business.  MBVCA tells us there’s ripe opportunities to do international business in Miami, and it’s become a highly desirable corporate destination for hosting sales events, trade shows, retreats and more.

Miami Beach Convention Center

Miami Beach Convention Center

Home to dozens of hotel meeting spaces, restaurants run by celebrity chefs (with lots of private, elegant rooms for business meetings), lauded golf courses and lots of post business lounges, bars and luxury cabanas to unwind after stressful days, Miami Beach is much more than a port of call for sun and fun.  It’s an ideal place to do business, boasting state of the art meeting facilities, unique off-site venues and tropical temperatures.

The Miami Beach Convention Center has played host to many leading industry events, as well as some of the nation’s premiere public events, including America’s largest consumer show, the Miami International Boat Show. The South Florida International Auto Show and North America’s most important contemporary art fair, Art Basel Miami Beach, also call the Miami Beach Convention Center home.

Miami Beach is the ideal destination to mix business and pleasure, whether at one of the city’s contemporary hotels or in private dining spaces at some of the most highly rated restaurants in the country.  Those looking for that “wow” factor will find  unique meeting spaces such at 1111 Lincoln Road Garage, The Bass Museum of Art, or The Fillmore Miami Beach. Even the former home of Gianni Versace is available as a private meeting space.

Miami Beach’s state of the art facilities, endless events spaces, warm sand, blue waters and sunny skies are all a great recipe for a dynamic business destination.  For help in booking your next business engagement in Miami Beach, visit the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority’s website.

In our upcoming final installment on Miami Beach, we’ll be featuring sights and adventures that are ideal options for families who want to play and relax together in Miami.