All posts in Hot Topics

Exploring Historical West Virginia

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

West Virgina — Mountain momma, take me home, country road…and so goes the famous song by John Denver.  Kathleen Panek, historian for the Shinnston, WV Tourism Center at the Gillum House, says there’s so much to W. Virginia that people don’t know.  For instance, did you know that the state has a massive underground bunker that was built as an emergency shelter during the Cold War to keep congress safe?  It’s located in White Sulphur Springs and can be accessed via the historic Greenbrier hotel — it’s big enough to house more than 1,000 people!

Watch our interview with Kathleen — It you’re a history buff you will be fascinated with the off-the-beaten-path attractions of West Virginia. Our next historical destination is San Diego, the birthplace of California.

Expert Tips for Taking Great Vacation Photos

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

August is a popular month for family vacations.  Some will travel to Europe and other parts of the world, some will explore our National Parks, and others will visit local attractions or create a Staycation in their hometown.  Regardless of where you travel this summer, there will be plenty of picture-taking opportunities.  While most pictures taken this summer will never go beyond social media posts or the devices that created them, there are opportunities to create truly unique photos for display in the home or office and online photo labs offer several interesting finishes to match any décor.

Pro Photographer, Gary Arndt

Pro Photographer, Gary Arndt

We invited renowned travel photographer and blogger Gary Arndt to share a few tips for capturing memorable photos and telling your story (with pictures).  Gary has been traveling around the world virtually non-stop since 2007. During this time he has visited 120 countries/ territories and all 7 continents.  He has also visited more than 311 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which were created by the Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1978 as part of a global effort to preserve the world’s cultural and natural heritage. Continue reading →

Sharing Economy Lodging Takes Off Among Business Travelers

At the recent GBTA Conference, Concur, a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, unveiled its annual State of Business Travel report.

state of business travel 2016

Concur analyzed business travel booking and expense reporting data from its database of more than 40 million users, representing more than $76 billion in annual spend.  In an effort to make the data more actionable by companies, Concur categorized six unique personas that represent typical business travelers:

  • Savvy Sam is a power traveler who travels 40 percent of the time, taking approximately 25 trips per year.
  • Jet Setter Jeremy is typically a C-suite executive who travels frequently, preferring to fly first-class and stay at five-star hotels.
  • High-tech Hannah is a young millennial who travels once a quarter, often combining personal and business travel, while staying budget conscious.
  • Approving Manager Alan doesn’t travel much himself, but is responsible for approving travel and expense reports and keeping budgets in line.
  • Travel Arranger Tanya books for others and files expense reports for teammates several times a week.
  • Cautious Carl travels just once or twice a year for business. He typically plans far in advance and isn’t familiar with policies and process.

Business Traveler Behaviors

The State of Business Travel report confirms that not all business travelers are created equal. In some cases, a company may want to tailor its travel policy to account for the unique needs of its travelers, from frequent flyers and road warriors to once-a-year travelers.

  • More than half of all business travelers are “Cautious Carls,” but Carls account for only 14 percent of total business travel spend.
  • “High-tech Hannahs” and “Cautious Carls” care more about price than other types of travelers, while “Savvy Sams” and “Jet Setter Jeremys” (who contribute to 46 percent of total business travel spend) are more concerned with comfort and convenience.
  • When it comes to air travel, “Jet Setter Jeremys” consistently spend the most because they are more likely to book at the last minute and opt for premium seats.

Continue reading →

Brexit and Terror Impact Travel Plans to US and Europe

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

American Airlines President Scott Kirby told USA Today that revenue on seat-capacity available to Europe dropped 6% during April, May and June, compared to a year earlier. A double-digit decline Europe is expected in the third quarter, he added.


According to a Wall Street Journal report, “A confluence of negative factors is buffeting Europe’s tourism business. Travelers appear more cautious following a spate of attacks—most recently in Munich and in Nice, France. Economic growth in many European countries is weak, straining some consumers’ pocketbooks. And the British pound is down 8.6% against the euro since the Brexit vote—boosting costs for the bloc’s single largest source of international tourists after Germany.”

In a related story from nsight, demand for US travel from the UK is down nearly 18% YOY. And it’s not limited to Great Britain:

  • France demand to the US for the summer is down with the biggest drop in July (-13.2%) and August and September down less than 5%.
  • Germany demand increased for July (+10.8%) and then dropped moderately YOY for August (-7.5%) and September (-8.5%).

Would you pay $35K for 1 year of unlimited biz class flights from NY to London or Paris?

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

La Compagnie airline

French boutique air carrier, La Compagnie, is betting frequent international business travelers will.  While the most airborne corporate flyers may scoop up these unlimited passes as the deal of the century,  others may be better off scouring for more traditional deals.

According to a CNBC report, the airline is looking to collect $350,000 in revenue on the idea that $673 a week is a great deal for New York-area travelers making numerous round-trip flights to London or Paris, which can easily cost in the thousands of dollars.

As part of the CNBC interview, La Compagnie CEO, Frantz Yvelin said $35,000 for unlimited travel is an offer too good for some frequent flyers to pass up.

“The demand is there,” he said. “When we started our load factor [the percentage of seats filled on a plane] was 30 percent. These days we are oscillating between 70 percent and 90 percent load factor.”

Read the full story and watch the video interview here.