News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: December 2009

  1. New technology for UK stations

    Heathrow Express launched automated check-in services for air passengers at London's Paddington station last Wednesday (December 2).

    The new service allows travellers to check in for their flights using automated self service machines, before taking the train to Heathrow.

    It is the first time these common user self service machines have been used at a UK railway station.

    Initially only people flying with United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Iberia will be able to use the service.

    But other airlines will follow in the coming weeks, including British Airways, Finnair and Virgin Atlantic.

    Source: Air & Business Travel News - full story by Sara Turner.

  2. Say 'bye for now for Terminal Two

    Heathrow's terminal 2 has closed its doors for the final time this week to make way for a £1bn replacement.

    The building, as well as the neighbouring Queen's Building, will be demolished. Work will start on a new terminal 2 next year which is set to open in 2014 as the Heathrow home of the Star Alliance airlines, including Lufthansa.

    The new terminal 2 will be more than three times its current size. The opening of the first phase will accommodate 20 million passengers a year, rising to 30 million following the opening of an additional satellite terminal. Terminal 1 will close after this second phase is completed, currently scheduled for 2019.

  3. The re-vamped business travel show

    With a new name and several new features, the Business Travel and Meetings Show next year celebrates its 16th anniversary as Europe's largest show dedicated to the business travel and meetings industry.

    The Business Travel & Meetings Show takes place 9-10 February 2010 at Earls Court 2 in London. Registration is now open - please visit

    Read the exclusive interview with event director David Chapple by Stanley Slaughter.

  4. JAL To Share BA Lounge At Gatwick

    Effective December 14, passengers traveling with Japan Airlines (JAL) departing from Terminal 3 at London's Heathrow Airport will be able to use the "Galleries First" and "Galleries Club" lounges of oneworld partner airline, British Airways (BA).

    JAL will cease operations of its own First Class Lounge and executive class Sakura Lounge at Heathrow.

    Changes have also been made to airport lounges used in other European destinations, namely Milan, Moscow and Paris, and in Frankfurt where the JAL lounge was renovated to emulate the revamped lounge in Tokyo's Narita International Airport.

    Source: Redline News - full story

  5. Spring 2009 Forum

    Speakers are being approached to take part in the Spring 2009 Management Solutions (UK) Limited and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum.

    We are delighted to announce that our three main sponsors have already agreed to sponsor both our events agin in 2010 and it is now up to our Planning Committee to try and improve on our Autumn event that was declared by many as our "Best Ever!"

    So please make a note in your 2010 diaries and block off Tuesday 20th April for our Spring Forum which will be held at the Hesperia-London Victoria Hotel

    Have a look at our Autumn event

    Further coverage of the event will appear in the January edition of Buying Business Travel - you can also read an article from the Air & Business Travel News here More details will be published as the programme develops. For further information and check out the rest of our activities, click here

  6. Blueberry becomes a Hampton

    Hilton Worldwide has announced the conversion of three Blueberry Hotels properties in Birmingham, Shrewsbury and Braintree to the Hampton by Hilton offering, taking the economy brand's UK portfolio to five hotels.

    All three Blueberry hotels will be rebranded early next year as the Hampton by Hilton Birmingham Star City, Hampton by Hilton Shrewsbury and Hampton by Hilton Braintree.

    They will join the brand's existing hotels at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Corby / Kettering, with further properties also planned in Leeds and Derby, as well as a second hotel in Liverpool.

    Source: BusinessTraveller online - full story by Mark Caswell.

  7. ACTE-ing with the Guild

    ACTE and the Guild of Travel Management Companies are seeking the views of business travellers on their experiences in end to end travel within the UK.

    It is hoped that this survey it will allow the GTMC to better focus their lobbying on the issues of most concern to business travellers.

    The Federation of Small Businesses has agreed to help in publicising this, so that we can get a measure of smaller company concerns.

    If your travellers could help there is a timely sweetener because there will be a draw prize of £250 in John Lewis vouchers for those participating.

    I hope that your travellers will be able to take 10 minutes or so of their time to join the survey, and we would be very grateful if you could encourage your travellers to follow this link travel survey.aspx

  8. How to bag the best seat on the plane

    Every once in a while someone comes up with a new piece of technology aimed at business travellers that makes me say: "I wish I had thought of that." Expertflyer's new Seat Alerts service is one of those.

    Websites such as SeatGuru and Seatplans have made finding the best seats on an aircraft less of a gamble and a scramble. Yet, it's all very well knowing which seat is the best, what if you can't bag that seat for yourself?

    Seat Alerts gets round that problem. For the 85 airlines on the ExpertFlyer system, which includes BA, Bmi, Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Swiss, and Lufthansa you can ask it to send you a email when a specific seat or perhaps just a window or an aisle seat becomes available. You can also tell it to ignore seats that are only available for frequent flyer members with a particular status level if you don't have that yourself.

    The system is also cool if you are being forced to travel in economy by your company travel policy and want to grab an exit row seat.

    How clever is that? Access to the service comes as part of ExpertFlyer's $9.99 a month premium service, which also gives access to lots of other cool stuff, including frequent flyer upgrade details and flight availability.

    Source: Times Online - complete story by Mark Frary.

  9. Lufthansa suspends first class on selected routes

    Business class passengers to get first class seats.

    Lucky business class passengers will enjoy first class seats for business class prices over the winter period, as the carrier temporarily suspends first class ticketing on five long-haul routes from Frankfurt.

    The carrier said that the move, which represents four per cent of long-haul routes where a three-class service is normally available, has been made as "demand is currently low for first class on specific connections".

    The temporary decision is similar to that taken by Qantas on its London-Hong Kong route earlier this year (see online news May 21), and Lufthansa says that it "in no way implies a departure from our First-Class policy". In an internal briefing the carrier continues: "Lufthansa remains committed to offering First Class in the cabin configuration and is investing substantially in product improvements in this premium class.

    The airline will be presenting an entirely new First Class in 2010. Lufthansa already has new First-Class lounges respectively a new First-Class terminal in Frankfurt and Munich, which have contributed to large growth in passenger numbers in this segment in recent years."

    Source: Airline & Business Travel News - full story by Mark Caswell .

  10. Meridian launches Complete Expense Reporting System

    Meridian Global Service's latest product Expenseflo EMS allows corporate travellers to submit expenses online, and for their line managers to approve reimbursement with a single click.

    However, unlike other expense tools, Expenseflo EMS is linked to two other crucial tasks already offered by Meridian to provide total control over all aspects of travel expenses. These are: Expenseflo EXPENSE AUDIT - audits expense receipts for expense claim accuracy and travel policy compliance and Expenseflo VAT RECOVERY analyses those same receipts to maximise VAT recovery.

    Another simplification has been the development of Expenseflo EMS on software architecture that integrates it easily with other corporate systems. This includes integration with online booking tools at the front end of the travel process and uploading to ERPs at the back end.

    Source: BTS News - more information

  11. Ground Breaking Pan-Nordic telepresence forum!

    With the support of the four Business Travel Associations in the Nordic region, ACTE will hold the first ever Pan Nordic education forum using the advances of telepresence technology, courtesy of Tandberg.

    The main forum will be held at the Sheraton in Stockholm in collaboration with SBTA (the Swedish Business Travel Association). There will be a Tandberg video link to enable senior corporate travel delegates in Stockholm to share discussions and outcomes with satellite groups of their peers located in Tandberg's offices in Helsinki, Copenhagen and Oslo, with the additional support of the Finnish, Danish and Norwegian Business Travel Associations. The forum will be held in English

    Click here to register.

  12. Air Berlin expands

    Air Berlin is in an expansion mood having taken over the TUIfly's city routes and with it 15 aircraft.

    The airline is currently recruiting 700 flight attendants and 120 co-pilots.

    Last week it published its third quarter earnings which more than doubled to €95.2m beating analysts forecasts and triggering a jump of more than 8% in its shares. Whilst best known for its European regional routes the airline has a fleet of 13 Airbus A330s which operate as far east as Bangkok and as far west as Vancouver.

    From the UK the airline flies four times daily from Stansted to its main hub at Dusseldorf, and twice daily to Hanover, Munster, and Nuremburg. Paderborn is three times daily from Manchester and daily from Stansted.

    Source: AERBT - read Malcolm Ginsberg's articles

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